older couple sitting out on their patio, smiling and embracingShare on Pinterest
Cavan Images / Getty Images

Despite what the media might tell you, it is possible to have healthy, exciting, and very fulfilling sexual experiences as you age.

Although there are indeed some challenges regarding sex as you reach your 50s and 60s, it doesn’t mean you have to kiss goodbye to sexual pleasure. Quite the opposite!

For many, it’s the beginning of a journey to the best sexual experiences — a time to explore new things and reach levels of intimacy and pleasure you may not have imagined.

So, let’s look at some of the ways you can achieve that.

There’s no doubt that many people will experience hormonal changes that accompany perimenopause and menopause, leading to lower estrogen and testosterone levels.

Oftentimes, this can cause a decrease in sexual desire — but it’s different for everyone. You might not possess the same physical prowess of your 20s, 30s, or 40s, and there are plenty of physiological challenges that can impact your sex life as you age.

But that shouldn’t mean you hang up on your desire or give up on what gives you pleasure as you roll into your 50s and 60s.

Erotic educator Taylor Sparks, the founder of Organic Loven, one of the largest BIPOC-owned online intimacy shops, spends her time educating and empowering people to enjoy their most pleasurable sex lives at any age.

She explains that, while some people may experience vaginal dryness, loss of libido, or dyspareunia, “it’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Everyone is not the same. While some may experience some of these symptoms, others may not experience any.”

And according to Sparks, there are varying factors why sexual desire or pleasure change as people age.

Estrogen levels drop during perimenopause and menopause, causing the vaginal wall to lose elasticity. Consequently, some people may experience dryness, which in turn can lead to pain during penetrative sex.

According to Jen, a 58-year-old who has been married for 25 years, “intercourse with my partner was so painful after menopause, I just didn’t want to bother anymore. Although we were very happy together, sex was becoming stressful.”

Jen explained that trying other things helped improve her intimacy with her partner, and using lubricant assisted with her vaginal dryness.

According to Sparks, as you age, it takes longer to get aroused as blood takes longer to reach the genitals. This means sensitivity isn’t the same as it used to be.

“Therefore orgasm can take longer,” says Sparks. “The clitoris needs more stimulation, so using organic lubes can enhance the experience.”

“A CBD lube, for instance, promotes muscle relaxation, blood flow, and arousal,” explains Sparks. “As it’s anti-inflammatory, it can help increase the blood flow to the vulva or clitoris, improve elasticity, and increase orgasm.”

Sparks continues, “Lubes make all sex better, whether you experience vaginal dryness or not. It makes all sex more pleasurable, no matter your age.”

Although there are plenty of lubes on the market, Sparks recommends using organic intimate body products if possible.

“Stay away from any chemicals in that area, particularly in lubricants,” Sparks says. “Most of the products on the market act as irritants; some of us, older vulva owners, feel we are experiencing dryness. But it’s the chemicals causing dryness.”

“I recommend that you avoid propylene glycol, which adds to vaginal atrophy and can cause little micro-tears inside the vagina, making it susceptible to everything, including yeast infection.”

As an all-natural intimacy practitioner, Sparks also recommends avoiding glycerin, sucrose, and glucose, which are all derivatives of sugar.

“When you put sugar in something dark, warm, and wet, you get yeast,” Sparks explains.

In addition, she says, if you have estrogen-led cancer, avoid using estrogen-based lubricants. Instead, try water-based lubes containing natural ingredients and avoid those with alcohol or scents.

“Always check the label,” advises Sparks. “If you can’t read it, leave it, and if you can’t pronounce, it denounce it.”

There are countless ways to explore what gives you pleasure, and for many, getting older frees you from any restrictions or limitations placed on your younger self. But for some, it isn’t just the physiological changes that are challenging.

For example, Charlotte, who is in her 60s, explained that, after the birth of her children, she had a lot of tearing and stitches.

“I wasn’t as ‘snug’ as I had been,” she explains. “This led me to feel less confident about myself, mainly as my partner referred to it.”

She continues, “I felt from quite early on that my partner was dissatisfied with my body as it aged. I would have appreciated a much more caring, gentle type of intimacy that took physical difficulties into account.”

Going on to say that discussing sex and intimacy with anyone was difficult, Charlotte said it was even challenging to discuss it with her partner.

Sparks explains this is a common situation for many people, adding that it’s important to find a way to talk with your partner(s).

“Hold space for them,” Sparks says. “Be gentle if they aren’t open to communicating. There may be reasons for this.”

Getting to know yourself is an essential element of any relationship, according to Sparks.

“Figure out what gives you pleasure, take time for yourself, grab a mirror, and explore yourself from head to toe,” she says. “Fall in love with every inch of your body.”

“Forget societal limitations or media-fueled narratives about how you should be sexual,” she adds. “Once you do that, you can share the pleasure with whomever you choose or do it alone with a dildo.”

In a society that seems focused on orgasm as the outcome of a sexual encounter, it’s important to let go of what everyone else thinks.

“Do what works for you, whatever that is,” Sparks says. “Forget what the world thinks. This is about your pleasure.”

Once you’re ready, discuss with your partner(s) what you like.

If you’re not sure how to communicate with your partner, try introducing things gently.

During one of those outside-the-bedroom conversations, Sparks recommends approaching the topic by saying something like, “You know what I like? When you do this, this, and this. And you know what I’d like even more?”

Now you have more room to rediscover each other again. Take this opportunity to describe what you want as precisely as you can.

“Once you’re in bed, and they’re doing what they normally do, you’ve already planted the seed about what you want,” she says. “Sometimes, when we’re looking to get what we want, we confuse it with what we don’t like, and the approach to our partner can be, ‘You’re not doing it right!’”

The bottom line?

“In the spirit of asking with appreciative enthusiasm, playful suggestions are hot,” Sparks says. “Sharp criticism is not.”

Sex and sexuality incorporate many complexities and subtleties. It’s so much more than a race to the finish — it’s about connection and building intimacy with your partner(s).

According to Jen, “I felt that intimacy became much more important than sex. My partner and I became much closer and enjoyed our intimate moments more than ever,” she says. “We both felt more connected.”

According to Caroline Muir, the co-author of “Tantra: The Art of Conscious Loving,” tantra relies on ancient Eastern teachings to deepen relationships and intimacy.

This practice is about being more mindful when relating to your partner(s), encouraging honesty and vulnerability to build a better foundation for sexual experiences.

Even better? It doesn’t require extreme physical exertion in the bedroom.

Do your best to take time out of each day for yourself. Use this time to explore and enjoy what brings you pleasure, whatever that may be.

And if you don’t yet know what that is, that’s OK! Now is the time to figure it out. Use this opportunity to redefine what sex means to you. Remember, it’s about you and your relationships.

You have one life. Live it by your rules. You’ve earned it.


Maighread Ni Mhaonghail is the founder and editor of Fusion magazine. Her work has been published in the UK, Ireland, and the U.S. Currently, she’s based in Ireland. In 2017, she completed her M.A. in Dramatherapy at the National University of Ireland and has worked extensively with those who use their creative platform for change. She’s worked as a writer and editor with MillionAir Magazine, Lifestyle monthly UK, Flawless Magazine and Fusion Magazine.