The benefits of a regular sex life are numerous
Why we are having more sex after 50? Maria Lally gives The Sydney Morning Herald the answer.
Supermodel Cindy Crawford once revealed that she and husband Rande Gerber would often sneak off to their beachside guesthouse for some, shall we say, alone time. “Sometimes you just have to do it!” she said. She’s 51, he’s 53.
Many 50-somethings enjoy a healthy love life. A recent Trinity College Dublin study of 8000 adults over 50 found that 59 per cent were having regular sex, with a third of those active once or twice a week – if not more.
Children, passion killers without peer?
“I often find clients’ sex lives improve vastly in their 40s and 50s,” says therapist Barbara Bloomfield, author of Couples Therapy: Dramas of Love and Sex.
“Firstly, ask any 30-something parent and they’ll tell you that having young children is the biggest passion-killer of all. In midlife, however, your children may well be teenagers or older, so they need you less and go out more. A lot of people report an improvement in their sex lives when their children leave home; it’s a time when marriages get the va-va-voom back.
Also, divorce rates among the over- 50s are rising, says Bloomfield. “One reason older women are having a lot of good sex is because they’re in a new relationship, especially if they’ve been unhappy in their previous one,” she adds. “Women often come into their own at this age. They are confident and have fewer hang-ups. They are much more aware of their bodies and what they like and don’t like – and they’re not afraid to tell their partner.”
Women with a view for what their lives might include
Clinical psychologist Janice Hiller agrees, saying she is seeing at her practice more empowered women in midlife than ever before – in other words, women who are questioning whether they’re getting everything they want out of life. “They are less willing to allow themselves to feel disregarded, undermined, neglected or ignored by their partners,” she says.
Now for the bad news: Sex over 50 can involve problems. Hormonal changes that take place during the perimenopause (typically from the mid-40s) can impact on libido.
Declining oestrogen levels can cause vaginal dryness and a thinning of the vaginal wall, which can make sex uncomfortable. “This is called vaginal atrophy and it can be dreadful,” says Bloomfield. “I tell my clients to ask their GP for a vitamin-E cream…”
Full story here.