Archive for the ‘sex and seniors’ Category

Sex and the Senior or Senior Sex

January 4, 2016

It is not a myth that seniors engage in sexual intimacy or wish to enjoy intimacy perhaps just as much as younger men and women. However, intimacy like many other physical and social interactions that occur as men and women get older. This blog will discuss simple suggestions for seniors to have enjoyable and more fulfilling sex life.

Start your intimacy by engaging your mouth or your communication skills before engaging in sex. You should be able to communicate your thoughts, fears, and desires with your partner. Be frank with your partner and encourage them too to be open with you. Holding back or hiding certain things will only dampen your spirits and diminish your performance.

Be open to new ideas and experiment

Just because you are growing old, doesn’t mean you can’t expand your horizons. Be open to new ideas and discuss them freely with your partner. Don’t hesitate and put your creative mind to use. If erectile dysfunction is an issue for you, try sex with the woman on top, as hardness is less important. If you are used to having sex in the evening, try the morning and visa versa.

Eat right and exercise

High blood pressure and cholesterol can cause the vascular problems that lead to trouble with your erections. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising and keeping your weight and cholesterol in check.

Avoid large quantities of alcohol and smoking

It’s no news that both alcohol and smoking can hinder a man’s ability to achieve an erection. If you are having sexual difficulties, consider abstaining from smoking and alcohol.

Sex does not always mean intercourse

You need to broaden your definition of sex. Holding each other, gentle touching, cuddling, kissing, and sensual massage are also ways which will fulfill you. Try oral sex or masturbation as substitutes to intercourse.

Know when to visit a doctor

Your doctor can help you manage chronic conditions and medications that affect your sex life. If you have trouble maintaining an erection, ask your doctor about treatments. If you have vaginal dryness, see your doctor as help is available.

Be optimistic

You need to maintain a positive approach when it comes to these sensitive issues. Having said that, you need to be realistic too to accept the changes that your body is going through. But nevertheless, accept these natural changes with confidence.

Bottom Line: Sex is enjoyable at any age. Seniors enjoy sexual intimacy just as younger men and women do. You need to know that you can be successful as a senior both in and out of the bedroom.

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50 Shades of Sex In the Golden Years

February 24, 2015

So many seniors think that after sixty sexual intimacy goes into the tank. This is hardly the case as an interest in intimacy and sexual activity continues throughout life even in the golden years. Our society tends to have ageist concept of intimacy, portraying sex among seniors as inappropriate or unnatural. The truth is that many seniors, both men and women, continue to be sexually active and are interested in meeting others with whom they can become intimate. There is documentation that 70% of men and 35% of women continue to be sexually active over the age of 70. This blog will discuss sex and the senior and what you can do if you are having problems with sexual intimacy in your senior years.

While most long-married individuals reported steady declines in sexual activity, those who passed the 50-year marriage mark began to report a slight increase in their sex lives.

And notably, frequency in the sex lives of long-married couples continued to improve. The study, published last month in The Archives of Sexual Behavior, researchers noted that an individual married for 50 years will have somewhat less sex than an individual married for 65 years.

The analysis of this study showed that the warm glow after the 50-year marriage mark, although flickering, was steadier than that of those in marriages of shorter duration. The researchers are sociologists at Louisiana State University, Florida State University and Baylor University.

Sexual frequency doesn’t return to two to three times a month, but it moves in that direction, which was reported by the investigator from LSU.

But the finding that some long-married couples continue to have sex decade after decade was not news to Jennie B., an 82-year-old widow who lives in a village in upstate New York. She married her first and only husband, Peter, in 1956, when they were in their mid-twenties. The couple, married 47 years, remained sexually active until he had quintuple heart bypass surgery two years before his death in 2003.

In this snapshot study of older adults, some were not having sex at all. And a few were even having sex daily. But in the main, the study looked at trends. The average older adult who had been married for a year had a 65 percent chance of having sex two to three times a month or more. At 25 years of marriage, the likelihood of that frequency dropped to 40 percent. If the marriage lasted 50 years, the likelihood was 35 percent. But if the marriage — and the lifespan — of the older adults continued, at 65 years of being together, the chance of having sex with that frequency was 42 percent.

And so, as adults age, their social circles shrink, they know time is limited, they look around and what do they see? Each other. Seniors will often place intimacy as a high priority.

