I turn 48 this month.
I remember when I was a teenager and the thought of someone being even 35 seemed crazy to me.
And by crazy, I mean crazy old.
Do you ever play that mind game where you think about what you were doing at a certain age compared to what one of your parents was doing at that same age?
By the time my mom was 35, she was nearly DONE raising kids. Five weeks before my 35th birthday, I was giving birth.
When my mom was about the age I am now, she was gallivanting around Paris on a vacation with my stepdad — you know, on a grown-up vacation that I imagine included lots of sleeping in and drinking and casual sightseeing and sitting leisurely at quaint cafes and making love in the middle of the day.
Even though I am the same age she was then, I’m still in the stage of life where any vacations we plan include plenty of Cheetos, root beer, and a portable DVD player Velcroed to the back of my driver seat.
I can’t remember the last time I sat leisurely at a quaint cafe with my beloved, let alone on vacation.
And sex in the middle of the day on vacation? Well, only if there is a hotel pool and we can talk the older kid into taking the younger kid swimming while we take a “nap.” (Insert older kid eyeroll here as he says nap with air quotes).
Perspective means everything.
So here I am, creeping up on 50, and I’ve been pondering sex at this age compared to younger ages.
When it comes to sex, I know being a 20-something does have some advantages. (There are moments when my husband and I are making love, and one of us gets a cramp or pulls a muscle or simply runs out of endurance, and I think, “Clearly we are not 25.”)
All that being said, there are some fabulous advantages to being older and wiser (in lots of areas, but let’s keep the narrative on sex).
You didn’t stop by a sex blog for a 48-year-old’s wisdom on vacation planning, because if you did, that’s just sad. And all I would have to offer is, “More Cheetos. More root beer. Better DVDs. And make sure the hotel has a pool.”
As for all you married 20-somethings and your sexual intimacy, don’t get me wrong — I’m a huge fan! If that’s the stage you’re in, then hear my encouragement to keep nurturing your sexual intimacy, looking for ways to turn each other on, and enjoying each other’s bodies to the fullest!
If you are someone who is young and married, these 5 things I’m going to share should inspire you to keep enjoying sexual passion, no matter the stage of life.
If you are beyond your 20s, let me know if you would echo what I share below with a mighty “Yes!” or if these are areas where you are inspired to grow.
Either way, let’s be married people who value sexual intimacy and sexual touch, no matter our age.
5 Great Things About Sex Now that I’m No Longer a 20-Something
1. I’m more sexually confident.
Even if I didn’t write and speak about sex, I think I still would be fairly sexually confident at this point in my life.
I learned a lot from a failed marriage and all the sexual struggles therein when I was young. I vowed if I ever married again, I wouldn’t take sex for granted — I’d be intentional. Communicative. Appreciative of sexual connection.
I did marry again, and for the most part, our sexual intimacy has exceeded my expectations, in large part because I kept growing in my sexual confidence. I let go of the idea that sex would just happen without much effort.
I let go of this idea that only the man should take the lead and set the mood.
I too am completely comfortable taking the lead and setting the mood. I know that great sex isn’t about replicating movie sex, because real sex is better than movie sex. (For more on that, don’t miss 5 Fabulous Truths About Sex That You Won’t See in a Romantic Movie).
2. I’ve figured out my body.
I know what turns me on, and I’ve gotten really good at communicating this to my husband. I know what it’s going to take for me to climax. I didn’t have that kind of self-awareness when I was younger.
I don’t even think I was aware enough to know I needed that kind of self-awareness.
It’s not that I’m not still learning about myself and my body as I age, because things are always changing. But I learn quicker now. I pay closer attention to my body and understand it better than I did when I was young.
3. I’ve figured out his body.
Again, it’s not to say there aren’t always new things to learn.
But props to my husband and me on how well we give and receive sexual feedback. I know what sexual touches and moves he likes. I know what to do when we have lots of time to make love. And when we have little time.
I better understand the rhythm of his day, the cues as to how much energy he has, and what is going to work and not work in our lovemaking based on all of that.
4. I value my orgasm as much as his.
Maybe it’s a huge stereotype that women don’t enjoy sexual pleasure as much as men, but for awhile now I’ve been mature enough to not be indifferent about my orgasm. If I go without an orgasm when we have sex, that is the rare exception, not the rule.
I hear from some wives who view sex as something “for the man.” It’s a given that any sexual encounter is going to result in him climaxing. But if she doesn’t? Well, it’s no big deal. You know what I think? That’s just not good framework for sexual intimacy in a marriage.
No, I don’t think an orgasm has to happen every time, but if it is rarely happening and neither person in the room seems too interested in changing that pattern, then it definitely doesn’t set a good precedent. And it definitely isn’t biblical.
Healthy sexual intimacy, on the other hand, creates an atmosphere where both the husband and wife value each other’s orgasm and their own. I’m not so sure I understood this when I was younger.
For more reading on orgasm, check out my orgasm page.
5. I better appreciate what sex does for our marriage.
I know when I was young in my first marriage, I compartmentalized sex — looked at it as an isolated sliver of our relationship. Sadly, it wasn’t even a sliver I paid much attention to.
And he and I both paid a huge price for that.
Now several years into my current marriage, I have no misconceptions about the role sex plays in the overall health of our marriage. We aren’t just better lovers the more we make love. We are better partners, parents, friends, life managers, workers, etc.
If you want to be better equipped to do life overall, be sure to first take precious care of your marriage and your sexual intimacy.
I don’t mind that I’m turning 48.
The parts of my life (and my body) that are weather worn feel more like badges to celebrate than marks to hide. For one of my favorite posts along these lines (and one of my favorite posts of all time, really), don’t miss A Body That Never Quits.
Are you 20? 50? 70? Or beyond? Or somewhere in between? Share a comment on what you appreciate and love about sex right now in your marriage.
Copyright 2018, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.