Sex: Why slower (and older) may be better
March 17th, 2011
07:24 AM ET

Sex: Why slower (and older) may be better

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him at his website, GoodInBed.

Recently, my very own mother discovered romance anew and is having what can only be described as a love affair.

Her last boyfriend passed away a couple of years ago, so I’m happy for her in all her giddiness. And while nobody likes to think about their parents having sex, I can’t help but wonder if her sex life is now better than mine.

As a busy dad of two young sons, I have to admit that it’s hard to keep sex high on the list of priorities: My wife and I will often opt to hit the hay rather than tumble in it.

Does sex get better with age? According to a study in the November 2008 issue of Psychological Science, marital satisfaction may improve once the kids have left the nest. In fact, many of my colleagues in the world of sex therapy attest that empty nesters tend to have more disposable income and more opportunity to enjoy quality time with their partner, including sex.

Sex therapist David Schnarch writes about the difference between a person’s “genital prime” and his or her “sexual prime.” For most of us, the genital prime happens during adolescence and our 20s, when the body is in its best shape, however, the mind may not be as well-developed sexually. Schnarch says that a person’s sexual prime is actually well beyond what most of us think of as the hot-and-heavy sex years - more like middle age than high school.

As we age, we benefit from accepting ourselves as we are, knowing what we like, and not being afraid to ask for it.

And aging itself may not affect sex as much as those unhealthy habits that take their toll after too many years. Too much stress, too little sleep, poor eating and exercise habits, and not making the time to nurture ourselves or our relationships can be the most damaging to our sex lives. Letting our overall health fall by the wayside may be the biggest culprit in sexual health woes, so it’s no surprise that many people in their 50s and 60s are more sexually fit than their younger predecessors.

One key difference between older and younger people: Sex is often slower as we age. While younger women may lubricate in as little as a few seconds, it can take older women up to several minutes to become lubricated. The same pattern applies to men and their erections. It’s important for both sexes to realize that taking longer to become erect or lubricated doesn’t necessarily mean a partner isn’t aroused.

In fact, slower can actually be better for your sex life. When the physical markers of arousal aren’t instantly obvious, it gives partners more time to play and connect with each other in bed. The behaviors we usually think of as foreplay can become the main event during sex, and give couples the opportunity to rediscover themselves and each other sexually. As men age, testosterone levels go down, while estrogen levels go up. This means that many older men are able to focus more and appreciate the tender side of sex.

For instance, if one position used to do the trick or if sex has always followed a predictable sequence, as it does in many long-term relationships, aging allows couples to shake things up. Maybe she wants to try a vibrator for better arousal (or maybe he does, too).

Or perhaps one or both people have been curious about erotic massage and other techniques, and now have a reason to introduce them into the relationship. As my colleague at Good in Bed, Dr. Gail Saltz, says, “Celebrate what improves with age: Younger men may have stronger erections, but older guys tend to have better control. You both know each other's bodies, you've perfected your bedroom technique, and you may feel less inhibited than you did in the past.”

I always like to say that the mind is the biggest sexual organ. By understanding the inevitable changes that occur over the sexual life cycle, and knowing how to deal with them, you can sustain a healthy, satisfying sex life well into your golden years. Keeping a sex-positive attitude and a commitment to overall health is the way to maximize sexuality, whether you’re 30 or 80. Go Mom!

soundoff (721 Responses)
  1. RV Repair California

    Iím amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís equally educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I found this in my hunt for something regarding this.


    June 15, 2021 at 02:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Repair Mission Viejo

    Saved as a favorite, I like your blog!


    June 15, 2021 at 02:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Repairs Nearby

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who was conducting a little research on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast due to the fact that I found it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this subject here on your website.


    June 15, 2021 at 02:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    You've made some decent points there. I looked on the net to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.


    June 15, 2021 at 05:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Repair

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It is the little changes that will make the largest changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 15, 2021 at 05:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Repair Nearby

    Hi, I do think this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back yet again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.