I might add that seniors often engage in intimacy without having intercourse but that intimacy can occur with touching, holding hands and kissing is often just as satisfying and gratifying as sexual intercourse which occurs at an earlier age.

Bottom Line: Sex after sixty is an activity that is normal and should be encouraged. It may take a little creativity and it may take a little more planning and effort but it can happen and both partners feel a sense of enjoyment and pleasure.

Recommended Reading 30 Lessons for Loving, by Karl Pillemer, PhD.

Perhaps even 50 Shades of Grey!

July 12, 2014

Urinary Problems Can Impact Your Sex

Overactive bladder or urge incontinence can have a significant impact on a man or woman’s quality of life include their ability to engage in sexual intimacy with their partner. This blog will discuss the concept of the overactive bladder and what can be done to tame the bladder and improve the intimacy of those who suffer from this condition.

OAB can take its toll in many areas of your life, including your romantic relationships. Women with OAB worry about urine leakage during sex or orgasm.

OAB or urinary incontinence can cause physical symptoms as well as fear, anxiety, and shame about sex and intimacy.
Unfortunately, many women with OAB will avoid sex altogether.
Unless you have a prolapsed bladder, sex is not dangerous and will not cause your bladder to become damaged.
Women may feel embarrassed by leakage during sex or orgasm, and even if their partner knows and says ‘It’s OK,’ it certainly can stop you from allowing oral sex.

Once you are open with your partner, you can face the situation together. For example, if there is urine incontinence during sex or orgasm, you may need a special sheet or towel.
Non-medication treatment for OAB

Natural Treatment for Overactive Bladder
Bladder training and pelvic floor exercises are just two natural treatments for overactive bladder. Research suggests that these non-drug remedies can be very effective for many women, and they have almost no side effects.
Before starting any OAB treatment, however, it’s important to understand bladder function and what factors may cause overactive bladder.
• Bladder training. This is the most common OAB treatment that doesn’t involve medication. Bladder training helps change the way you use the bathroom. Instead of going whenever you feel the urge, you urinate at set times of the day, called scheduled voiding. You learn to control the urge to go by waiting — for a few minutes at first, then gradually increasing to an hour or more between bathroom visits.
• Pelvic floor exercises. Just as you exercise to strengthen your arms, abs, and other parts of your body, you can exercise to strengthen the muscles that control urination. During these pelvic floor exercises, called Kegels, you tighten, hold, and then relax the muscles that you use to start and stop the flow of urination. Using a special form of training called biofeedback can help you locate the right muscles to squeeze. Start with just a few Kegel exercises at a time, and gradually work your way up to three sets of 10. Another method for strengthening pelvic floor muscles is with electrical stimulation, which sends a small electrical pulse to the area via electrodes placed in the vagina or rectum.
Until you get your overactive bladder under control, wearing absorbent pads can help hide any leakage that occurs.
Other behavioral tips for preventing incontinence include:
• Avoiding drinking caffeine or a lot of fluids before activities
Not drinking fluids right before you go to bed
I also suggest that before engaging in sexual intimacy, empty your bladder so there is less fluid in the bladder and not likely to trigger an unwanted bladder contraction.

Bottom Line: Intimacy can take place if either partner has an overactive bladder. Speak to your partner and your physician to find a solution for this common condition that doesn’t have to affect your sex life.

Sexual Wellness Program on Angela WWL, April 9, 2014

April 11, 2014

Angela Hill

Email: angela@wwl.com
Twitter: @AHillWWL

Angela: Help with sexual wellness is available, you just have to speak up!

by Angela Hill posted Apr 9 2014 4:22PM
Dr. Neil Baum has been a friend of “An Open Mind” ever since we started last fall, helping us understand medical issues that can affect our sex lives.

He spent a whole hour talking to WWL listeners today and pointed out that oftentimes, when it comes to sexual problems, women are suffering in silence, even though sexual dysfunction is more common in women than it is in men.

So what are the problems women are facing, and why can’t we speak out about it? It seems like every time you turn on the television or radio you hear an ad for a product that helps men with erectile dysfunction. Where is the help for women? Products to help women are just now starting to crack through, but haven’t gone mainstream yet.

So many men are having an open and honest dialogue with each other and their doctors, it is easy for them to speak out on these topics, but the lack of dialogue concercing female sexual dysfunction is holding women back. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

“Women who have problems with enjoyment, who have problems with dryness, who have problems with decreased libido are afraid to bring it up with their physicians. There are things that can be done for these women, and they should be encouraged to talk to their doctors,” Dr. Baum said. “Women have to understand that help is available for them, and they don’t have to suffer in silence.”

