50 Shades of Dr. Lou
Sex – a word that conjures so many thoughts, concerns, feelings, and values. It is full of taboos, concerns, fears, and beliefs. It can be about control, peace, beauty, and love. Many of us have been taught that after a certain age, you are not supposed to think about sex. It is as if when you get to be 60, your sexual urges are suddenly shut down. It could especially be viewed that way if your husband dies. Like if your husband dies then so does your need for sex. So, maybe you sublimate by your deep involvement in church activities, grandchildren, community, or other activities. It is often looked upon as shameful that the “old woman” should want “a piece” – at that age, she ought to go home and sit on her porch. Her old wrinkled up body does not deserve a little loving.
Well ladies, I am here to tell you, let us stop the rumors because it is not always true that when you reach a certain age the desire to have sex is cut off. It just means you must find another way. Now I am not suggesting that you will engage in the hot sweaty sex of our youth – and – some of you may be able to. But many of us just have to make some important adjustments.
First, if we start taking a lot of medicines. They may cause our sex drive and performance to dampen. Second, our male partner may be suffering from erectile dysfunction and is mad and ashamed because he cannot do what he used to do to satisfy himself or you. And, if he is like many of the Black men that I know, they don’t even want to discuss it. Here is an alternative: Don’t be angry with him, it is part of the manhood function – their penis is an instrument of expression and when it is no longer operational, they feel less than a man. So, ladies, we must help them feel alright and use our feminine wiles to convince them that there is more than one way to “skin a cat.”
Here are a few tips that I learned about in my research, and I have added a little of Dr. Lou’s observations because I know “Where there is a will, there is a way.”
First, let us accept the fact that we are getting older, and things change. It is nothing to be upset or ashamed about. We often take medicines that depress sexual urges. Some of the medicines according to the experts include antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure medicines, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and ulcer medications. Always check with your doctor and do not be shy about getting the answers that are important to you.
Second, get off your “rusty dusty” and start walking or doing some other form of exercise. It strengthens your muscles and sets your mind in a more positive direction. Besides, while the wrinkles will not go away, it will improve your looks and make you feel better. For us women, try Kegel exercises. What is that, Dr. Lou? It is the muscle that manages your pee. You should try starting and stopping peeing in midstream several times. Those are the muscles that help tighten the muscles in your vagina. If you have had a few babies, muscles get a little weak. Will the Kegel exercise work when you are 70 or 80? Well, I do not know for sure, but try it and let me know how it comes out. Now don’t think doing it for a week is going to work, instead, try it for 3 months and let’s see if it makes a difference.
Third, try something new. Go on the internet or get a book on sex and try something different. Or maybe try out your fantasy or curiosity. But the missionary style has just gotten boring. Why not take a shower together and re-learn each other’s bodies. He may have gained weight just like you did. Besides it will be fun to talk about what used to be and laugh about how both of you have changed. Having a sense of humor at this stage is critical. Go to a hotel and get a massage together and then go back to your room feeling relaxed and try a new position. Hmmm, that sounds delicious.
Fourth, let’s get beyond sex and think about intimacy. You know, a little hugging and kissing can go a long way. And don’t be afraid of oral sex. No, it is not nasty; it is another way to be intimate. Before you do it, however, take that shower together and make sure your body smells good. Another thing to try is when you finish your shower, have some good-smelling body oil, and give each other a good rub-down. OOH La La!
Fifth, chronic pain such as arthritis may make sex less enjoyable. Find a new position or use pillows and work at it until you find a position that works for both of you. If you have had surgery, take it easy and get advice from your doctor. This is when intimacy rather than sex becomes very important.
Sixth, the most intimate form of sex is being able to talk to each other. Find out how your partner is feeling about sex, your relationship, and any other subject that has been a burden to you and him/her. This is not the time to argue, it is a time to listen and accept that those feelings are your partners. Then calmly express your honest feelings, not in a defensive way, but as part of the sharing process. Remember, talking in an open and frank way is not easy. We are taught in this society to keep your feelings to yourself. Learning to express yourself in a forthright manner about feelings for many of us is hard. Be patient with each other and keep on trying.
Seventh, women may have vaginal dryness, particularly after menopause. This makes having sex a painful experience. Remember, it takes many of us longer to become lubricated so you may need a little more foreplay. There are also silicone-based lubricants that you can use to make the experience of intercourse less painful. Do not be afraid to seek advice from your doctor when seeking a solution. This is one of those things that happen to us as we age.
This emerging interest in sex life often results in the best sex they have ever had. There is a willingness in a woman over 50 to finally let go of the myths that may have haunted her for her entire life. She may be ready to let go of long-held body image issues, trauma, and wounds from past heartaches or failed relationships, and even abuse. She may find she finally has the time and the means to discover herself sexually, and this exploration has now become a priority in her life. She simply cannot tolerate missing out on what is possible for her, and often sets out on a journey of sensual self-discovery. Sex can be better after 50 than at any other time in your life. It can involve new adventures, brand new experiences, and the fresh freedom of erotic autonomy ready and ripe for exploration.
What is normal? You are normal. And it is normal to change as we get older, and we should never ever let anyone dictate to us how we should be just because we are older. Having sex at any age can be fun because you are still alive!
Till next time, this is Dr. Lou saying – Love is “a many-splendored thing” at any age. Enjoy the journey!!
Next time we will explore dating younger and if that makes you a cougar or not.
Until next time, I wish you strength, wisdom, and love,