Sex as You Age: What are Realistic Expectations?


sex-as-you-ageWhen my husband and I married, we weren’t exactly twentysomethings abounding with energy. I was 33 and he was 37.

And we had an almost 5-year-old child from my first marriage.

Even so, we both had high drives and made the most of those drives. We had chosen to not have sex with each other before we were married, so by the time we did marry, we were ready, to say the least!

Over the past 17 years of marriage, our frequency has ebbed and flowed. I will say our quality of lovemaking, though, has definitely increased the more time and intentionality we have put into understanding each other’s bodies.

I often receive comments or questions from people in their 50s, 60s and 70s, wondering what to do to keep intimacy vibrant as they age. Sometimes, though, they are simply sharing their discouragement that sex at this stage in life doesn’t look like it did when they were younger.  And still other times, the comments are ones of regret. Regret that they didn’t take advantage of more frequent and enjoyable sexual intimacy in their marriage when youth was on their side. 

So what are realistic expectations for sex in marriage as you age?

I’m sure you know there’s no stock answer for a question like that. So many things impact the physicality of sex, including hormonal changes, flexibility, weight, general health, energy and so on. And, of course, there are the emotional and relational factors as well. Where are the two of you as husband and wife? What did sex look like in your marriage when you were younger? 

Suffice to say, if there was sexual disconnect in your earlier years of marriage, the effects of aging may very well compound that disconnect, not lessen it.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though, and that’s what I also want to highlight today. If there was mutual enjoyment and connection when the two of you were younger, then the odds are on your side that you won’t let the effects of aging completely quell that connection.

And I also hear from couples who have found sex later in their marriage actually got better. Some people find that once they are no longer drained by the labor-intensive parenting years or financial insecurity years or more immature years, they discover that sex is quite the haven in their relationship.

So reflect a bit on your marriage. If you are middle-aged or older, how can the two of you focus on making the most of your sexual intimacy, whatever that may look like?

Even when aging does start to narrow what you can actually do sexually from a physical standpoint, it doesn’t mean you can’t still nurture physical closeness and intimate oneness. You may have to get more creative. You may have to broaden what it means to enjoy each other sexually if a knee replacement or other age-related change no longer affords you some of the moves you used to love. You may have to look into hormonal supplements, sex toys, sensual massage techniques and so on.

I know there is probably no way Randy and I will ever have another year in our marriage where we have sex as much as we did our first year of marriage. (It’s a crazy high number, you guys, so I’m just being real here. I don’t think we’ll hit that frequency again).

But my deep desire is that we never lose intentionality to be naked with each other, and that we make touch, sexual closeness and oneness a priority no matter our ages.

Maybe a better headline for this post would have been Sex as Your Age: What are Realistic Expectations for Your Marriage?

How will the two of you navigate such a question?

Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

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6 thoughts on “Sex as You Age: What are Realistic Expectations?

  1. A says:

    Don’t make expectations. To be honest I would of never expected that getting older doesn’t make sex boring. To be honest if I think of young couples with a bunch of little kids better days are coming but maybe that’s not the same for all.

  2. Joe says:

    My desire has totally dropped as I get older. The closer I get to 60 the faster it drops. It’s not even on my radar of things I want to do. It’s not that my wife is a turn off or the cause of this. If I suddenly found myself single I have no desire to chase after another woman.

    We have sex twice/year. Her birthday and our anniversary. Sex is not a birthday present I want. It was never that great mind blowing, earth shattering experience for me. Ever.

  3. Anonymous says:

    During our first year of marriage, the quality was good but the quantity was not (we married very young). Currently, we have been married over 40 years and both quality and quantity is quite low. We love each other very much. However her health issues and low sexual desire affected our sex life.

  4. Ron says:

    “But my deep desire is that we never lose intentionality to be naked with each other, and that we make touch, sexual closeness and oneness a priority no matter our ages.”

    Absolutely! We have had to change a few things about sex as we got older, but what you said above is exactly it. Being naked, touch and being close to each other is so awesome. That is one thing you do with your spouse that make marriage special!

  5. A says:

    Sexual closeness is really marital closeness. To us naked closeness is sexual closeness. I know what it’s like if one of us can’t ” proform” but it’s not about a performance. Just because didnt both orgasm doent mean it’s over. Get naked together and see what happens. Talk about good times naked. I say it’s in your mind. But who am I to say?

  6. Alan says:

    28 years of rejection, refusal and shaming by my wife has finally taken its toll; I am as disgusted with my body as she apparently is and has been. She finally made me as disgusting as she set out to. In case she was wondering, which she isn’t, that’s why I keep the door shut when I shower, get dressed or go to the bathroom. I’ll just spare you the agony of looking at me. Congratulations Jenny; you finally did it. You won.

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