Discussing sex and the older woman tends to be a taboo subject in polite society. Breaking past the cultural barrier that a seasoned woman should only be a grandmother baking cookies can be a difficult endeavor. Certainly this can be one of the main reasons that discussing sex as we grow older is uncomfortable. In order to resist this common stereotype, women need to be bold enough to gather the information to boost their own sexual awareness as they age.
From purely a biological sense, sex is designed for procreation. As an older woman is past the reproductive years, there will be some physical changes that occur to her reproductive organs. Of course, this does not have to mean that sex and the older woman no longer coexist. Humans use sex for pleasure; it is not simply based on the ability to reproduce. However, in order to enjoy sexual relations, older women need to be aware of some of nature's adjustments.
- Hormone Reduction
As the body begins to shut down the reproductive functions, the female systems will gradually reduce most hormone production. This can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how it affects you individually.
- Less Blood Flow to the Pelvis
As the body has little need for the uterus and ovaries after menopause, blood is redirected elsewhere. This can cause decreased muscle strength and arousal sensations.
- Vaginal Changes
The vaginal walls start to thin and produce fewer secretions. PH changes also occur and lead to more infections for some women.
- Slower Arousal
For younger women, sexual arousal can happen in as little as 30 seconds. For older women, this timeframe might double or triple to one to two minutes. Although the arousal state may be slower to achieve, it is not completely gone.
With the awareness of physical changes comes the patience to combat the inevitable. Sex is still enjoyable for an older woman; it may just take a little extra time and lubrication. Sexual satisfaction is not just about the chemical equation. Psychological and emotional factors play a large role in women's sexual desire at all ages.
Older Woman Sex Desires
There is no set standard when it comes to sex and the older woman. Sexual appetite is as unique as the personalities of the women who have gone past menopause. One consistency is that sexual experiences will be different than they are from women in their 20s and 30s. Different does not instantly equate to inferior; ideally older women should embrace their changing life and its impact on their sexual relationships.
While many women do experience a drop in sexual desire as they age, it may actually have more to do with lifestyle then biology. Psychologically, older women tend to expect their sex lives to change. Combine that with a decreased self-image, family changes, partner desire transformation and the possibility of widowhood for an instant recipe for celibacy.
If you are one of the disenchanted ones whose desire has waned, consider the following ways to increase sexual appetite:
- Learn to appreciate your body the way it is, becoming comfortable with who you are as you age and change.
- Add sensual pleasure to your life through hobbies, passions, and surrounding yourself with beauty in nature, music, art or food.
- Laugh and rediscover your sense of humor.
- Maintain your health.
- Pay attention to your fantasies and sexual energy - too often we instantly push those feelings aside.
Some older women actually experience the same or even more sexual desire as they age. For many this is due to the release of the fear of pregnancy. For others it may be the additional freedom as children grow and career stress is relieved. Some women find new desire from a new relationship or the rejuvenation of an old one.
Acceptance and Innovation
Learning to accept the aging process is the beginning of enjoying sensual pleasures again. For some, this acknowledgment leads them to redirect their energies toward new interests, allowing sex to take a back seat. There is nothing wrong in giving more time to your family, community or yourself, and releasing the guilt from a loss of sexual interest.
In contrast, sex is good for your body, even as you age. There is also nothing wrong in making the effort to improve your sexual desire. While biology may make your orgasm less intense, it doesn't take away the intimacy and emotional pleasure found in sexual relationships. For those married or closely involved, this increased intimacy and communication is critical to a better relationship with your partner.
Releasing some of the pressure between being a grandmother or a sexual creature can help make this transition easier as we age. The frequency of sex will be different for different people and sexual desire will ebb and flow. Just because it has disappeared for a period of time does not mean it can't come back.
Sex and the Older Woman Books
If you are struggling with sexual desire as you enter your golden years, you will enjoy these two recently released books on the subject.
This book embraces the changing and emerging sexuality in women after 40.
Authored by two doctors, this book provides a realistic view of sexual desire in women past the age of 50. It was researched and created through a long non-scientific study of real women across the country.