How Sex Changes for Men After 50 and What You Can Do

Sex life changes for men after 50, it’s a fact. As we get older, we experience a lot of changes in our bodies. And that’s perfectly normal, it’s the flow of life.

Naturally, this change will affect our sex lives as well. 

But, the good thing is that the ability to enjoy pleasure, to get aroused, and to feel desire doesn’t change. They don’t really disappear with time, even though they might wane from time to time. 

A study conducted by a group of researchers, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, gives an interesting perspective on the question of sex after 50. 

In it, turns out that 73% of the people surveyed (age group of 57-64 years old) have sex! And as the age groups become older, sex seemed to decrease. So it goes that 53% of people aged 65-74 years have sex, and then 26% of people aged 75-85. 

The moral of the story is: people (lots of people!) still have sex after 50 and they’re able to enjoy themselves, just as well, even if it’s done in different ways than before. 

But, before I cross over to how you can enjoy your sex life when you’re around the age of 50, I also want you to know what you can expect to change. 

So, how does sex change for men after 50?

Flaccid Erections

For men, sex usually spells intercourse and the ability to maintain an erection. But, once you hit the five-O mark, you will, unfortunately, have to face some more unreliable erections. 

A male aging study, conducted by the New England Research Institutes, suggests how aging can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction by 1.2% per year for men between the ages of 40 and 49, and 4.6% for men between ages 60 and 69. 

But women are also not spared. After menopause, they may develop vaginal dryness, as well as vaginal atrophy. This can also make penetration quite painful, sometimes even with a lubricant. 

You also may experience PE – premature ejaculations (yes, again) 

If you’ve ever struggled with PE in your youth, well, you might encounter it again in your life. 

According to a survey reported by the AARP, “PE affects 31% of men in their fifties, 30% in their early sixties, 28% from 65 to 70, and 22% from 75 to 85”. 

Both PE and ED have a number of causes – one of the main culprits is certainly anxiety. And part of that anxiety can be a self-fulfilling prophecy: will I get hard? Will I maintain my erection? Will I make it long enough? You get the picture. 

Further down I’ll talk a bit about how to deal with all of this, so bear with me, please. 

Intercourse is Replaced With Other Types of Sex 

So, because men are more likely to face PE and ED with age, but women may also experience vagina problems, lots of couples turn to non-penetrative sex which can be just as enjoyable. 

Women know that good sex doesn’t necessarily involve penetration. In fact, only about a quarter of them manage to reach an orgasm through penetration only (and whether that is caused by the penetration or some sort of clitoral rubbing side-effect is still debatable). 

Men, however, experience sex primarily through penetration. So it’s only natural that as their penile performance changes and reduces in capacity as they get older, they’ll experience changes in their attitudes towards how they connect to their partners during sex. This is probably why men become more open-minded when it comes to sex as they get older. 

Men over 50 start to express their sexuality more openly, and in different ways 

Learning to become more sexually fluid in terms of ways to achieve pleasure with one’s partner becomes adamant. This also entails emotional consequences. 

They manage to rediscover sexuality, redefine it, bring it to a new level. They finally start to understand how it was like for their partners when one way of having sex simply didn’t cut it. 

Hence they turn to other ways to achieve pleasure, ones that encompass a mixture of physical and emotional intimacy novelties – paying more attention to sensory experiences such as whole-body massages and erotic massages, oral sex, use of toys and sometimes even supplements, the feeling of caring for and loving one another, among other intimate moments. 

How Does Intimacy in Sex Change for Men Over 50? 

Well, for starters, you may actually start feeling (even) closer to your partner. This is a mixture of biology and psychology, as well as a bit of sociology. 

As time goes by, you end up sharing more and more stuff with your partner – life experiences, the good and the bad, kids, etc. It’s also quite likely that you’ll become more attached as you grow old together and become more dependent on one another, especially relying on each other for stuff that you would have maybe done for yourself alone before. 

Also, men start to be more in sync with women’s sexual pace

Yeah, sexual harmony in your middle-aged and golden years can be a real thing.

When they’re younger, lots of men get aroused and finish much more quickly than women do. It’s what has brought the term “orgasm gap” to the fore. This basically means that sometimes even before the woman feels properly aroused (let alone orgasms!), the man has already achieved orgasm. 

Well, all of that changes once you turn 50. With age, men tend to take longer to get turned on. And while this may bother some (or a lot of men) out there, you might as well look at it as a new era of your sex life where you actually get to be in sync with your partner. 

And couples who become aware of this faster will end up having more fulfilling sex lives. In Psychology Today, the developmental psychologist at California State University, Richard Sprott, Ph.D., says how in comparison to younger lovers, “older couples are more sexually in sync”.

How to Enjoy a Healthy Sex Life if You’re a Man Over 50? 

As we saw from all I’ve written so far in this article, sex can change for men over 50. It’s up to you how you will deal with it, but deal with it you must (somehow). 

Even if you’re facing physical health issues or psychological ones, as well as other life difficulties, you can still have a satisfactory sex life.

Many people your age are facing the same issues and they’ve found ways to get past them. 

So let’s see what you can do to have a healthy sex life if you’re a man over 50 and keep enjoying yourself as time goes by! 

Take Care of Your Waistline

Erection troubles may also come from other health issues, such as high blood sugar (and diabetes), high cholesterol, high blood pressure. All of these can cause vascular problems and damage to the blood vessels – hence the trouble with erections. 

So, taking care of your waistline can help bring this under control. It boils down to a healthy lifestyle – exercising, eating more nutrient-dense, high-fiber foods (which means plenty of veggies and fruits). And, of course, keeping your stress levels low. 

