IT JUST ISN'T THE SAME
T.Y. fromYonkers, New York:
I'm 63. My husband is 75. We still make love at least once a week, but it's just not So, what are a few ways to turn back the clock? Better yet, how can you turn it forward to a better, more fulfilling
the same. I find myself getting turned on by him, but not as intensely as before.
He says he's just as excited at romance as he always was, but AI notice that his
erections aren't as hard, nor are his ejaculations as explosive as back in the
good old days. Sometimes I wonder if it's me, if I'm not as attractive as I used to
be. Or maybe it's something else. Do you get this question often?
Jeoffrey and Renée:
Often? Would you believe hundreds of times a month?
Through the years as researchers, we've often heard, “It just isn’t the same!”
“It” usually refers to sex.
Let's take stock. You’re older. Face it, hormone levels drop for all of us—men
and women. Men often find that interest levels drop and response time slows.
Women often lose some or all natural lubricant and the vaginal walls become
less pliable and sensitive.
As we get older, there are a number of things that can interfere with romance
and desire, from physical ailments (including diabetes, high blood pressure,
heart disease and arthritis) to the medications that we take to help alleviate our
time than ever before? Here are nine good ways to make romance more wonderful, whether you are 50 or 90:
- Be romantic. Simple enough, but it requires choices. Sit close to each other on the couch when you watch
TV. Move those recliners close and hold hands. More specifically, set aside time for romance. Go to bed an
hour earlier than normal and snuggle. Read something romantic to each other—poems, short stories,
articles. Snuggle. Pet. Yet don’t feel pressure to have intercourse when you snuggle. Enjoy the romance.
Sex should be a by-product, not the be-all.
- Listen to music. Make it a fun challenge to find romantic music that you had forgotten or never knew. Try
classical. Don’t forget the doo-wop. Blues—oh, yeah! Heck, some of the new stuff isn’t half bad. Go full-tilt
Hip-Hop or Metal if it turns you on. And when you listen to music together, focus on each other and the
feelings the music brings you.
- Kiss like you’ve never kissed before. Pecks on the cheek are okay, but don’t stop there. Decide to become
the best kisser you can be. It takes lots of practice, but the practice can be mighty fun as you follow
wherever it leads. By the way, don’t forget the mouthwash or mints.
- Have candlelight dinners—at home or restaurants. Don’t forget the soft music, flowers, adoring gazes and
sensual enjoyment as you dine together. By the way, don’t rush. CSI, the Food Channel and HGTV can wait.
You’ve got something better to do.
- Give each other massages. Back massages. Foot massages. Full body massages. Hand massages. Who
doesn’t like these? If you don’t know how, get books or DVDs explaining the best techniques. Intercourse
doesn’t have to be the end-result. Sometimes it’s better to just enjoy the relaxing glow!
- Spend time outdoors. Sit together and hold hands at sunrise or sunset. Take walks together and drink in the
amazing sights, sounds and smells.
- Get to know your own body and your feelings better. It’s not “dirty.” It’s helpful. Read books. Explore.
Discover (or re-discover) where you enjoy being touched. Self pleasure, with or without your partner, can be
a great way to ignite shared romance.
- Surprise your partner every day. Say something positive that you’ve never said before. Buy small surprise
gifts for your partner. The gifts need not be expensive, but should show thought—flowers, a balloon, candy,
a card. Offer these surprises with a smile, expecting nothing in return.
- Communicate. Listen more than you talk. Ask, “How does that make you feel?” questions. Seek to find out
something new about the way your partner sees your relationship and seeks to be more romantic. Don’t
hesitate to ask your partner what they would like you to do, in terms of romance. You may discover that they
eventually start asking you what you would like them to do.
“But what if my partner hates all this attention,” you may ask. It happens. The only person who likes change is a
wet baby. Change is challenging. Change makes us feel uncomfortable. Change forces us to move into uncharted
territory. But change is also the catalyst to make things better.
You may feel silly and downright stupid at first, especially if your partner doesn’t react the way you want them to at
first. Stick to it. Don’t give up. You deserve a life filled with romance, and it starts with you and your choices to be
M.M. from Ft. Collins, Colorado:
Thank you for the book, Seasoned Romance. It's changed my life. For the first time in years, I've felt like someone
is on my side and understands the challenges older men and women sometimes face. Reading each chapter of
your book made me feel as if I'd connected with another long-lost friend who was willing to confide in someone
like me about some of the most important things in the world.
Anyway, my question is this: If you had to narrow everything down to a few points, what are the most crucial things
(especially sexually) that a woman like me is going to face during the coming years?
Jeoffrey and Renée:
Thank you for your kind comments. We are humbled by your words. For two people who have worked most of our
lives in relative obsecurity (on purpose), the fact that by sharing findings from our research would touch so many
lives around the globe is mind-boggling.
Enough about us. Let's get to the main points that women often experience sexually:
- With a decrease in estrogen levels, some women
experience a lower sex drive and less urgency to
experience climaxes through self-pleasuring, foreplay or
- Quite often a woman's vagina becomes lubricated more
slowly during sexual arousal than during younger years.
- In addition, the amount of natural lubrication in the
vagina is often reduced, so most women need to add K-
Y, Astroglide or another lubricants (see some of our
- With age, the labia and clitoris often become less
engorged and easily stimulated during sexual arousal.
- Sometimes it seems as if climaxes are less intense,
sometimes with fewer vaginal contractions.
- Some women experience a gradual thinning of the vaginal tissue and shortening of the vaginal canal
following menopause (but it can also develop during breast-feeding or at any other time your body's
estrogen production declines). This is often called vaginal atrophy, and simple, effective treatments are
available. Be sure to contact a gynecologist who understands the special challenges faced by mature
- The uterus and the cervix may become smaller, with less intense uterine contractions during climaxes. And
in a small number of older females, the smaller uterus and cervix can actually lead to uncomfortable or
painful uterine contractions during orgasms. Again, contact a gynecologist who understands the special
challenges faced by mature women. Also, though we don't recommend treatments of any kind, we do hear
often from women who faces such problems who find answers through diet changes, massage and
Both sexes undergo definite changes in their sexual responses as they age (click here for more about aging and
men), but the good news is that many, many women overcome these changes and challenges to experience
pleasurable, fulfilling sex lives into their 70s, 80s and beyond.
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