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At first glance it can seem that evolution is against the older man. We get aches and pains we never used to have. We can find it harder to maintain sexual arousal, or to achieve an orgasm.

The underlying medical reason for our changing attitude towards arousal and sex is simple. Testosterone levels in men peak when we are still (on average) teenagers – and it’s a long downhill run from thereon in.

Under normal physical circumstances the effects of diminished testosterone levels start to express themselves between the ages of 55 and 65. In general terms, these effects are:

A decreased interest in sex

A diminution in the intensity of sexual experience

A decrease in the frequency of arousal

A decrease in the force or quantity of ejaculation

It’s important to realise that none of these things point to “the end” of our sex lives; any more than the onset of our silver years points to the end of our lives. Indeed, just as we are able to enjoy richer and more fulfilling experiences we’ve never had time for before, so are we capable of redefining our sex lives to give the same warmth and pleasure.

Changing your definition of sex is one of the most effective ways to maintain a healthy and enjoyable sex life well into your 70s and even your 80s. The penetrative act is only one dish on an endless menu. Sexual touching, kissing and other forms of intimate exploration are all part of the bill of fare. We just tend to forget them over the years.

Communication is always important in a sexual relationship. As we age, it becomes much more so. To the point where communication itself can be as uniquely fulfilling and arousing as our favourite sexual position.

By learning to talk about what we want, what we can and can’t do – as well as what we like and do not like doing – we make the bedroom a much freer place, no longer inhibited by worries or uncertainty.

Be aware, too, that your health has a massive impact on both your ability to have fulfilling sex and your enjoyment of the sex you have.

As we age, our health becomes less predictable. Averages alone suggest that one or both partners in a long term or older sexual relationship will experience medical problems that change their attitudes towards, or ability to have, sex. In some cases these problems can be managed simply.

Arthritis, for example, may prevent us from having sex as we have been used to it – but adopting different positions or using heat treatments before and after can free us up to enjoy a loving relationship even with the condition.

Acid blockers, anti-depressants and some other medications associated with aging can diminish interest in sex, or change the sexual experience. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor how you can manage sex with any long term medication you are prescribed.

You may also wish to try some complementary therapies such as aromatherapy or acupuncture. Gaining increasing currency not only with the modern world at large but with modern medicine, these techniques are particularly useful for aches, pains, and problems of sexual dysfunction.

If you would like some more information on good sex and healthy fun for the older man, have a look at these links:

The Mayo Clinic

Ask Granny

And remember – communicate with your partner!