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Sex in your 70s: 10 Senior Sex Tips for Men

14 min read
Sex in your 70s: 10 Senior Sex Tips for Men

There's little to no reason why anyone should give up on sex and intimacy, whatever their age, yet far too many give up on sex altogether and far too prematurely. We all have a basic human need to feel loved and desired; it's what makes us human, after all, so why should anyone give up on it if they don't want to?

Most older adults agreed that sex is an important part of a romantic relationship at any age. Men were more likely to agree than women. Two in five indicated that they are currently sexually active. Sexual activity decreased with age. Men were more likely to report being sexually active compared with women as were those who self-reported that their health was excellent, very good, or good compared with those with fair or poor health.

About half of those with a romantic partner and 7% of those without one reported they are currently sexually active. The vast majority of those who were sexually active reported that sex is an important part of a romantic relationship. We believe that men and women of all ages should be able to enjoy sexual contact and the sexual satisfaction it brings for as long as they'd like.

Yes—it might mean getting a little more creative, as even healthy aging can bring about a few common sexual problems.

If we deal with those physical changes, engage with easier-to-perform sexual positions, add sex toys for increased stimulation, and explore each other's preferences and needs, we can all enjoy the pleasure and health benefits sexual satisfaction delivers.

Benefits of sex for senior men

  • Good for general, physical, and mental health
  • Good for self-esteem
  • It's fun and a great way to escape daily problems and reduce stress
  • It boosts joy and enjoyment of daily life as well as the immune system
  • Maintains relationship intimacy and strengthens connections
  • Combats some mental health issues and reduces loneliness
  • It can add an extra quality to their social life
  • It's a mild source of exercise, promoting better cardiovascular health and improved sleep


    Here, we've drawn up a list of significant benefits, but we feel the most important factor is that enjoying sex makes life better.

    A study found that it brought a higher enjoyment of life for those who continued to engage in it than those who didn't.

    Data on sexual activity and enjoyment of life were available for a total of 3,045 men and 3,834 women. Men and women who reported any sexual activity in the past year had significantly higher mean enjoyment of life scores compared with those who were not sexually active.

    Why might sex get better for older men and women?

    • They have more time to explore an enjoyable sex life
    • There are less distractions from work and family life
    • With age and experience, they can enjoy deeper intimacy with their partners

    Why might sex be a problem for older adults?

    • They may experience a reduced sex drive from physical health issues or boredom from stale and unsatisfying sexual activity and schedule
    • There may be discomfort or pain during sex
    • Later-life health conditions and new medications can affect performance
    • They're more likely to experience erectile dysfunction or ejaculation issues as they age
    • Feeling tired, weak, sad, or stressed can affect sexual activity
    • Poor body image may cause embarrassment and make sex feel less appealing
    • Their partner's desire or sexual abilities may change


    We'll address as many of the benefits and problems as we can in this article, but if you have concerns about your sex life or physical health, always consult a doctor or healthcare professional.

    1. Communication is key

    The results of this study indicate that sex frequency and sexual satisfaction continue to play an important part in the lives of many partnered older adults. Open communication and sexual synchronicity, including open communication about sexual synchronicity, encourage active and satisfying sex lives in older adulthood. 

    Clear communication is the key to good sex at any age. Maintaining a satisfying sexual relationship or building a new one as older adults requires just as many conversations as with younger couples. While conversations may center around what you're currently capable of, any age-related limitations, physical and mental expectations, and boundaries, you'll still get so much from talking about your sex life preferences, fantasies, favorite sexual positions, and what you expect from an enjoyable sex life.

    Clear communication is the key to good sex at any age. 

    Sadly, older couples are likely to experience a range of new and different concerns from those they experienced as younger and middle-aged adults. They may have doubts about their abilities, given the changes in their general and sexual health and how they may affect sex. Talking about those changes will help you understand each other better and work together to enjoy a satisfying sex life.

    It's unlikely you're the only one with concerns about your sex life. Your partner, if female, may be facing their own concerns, such as menopause-related sexual issues, lubrication production, changes to reproductive health, and more. If they're male, you'll probably have a lot in common regarding sexual function, but that doesn't always make it easier to talk about.

