Conversations about sex and aging are too often pushed to the sidelines. People often experience the isolation of trying to navigate a changing body and shifting desires as they grow older. If this resonates with you, you’re not alone.
In our society, this is a glaring lack of space to redefine the notions of sex and pleasure as we age. Surprisingly, the discussions about sexual and reproductive health in older adults remain a taboo or a subject of minimal interest in many communities.
According to the National Poll on Healthy Aging conducted by the University of Michigan, a staggering 76% of respondents agreed that sex is a crucial element of a romantic relationship at any age. But only 17% of older adults have consulted their healthcare providers about sexual health in the past two years.
It’s time to transform this narrative.
Redefining What Sex Can Be
There’s a timeless adage that suggests wisdom accompanies age. And when it comes to experiencing pleasure, this adage holds true. Social pressures surrounding sex led us to believe that sex, great sex in particular, must culminate in an orgasm. However, as we age, we begin to liberate ourselves from the constraints of conforming to societal pressures.
Redefining the concept of sex opens doors to greater creativity and the discovery of pleasure in unconventional avenues. Now we are finding ourselves empowered to prioritize our own desires. Arousal can now manifest through a myriad of stimuli, extending well beyond just genital stimulation.
This shift in perspective fosters a culture of sexual autonomy and deep respect for personal preferences. As individuals feel less beholden to society’s influences, the grip of shame stemming from not conforming to societal roles and expectations loosens.
Adapting to Changes in the Body
Embracing the natural changes that come with age opens the door to a healthier and more fulfilling sex life. As individuals journey through the aging process, our bodies undergo a multitude of transformations.
Issues such as erectile dysfunction or vaginal dryness can make sex less comfortable and pleasurable. Yet, instead of fixating on physical performance, or lack thereof, many are discovering the art of adaptation by redirecting their focus toward the pursuit of mutual pleasure, enthusiastic consent, and forging emotional connections. This entails exploring novel forms of intimacy, such as nurturing deeper emotional connections, and improving communication with partners.
Increased Communication and Redefining Desire
With experience and maturity, individuals become more skilled at articulating their desires and boundaries. Through open and honest communication, people may uncover new sexual interests, desires, or kinks they never knew existed within themselves. This broadening of the definition of sex heightens the intimacy between couples, and cultivates a more inclusive and fulfilling sexual experience. In this context, pleasure isn’t constrained by stereotypes or performance but flourishes through genuine connection and mutual understanding.
Overcoming Shame and Guilt
At PNW Sex Therapy Collective, we provide a range of options, including telehealth and in-person therapy sessions, delivered by experienced therapists. Our goal is to assist individuals in navigating their experiences and emotions, particularly in relation to pleasure and the changes that come with aging. We believe that developing coping mechanisms can empower individuals to reclaim agency over their sexuality, fostering a healthy and positive relationship with their bodies and desires.
Through our therapeutic approach, which emphasizes the importance of pleasure, adapting to changes, and promoting open communication, individuals can explore new realms of gratification and satisfaction. At PNW Sex Therapy Collective, we are dedicated to empowering individuals to take control of their sex lives and desires
Book an appointment with one of our experienced therapists today and embark on a journey toward a more fulfilling and confident expression of your sexuality.