Of course, sex isn’t going to stay exactly the same as you age. But the changes that take place aren’t all negative. Once a woman is past menopause and no longer concerned about pregnancy, many couples find it easier to relax and look forward to lovemaking. And partners who are retired or working only part time often have more time and energy for each other, for making love as well as pursuing other shared activities.
By midlife, men and women know their own body and their partner’s intimately and, hopefully, they’ve figured out how to communicate what they find pleasurable. It’s likely that they’ve shed any sexual inhibitions and their sexual confidence and experience probably result in better sex for each of them.
Just as important, sex may be more emotionally fulfilling because now it is driven less by hormones and more by the desire to share yourself with someone who loves you. Sex after the age of 65 may take place less often, but it may also be much more gratifying.
Men: getting in sync
Starting at midlife, most men notice that getting an erection requires more direct physical stimulation. It also takes longer—which may also be a positive change. Since women tend to become aroused more slowly than men, this may bring arousal cycles into sync. A slower response also encourages more foreplay, which benefits menopausal and postmenopausal women who may require additional stimulation to achieve sufficient vaginal lubrication.
Recovery time (the time required to achieve another erection after ejaculation, also called the refractory period) increases, but so does the length of time an erection lasts before ejaculation. This can lead to a more leisurely lovemaking style that leaves both partners more physically and emotionally satisfied.
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