    Our top tip for talking openly about your sex life

    Talking about your sex life is often easier when navigated by a professional.

    Many people find talking about their sex life difficult, young or old, so visiting a sex therapist can provide a mutual bridge between you and your partner. If you're one of those people who struggles to approach the topic, a therapist will navigate the flow of the conversation, allowing plenty of time for both parties to introduce any health problems or concerns about their sex life. This helps both partners to introduce their concerns and be sure of being heard.

    Talking about your sex life is often easier when navigated by a professional.

    Sex therapy isn't just for the young—it's for everybody and every kind of issue—so it's quite normal to seek professional assistance. In many cases, talking about sex can be enough to spark sexual desire, and the more you talk about it, the more you may crave the good sex you've been missing.

    Sex therapy is just like other forms of psychotherapy in that it's purely a talking therapy with none of the physical contact some people think may be required. It helps people deal with the challenges and limitations within their sex lives, how they can maintain sexual intimacy and desire, and also deal with the physical problems that affect older adults.

    2. Check your health regularly

    Experiencing changes in sexual function could be down to a number of physical or mental health changes. Conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, hormonal imbalances, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, and weight gain can all affect sexual practices, as can anxiety, depression, fatigue, and hormonal problems.

    Also, changes in medication can affect sexual activity. Some antidepressants, blood pressure meds, antihistamines, and more may cause erection, mood, and sex drive problems. Fortunately, alternatives or additional medications can be prescribed to combat many such issues.

    Our top tip for monitoring general and sexual health concerns

    Talk to your doctor or a mental health specialist

    Your doctor will be able to explain how any health problems may affect sex and the ways you can combat them. They'll discuss which medications create issues and their alternatives, as well as explore all the ways you can maintain the mental and physical health required to maximize sexual pleasure.

    Your doctor will be able to explain how any health problems may affect sex and the ways you can combat them.

    While your doctor can help with physical changes and most elements of your mental and physical health, a therapist (or sex therapist) can help you and your partner with deeper issues surrounding sexual desire, intimacy, communication, and how to maintain a healthy sex life as older adults.

    3. Be open to new experiences

    Getting what you need from your sex life may involve becoming a little more creative and changing the ways you're used to having sex, especially when trying to satisfy your partner.

    Difficulties most frequently reported by sexually active women related to becoming sexually aroused and achieving orgasm, while for men it was erectile function. 

    While your sex life may not be as physically intense as in younger years, it can still be as emotionally intense, if not more so.

    You may take more time to become aroused, so engaging in longer bouts of foreplay, heady kissing sessions, exploring touch, oral sex, and verbal stimulation are all great ways to enhance the emotional connections of your sexual activity. If you've never explored your fantasies with your partner, or a little roleplay, phone, video, or virtual sex, or watching each other pleasure yourselves together, then you've got plenty of new options to play with.

    When it comes to navigating physical sexual problems, bringing sex toys into your sex life can help you both achieve orgasms without penetration, as can mutual masturbation and oral sex.

    For those facing erectile dysfunction or premature or delayed ejaculation issues, then working around sexual intercourse—penetrative sex—could be the answer. Not all sex involves penetration, and some of the most intimate sexual contact skips it entirely.

    Our top tip for broadening your sexual horizons

    Take your time and leave old expectations at the door.

    Just because you can't perform as you once did doesn't mean you can't have good sex. Your sexual activity is likely to look very different from how it once did, but that won't stop it from providing the connection, emotions, feelings, and climaxes you want to share with your partner. It's time to leave those old expectations and activities at the door and explore the new ones that will replace them.

    4. Keep active

    Maintaining good cardiovascular health is one of the best ways to combat heart disease and other health issues. Sex is mild cardiovascular exercise—similar to taking a leisurely walk but a lot more fun—and it's a pleasurable way to get the heart pumping and blood flowing.

    55% of men and 45% of women reported being sexually active.

