Sex for Seniors: Passion, and safer sex, after 60.
So, I'm on the phone with a friend's mom having a friendly chat, when
suddenly she hits me with a real doozy.
"I'm getting back into the dating world. It's been over thirty
years, and I can't ask my kids about this stuff. Tell me everything I need
to know about sex."
WOW! I mean, wow.
Then she says she does know she is supposed to use condoms now, but
never has before. In the 70's all she had to worry about was not getting
pregnant. And how exactly does that whole thing work these days?
After a brief (I hope!) moment of shocked silence, I reminded myself that
there are a lot of people out there who have these questions, and I was
flattered to be asked for such important info!
Dating Has Changed!
We are living longer, Viagra is
popular, and erotic life does not end after sixty - or after the death or
divorce of a spouse. This is great, but also not without
consequence. Many of the people getting back into the "dating scene" for
the first time in decades haven't had the same exposure to safer sex education
that many of us take for granted. As a result the STI rate in some senior
communities has shot up.
Sex can be an uncomfortable subject at any age, but if the children (or even
doctors) of seniors do not bring up the basic need for protection, it can result
in unnecessary health risks.
Many folks may still think that because they "know" their partner that he or
she is safe, or that they can tell by how someone looks that they are "clean"
and they don't need to worry about disease. This simply isn't true.
In fact, because some senior communities tend to be small and insular, and because the
dating pool of men grows smaller as we age, it becomes that much more likely an
STI could be passed. So, even with serial monogamy there may be a risk of infection, because
there are only so many available partners. And since many people came of age in an era when pregnancy was the chief concern, once a woman's child-bearing years have ended, neither partner may feel they need to take any precautions.
So, back to my ear searing conversation. I thought for a minute about
what my senior friend should know, and summarized it into something like
1. Use condoms, every time, the entire time, for all types of
sex, at least until you are both tested for everything. Ask your
doc what you and your partner should be tested for ahead of time. Talk to
your partner about this before you get to the bedroom, so you both agree to
postpone physical intimacy until your tests are clean.
2. Don't keep condoms in a wallet or pocket - heat,
friction, and sharp keys can damage them. Use a condom case (or even an
Altoids box) if you carry condoms with you. And check the expiration dates
on the condom wrapper!
3. Make sure he puts the condom on only when he is fully
erect, leaving just a little space at the tip to capture semen, and
reduce stress (and breakage) on the condom. Drizzling a little water-based lubricant in the
tip of the condom can improve sensation for him, although it may also increase the chance of the condom slipping off if he does not stay consistently erect.
4. If he does not consistently stay hard enough to keep the condom on
during sex, or you want a little extra security, try a soft, stretchy cock ring*
at the base of his penis to help him stay hard and keep the condom in
place. If the condom slips off, don't re-use it. Put on a new one.
(*Find out more about cock rings, what they do, and how to use them here.)
5. He should withdraw immediately after climaxing, and hold
the edge of the condom at the base of his penis, so it doesn't slip off.
6. Use a lot of lube! Wetter sex is better sex, and as
ladies age we are not as moist as we are in our 20s. Extra
lubrication will make sex more pleasant for both partners, and reduce chances of
condom breakage or physical irritation for you.
7. Only use lubricants made for intercourse, and try to
stick with water-based products. Never use lotion, oils, or other things
from around the house. They can cause irritation and break down a
8. If it is uncomfortable, try adding more lubricant. If
it still hurts, stop. My personal opinion is that pain is your body's
signal that something just isn't right, so move along to the next thing.
Ask you doctor about pain or discomfort.
9. Go slooooow. Like in sports, you can't just jump
back into the type of enthusiastic lovemaking of your 20s, without a little
reconditioning and practice.
Article author, Vicki, is a founding member of ScarletGirl.com. Vicki's not a doctor or psychologist, and doesn’t even play one on t.v. She is an elegantly bawdy, silly, sex-positive, compassionate broad, with more than 10 years industry experience under her stylish belt, and a deep love of learning.
Vicki lives in the Pacific Northwest with the love of her life and their various eccentric pets. When she is not refinishing old furniture or working in the yard, Vicki delights in her work at Scarlet Girl, helping others learn how to discover, create, and expand their own satisfaction and pleasure. Education, empowerment, and entertainment are important, and she believes that sex is serious business, but that it should also be fun.