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Sex Health Blog

Sex for Men after 50

Oct 30, 2013

Think about sex for men over 50 and what comes to mind? Erectile dysfunction? Low testosterone? If you pay lots of attention to television and magazine advertising, you may think these are the hallmarks of men’s sexual health at midlife.

It’s true that older men are more likely to develop erectile dysfunction – the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for intercourse. And men’s testosterone levels do start to decline in middle age, which can lead to a decreased sex drive.

But these issues don’t happen to every man. Sex changes as we age, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be fulfilling and exciting. Today, we’ll look at some of the sexual positives for men in this age group.

Erections

Many men worry about developing erectile dysfunction later in life. A firm erection is thought to represent manhood, virility, and youth. But it’s not realistic for men in their fifties or sixties to expect the same kind of erections they had in their twenties or thirties.

Erections change. It might take a bit longer to get one. A man might need more stimulation. Erections might not be as rigid as they used to be.

And that’s okay. Once men accept this change, the extra time and effort can become pleasurable – and maybe even better – than the quick erection-ejaculation pattern of youth. There can be more quality time with a partner, more emotional connection, and more intensity.

It’s also possible for men to reach orgasm without having an erection. Manual stimulation and oral sex can do the trick if a man is patient and relaxed.

The key is understanding the changes, then accepting them and embracing them. Releasing some of the anxiety associated with erections can help men and their partners focus more on what really counts – pleasing each other.

Partners

In their younger days, men are often finished with their arousal-orgasm pattern before a female partner has even started hers. This mismatch in timing can be a problem for many couples.

But older men who take sex at a slower pace become more in sync with their female partners. Couples can take their time, allowing themselves more opportunities to explore each other’s likes and dislikes and maybe even incorporate some new practices into their standard routine.

Men might find that their midlife partners prefer the slower pace, too. In an article called “Why I’d Rather Sleep with a Man over 50,” sexuality educator Katherine Anne Forsythe writes:

Men over fifty, sixty, seventy-five, even ninety can be great lovers for three basic reasons. Primarily, they are not in a hurry. Secondly, they put their partner's needs first. Thirdly, they have learned that great sex doesn't have to include intercourse at all -- it's only one option.

People often equate sex with penetrative intercourse. But it’s more than that – and this is good news whether men have erection problems or not.

Good sex can include intercourse. But it can also include kissing, touching, massage, cuddling, and oral sex. Some couples start using sex toys or play sexual games to keep the spark going.

Shifting attention from intercourse to new and different sexual activities can actually rejuvenate the relationship and make it more exciting.

Good Health

As we often say here on SexHealthMatters.org, good sexual health is part of good overall health and vice versa.

So for men over 50, as at any time of life, it’s important to stay fit to keep your sex life going strong. Healthy eating, exercise, and taking care of conditions like diabetes and heart disease are essential. If you have questions on your own situation, be sure to see your doctor.

The following links can help you learn more about sex and aging for men:

Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction

Dealing with Arthritis

STD Tests for the Elderly

STDs and Safe Sex

Discussing Erectile Dysfunction with Your Partner

Back Pain Isn’t the End of Sexual Satisfaction

Erectile Dysfunction and Heart Trouble

Andropause or “Low Testosterone”

Exercise and Sex Health

Are you or your partner a man over age 50? How has sex changed for you? Have you needed to make adjustments? Do you enjoy it more? Feel free to tell us your experiences in the comments.

Resources

AARP

Castleman, Michael

“How Sex Changes for Men After 50”

(October 12, 2010)

http://www.aarp.org/relationships/love-sex/info-10-2010/how_sex_changes_for_men_after_50.html?intcmp=AE-HF-RELBOX

AlterNet.org

Forsythe, Katherine Anne

“Why I’d Rather Sleep with a Man over 50”

(September 14, 2008)

http://www.alternet.org/story/98658/why_i%27d_rather_sleep_with_a_man_over_50

Huffington Post

“Sex Over 50: 3 Ways Intimacy Changes For Post 50 Men Beyond Erectile Dysfunction”

(March 25, 2013)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/25/sex-over-50-men_n_2925739.html

Psychology Today

Castleman, Michael, MA

“Erection Changes After 50: The Facts”

(May 1, 2012)

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-about-sex/201205/erection-changes-after-50-the-facts