Lifestyle

3/8/2022 | By Terri L. Jones

Part two of the Seniors Guide series on intimacy and older adults we look at the benefits of solo sex – masturbation – to increase sexual satisfaction, and using sex toys to enhance the experience.

Your body isn’t the same as it used to be. And not just its exterior appearance or how it’s functioning internally. Your sexual responses have also changed. Men have more difficulty achieving erections and women produce less natural lubrication and may have a lower sex drive. It’s all just part of growing older.

But you don’t have to settle for mediocre sex just because your body isn’t as eager and raring to go as it used to be! Experimenting on your own through masturbation can help you pinpoint what feels good and arouses you and, ultimately, lead to greater sexual pleasure – alone or with a partner.

The stigma … and the benefits

Maybe you were taught that masturbation is dirty or sinful. At the very least, you may view pleasing yourself as sort of naughty. Before you can enjoy this activity, work on changing the way you think about it.

Calling it by a different name could be the first step in altering your outlook on it. Try calling it “solo sex” instead. Then remember that there’s nothing wrong with indulging yourself. Much like giving yourself a spa treatment or a yummy piece of cake, it can be just another treat you deserve and are free to savor.

It’s also important to keep in mind all the benefits of this activity. Solo sex can keep you sexually vibrant when you don’t have a partner, or if your partner is ill, unavailable, or just not interested. Plus, experimenting by yourself ensures you’re ready when the opportunity for sex with a partner arises.

But pleasuring yourself is not just a means to an end (with the end being intercourse); it’s also fun and even therapeutic in its own right.

Plus, according to award-winning senior sexpert Joan Price, reaching orgasm – whether alone or with a partner – has a multitude of health benefits, including:

  • Reduces stress and enhances mood
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Lowers diastolic blood pressure
  • Improves blood flow
  • Keeps sex organs healthy
  • Improves sleep
  • Relieves headaches and other body aches
  • Increases blood flow to the brain, increasing mental acuity
  • Relieves depression
  • Makes you happier

Let devices give you a hand

happy senior couple in bed

Maybe experimentation with your own hands doesn’t always do the trick for you. While you may feel uncomfortable at first, devices designed to assist with masturbation could help. And once you’ve become adept with such devices on your own, you can put them to work to spice up your sex life with a partner.

These days, there are a plethora of sex toy options. Whatever your age, they can add spice to intimacy with your partner. And, unlike the days when you had to don your sunglasses and a wig to wander incognito into an adult store, these days you can shop from the privacy of your laptop.

Entering foreign territory

When choosing aids, Lioness, a woman-owned sexual wellness company, suggests that older users consider the weight of the toy, whether it’s designed ergonomically to be easy to hold, and the ease of operation. And be sure to use plenty of lube and the right type of lube.

Don’t worry if your first experience feels awkward or isn’t exactly satisfying. It may take some time and a few tries (oh darn!) to become accustomed to the device and find the right placement, intensity, pace, etc. to achieve maximum enjoyment. You may also need to play around with several to find the one that works best for you.

However, if you experience any pain, as long as you are using plenty of lube, that particular toy may not be right for you. It could even be an indication that you should consult your physician.

Enjoy the process of awakening to your own body. You can’t underestimate the rewards!

Check back next month as we explore navigating sex and dementia.

Revisit Part I: Having Great Sex Despite Age

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