Want to have a great sex life but have some burning questions? You’re not alone. Here at Starts at 60 we often get asked about what’s normal when it comes to your sex life in your 60s.
We’ve compiled together a list of the most asked questions about sex and some answers to help you achieve a fulfilling and fun sex life.
1. I’m 60 and have started seeing someone new. Do we really need condoms?
According to the Centre for Disease Control, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are spreading like wildfire. Since 2007, incidence of syphilis among seniors is up by 52 percent, with chlamydia up 32 percent.
So yes, it’s a good idea to use a condom to protect you against sexually transmitted infections, even if you can’t have children any more.
2. How soon is it safe to have sex after a heart attack?
If you’ve had a heart attack, your specialist team and your GP should give you advice based on your individual circumstances, says Dr Anne Edwards, a clinical director at Oxford University. In general, you can start having sex again three to four weeks afterwards.
If you’ve already had a heart attack, your risk of having another one caused by sex is very small.
3. What’s going on down there?
Changes in our bodies as we ages sometimes affect the ability to have and enjoy sex. A woman may notice changes in her vagina – the vagina shortens and narrows and vaginal walls can become thinner and also a little stiffer. Most women will have less vaginal lubrication and this could affect sexual function and/or pleasure. Here are some tips for lubrication.
As men get older, impotence (also called erectile dysfunction) becomes more common. ED is the loss of ability to have and keep an erection and it may not be as firm or as large as it used to be. ED is not a problem if it happens every now and then, but if it occurs often, talk to your doctor.
4. What else might cause sexual problems?
Hysterectomy – The surgery can leave both women and men worried about their sex lives. If you’re afraid that a hysterectomy will change your sex life, talk with your gynaecologist or surgeon.
Mastectomy – This surgery may cause some women to lose their sexual interest or their sense of being desired or feeling feminine. In addition to talking with your doctor, sometimes it is useful to talk with other women who have had this surgery and seeing how they felt about it.
Prostatectomy – Surgery that removes all or part of a man’s prostate may cause urinary incontinence or ED. The key to enjoying sex after prostate surgery is to start when you’re ready. Masturbation, kegel exercises and simply not being afraid to have sex can all improve your sex life.
If your husband or partner is undergoing surgery for cancer treatment, or is in the midst of recovery, find ways to rebuild physical intimacy with your partner, but don’t be discouraged or offended if it takes time for them to feel comfortable being intimate again.
Medications – Some drugs can cause sexual problems. These include some blood pressure medicines, antihistamines, antidepressants, appetite suppressants, diabetes drugs, and some ulcer drugs. Some can lead to impotence or make it hard for men to ejaculate while others can reduce a woman’s sexual desire. Check with your doctor about side effects.
5. What can I do to have an active sex life as I age?
6. I’m no longer interested in sex. Is this normal?
A dip in libido is a common complaint made by many women of menopausal age but you don’t just have to put up with it. Continue to engage in sexual activity, either with your partner or through self-stimulation, to encourage desire. Your doctor may be able to provide some solutions for your lack of sexual desire, or find a medical reason why you’re feeling this way.
7. Sometimes sex can be painful – what do I do?
It’s completely normal for there to be a little discomfort, especially if there has been some time between sex sessions. If you are feeling pain, let your partner know, reset your position and take it slow. Use a lubricant if you’re feeling dry, or a warming one to make it a little hotter.
8. What positions work best for over 60s?
As we get older, our bodies start to change in ways that can sometimes make certain sexual positions painful. Always use pillows to add comfort and see if standing positions improve stability and take pressure off knees and hands.
9. What if my partner is the one who is disinterested?
Women aren’t the only ones who experience shifts in sexuality and how they achieve sexual pleasure. Men are also going through some changes in their 50s and 60s.
Some men begin to experience issues with maintaining an erection and ejaculation at this age. Both of you can work together to relearn what’s sexually satisfying to you now. Also, don’t place too much pressure on every encounter achieving orgasm. Instead, focus on increasing intimacy and giving encouraging words.