What you need to know about sexual health in your 60s

Just because you’ve reached your 60s doesn’t mean your sex drive has headed toward retirement. In fact chances are you’re having sex in your 60s for the same reason you were having it in your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s… You enjoy it, it makes you feel good and you like the connectedness you get being with the other person.

It shouldn’t matter how old you are, if you need to talk to your health care professional about sex-related issues you should. In fact, if you have an open attitude and a healthy dose of self-esteem, you’ll go a long way to ensuring you remain satisfied in the years ahead.

Know what you want
In a 2014 study of adults in a committed relationship aged 40-74, two thirds said their sex lives influenced their overall satisfaction with life. This was in comparison to the quality of their friendships and the time they spent on themselves.

While most were happy about the healthy status of their sex life, nearly half of the people surveyed wanted to see the frequency of sex increase. On average, those surveyed were having sex five times a month, but men wanted to double this and women thought eight times a month was the perfect number.

How satisfied are you?

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You can still get an STD
Sexually transmitted diseases don’t stop becoming a risk just because you’ve reached the magic age of 60, yet a national survey of sexual health behaviour conducted by Indiana University found condom use was lowest among older adults.

When you were in your 20s the biggest risk of having unprotected sex was an unplanned pregnancy. Oh how times have changed! The sexual health risks you are exposing yourself to today include AIDS, chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

It’s especially important if you are enjoying sex with a new partner that you discuss safe sex… And another thing, the times where safe sex was the responsibility of one person have also gone. Both parties should take an equal interest in doing the right thing.

The challenges
Those suffering diabetes, arthritis, recovering from prostate surgery, or dealing with memory issues (yours or your partner’s) could struggle to maintain a regular sex life. Additionally, some medication for heart disease can have sex-related side effects.

If you’re an older man struggling with erectile issues, be sure to talk to your health care professional about a possible solution.

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Ladies, there is also help at hand for those of you who have noticed a change since menopause.

Just relax
It’s not uncommon for you to be faced with similar lifestyle issues in your 60s as you faced when you were younger. You could have kids still living at home or you might be caring for an elderly parent — these things can cramp your sex life.

Don’t allow the frustration to get the better of you. In fact now more than ever it’s important that you take good care of yourself and your body, which will go a long way to ensuring that when you do get time to be intimate, you actually enjoy it.

The benefits that come with age
You might have watched your body change with age, but hopefully that means you’re also comfortable with the person you’ve become. Women especially become more engaged as they push past menopause.

Don’t withdraw from enjoying your body or stop wearing the clothes you like to wear if they make you feel good about yourself. There are silly misconceptions about how older men and women should behave, especially when it comes to their desire for sex.

You still have passion, and you can use it for great sex.

How have you embraced your sexuality?