There's an old saying that sex is one of three topics of conversation that shouldn't be brought up at the dinner table (the other two being politics and religion). And that's the fun thing about having a website: it's not the dinner table!
So let's talk sex -- especially great sex for those in their 40s, 50s and beyond. You don't think that's possible? Think again.
"There is no such thing as a sexpiration date," says Laura Berman, relationship therapist, sex educator, and host of In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman on the Oprah Winfrey Network. According to Dr. Berman, we don't stop needing intimacy or a potent sexual connection as we age any more than we stop needing oxygen, food and water. As for that old myth that sex and intimacy become less important as we get older -- that's why they call it a myth.
"Your age should never limit you when it comes to enjoying your sexuality and your fantasies," Dr. Berman told me recently. "However, the truth is that getting older can sometimes cause changes in our bodies and our sexual response, changes which can complicate our ability to enjoy sex."
Doc Berman is right, of course, and that is precisely why it's so important that we talk about issues like this. Change is inevitable, but the good news is that these changes don't need to impede your sex life. The best way to deal with change is simply to talk about it and to adjust. And that's the most important sex secret of all: that by being open and honest and talking and learning, we can make the adjustments necessary to keep our sex lives healthy, vibrant and fulfilling.
So, don't be shy -- be proactive. Direct from the doctor herself, here are some wonderful tips, tricks and recommendations to help you keep the sex spicy and satisfying in this exciting new chapter of your life.
To learn more about spicing things up in the bedroom along with the latest sexual news, visit everydayhealth.com with Dr. Laura Berman
Kegel exercises (with or without devices) keep your pelvic floor strong and they can also help to prevent bladder control issues. Best of all, regular Kegels can help you to enjoy longer, stronger orgasms. They are especially important for moms or for anyone who wants to strengthen her pelvic floor and transverse abdominals.
Sex aids can be a fun and erotic addition to the bedroom, and as we get older they can also play an important role in improving our sexual response and sexual pleasure. Try using warming lubrication or a clitoral stimulator to help speed up your sexual response and make sex more comfortable and exciting.
It’s hard to feel sexy and in the mood if you are exhausted and cranky at the end of the day. Make sure you include some "me" time and relaxation in your daily life. Do so by trimming unnecessary errands from your to-do list, whether it’s opting for store-bought cookies over homemade cookies for the school bake sale, or cutting back on some on the kids’ numerous after-school activities.
If you are struggling with sexual issues such as low libido or decreased sexual enjoyment, your medications might be at fault. Common medications such as birth control pills and antihistamines can do a number on your sex drive, so be sure and talk to your doctor about any medications you are on and any sexual side effects you might be having.
As we get older, it becomes harder and harder for us to shed pounds and maintain a healthy weight. The best way to stay healthy and stave off unnecessary weight is to commit to an exercise program you enjoy. Exercise 4-5 times a week and opt for walking or taking the stairs whenever possible.
Family vacations can be fun and memorable, but for moms they often entail plenty of stress. From long car trips to cranky kids to packing everything from sunscreen to batteries, family trips can be a killer for a mom’s mood, energy, and libido. That’s why couples-only vacations (in which just you and your partner get away together) are so important. Even if it’s just a weekend <em>stay-cation</em>, alone time is so crucial for your sex life and your relationship.
Perimenopause (the stage before menopause) can begin as early as age 35 years old. If you are concerned about your hormone levels, have a hormone panel performed by your doctor, including for testosterone (which plays a key role in libido.)
If you are in 40s or above, chances are that you might fall into the “sandwich generation,” meaning that you are caring for your own children as well as your aging parents or relatives. If this sounds familiar, make sure that you don’t suffer from caretaker burnout. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, and you can’t help anyone if you are tired and exhausted. Practice good self-care and consider your own needs.
Now is not the time to skimp on visiting your doctor and getting your yearly exams such as mammograms and pap smears. You can also talk to your doctor about any sexual side effects you might be experiencing. Don’t be embarrassed! Your sexual health plays a big part in your physical health, and she can help you with any concerns you might have.
Sometimes women want more romance or spontaneity in the bedroom, but they don’t take steps to make it happen. Instead, they sit back and wait for their partner to make the first move. Big mistake! It’s your relationship and your sex life, and there’s nothing wrong with being proactive and empowered. Ask yourself, “What’s one thing I can do today to make my partner feel loved and desired?” The more you channel that energy outward to your partner, the more you will get it back in return.
Follow Marlo Thomas on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MarloThomas