Although our libido tends to wane as we get older, studies show that at least for women, sex actually gets better with age. This seeming paradox is due to many factors including increased sexual experience, confidence and openness to intimacy that often come with age.
Studies Show Older Women Are Happier With Their Sex Lives
A study examining 806 women over age 40 was conducted by the University of California, the San Diego School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, and published in The American Journal of Medicine. In the study, the participants answered questions about their sex lives and sexual satisfaction. The results? Researchers found that the older a woman was, the more likely she was to report that she was “very satisfied” with her sex life.
Somewhat counter-intuitively, this increase in sexual satisfaction was not necessarily related to sexual desire itself. Among the women who reported being happy with their sex lives, 40 percent admitted that they had never or almost never experienced sexual desire per se. Only three percent of the women said that they always had a desire for sex. Because women became more satisfied with their sex lives as they aged, but did not experience an increase in actual sexual desire, this suggests that there are other factors that determine sexual satisfaction.
A different study conducted by the Stein Institute for Research on Aging at the University of California found that the majority of women between the ages of 60 and 89 were moderately to very satisfied with their sex lives.
Why Does Sexual Satisfaction Increase With Age?
One of the biggest possible reasons a woman’s sex life gets better with age despite no increase in sexual desire is that the longer she has been in a relationship, the more comfortable, intimate and emotionally connected she feels with her partner. Emotional connection is incredibly important for feeling sexually satisfied in a committed relationship. Being with your partner long enough for the both of you to really learn what the other likes is also important—experience is another important reason sex tends to get better with age.
Most women grow more confident as they get older. As time goes on, it also becomes easier to have a positive attitude toward your body and the way you look. A large study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology examined data from over 3,600 adults of nearly all ages. Researchers found that women’s self-esteem rises rapidly throughout their life until they reach very old age. Because feeling confident in yourself and feeling good about your body are important for having satisfying sex, the absence of body image issues and increased confidence experienced by many mature women is another reason why sex gets better with age.
How to Guarantee Your Sex Life Continues to Improve
- A healthy lifestyle is an important factor in maintaining a healthy libido, as well as overall health. This is especially true as you get older. Getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and relieving stress in a healthy way are some of the most important aspects of lifestyle that you should pay attention to. Attending to these areas of your life will help prevent conditions and symptoms like fatigue, obesity and chronic stress that will reduce your sex drive. Maintaining a balanced lifestyle is also crucial for feeling good on a day-to-day basis, beyond the bedroom.
- Some natural supplements can help maintain your sex drive. Examples include fenugreek, ginger, ginseng and supplements containing maca. Occasionally, nutrient deficiencies can cause a low libido, or cause other symptoms, such as lack of energy, that prevent you from enjoying sex. The most important nutrients to pay attention to for the sake of your sex life include vitamin D, iron and B-vitamins.
- Be open to experimentation in the bedroom. Try new sexual acts, playful games, positions, sex toys and lovemaking locations. This will help to keep the spark alive through novelty. Experimentation also provides you with the opportunity to discover something you really like that you didn’t know about before.
- Using personal lubricants can be extraordinarily helpful in improving enjoyment of sex. This is especially true for menopausal and post-menopausal women who may experience vaginal dryness. Even if you think you don’t need to use a lubricant, you may find that it still makes sex feel better.
- In your quest to improve your sex life, you may likely find that your biggest aid is communication. Telling your partner what you like and dislike is incredibly important, and you shouldn’t put up with non-enjoyable sex just so your partner will be happy. Work together to make sex more enjoyable for the both of you.