I know it can be hard at times, but we all have to do this more, no doubt. 

Check Your Heart 

What’s the correlation you might ask? Well, again, it all has to do with circulation problems. And problems with erection might be a sign of heart disease. 

So, it’s not a bad idea to check your heart once you start experiencing ED troubles more often. 

Low Testosterone May or May Not Be the Culprit

I mentioned earlier that testosterone levels drop in men as they age, which is something that can affect their sex life as well.

And that’s why it’s also a good idea to have them checked. This will help you rule them out for possible low libido or erection issues. 

But, there’s also a problem where ED is being treated by trying to raise low testosterone levels, although the right cause for it hasn’t been properly determined. 

Consider Taking Some Medication 

A lot of men see this as a defeat to their masculinity, I get it. But that’s a load of baloney. Do you see taking a headache pill as a threat to your physical fitness? What about women taking birth control so as not to get pregnant? Do they see it as a threat to their womanhood? 

Nope. There’s absolutely no need for these kinds of thoughts. 

There are four types of prescription pills focused on helping men achieve and maintain an erection, aka ones that help them with erectile dysfunction. These are: 

  • Viagra or sildenafil  
  • Stendra or avanafil 
  • Cialis or tadalafil 
  • Levitra or vardenafil 

According to Harvard Health Online, “[A]t least one ED drug works in about 70% of men, but results vary among individuals.” This means that you will most likely have to try all of them and see which works best for you. 

On the market, there are also supplements that attempt to elevate libido levels and enhance sex drive, but their effectiveness is still kind of up to debate. 

The prescription pills for ED can be prescribed by either your primary care doctor or your urologist. 

If the reasons are primarily psychological, however, the drugs won’t work on your libido

The drugs can help with your erection, sure. But, you will need to be already sexually stimulated so they can properly work. Meaning, you will need to be horny and ready for sex. 

So, if you notice that the drugs don’t make much of a difference in your sex life, it might be time to address the mental reasons behind this impasse. 

Try finding out whether this occurs when you are: 

  • Masturbating
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • In particular situations (triggers) 
  • With your partner
  • Too stressed out
  • All the time 

Getting to the bottom of these questions can definitely help you identify your sexual performance issues and erectile dysfunction. And you will have to talk to someone about this – your partner and/or mental health professionals. 

Which brings me to my next section. 

Try Counseling

Sexual performance issues are sometimes caused by a combination of both psychological and biological factors. 

You may be stressed out from work or other family issues, you may be battling anxiety and/or depression, or another mental illness; you may have financial difficulties that are weighing you down or you may have underlying relationship/marital issues you haven’t addressed for years. 

All of this can be a hindrance to your libido, which also means you may need to seek psychological counseling as well. 

There are a number of options to try: individual counseling, visiting a psychologist, a psychotherapist or another kind of mental health worker. You can also try marriage counseling, couple’s therapy, or sex therapy sessions

Communicate With Your Partner 

Couples with mismatched sex drives is nothing new. It’s actually very rare to find someone with the exact same amount of libido as you. And as time goes by, different events in your life will unsettle the balance of your sex drives.

But talking about it can help reroute the direction your sex life has recently (or not so recently) taken. If you notice that you’re continually missing the mark with your spouse when it comes to hitting the sack, talk to them. 

Ask them if there’s a problem, how have they been feeling lately, is there a particular reason why they’ve lost their desire to have sex. The same goes for you. If you’re the one going through this, go over these questions I noted above, do a bit of mini-survey. After that, communicate your conclusions or thoughts to your partner. 

Encourage each other to talk about what you find important in your sex life. Talk about your desires, your sexual and emotional needs. Work more on your intimacy, if necessary. Different couples need to work on different aspects of their love lives. 

In any event, bear in mind that intimacy and sexual satisfaction can be achieved in many ways, not just through intercourse. 

You can try oral sex, hand jobs, fingering, erotic massages or whole body massages, using sex toys, etc. It’s important to stay open to trying something and try to meet each other’s needs. Be constantly updated on what it is you want and need in and out of your sex life. 

Set Out Time for Sex 

Speaking of sex, you also have to make time for it, not just talk about it. Granted, sex is not a chore, but setting time aside for doing the deed can help you get back on track.

Besides setting aside time for talking, set aside time for physical intimacy and sexual acts. Even after your 50’s, you might both still be busy with work and family, and it’s understandable that finding time for pleasure can be hard. 

But it’s crucial! So you have to do it. You have to prioritize sex, at least once in a while, to make it work again. 

Final Thoughts

Yep, sex changes for men after 50, it’s inevitable. It changes for women as well. 

But, the erotic flames are hard to extinguish, even as we get older. 

So, what’s the secret here? How do we keep having great sex after 50, how do we keep ourselves happy and sexually satisfied? 

Above, I showed you some of the ways you can do this and gave you a bit of advice. 

But, it ultimately boils down to this: learning to adjust to the change old age brings, as well as to how our bodies alter with time. 

Sexual dysfunction is no stranger to men over 50, and it increases as each year goes by. But, lifestyle choices can greatly affect a man’s sexual performance and libido. If you’re mindful of this you will be able to gracefully slide into old age without having to sacrifice sexual pleasure on the way. 

But it’s not only that the physical side of sex changes over time in men. Emotional changes abound as well, especially when it comes to the dynamics of intimacy you experience with your partner/wife. 

Sex, intimacy, love, pleasure is not all about erections and the issues surrounding it in middle and old age. And both you and your partner will need to continuously work on this as time goes by. 

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