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Sex Over 60? You Bet!
By: Sheldon S. Zinberg, MD - November 27, 2012
The Vegas Voice
The Vegas Voice
Would it surprise you to know that for many Las Vegas seniors, sex actually gets better with age?

Maybe it’s because we have fewer pressures such as work, children or the fear of pregnancy. Even in nursing homes, romantic relationships develop that lead to sexual intimacy.

As an older adult myself, I understand the issue firsthand. The other evening my wife asked me with a wink to go upstairs with her to cap off a great evening. It was her idea; we had just returned from dinner with friends and were in a good mood.

But I was tired so I told her to pick one – either go upstairs, or have sex. I could not do both.

It’s a myth to say that our sexual function remains unchanged as we get older; it doesn’t. But a better understanding of these changes may help prevent disappointment or despair and may even help you improve your intimacy. When you bring up the subject of “sex after 60,” most people think that medications such as those used for erectile dysfunction have changed the nature of intimacy for the elderly. Yes, it’s true that medications like Viagra have helped to reinvigorate the sexual function of older men, but there is much more to it than popping a pill.

As we age, our bodies slow down, but our thoughts about sex continue to be top of mind - at least for men anyways. On average older men still think about sex once an hour, while women think about it three or four times a day.

This is not to say that older women desire sex less. It’s just a simple fact that men think about it more.

Hormonal changes, medications, fitness level, overall health status and other factors play a large role in the nature of sexual activity for older adults. Some medications such as antidepressants may also reduce libido and even hinder sexual function.

Physical imitations such as arthritis or other chronic diseases may also play a role in your ability to perform. Depression is also another factor that can greatly reduce the libido and make it difficult to get in the mood.

It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor about your sexual function; make it a part of your annual or semi-annual checkup. Your doctor may help you by identifying some underlying conditions that may play a role in your sexual health.

The great news is that sexual activity is a great exercise for any older adult. No matter your age, good sex is a part of good health.

When I speak to seniors who work out and are active in programs at Nifty after Fifty, the subject of sexual health is often a part of the dialogue. The more fit you are as you age, the better your sexual health as well.

In fact, there are even specific exercises that I have outlined in my book, Nifty after Fifty that will help you. I have also shared some specific positions that are perfect for older adults, many of whom have bad backs or other physical limitations that may hinder the ability to perform.

Many older adults share with me very personal stories of how they’ve improved their sexual intimacy with their partners as they become more fit by working out at Nifty. I call this Connectile Function.

They tell me that their physical and emotional bond with their partners is much improved since their fitness levels have risen. They call exercise the magic bullet for an improved sex life and I can’t argue with them.

Here are some key tips to improve sexual relations for those over 60:

1. Stay active and agile with exercise; regular physical activity helps to improve flexibility and self-esteem.

2. Eat a nutritious and balanced diet.

3. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor.

4. Men with erectile dysfunction have many treatment options available. Medication, medical devices and even surgeries are available for men.

5. Women suffering from vaginal dryness and discomfort during sexual relations should use water-based lubricants to make intimacy more comfortable.

6. Men, try to be more romantic with small gestures of intimacy such as a kiss or hug.

Talk about your sexual likes and dislikes.

7. Personal hygiene is very important so make sure you are clean all over. Pay attention to yourself and your self esteem will improve.

8. Make intimacy a part of your routine. Plan an event or time together. Turn off the TV and talk to each other.

Sexual intimacy can be just as enjoyable as we age as it was when we were in our teens. The key to improving your sexual health, no matter your age, is to improve your overall health and for me, exercise can be the first step to a new and very pleasurable chapter in your life.
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