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. aika online private server


    May 5, 2021 at 05:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. aika online gameplay

    Your style is very unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this site.


    May 5, 2021 at 06:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. avanafil

    avana tablet buy avana usa

    May 5, 2021 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Interior Designer Near Me


    May 5, 2021 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. executive memberships


    May 5, 2021 at 18:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. truck radiator replacement

    Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won't disappoint me as much as this particular one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, however I really believed you would have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.


    May 5, 2021 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. resochin

    chrloroquine https://chloroquineorigin.com/ chloroquine phosphate side effects

    May 5, 2021 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Eyewear Near Me


    May 6, 2021 at 00:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. express van conversion

    Hi, I think your blog could be having web browser compatibility issues. When I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, excellent site!


    May 6, 2021 at 06:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. pickup truck repair near me


    May 6, 2021 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. i repair near me

    Your style is very unique compared to other people I've read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this site.


    May 6, 2021 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Forklift Extensions Los Angeles


    May 6, 2021 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Pilsner Beer

    I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that too few people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I found this in my hunt for something regarding this.


    May 6, 2021 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. bb&t near me


    May 7, 2021 at 04:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Forklift For Sale California

    Good post. I definitely appreciate this site. Stick with it!


    May 7, 2021 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. 5L Kegs


    May 7, 2021 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Forklift Parts Near Me

    I was able to find good information from your content.


    May 7, 2021 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. dapoxetine

    priligy generic dapoxetine hydrochloride

    May 7, 2021 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. redbox near me

    May I simply just say what a relief to find somebody who really understands what they are talking about on the web. You actually know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people must read this and understand this side of your story. It's surprising you are not more popular since you definitely possess the gift.


    May 7, 2021 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. rv repair orange county ca


    May 7, 2021 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Internet Marketing Job

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will come back once again since I book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.


    May 7, 2021 at 23:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. rex trailers horse

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and also the rest of the site is extremely good.


    May 7, 2021 at 23:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Social Media Marketing Company Cypress


    May 8, 2021 at 06:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Social Media Marketing Pros

    Good post. I will be facing a few of these issues as well..


    May 8, 2021 at 06:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Content Marketing Masters

    This is the right site for everyone who really wants to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic that's been discussed for years. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!


    May 8, 2021 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Social Media Marketing Jobs Orange County


    May 8, 2021 at 08:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Social Media Marketing Consultant

    Good article. I'm facing a few of these issues as well..


    May 8, 2021 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. camera repair california


    May 8, 2021 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Local Marketing Events


    May 8, 2021 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Social Media Marketing Agency Around Me


    May 8, 2021 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Video Marketing Companies

    Very good post. I will be experiencing a few of these issues as well..


    May 9, 2021 at 01:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Lighting California

    I absolutely love your website.. Great colors & theme. Did you develop this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my own site and would like to find out where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Kudos!


    May 9, 2021 at 02:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Mattresses Orange County


    May 9, 2021 at 05:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Remodeling Riverside


    May 9, 2021 at 06:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Alignment California

    Good information. Lucky me I discovered your website by accident (stumbleupon). I've book-marked it for later!


    May 9, 2021 at 07:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Content Marketing Master


    May 9, 2021 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Social Media Marketing Jobs Near Me


    May 9, 2021 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Video Marketing Studio

    This excellent website certainly has all the info I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 9, 2021 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Frame Los Angeles

    Having read this I thought it was really enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!


    May 9, 2021 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Google Marketing Engineer


    May 9, 2021 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Social Media Marketing Company California

    Hello, I do believe your website may be having internet browser compatibility issues. Whenever I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Besides that, great site!


    May 10, 2021 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Social Media Marketing Specialists

    I absolutely love your website.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you make this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my own personal site and would like to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Appreciate it!


    May 10, 2021 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Internet Marketing Businesses

    Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to produce a really good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and don't seem to get anything done.


    May 10, 2021 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Video Marketing Studio


    May 10, 2021 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Google Marketing Consultant

    Excellent blog post. I definitely love this site. Thanks!


    May 11, 2021 at 06:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Content Marketing Management


    May 11, 2021 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Social Media Marketing Contractor

    Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a superb article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.


    May 11, 2021 at 12:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Social Media Marketing Specialist Near Me


    May 11, 2021 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Social Media Marketing Contractors


    May 11, 2021 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Local Marketing Firm


    May 11, 2021 at 14:12 | 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.