Is there Viagra for women?

“Right now, there is not. But there are things that can be done for decrease in drive for women, those whose interest is waning. It is primarily hormone-driven.”

Could hormone replacement therapy help your sex life? It’s not for everyone, but no matter what stage of life you are in, it’s imperative that you talk to your doctor, because there are options that can help you restore your love life.

One woman calls in to talk about her experience at “The Vagina Clinic,” where she found good medical advice from professionals tailored to her needs. Another man calls in with a question about testicular pain, and another with a question about fertility treatments

Everyone should take a moment to listen to the full interview – hear from men and women who have problems that may mirror those in your own life, or in the lives of your loved ones.

Bottom line? Talk to your Doctor!

FULL AUDIO: Angela talks to Dr. Neil Baum about sexual dysfunction and wellness

Birds Do It; Bees Do It; and so Do Senior Citizens

February 17, 2014

With aging of the baby boomers, with their focus on health and wellness, and with increasing life expectancy for both men and women, it is natural and normal for our seniors to be sexually active. Many people want and need to be close to others as they grow older. This includes the desire to continue an active, satisfying sex life. But, with aging, there may be changes that can cause problems. This blog will discuss the normal changes that occur with aging and what can be done to add intimacy for both men and women.
Normal Changes With Aging
Normal aging brings physical changes in both men and women. These changes sometimes affect the ability to have and enjoy sex. A woman may notice changes in her vagina. As a woman ages, her vagina can shorten and narrow. Her vaginal walls can become thinner and also a little stiffer. Most women will have less vaginal lubrication. These changes could affect sexual function and/or pleasure. The solution to the vaginal dryness is easily resolved with the use of water soluble lubricant such as KY Jelly.
As men get older, impotence (also called erectile dysfunction–ED) becomes more common. ED is the loss of ability to have and keep an erection for sexual intercourse. ED may cause a man to take longer to have an erection. His erection may not be as firm or as large as it used to be. The loss of erection after orgasm may happen more quickly, or it may take longer before another erection is possible. ED is not a problem if it happens every now and then, but if it occurs often, a doctor can usually provide an effective solution.
What Causes Sexual Problems?
Some illnesses, disabilities, medi­cines, and surgeries can affect your ability to have and enjoy sex. Problems in your relationship can also affect your ability to enjoy sex.
Arthritis. Joint pain due to arthritis can make sexual contact uncomfortable. Exercise, drugs, and possibly joint replacement surgery may relieve this pain. Rest, warm baths, and changing the position or timing of sexual activity can be helpful.
Chronic pain. Any constant pain can interfere with intimacy between older people. Chronic pain does not have to be part of growing older and can often be treated. But, some pain medicines can interfere with sexual function. You should always talk with your doctor if you have unwanted side effects from any medication.
Dementia. Some people with dementia show increased interest in sex and physical closeness, but they may not be able to judge what is appropriate sexual behavior. Those with severe dementia may not recognize their spouse but still seek sexual contact. This can be a confusing problem for the spouse. A doctor, nurse, or social worker with training in dementia care may be helpful.
Diabetes. This is one of the illnesses that can cause ED in some men. In most cases, medical treatment can help. Less is known about how diabetes affects sexuality in older women. Women with diabetes are more likely to have vaginal yeast infections, which can cause itching and irritation and make sex uncomfort­able or undesirable. Yeast infections can be treated.
Heart disease. Narrowing and hardening of the arteries can change blood vessels so that blood does not flow freely. As a result, men and women may have problems with orgasms, and men may have trouble with erections. People who have had a heart attack, or their partners, may be afraid that having sex will cause another attack. Even though sexual activity is generally safe, always follow your doctor’s advice. If your heart problems get worse and you have chest pain or shortness of breath even while resting, talk to your doctor. He or she may want to change your treatment plan.
Incontinence. Loss of bladder control or leaking of urine is more common as we grow older, especially in women. Extra pressure on the belly during sex can cause loss of urine, which may result in some people avoiding sex. This can be helped by a change in positions. The good news is that incontinence can usually be treated.
Stroke. The ability to have sex is sometimes affected by a stroke. A change in positions or medical devices may help people with ongoing weakness or paralysis to have sex. Some people with paralysis from the waist down are still able to experience orgasm and pleasure.
