Sex in your 70’s – really? Perhaps, with these 6 things in mind. Posted on October 30, 2018November 2, 2018 by Dianne Parsons Even if we’ve hit a certain age and stage in life, sexual intimacy can still happen for many married couples. It need not be just be something to look back on with a nostalgic smile. If that sounds like a challenge or even offers some hope, here are six encouragements about having a fulfilling sex life into our seventies… and beyond! 1.It doesn’t have to be like it was. A woman asked her husband to come upstairs and make love. With a sigh, he replied, ‘Darling these days I can do one or the other, not both!’ Now you’re no longer in the fresh flush of youth and sexual intimacy, think about focusing on gentle affection rather than passion and incredible physical and emotional experience. Romantic words, touching, kissing, and other intimate contact can be fulfilling and rewarding. 2.Physical affection is good for your health Apparently, an active sex life can increase life expectancy. It’s good exercise, releases endorphins and reduces anxiety. If it involves emotional wellbeing and closeness that’s good too. Touch is very important to our sense of wellbeing and hugs make us all feel better. 3.If one of you used to be keener on sex than the other, have the courage to gently raise this issue It’s not unusual – perhaps for women more than men – to quite honestly feel relieved if their spouse is winding down on wanting to make love, for one reason or another. But sex in later life could be a whole new departure, maybe less focused on needs and more about appreciation and enjoyment of each other’s love. 4.It’s OK if parts of you no longer work as well as they used to. Enjoying sexual intimacy doesn’t have to include intercourse Feelings of inadequacy and not believing we’re sexy any more should be thought through and openly shared – with as much humour as possible. Aging means our bodies change in many ways – both men and women may find physical intimacy and climax a challenge. Talk about it! There may be remedies to discomfort and disfunction. Or alternative ways to express your physical love to one another. 5.Making love well ideally starts way before you get to the bedroom Two songs from the past: The Beatles ‘Will you still need me when I’m 64?’ They thought 64 was impossibly old in those days! And ‘You don’t bring me flowers any more’. Why not? It is such a sure way of making your wife feel good and there are plenty of male equivalents too, if your husband’s not that bothered about flowers. And there will are so many expressions of affection and tenderness whether its simply holding handsor some other gesture to make the one we love feel cherished. 6.There’s loads of confidential, understanding help out there if you need it. The good news is that there’s ample help available for both men and women who have issues about sexual activity, physical or emotional . Google is often the first resort. A good GP also knows what can be done about a whole range of difficulties; illness, disability, the effect of medicines, too much alcohol, anxiety over ‘performance’, surgery, low self-esteem and concerns about body image. But the first step is an honest acceptance of need and some equally honest conversations with each other. In a nutshell The key to resolving or at least finding a level of intimacy you can both live with is to talk about it – first with each other and if necessary with a qualified counsellor. It can be a difficult subject to broach, even after many years of marriage. But it is nothing like as difficult as living with an increasing sense of distance and even resentment. Be kind – if things are not the way one of you would like, remember that ‘for better for worse’ line. A little understanding and TLC can go a long way. Get help if there is a problem in this area. Sex is an important part of marriage and we need to try to understand how our partner is feeling. And there are many couples who have rediscovered a sexual relationship that they assumed was gone forever. And perhaps the best bit of advice is something that’s relevant whatever age we are and however long we have been married. It is that that love-making starts with expressions of affection a long way from the bedroom. For more on marriage in your active years of retirement do see AfterWorkNet’s webpages on the subject. Just go here. Dianne Parsons – Care for the Family Dianne has been an integral part of Care for the Family’s ministry over many years, alongside husband Rob, and speaking and writing with great empathy for women about marriage and family life. Do you have something to share on this sensitive subject? Do share it here.