For many people, being over the age of 40 is pretty great: Your career is is a good place and your confidence is at an all-time high. However, for some their sex-life can change as time goes on and unfortunately it is not always for the better. There are some ways you can keep ways to keep things fresh in your sex life and it is easier than you think. Check out these tips from our resident sexologist, Jodie West. What you may not know about Jodie is not only has she studied this but she has also lived it. In her mid 40’s now Jodie has been menopausal for 9 years, so she gets it. You are not alone in this.
1. Accept the changes in your body.
It almost sounds cliché because we hear it so often, but it is true. Feeling comfortable in your body is sexy, no matter your age. So, grey hair, softer curves or whatever changes come in life embrace the changes you're seeing and let your partner do the same. Your body has got you this far, through whatever challenges you have faced, celebrate it and enjoy it.
2. Expand your definition of what sex is.
Our preferences in sex are not fixed. Your interests are likely to have expanded and changed from when you first began having sex. It is like anything else in life, you grow, you evolve, you change so too does your interest in sex. So, it's high time you redefine what sex means to you. Sex is so much more than intercourse. Kissing, cuddling, sharing fantasies, exploring toys and arousing can be pretty fun. Even more so when you bring your partner along for the ride with you.
Some medications can have an impact on your desire for sex. If you've found yourself less enthused about the prospect of being intimate than before, try talking to your doctor about whether any of your current medications could be standing between you and a more fulfilling sex life. Do not stop taking or change your medication without speaking to your doctor first. If you have troubles with arousal or lubrication, talk to your doctor about it. It is worth a conversation.
4. Position is important.
We all get aches and pains at times and they may get more frequent as we age so re-evaluating the positions and techniques you use in the bedroom can be an effective way to rekindle the spark. For example, if you back pain your sex life is NOT over it is possible to find positions that reduce the strain on your back eg spooning. You can also use pillows and supports to make it more comfortable for both you and your partner eg The Liberator range of furniture has a large variety of support options.
5. Quality Lubricants are your friend.
Something as simple as a quality lubricant or gel can raise the arousal levels. They are great for massages, teasing erogenous zones or ones that have stimulating ingredients can have a little extra zing or tingle to the equation. You can more about lubricants in our free download.
6. Tap into those feel-good hormones.
Oxytocin, endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine are the feel-good hormones that are easy to tap into when you engage in some affectioning touching. In everyday activities you can be intimate and affectionate with your partner and tap into those feel good hormones. This in turn can pump up your desire for closeness (even sex), improve your mood, help you discover all kinds of new pleasures and rediscover old ones.
7. Give your partner reassurance outside the bedroom.
Try giving your partner reassurance outside the bedroom, compliments go a long way. Show them affection when you're out together, and make time for them, date nights (even stay in date nights thanks to COVID 19) are important no matter how long you have been together. Let them know that they are still desired by you.
8. Don't be afraid to talk about it.
If you or your partner are having difficulty in the bedroom, don't be afraid to discuss exploring your medical options. Don’t be afraid to speak to your health care professional about it, there are options to help you build a fantastic sex life through your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond.
9. Safe sex is important at any age.
Think you don’t need protection with new partners after a certain age? Wrong. STI’s do not discriminate by age. You need to ensure that you discuss STI status with new partners no matter what age you are. You need to have safe sex, that is use condoms, internal or external with new partners. It is important to be informed, to be prepared, and to play safe.
10. Make time for sex.
Making time for intimacy may make you more open to sex in the future. While you certainly shouldn't be having sex when you don't feel like it, keeping a connection with your partner, touching, cuddling, kissing and being affectionate can help boost your desire levels. According to a 2017 study published in Psychological Science, couples had more relationship satisfaction for up to two weeks following sex. Now if you think about that being happy in a relationship is an important contributor the desire for sex so that 2 weeks post sex glow creates a self-perpetuating cycle.
11. Work on your confidence.
Yes, Bliss is a adult store but our priority is first and foremost your pleasure and the reality is no amount of lingerie and sex toys are going to magically change things, they are tools you can use but they are not a magic wand. Not feeling sexy? Try working on your self-esteem first. Confidence is sexy. The confidence you have in your 20’s and 30’s is likely to be different to the confidence you have in your 40’s. It may come from a different source, from your achievements, your accomplishments, and what you have become in life.
