British actress and media personality Amanda Holden sparked a lot of discussion when she spoke about enjoying a “primal” sex life with her partner of 19 years (and husband for 12), Chris Hughes recently.
The 50-year-old shared how he sparked “something primitive” in her at their first meeting and that she “had to be with him”, with her revelation raising the question - is sex in your 50s really better?
“He can’t keep his hands off me,” she told The Sun. “I actually tell him off because I say ‘I don’t want to have a kiss and a grope while I’m trying to load the dishwasher. Chrispy’s up for it any time. Always. So it’s when I decide. Poor chap!”
Sex gets better with age
A study from 2015 found that sex, especially for women, can get better as we age. Marketing company Lippe Taylor and HealthyWomen.org surveyed 1,000 women over the age of 18 and 54 per cent said that their sex life has improved with age.
In fact, the survey found that the 45 to 55 age group of women were the most experimental when it comes to sex, with 89 per cent saying they love to try new things in the bedroom. The reason? Women become more comfortable with their bodies as they age.
“I think women are led to believe that their libido will drop and sex become more uncomfortable, due to changes to the vagina post-menopause, but this is not necessarily the case,” Shakti Sundari, sexual awakening coach for women at EKHO Wellbeing tells Yahoo.
“For many women, libido goes up and they continue to have no problem with arousal.”
Intuitive guidance coach Tiffany Wardle adds that often, being older means you’re in "the best shape of your life” and have accepted your body, flaws and all, which makes it easier to be more experimental.
“I have had some clients try threesomes when they have become older; this also comes down to trust,” Tiffany adds.
“The longer you have been with someone and the older you are, the more trust there is in a relationship. There also tends to be a lot more divorces, and people can become overly flirty and sexual with strangers, as they have never explored the possibilities before – perhaps even questioning their sexuality.”
Of course, it can be different for everyone. While some people may have the best sex of their lives in their 50s, some may stop having sex altogether.
“I have found that men change sexually as they get older – sometimes they will see their partner as 'just a mother', which, for them, changes the dynamic in the relationship,” Tiffany adds.
“If someone has been with their partner for a long time, [sex] can stop completely. Other times people are ready to explore as they are going through changes in their body – what you liked when you were younger may not be what you like now.”
Biological and psychological reasons
From a medical viewpoint, there can be biological and psychological reasons why sex-drive ebbs and flows over time.
“Oestrogen and testosterone decline as women approach the menopause, there is also the psychological element: how we feel about ourselves, our bodies and the state of our relationship, all of which plays a part in how often we want to have sex,” says Dr Sumera Shahaney, GP and head of clinical operations at Thriva.
“There are also pressures linked to social factors – stress at work, family or finances, all of which can in turn affect the libido.”
When it comes to having sex in your 50s, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer.
“I'm 56, multi-orgasmic and looking forward to experiencing even greater pleasure and delight in love-making with my next partner,” Shakti says.
“But this might not be another woman's answer. We are all unique.”
Shakti adds that it is up to individuals whether they want to “claim pleasure” and “relish desire”.
“Society conditions us not to and bombards us with all kinds of crazy ideas about a woman's value and sexiness being tied to her youth and superficial beauty, but that's nonsense,” Shakti continues.
“However immaculate your skin, big or small your boobs or butt, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the level of pleasure you experience.”
Tiffany and Shakti agree that loving your body is the best path towards sexual fulfilment as you age.
“Your body is constantly changing, so it is important to learn to love it. Sex comes from inside, so if you don’t love yourself and how you are, you can’t expect to enjoy sex,” Tiffany says.
Shakti recommends keeping fit, doing pelvic floor exercises and practicing self pleasure as a way to enhance your sex life.
She adds: “Whatever age a woman is, the most important thing is that she is connected to her own body, desire and pleasure, and able to communicate her needs.”
Reporting by Laura Hampson.
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