2/18/2022 | By Terri L. Jones

Seniors Guide presents the first in its series on intimacy and older adults. First, we assure readers that sexual enjoyment is not simply for the young, exploring ways that older adults can have great sex despite age.

When you think of sex, it may conjure up an image of a young, fit couple passionately performing acts of gymnastic proportion. Their activity is so physical that, in the end, they roll apart flushed, breathing heavily, and beaded in sweat.

Nowadays, a bad back, heart or pulmonary problems, loss of flexibility, or a myriad of other senior issues may prevent that level of athleticism in your sex life. In fact, even the thought of twisting into some of your more youthful positions might land you in the ER.

But your age and physical limitations certainly don’t mean that you can’t have satisfying sex anymore. “It’s not about how often you have sex and it’s not about how many positions you can be in. It’s really about sexual pleasure, and your relationship and connection you have with your partner,” says clinical psychologist Lonnie Barbach, PhD in

With a few simple adjustments of how you and your partner think about sex and approach it, your sex life could be even better than ever!

For great sex despite age, broaden your definitions

The first step in improving your senior sex life is expanding your definition of it, explains Ever since you were a young person, you’ve probably strategically put kissing, touching, and fondling in a separate box from intercourse. Even in the baseball analogy, those other activities are labeled as simply bases along the path to the ultimate act of sex or going all the way for a home run.

But sexual intercourse isn’t always the entrée and everything else just tasty appetizers. Acts of foreplay can just as easily be the main course. Who knows? You just might find a make-out session, heavy petting in the hot tub or seductively soaping each other in the shower to be as arousing and satisfying.

Better yet: removing the expectation and pressure of orgasm can help you relax, which can clear the way for greater pleasure.

Teaching an old dog new (sex) tricks

Because you can’t “do it” like you used to, it’s important to expand your repertoire.

  • Get in the mood. Cuddle, enjoy a romantic meal, or turn on some Teddy Pendergrass to switch from business as usual to fooling around.
  • Talk dirty. Before you get physical, use spicy emails, texts, or innuendo to build anticipation and excitement. Always be sure to communicate with your partner about what you like before, during, and after. A recent advertisement even suggests using private code words to signal to your partner – in the middle of a dinner party, at the grocery store or other public settings – that you want to get physical.
  • Dress the part. One of the primary keys to having good sex is feeling sexy. Take a shower, put on a little perfume or cologne, and dig out your sexiest lingerie or underwear that your partner finds appealing. (If it doesn’t fit anymore, buy something new!)
  • Change things up. An unexpected setting or time of day can inject new energy into your sex life. Move the activity from the bedroom to the bathroom, living room or, if it’s private enough, even the pool or patio out back. Make overtures to your partner at a different time of day than typical. Even a new sexual position can add the spice of variety to your time together.

If you’re experiencing health issues or have recently undergone surgery or other significant procedures, be sure to check with your doctor before diving in too deep.

Related: 6 ways for seniors to find love

The icing on the cake

Aside from being fun and feeling oh, so good, explains that sex also offers many benefits for your mind and body. It’s also a win for your relationship!

  • It’s good exercise and helps you burn fat.
  • Just like other cardio exercises, sexual intimacy can cause your brain to release endorphins and give you a feeling of euphoria, much like a runner’s high.
  • It can boost your immune system.
  • Sex can also give you a temporary (and pleasurable) escape from physical ailments or other problems in your life.
  • It can help you release stress and lower your blood pressure.
  • Being physically intimate with your partner, whether it’s a longtime spouse or someone you’re just dating, can also help deepen your relationship.

The most important advice for having great sex despite age is: don’t overthink it. As Nike says, “Just do it.”

Part 2: Solo sex to increase satisfaction

Terri L. Jones

Terri L. Jones has been writing educational and informative topics for the senior industry for over ten years, and is a frequent and longtime contributor to Seniors Guide.

Terri Jones