By: Dr. Susan
What if someone told you that you could have the best sex of your life after 40? After 50? What about after 60? What about after that?! Having researched a group of over 1,000 women between the ages of 45 and 65, in my book, Sexually Woke, I tell you with absolute certainty that you can! Most of us are missing out on this great truth and the hope it offers. Unequivocally, our best selves, and our best sexual lives don’t have to end at 40, or 50, or 60, or 70. The truth is, life has for us the potential to grow richer and fuller with every moment we’re blessed to be alive. That includes sex life.
For me, I discovered this truth firsthand when my own sex drive came back in full force at age 47 (after I left my 18-year relationship/14-year marriage…on purpose.) But my patients have confided that they, too, experienced a sexual reawakening in midlife. Documenting these experiences and studies in Sexually Woke helped lead me to new conclusions: the perfect storm of female midlife crisis – receding relationships, hormonal changes, personal illnesses, the struggle of children, aging parents, etc. – leads us to feel like we’re shrinking, physically and emotionally retreating from the rest of our lives. But what I realized, and now often tell my patients about their sexuality is this:
“She is not dead; she was just taking a nap!”
So now I say, let’s wake her up!
Below are 6 tips for the best sex of your life after 40. It truly is a mindset shift, but you can be successful if you’re willing to dig deep, be intentional with your partner, and kinder to yourself.
Sex is waaay more than vaginal intercourse. In fact, only 4 out of 10 women regularly have an orgasm that way. Our later years, especially, make vaginal intercourse increasingly difficult, if not agonizingly impossible. But physical intimacy is critical to a healthy relationship. So instead of thinking of sex as a friction frenzy, try thinking of it in terms of “intimate physical contact.” There are countless ways to express this, as long as it creates pleasure for both parties (and it is a party!), including simple cuddling, touching, exploring, and rubbing the genitalia together – a beautiful expression of sexual intimacy that conveys a feeling of connection equally to you both.
Explore Mutual Masturbation
If you haven’t experimented with toys and gadgets before, now might be the time. Many men and women require not only more stimulation as they age, but different stimulation. For example, the most reliable way for a woman to achieve orgasm after 40 is with a vibrator or toy. Give the toy to your partner. Let them explore you with it, perhaps play you like a fiddle. Then you take a turn on them. Make it fun! Mutual masturbation can be another very exciting way to experience sex and to see it as an opportunity rather than a loss.
Research has shown that spiritual wellness and happiness directly affects our sexual satisfaction. Oftentimes during our thirties and forties we are overwhelmed with work and raising kids and don’t have time to self-reflect and let go of emotional baggage. In midlife, it’s important to start relieving ourselves of those burdens, hardships, and resentments as soon as possible. Journaling and meditation can help significantly. Did you know that Resentment is the #1 libido crusher for women? Forgiveness, and restoring our relationships are key for healthy, satisfying sex lives in our fifties and beyond.
Prioritize Connection over Orgasm
Orgasm is not an event, it’s a process, and it starts and finishes with connection. As we age, making orgasm the goal or end game of sexual activity needs to change. Let’s face it, “the climax” may not always be possible. So instead, ride the wave a bit longer. Fixating on orgasm can create stress and disconnection that prevents intimacy from even being possible. Cuddling in bed, stroking your partner, a long hug, or a passionate kiss can be just as pleasurable, just as sexually sustaining. The process of connection can be as enjoyable as orgasm itself, okay…almost as enjoyable as orgasm itself, if I’m being honest. Besides, if you’re taking my advice, there’s always next time… and there’s always a next time!
Embrace your physiology
90% of women over 40 use some sort of face cream, or hand cream, or skin moisturizer to maintain a healthy appearance, and to preserve the sensory features of our largest organ against the challenges and changes of, well, aging. Accordingly, changes in our sexual bodies due to aging – like vaginal dryness, decreased sensitivity – are inevitable. Thankfully, a number of products are now on the market that are very effective in improving the physical variables that drive female sexual desire and orgasmic potential as we age. Topically there are creams, ointments and lubricants, of course. But there are also more holistic approaches that address the physio-emotional symptoms of aging. These include bio-identical hormone replacement for vaginal lubrication; clitoral enhancement with the Cliovana device; the O-Shot; surgical and nonsurgical vaginal rejuvenation to tighten a relaxed vagina, etc. Be sure to talk to your doctor about which procedures or products might be best for you.
Small, daily moments of presence, attention, and recognition keep the fire of love alive. Something as small as how you greet one another and say goodbye can make a huge difference in your passion levels. Give your partner your full attention, even if for a minute, acknowledges that you care about their happiness. A deep desire for your partner to be emotionally fulfilled will translate to desire in your physical relationship as well.
For more secrets and tips about how to find your sexual aliveness in midlife, be sure to read more of my discoveries in Sexually Woke.