    June 15, 2021 at 06:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Repair Shops Near Me Now

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I donít understand the reason why I can't join it. Is there anybody getting similar RSS issues? Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    June 15, 2021 at 08:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa


    June 15, 2021 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Repair Near My Location

    Having read this I thought it was rather informative. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    June 15, 2021 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Repair San Clemente California

    Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful post. Thanks for supplying these details.


    June 15, 2021 at 18:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Repair Near Me Now


    June 15, 2021 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    I really love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you develop this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím trying to create my own blog and want to find out where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Cheers!


    June 15, 2021 at 19:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Repair Mission Viejo

    I absolutely love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you develop this site yourself? Please reply back as Iím planning to create my very own website and would love to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Appreciate it!


    June 15, 2021 at 20:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    Excellent web site you have here.. Itís difficult to find quality writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    June 15, 2021 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Repair Nearby


    June 16, 2021 at 00:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Repairs Nearby

    The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn't disappoint me as much as this one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I really believed you'd have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you can fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.


    June 16, 2021 at 02:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Repairs Nearby


    June 16, 2021 at 06:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. femdom

    Hi would you mind stating which blog platform you're working
    with? I'm going to start my own blog soon but I'm having a tough time
    selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and
    I'm looking for something unique. P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I
    had to ask!

    June 16, 2021 at 06:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Repair Mission Viejo


    June 16, 2021 at 07:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Repair Fountain Valley

    I seriously love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you develop this site yourself? Please reply back as Iím hoping to create my very own website and would like to learn where you got this from or what the theme is called. Many thanks!


    June 16, 2021 at 08:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

    Right here is the right webpage for everyone who wishes to understand this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will need toÖHaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a topic that's been written about for ages. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!


    June 16, 2021 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. vape shop near me


    June 16, 2021 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. tj maxx near me

    Very good article! We are linking to this particularly great article on our website. Keep up the good writing.


    June 16, 2021 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. pumpkin patch near me

    You're so cool! I don't think I have read through a single thing like this before. So nice to find somebody with some genuine thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This site is something that is required on the web, someone with some originality!


    June 16, 2021 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. furniture store near me


    June 16, 2021 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. http://www.age.ne.jp

    Having read this I thought it was very enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this content together.
    I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

    My website :: situs judi slot online (http://www.age.ne.jp)

    June 16, 2021 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. usps near me


    June 16, 2021 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. propane gas near me


    June 16, 2021 at 18:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. used appliances near me


    June 16, 2021 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. garage door repair near me


    June 16, 2021 at 20:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Repairs Nearby

    Iím amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís both educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that too few people are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy I came across this in my search for something relating to this.


    June 16, 2021 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. internet providers near me

    Saved as a favorite, I like your blog!


    June 16, 2021 at 23:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Repair Santa Ana

    Great information. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident (stumbleupon). I've bookmarked it for later!


    June 17, 2021 at 00:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. toyota dealer near me


    June 17, 2021 at 02:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. dollar general near me


    June 17, 2021 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Repair San Clemente California


    June 17, 2021 at 04:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Repair Shop Near My Location


    June 17, 2021 at 05:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Repair San Clemente California


    June 17, 2021 at 05:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. best buy near me


    June 17, 2021 at 06:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Camper Repair Shops Near Me


    June 17, 2021 at 07:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    Hello there! This blog post couldnít be written much better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I most certainly will send this article to him. Fairly certain he's going to have a great read. Thanks for sharing!


    June 17, 2021 at 09:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. wells fargo bank near me

    You should be a part of a contest for one of the most useful websites on the net. I'm going to highly recommend this web site!


    June 17, 2021 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. waterfalls near me

    This is a great tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate informationÖ Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!


    June 17, 2021 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. https://shiatsu-web.com

    Best view i have ever seen !


    June 17, 2021 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. escape room near me


    June 17, 2021 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. bitcoin atm near me


    June 17, 2021 at 16:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. tj maxx near me


    June 18, 2021 at 00:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. flowers near me

    This is a topic which is close to my heart... Many thanks! Where are your contact details though?


    June 18, 2021 at 03:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. neurologist near me

    I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this site. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own, personal site now 😉


    June 18, 2021 at 03:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. stores open near me


    June 18, 2021 at 04:41 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Leave a Reply to Xochitl Powroznik


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.