“We’re 50 years old and having the best sex of our lives”

"We're 50 years old and having the best sex of our lives"

But what about men? Francine Russo is adamant that men need to get over the idea that it’s all about the erect penis. “When they can’t get an erection or can’t count on having one, they often lose interest in sex.” However, it is estimated that more than half of men between the ages of 50 and 70 have erectile dysfunction (ED).

What they need to understand and accept, Russo believes, is that things won’t happen the same way they did when they were younger, that it’s possible to have an orgasm without an erection. Maybe intercourse is off the cards, how about outdoor intercourse then? These are the kind of honest conversations that can transform everything about seniors’ sex lives, and one reason why experts believe that even in very long-term relationships it’s possible to rekindle sexual intimacy if there is a willingness to open up and explore. For some, the desire for sexual satisfaction leads to affairs.

Easy to condemn, but I could not condemn the man who sought a relationship through the site Illicit Encounters, because his wife suffered a severe stroke and was in a wheelchair. He would never leave her, he told me, and the woman he met through the website understood the situation perfectly. He was unhappy in his marriage, but he didn’t want commitment, so it suited him.

For a married friend, who loved her husband but with whom sex had never been more than occasional and non-explosive, the approach of her 70th birthday brought an urgent desire for one last sexual affair. He struggled with guilt, but acted on his instincts. The adventure made her feel young again. He looked in the mirror and for the first time in years he liked what he saw. She felt animated, more interesting. Her husband noticed her spark, never suspecting an affair, and began to respond with more love. A curious win-win, triggered by an affair that ended early.

According to a recent report, if you’re single, your sex life peaks at age 60. Singles in America’s eighth annual 2018 survey found that single women had the best sex at age 66 and men at age 64.

no shame

For one friend, Fiona*, who met her partner Paul* eight years ago, when she was 63 and he 65, “sex hasn’t gone astray at all, for 20 years I was in a marriage that give birth to two children, but with a man who was not interested in sex. After my divorce there were several short-lived relationships and unsatisfying sexual encounters, and then along came Paul.”

Fiona’s face lights up as she talks: “Sex can happen five, four, three days a week. It is wonderful. We may not have full on sex more than twice a week, but we can read each other. Certain times of the day suit him better. I’m retired, he works part time, no kids at home, so why not? When he stops by my house, he might touch my arm or ask me to kiss him. When we walk together we walk hand in hand. If sex sometimes doesn’t work, we laugh about it and there’s nothing we can’t discuss.”

Paul feels the same way. He describes his marriage to the mother of his two children as “an unholy alliance. We were incompatible on many levels. The sex was mechanical. Of course, for a relationship to work sexually, both partners must have a certain element of libido, and the Fiona and I get along. As you get older you see what works and you experiment. You have to want to please each other. You’re either a giver or you’re not.”

For Paul, sex makes life better and if men don’t have testosterone, he thinks they should take it, if they need Viagra, where’s the shame? “We get older,” he says, “things change, but I honestly believe that in a good relationship good sex can last indefinitely. 40 years, why not?”

As if after-life sex was enough for the dodger to deal with, what about a cry for end-of-life intimacy, too? And no, I’m not kidding. Now that we’re all living longer, there’s a big problem around nursing homes, with men and women in their 80s and 90s sneaking into each other’s rooms.

We squirm, wrinkle our noses, and the caregivers don’t know what to do. As long as it’s consensual, Let It Be, as Paul McCartney would say. Sex and the desire for it is a sign of being fully alive. I defy anyone who says it’s not right.

“Sex is the difference between…”

Francine Russo, 75, author of Love After 50: How To Find It, Enjoy It and Keep It (Simon & Schuster), has been widowed twice. Her first husband died after 20 years of marriage, her second husband after 4. She has been living with her partner Michael Harrington, 79, a musical comedy actor and voice coach, for six years.

#years #sex #lives

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