Depression. Lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy, such as intimacy and sexual activity, can be a symptom of depression. It’s sometimes hard to know if you’re depressed. Talk with your doctor. Depression can be treated.
Surgery. Many of us worry about having any kind of surgery—it may be even more troubling when the breasts or genital area are involved. Most people do return to the kind of sex life they enjoyed before surgery.
Hysterectomy is surgery to remove a woman’s uterus. Often, when an older woman has a hysterectomy, the ovaries are also removed. The surgery can leave both women and men worried about their sex lives. If you’re afraid that a hysterectomy will change your sex life, talk with your gynecologist or surgeon.
Mastectomy is surgery to remove all or part of a woman’s breast. This surgery may cause some women to lose their sexual interest or their sense of being desired or feeling feminine. In addition to talking with your doctor, sometimes it is useful to talk with other women who have had this surgery. Programs like the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) “Reach to Recovery” can be helpful for both women and men. If you want your breast rebuilt (reconstruction), talk to your cancer doctor or surgeon.
Prostatectomy is surgery that removes all or part of a man’s prostate because of cancer or an enlarged prostate. It may cause urinary incontinence or ED. If removal of the prostate gland is needed, talk to your doctor before surgery about your concerns.
Medications. There are many drugs can cause sexual problems. These include some blood pressure medicines, antihistamines, antidepressants, tranquilizers, appetite suppressants, drugs for mental problems, and ulcer drugs. Some can lead to ED or make it hard for men to ejaculate. Some drugs can reduce a woman’s sexual desire or cause vaginal dryness or difficulty with arousal and orgasm. If the cause of a man or woman’s sexual problem is related to a medication, the doctor can usually reduce the dosage of the medication, change the medication that doesn’t have the side effect of sexual problems, or may even allow the patient to discontinue the medication for a short period of time, i.e., drug holiday, to allow the man or woman to enjoy intimacy without completely discontinuing the medication.
Alcohol. Too much alcohol can cause erection problems in men and delay orgasm in women.
Safe Sex Is For Seniors Too
Age does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. Older people who are sexually active may be at risk for diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydial infection, genital herpes, hepatitis B, genital warts, and trichomoniasis.
Almost anyone who is sexually active is also at risk of being infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The number of older people with HIV/AIDS is growing. You are at risk for HIV/AIDS if you or your partner has more than one sexual partner or if you are having unprotected sex. To protect yourself, always use a condom during sex. For women with vaginal dryness, lubricated condoms or a water-based lubricating jelly with condoms may be more comfortable. A man needs to have a full erection before putting on a condom.
Talk with your doctor about ways to protect yourself from all sexually transmitted diseases. Go for regular checkups and testing. Talk with your partner. You are never too old to be at risk.
What Can A Couple Do?
There are things you can do on your own for an active sexual life. Make your partner a high priority. Take time to enjoy each other and to understand the changes you both are facing. Try different positions and new times, like having sex in the morning when you both may be well-rested. Don’t hurry—you or your partner may need to spend more time touching to become fully aroused. Masturbation is a sexual activity that many older people, with and without a partner, find satisfying.
Don’t be afraid to talk with your doctor if you have a problem that affects your sex life. He or she may be able to suggest a treatment. For example, the most common sexual difficulty of older women is painful intercourse caused by vaginal dryness. Your doctor or a pharmacist can suggest over-the-counter vaginal lubricants or moisturizers to use. Water-based lubricants are helpful when needed to make sex more comfortable. Moisturizers are used on a regular basis, every 2 or 3 days. Or, your doctor might suggest a form of vaginal estrogen.
If ED is the problem, it can often be managed and perhaps even reversed. There are pills, Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, and now Stendra, that can help. They should not be used by men taking medicines containing nitrates, such as nitroglycerin. The pills do have possible side effects. Other available treatments include vacuum devices, self-injection of a drug, or penile implants.
Physical problems can change your sex life as you get older. But, you and your partner may discover you have a new closeness. Talk to your partner about your needs. You may find that affection—hugging, kissing, touching, and spending time together—can make a good beginning.
Bottom Line: Sex is good at 20-30, better at 30-40, and can be best of all after age 60. Intimacy is just as important as we age as when we were younger. Help is available; don’t be afraid to ask your doctor.