Sometimes age gets in the way of your sex life – whether it’s the general aches and pains of old age or more specific age-related conditions. We’ve put together some tips on how to keep your love life fresh, exciting and frequent as you reach your prime.
Handling heart conditions
A heart condition doesn’t automatically mean the end of your sex life. However, it is important to take some precautions to minimise anxiety and the risk of problems.
These should include choosing a relaxing atmosphere, avoiding sex after a heavy meal, and taking time to find comfortable positions. If you’re worried about putting too much stress on your heart during sex, find a less stressful and energetic way of doing it. Side-by-side is a great option, as it keeps it slow and steady, instead of fast and intense.
If you’re recovering from major heart surgery or a heart attack it’s worth speaking to your doctor about it and seeing when you’ll be able to resume a healthy sex life. The usual guideline is 6 to 8 weeks.
Sex and arthritis
Obviously, there is a certain amount of movement in sex which can become painful if you suffer from arthritis. However, it’s not just the pain that could be harming your sex life – people with arthritis have been known to put on weight due to their decreased mobility, which can hit their self-esteem.
If you’re having issues with movement during sex, find a position that’s more comfortable and puts less pressure on your joints. It doesn’t even need to be full sex – extended foreplay can be just as intimate and enjoyable and a lot less physically demanding.
Whether you’re suffering from a lung condition or just getting out of breath as you get older, having sex could literally take your breath away. If you are getting out of breath, first you might want to find your limits. As you get older, getting to know the limits of your body can be a good thing. How long can you jog before you’re out of breath? Make sure you talk with your partner about this and let them know that you might need to slow things down occasionally.
Also, try and make sure you’re relaxed beforehand and avoid any alcohol or a heavy meal, as this will just make things more difficult. If you have an inhaler as part of your medication, use it before sex to help open your airwaves. The same goes for oxygen – if you’ve got a home oxygen tank make sure it’s on hand.
Keeping it up
It’s a sad reality that as you get older, you’re more likely to have difficulty in achieving or maintaining an erection. The penis works like any muscle in your body and as you get older becomes less effective.
There are a number of medications that can help you achieve and maintain an erection, from the world-famous Viagra to Sildenafil, Cialis, Levitra and Spedra.
Many men also find that counselling can help with erectile dysfunction, either a couple’s session with your partner, or just you and the therapist.
As erectile dysfunction can be the first sign of an underlying condition, it is important that you get checked for these. They include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and hormonal deficiencies.
Reaching the end
Even if you are able to get an erection, then you might still be faced with an inability to reach orgasm. It seems premature ejaculation is a young man’s game. However, not being able to climax can be equally, if not more frustrating. And while there are plenty of medicines for premature ejaculation, there isn’t as much out there for anorgasmia – the medical term for being unable to reach orgasm.
We’d suggest talking it through with your partner and finding what works for you physically and emotionally. It might be because you’ve not made love for a while or because of other stresses in your life.
Other causes can include various medications, diabetes, excessive drug and alcohol use, chronic pain or spinal cord injury or hormonal problems. If you are suffering from any of these, speak with your doctor about your problems and they might be able to suggest something.
Tips for your partner
It takes two to tango, so remember it might not just be you who is feeling the effects of old age in the bedroom. Women can suffer from lack of lubrication or a drop in sexual desire after the menopause. A survey suggests that 84% of menopausal women find sex painful.
Your partner should include avoiding washing intimate areas with soaps, as they can aggravate dryness. To help combat it, try using lubricants. If your partner’s sexual drive has dropped, talk it through and see if you can help. Or just listen to what they have to say.