Better With Age: Intimacy in Later Life

Affectionate older active adult couple making heart with hands

While age is always just a number, our bodies and minds will go through a series of changes. Many of these changes impact our sexual health. In fact, studies show that up to 40% of men and women over the age of 65 experience some form of sexual dysfunction. However, this doesn't mean that sex should be off the table. In fact, with the right knowledge and effort, older adults can maintain a healthy and satisfying sex life.

Staying Informed

One crucial factor in maintaining sexual health as we age is staying informed about the changes our bodies are going through. Most older adults have received little to no sex education during their younger years. Sex education is not just for teenagers; it's just as important for older adults. By seeking out sex education resources, older adults can learn about sexual health issues that are specific to their age group and find ways to address them. For instance, men may experience a decline in testosterone levels, which can lead to a decrease in libido. In contrast, women may experience a decrease in estrogen levels, which can cause vaginal dryness or discomfort during intercourse. By staying informed about these changes, older adults can work with their healthcare providers to find ways to manage them and continue enjoying a fulfilling sex life. 

Physical Health and Sex

Physical health is another crucial factor that can impact sexual health in later life. As we age, it's important to take care of our bodies by getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Exercise helps improve blood flow to the genitals and increase libido, while a balanced diet provides the nutrients necessary for sexual function. Additionally, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can help reduce the risk of sexual dysfunction and other health problems.

Mental Health and Sex

Mental and emotional health also play a vital role in sexual health as we age. Stress, anxiety, depression, and relationship issues can all contribute to sexual dysfunction. By addressing these issues through therapy or other means, older adults can maintain a healthy sex life. Moreover, engaging in activities that promote relaxation, such as meditation, can help reduce stress levels and promote overall well-being.


Aside from these factors, there are also practical considerations to keep in mind when it comes to sex in later life. For instance, older adults may need to experiment with different positions or techniques to find what works best for them. As couples age, they may find that their sexual needs and desires change and that they need to find new ways to be intimate. Communicating openly with a partner can also be essential in maintaining a fulfilling sex life.

Sex Myths and Facts

There are also a few myths and facts about sex and aging that should be addressed. 

  1. Myth: Older adults lose interest in sex. However, studies show that many older adults maintain a healthy sex life well into their later years. While it's true that sexual desire may decrease with age, it doesn't mean that sexual activity has to stop altogether. In fact, many older adults report feeling more comfortable and confident in their sexual relationships as they age.

  2. Myth: Sex is only for young, healthy individuals. This couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, studies show that many older adults who are dealing with chronic health conditions continue to have satisfying sexual relationships. By working with their healthcare providers to manage their conditions, older adults can continue to enjoy sex and intimacy.

  3. Fact: It's essential to recognize that sexuality can take many different forms. For example, some older adults may choose to engage in non-penetrative sexual activity or masturbation, which can still provide pleasure and intimacy without the physical demands of intercourse. Sexuality is a deeply personal experience, and it's essential for each individual to find what works best for them.

  4. Fact: It's also worth mentioning that older adults who are not in a committed relationship may still desire sexual intimacy. However, dating and finding sexual partners can be more challenging for older adults than it is for younger people. It's essential to be cautious when seeking out sexual partners and to practice safe sex to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

  5. Fact: It's important to recognize that sex and intimacy can have significant benefits for our overall health and well-being. Sexual activity can boost our immune system, improve our mental health, and reduce our risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease and stroke. Additionally, sexual intimacy can provide a sense of connection and closeness with our partners, which is essential for our emotional well-being.

Overall, while sex and aging may seem like an unlikely combination, older adults can continue to enjoy a fulfilling sex life with the right knowledge and effort. By staying informed about the changes that come with aging, taking care of our physical and mental health, being open to experimentation and communication with our partners, seeking sex education resources, and dispelling myths about sex and aging, older adults can continue to experience the joys of intimacy and connection. Regardless of age, sex is a natural and healthy part of our lives that should be celebrated and enjoyed.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.