Your Sex Life Probably Hasn’t Reached Its Peak Yet

Photographed by Natalia Mantini.
Unfortunately, the media often depicts sexuality as something exclusively — or at least primarily — enjoyed by young people. As we've reported before, that is not true at all. And now, a small new study suggests why your sex life really can get better with age. Because with experience comes the ability to ask for what you want in the bedroom. After doing extensive interviews with 20 women between the ages of 45 and 60, University of Pittsburgh researchers concluded that while some women and their partners experienced lower sex drives than they had when they were younger, the women felt they knew themselves better sexually and had an easier time communicating in the bedroom than their younger selves did. The authors of study, which will be presented at the Annual Meeting of The North American Menopause Society on Wednesday, wanted to do interviews because this method "allow[s] women to speak their own words regarding their experiences" so it therefore "can capture nuances and individual variations in women’s lived experiences of sexual function during midlife." On the other hand, simply collecting data on sexual frequency or decline in sexual function can leave out these important nuances. An example: "One of the most enlightening findings of this study was the large number of women who had successfully adapted to any negative changes by modifying their expectations regarding sexual activity, putting more emphasis on the emotional and intimacy aspects of sex, or adapting the sex acts themselves," the study's lead author, Holly Thomas, MD, told The Independent. So despite the fact that their sex lives did change a bit, many of the women responded not by having less sex or less satisfying sex, but by taking matters into their own hands. They started using lube, encouraging their partners to spend more time on foreplay, and masturbating more often. This was a small study, but it is not the first to suggest that sex gets better with age. A survey from the University of Guelph and the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada from earlier this year found that people tend to get more sexually adventurous as they get older. This is great news considering that sex carries health benefits that only become more important as we age. For example, a study in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour found that women ages 57-85 who have more sex are less likely to experience high blood pressure. The best news might be simply knowing that you can look forward to enjoying a stellar sex life, no matter how old you are.

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