    Significant positive correlates of sexual activity included walking at least 1–2 times per week, participating in at least two registered clubs, engaging in physical and social activities, no tobacco use, fewer medications, increased alcohol consumption, and reporting a good quality of life, psychological well-being, or social support

    Keeping physically active will help you stay match-fit for sex, and remaining sexually active will help you maintain healthy blood flow as well as combat some mental health conditions.

    Our top tip for maintaining physical health

    Consider nutrition an essential part of your exercise regime

    Many retirees and older adults see this time as an opportunity to indulge in the things they enjoy the most, making the most out of their golden years. However, poor diet can have a huge impact on healthy aging. Smoking and drinking both affect heart health and have a huge impact on the reproductive system, so should be kept to a minimum if you're going to enjoy a healthy sex life.

    You may have already been advised or chosen to follow a healthier diet, one that's high in the fiber, vitamins, and minerals found in fruit, vegetables, nuts, and healthy meat and fish dishes. On the flip side, you should avoid saturated fats, sodium, and too much sugar, which are known to affect your general and sexual health.

    5. Practice safe sex

    Even with the worry of pregnancy off the table, it's essential to use protection. Contracting a sexually transmitted disease is an issue for lovers of all ages and is often as prevalent in senior women and men as those much younger.

    Sexually transmitted infections (STI) among older adults have dramatically increased in recent years, especially among those who are widowed and divorced ...

    ... However, the consistently low knowledge scores highlight the need for educational interventions among this population. 

    Some older adults find a new lease of life in retirement and enjoy sex with multiple partners—often when they find themselves single after a long married life. It's even more crucial to undertake regular testing and use condoms and protection in such cases. Always wear condoms for penetrative sex—vaginal or anal—and using condoms or dental dams will limit the chances of infection during oral sex.

    Our top tip for avoiding sexually transmitted infections

    Keep it covered

    No contraception is 100% safe, but condoms offer the greatest protection from STIs. Using condoms will greatly reduce the risk of contracting or passing on any kind of infection.

    6. Use lubricant

    As women age, the vaginal walls become thinner, less flexible, and produce less natural lubrication, which leads to vaginal dryness. After menopause, some women won't respond to arousal as they used to, failing to produce the natural lubrication required for comfortable penetration.

    Plenty of senior women remain sexually active well into their 70s and 80s, yet vaginal dryness can be a common issue for many.

    However, vaginal dryness isn't a reason to give up on sex during older ages. It's easily treated with lubrication, often prescribed as part of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) treatments, and its application can be a wonderful way to share physical intimacy, stimulate, and turn each other on.

    Our top tip for using lubricant

    Educate yourself on the types of lubricants and how and when to apply them

    There are many types of lubricant available, and knowing which are your best options can help enhance your sex life.

    • Applying lube to each other can be made part of foreplay, shared masturbation and add new sensations and comfort to partner play.

    • Water-based lube is necessary for use with latex toys and condoms.

    • Silicone-based lube is safe for internal use, long-lasting, has a super-slick feel, and is waterproof. However, it can't be used with latex and silicone sex toys.

    • Oil-based lube is also long-lasting and waterproof but not advised for use with sex toys, condoms, or internal use.

    • Anal lube is thicker than regular lube to provide cushioning and last longer.

    • Flavored lube is great for oral sex and adds a nice scent to your sex play.

    • Women may apply lubrication to combat vaginal dryness before sexual activity to avoid embarrassment.


      For our full rundown on lubricants, check out our health center page.

      7. Consider erection-enhancing tools

      Erectile dysfunction happens to most men at some time. It's more likely to happen as they age and is one of the main issues that affects sexual performance and performance anxiety.

      However, there are many ways to combat erectile dysfunction, and not all of them are medicinal.

      Several medications improve blood flow through the reproductive system and help deliver stronger, longer-lasting, and bigger erections. However, there are also toys and tools to encourage that same required blood flow, one of the most popular and effective being the penis pump.

      For an in-depth look at what they do and how they work, take a look at our penis pump page in the health center.

      Our top tip for dealing with erectile dysfunction and sexual problems

      Speak to your doctor about ED and your best possible treatment plan

      Many men experience great results from the use of penis pumps and cock rings (a stretchy latex restriction ring fitted around the base of the penis to keep blood in an erection during sex). However, if you have any health concerns regarding sex and your reproductive system, your doctor should be at the top of your list. Your health is too important to take risks with.

