There are many myths about sex and aging. One that’s been around for ages is that you lose your interest in sex as you age. This myth causes many older adults to put sex on the sidelines as an insignificant and unnecessary part of life. The truth is that there is no age limit on intimacy.
Sexuality is important as we age and can be even more fulfilling than when we were young. The young don’t have a monopoly on sex because their bodies are firmer and fit the media’s fantasy of “sexy.” Sex can add excitement to our lives as we age and keep our bodies and our minds young and active.
Many women believe that menopause heralds an end in sexual desire and performance. Menopause may cause changes in sexual function in women, but it’s certainly not the cause of decreased sexuality. Menopausal changes such as loss of natural lubrication, lack of certain hormones and thinning of tissues can be easily remedied by lubrication products and estrogen supplements.
Impotence can be a huge concern to men over 60. But, the truth is that aging doesn’t cause the inability to maintain an erection. Conditions such as diabetes, heart or cardiovascular problems and neurological disorders can cause impotence as can certain medications. Impotenceusually responds appropriately to the right kind of treatment, which may be as simple as reducing your intake of alcohol and quitting smoking — to as drastic a remedy as surgery.
Those over 60 who have suffered a heart attack or had to have a hysterectomy may also think that sexuality is beyond their enjoyment. The truth is, a heart attack can cause cutbacks in physical activity for awhile, but if you were sexually active before the attack, there’s no reason that you can’t experience fulfilling sexuality afterward with the proper treatment. A hysterectomy brings on menopause, but it doesn’t end your sexuality or prevent you from achieving an orgasm.
Don’t ever think that you’re too old to enjoy intimacy and celebrate your sexuality. Don’t listen to the media and society when they tell you how you should act or what you should or should not enjoy as you age. You may not be as fast to respond and your body may not look like it did when you were younger, but you can be creative and choose to communicate your likes and dislikes with others.
Rather than giving up on sexuality as you age, talk to your health care provider or counselor about the changes you’re experiencing or what can be done so that you can enjoy sex and intimacy once again. Can you have satisfying sex after 60? Of course!
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