12. Speak up about your needs.
It can be uncomfortable at first, but talking about your needs in the bedroom will keep your love life healthier in the long run and boost your desire. The word sex may have been taboo for most of your life and that can make it difficult to say it now let alone having a conversation about your needs, your desire and your boundaries in sex. You can read some tips about sex and communication in the Bliss Journal.
13. Sleep is important.
A good night’s sleep can make pretty much anything work better, sex and intimacy are no different. According to a 2013 study published in Sleep, sleep-deprived men were more likely to misread their female partner's behaviour as sexual interest, even when that's not the case. Misreading cues can potentially lead to feelings of rejection when they're turned down repeatedly. Lack of sleep can also increase stress hormones in your body, and we have already discussed how important tapping into our good hormones are for our desire levels (hint, stress hormones do the opposite). Making sure you get good quality sleep and enough of it can be a (hopefully) easy way to keep your sex life healthy.
14. Try new things.
You have heard the says, variety is the spice of life well in the case of sex research suggests that this is in fact the case. According to a 2017 review of research published in the Journal of Sex Research, couples that engaged in more of a variety of sex acts were more satisfied in their relationship. If you need a few ideas check out our free downloads for 50 ways to explore pleasure.
This does not mean to meditate and have sex it does mean being in the moment when you are being intimate with your partner not thinking about work or your to do list for tomorrow. Being mindful and present in the moment with your partner (or yourself if it is solo sex) can make a big difference in your sex life, satisfaction and desire. According to a 2019 study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, people who were more mindful during sex enjoyed both greater sexual satisfaction and higher self-esteem. There are really simple tips and tricks you can use to be mindful during sex and you can find them in the Bliss Journal (more articles are coming soon).
16. Break your routine.
Routine can be comforting, who cooks on Wednesday, which restaurant you go to for date night, movie night is Friday night, who does what cleaning etc. Try a new restaurant, a new date night activity or Friday night routine, a new activity can increase feel good hormones such a dopamine. Shaking up your routine a bit when you are in a long-term relationship can be a great catalyst to rekindle the connection in your relationship.
17. And in the bedroom.
You took the leap in shaking up your routine outside the bedroom why not try it in the bedroom to. Talk to your partner about switching up something, maybe where you have sex, night of the week you have sex, the position or even if experiment with a toy. Toys are not competition they are tools you can use to explore pleasure and there are toys for both penis and clitoris pleasure.
18. Exercise does wonders.
Exercise increases blood flow and the efficiency of blood flow around the body including to your sexual organs. Sexual function is controlled, in part, by the quality of blood flow to your organs. Vigorous exercise 3 to 4 times a week (talk to your doctor before you start anything new) is good for you and does go some way to improving your sex life.
19. Lift for your libido.
Resistance exercises are not only great for your overall health (bone, muscle, mental health etc) but can help increase testosterone. Both men and women have testosterone in varying amounts, and it is essential for sex drive in both. Body weight exercises are ok if you don’t have weights at home or cannot make it to the gym. Yoga is also a good if that is more your style.
20. Control the major relational stressor.
Financial stress is the number 1 cause of problems in relationships and that may extend to the bedroom. You don’t have to always agree but it is important to talk through finances regularly and work together to reduce the stress it can cause.
21. A good diet goes a long way
A healthy diet is good for every part of your body, your physical and mental health. A diet that puts a strain on your body, or makes blood flow less efficiently is generally not great news for your body in general including your sexual organs. If your diet is contributing to extra weight you have a higher chance of some kind of sexual dysfunction.
22. Those three words
Saying “I love you” during sex was found to contribute to sexual satisfaction in long term couples in a 2016 Chapman University study. Seems simple but does link back to the tip on reassuring your partner or is a form of showing your appreciation for your partner.
23. Have fun with it.
The same Chapman University study found that sexually satisfied couples reported that their sex was both passionate and playful. At Bliss we affectionately call it silly sex, and we advocate for having fun, not taking sex so seriously and remembering that silly sex is ok. So remember to play and laugh with your partner.