      Speak to your doctor about ED and your best possible treatment plan

      They'll help you explore the root of the problem and advise treatment. It may be a mental health treatment if your problem appears to be emotional or if they think medication is your best option by prescribing sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), vardenafil (Levitra), or avanafil (Stendra).

      For all of our articles on erectile dysfunction

      8. Explore new sex positions

      If you're not as nimble as you once were, or your erections aren't as strong as in your younger years, there are positions that take the pressure off your body and penis.

      If one partner is fitter or more agile than the other, they may take the initiative and the more physical role.

      For couples where physical changes are similar, certain sexual positions such as Spooning (partners lay on their sides facing the same direction), Missionary (the penetrating partner goes on top, resting their weight on their knees and forearms), and having sex on a chair (the receiving partner straddles their partner on a high back or dining type chair) all reduce pressure from the limbs, reducing the strain during sexual encounters.

      Our top tips for exploring sexual positions

      Practice makes perfect!

      Only you know which parts of your body aren't as reliable as they were, so talking with your partner about the positions that could make sex easier and how much fun they'll be will give you plenty of options to play with.

      If you're not sure what positions to try, our knowledge center has many suggestions for those with different sexual abilities and drawbacks. You could adapt any of our positions to suit your sex life.

      If you treat them as a fun way to explore sex, you've got nothing to lose. And if they give you a good excuse to have more sex, then it's a win-win situation.

      Looking for tips to enhance intimacy and pleasure?

      9. Consider using sex toys

      A satisfying sex life doesn't have to focus on penetrative sex. There are many different ways to reach orgasm and climax. If you can't perform as vigorously as you once could, introducing a little extra stimulation by adding sex toys to your repertoire is great for everyone—but especially for older adults.

      Today, there's an incredible selection of vibrators, dildos, butt plugs, sex pillows, and masturbators. Many are lightweight and ergonomic, making them easy to handle, and all bring added stimulation to your sex play.

      Our top tip for older adults and sex toys

      Take an online shopping trip together

      If taking a trip to a sex store feels a little embarrassing, there's no shortage of discreet vendors online.

      Why not make an evening of it? Have a glass of wine or enjoy dinner together, and when you're relaxed, take a virtual stroll around the masses of different sex toys on offer. You'll both have ideas about what might work for you and can discuss how comfortable you'd be taking them for a test drive.

      10. Spend time in foreplay

      Touch and connection play a huge part in the way we enjoy sex, so why not up your foreplay game and spend more time touching and turning each other on? As it may take longer for you or your partner to reach orgasm, extending foreplay will help you take your time getting to where you both want to be.

      Heading back to the study published in the Sexual Medicine journal, touching appears to be far more important than intercourse for many women.

      Among sexually active men, frequent sexual intercourse and frequent kissing, petting, or fondling were associated with greater enjoyment of life. Among sexually active women, frequent kissing, petting, or fondling was also associated with greater enjoyment of life, but there was no significant association with frequent intercourse.

      Our top foreplay tips for older adults

      Foreplay starts before you take your clothes off

      True intimacy leans heavily on both physical closeness and emotional closeness, so why not start your foreplay by doing something romantic together, flirting, kissing, and holding hands while you do? Giving your partner a massage can be very sensual and sexy, upping the intimacy and type of touch as you both get further into the mood.

      When it comes to getting physical, take your time using the toys, touch, and oral tricks you've picked up during your research.

      Summary

      By entertaining and practicing our senior sex suggestions and tips, there's no reason why you can't enjoy sex in your 70s, 80s, or at any age for that matter.

      Senior sex may require a little creativity, but that doesn't mean it won't be fun.

      Bringing toys into the bedroom, exploring new sexual positions, and being open to more intimate conversation and communication can result in connections you may never have previously experienced.

      Open your mind to the task, and make the most of the experience. Use the experience you've spent a lifetime acquiring, and you might just have the most fun and intimate (safe!) sex you have ever had.

      Boost your sex life and performance at any age

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