Improve Sex at All AgesIf you’re feeling there’s plenty of scope for improving your sex life, you might be relieved to know you’re normal. It was Somerset Maugham who said people get married because they don’t want to be bothered about sex any more.
A sex therapist with three decades of experience counselling hundreds of couples wanting to improve their sex lives agrees: “Sexual problems are common among healthy couples who are normal in every other way – so common in fact that they are arguably a sign of normality,” says Dr David Schnarch, in Resurrecting Sex (Harper Collins.)
Wanting to improve sex or learning how to improve sex drive is something that happens at all ages and you’re never too young to want a second chance at sex. (Some sexual problems like rapid orgasm for men and lack of orgasm for women are far more common in the young.)
How to Improve Your Sex LifeLearning how to improve your sex life always involves both mind and body, and the best solutions usually involve an emotional stretch. Improved sex means personal growth – and sex lives often go stale because we are reluctant to change.
First Key to Improving Your Sex Life
1) Remember sex is both physical and emotionalNo erection is hard enough or long enough to bridge the gulf between emotionally alienated partners, suggests David Schnarch, and no earth shattering orgasm is going to stall divorce.
Even if you have a medically based problem – which can be solved with erectile dysfunction drugs - don’t forget sex is a mind-body interaction and resolving medical sexual problems always involves using your brain and opening your heart.
Says Dr Schnarch: “If you were lousy in bed before Viagra, you’ll be a man with an erection who is still lousy in bed. The most important instructions for using Viagra won’t be written on the prescription bottle.”
There may be physical causes for low sex drive or erection problems that need addressing, but it’s important is to be honest about the emotional dynamics of the relationship.
You’ll improve your sex life if you work out your issues with your partner:
- Deal with tensions you and your partner have swept under the carpet
- If you’re going to bed angry, frustrated or resentful, you‘re more likely to give your mate the unscrewing of his or her life
- Don’t try and simply suppress negative feelings– go about this in ways that build collaboration and friendship
Second Key to Improving Your Sex Life
2) Do what you can to maximise physical healthHealth issues which do not improve your sex life because they reduce erections and lower libido include:
- Being over weight
- Drinking too much
- Lack of exercise
- Medications for diabetes, depression, stress and high blood pressure
Australians appear to be the world’s biggest worriers when it comes to weight and how it affects performance in the bedroom.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports a hefty 52 per cent said excess weight “seriously impacted” their sex lives – more than any other country except Mexico, which came in equal first with Australia.
50% of Aussies thought they cared much too much about their waistlines, but at the same time secretly wished their partners would lose a few kilos.
Third Key to Improving Your Sex Life
3) Expect to change your sexual style as you grow olderIt may be exactly the opposite of what you want to do, but the need for change is built into the way we evolve physically and emotionally – and to improve sex we have to adapt and change as our physical and emotional responses change.
David Schnarch says your genital prime and sexual prime are at opposite ends of your life span. People reach their sexual prime in the 40s, 50s and beyond, as they develop emotional maturity and sexual experience.
Expect love making to be slower, take longer, and allow for more foreplay and after play. You’ll inevitably discover sex diminishes as you age if you depend on horniness to carry you through 50 years of marriage.
Even irresistible rocker Rod Stewart (67) shows he’s got the message – he says he doesn’t have sex as often as he used to: "It’s quality now, not quantity. Kissing is very important."
If you want to be a sexy senior citizen, emotional maturity and connection with your partner must become driving forces of your sexuality. Men and women move closer in sexual motivation as they age:
- Older women continue to value the emotional connection but find the physical aspects of sex – frequency, duration and orgasm – become increasingly important
- Older men value the physical joys of sex but emotional closeness becomes more important
- Some women don’t orgasm until their 40s and 50s as they become more confident and assertive. (Sex and Love at Midlife, Crown House)
Fourth Key to Improving Your Sex Life
4) Optimize physical stimulationMaximising physical response involves both partners and requires good will as well as good technique.
For it to improve sex life:
- One partner must have the ability to make the other feel good
- One partner must be willing to relax and receive pleasure
Increase contact with your partner during sex – “follow your connection”
- Stop your mind's wandering and increase your “in the moment” involvement
- When your partner is touching you:
- Focus attention on the point of contact
- As your partner’s touch shifts, move your attention with it
- Don’t focus on the mechanics – try to feel your partner’s intent
Fifth Key to Improving Your Sex Life
5) Optimise your thoughts, feelings and emotionsYou’ll improve your sex life if you:
- Establish a more collaborative alliance with your partner both in and out of bed
- Put some effort into non sexual activities - things that create a shared sense of emotional investment –like planting a garden, going on shared family visits
- Push your sexual boundaries and try sexual behavior that feels like a stretch. (This will increase times and ways you can engage your partner profoundly.)