24. It is the little things.
The little things really do make a big difference. Foreplay should start long before you actually have sex. It’s is through all the little things your do for and with your partner. The kiss when you come through the door, the gentle touches, the appreciation for just being them and all the other things that create a connection with your partner for days in advance of sex. It’s not about only being attentive to your partner just before sex. Small gestures and nice comments are significant to setting the right mood for sex long before you get to the bedroom.
25. Make regular sex a priority.
It is not a shock that research has found that couples with higher rates of physical intimacy tend to be closer. It's not that quantity means quality, but you have to have some quantity to have more quality.
26. Morning Sex, yes please.
Chances are you have more energy in the mornings, so why do most people wait until 1030pm at night to have sex. After a long day, and the to do list for the next day already starting to roll around in your head. Try setting your alarm a little earlier and try morning sex enjoy all the feel good hormones to start your day.
27. Work through your conflicts.
Not talking about your problems will only create more problems and that goes for your sex life, too. Relationship troubles affect your mood and overall satisfaction, and so it is not a stretch to see how that can influence desire.
28. Time is valuable.
You may be busy but making more time for each other is important even when it is not going to lead to sex. Having fun together, relaxing together, spending more time together can make you more interested in one another sexually. It’s all about connection, bonding and those feel good hormones again. In this case spending quality time with your partner stimulates the bonding hormone, oxytocin and this can increase contentment after sex and the research even suggests it can equal better orgasms.
29. Spend more time snuggling.
A 2014 study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found one key ingredient to long-term relationship success: post-sex snuggling. According to the research, there's a strong link between "post-sex affectionate behavior (e.g., cuddling, caressing, shared intimacy) and sexual and relationship satisfaction.”
30. Never underestimate the power of a massage.
Nothing sets the mood like a good full-body rub, take it in turns so you both have the pleasure of a massage. Add some candles, oils, some ambient music and you get pleasure even if intercourse is not on the cards.
31. How you compliment matters.
What you say matters.
When you say it matters more.
How you say it matters most.
32. Try some toys.
Toys come in all shapes, sizes colours and for a whole variety of purposes. There really is something for everyone no matter your pleasure. There's something out there for you that can take your pleasure to unimagined levels. Toys are a compliment not competition. Sharing your exploration with toys with your partner can be a bit scary for some people. Some people have no clue how to even suggest that they want to try using toys, it is very common actually. You can read some tips on how to have the conversation and incorporate toys into your sex life in the Bliss Journal.
33. Add some sexy literature to your must-read list.
Sure, you could put on a video to rev your engines. But you could also try reading that sort of thing. Your brain is your largest sex organ and reading erotic is a great way to stimulate it. We have a range or books in our store and from time to time we also have erotic stories published in the Bliss Journal. Let your imagination run wild.
It's never too late to explore new things when it comes to sex. You'll never know if you don't try. And for more ways to take things up a notch check out these other articles on the Bliss Journal.
8 of the best sex toys for beginners
What are Erogenous Zones?
5 Best Positions for a Bad Back
5 Reasons Physical Touch is So Important
5 Pieces of Sex Furniture and How to Use Them.
7 Steps to Sexual Bliss - Clue it is all in your head!
Why Silly Sex is Best
Sex and ageing – who says they can’t go together?
The Benefits of Sex Pillows
7 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Vibrator.
5 Things You Need to Know About Sex After Menopause.
Steps to improve sex during perimenopause & menopause.
13 Questions You Need to Ask Your Health Professional About Sex and Menopause.
The Bliss Guide to Menopause.
11 Things Every Woman Needs to Know About Sex and Menopause.
Schedule sex, does that mean our relationship is doomed?
7 Foreplay Tips To Try Now
Foreplay AKA The Entire Point Of Sex!
Disclaimer: The information contained in this document should be read as general in nature and is only to provide and overview of the subject matter. Please read product packaging carefully and follow all instructions. Seek advice specific to your situation from your medical professional or mental health professional. Safe - Sane - Consensual