02.19.13 Sexuality

How to Have Fantastic Sex for the Rest of Your Life

How to Have Fantastic Sex for the Rest of Your Life

BY Karla Wellington

In my ongoing adventures as a mother, wife and career woman it’s always a challenge to fit in passion, sex, spontaneity and yes, more sex. It’s a test that all of us women face. Last month I proposed a challenge to our readers to have fun while building intimacy by depositing a bit of money in a jar each time you participated in any amorous activity with your partner, so you could reward yourselves with the fruit of your love labor by having a night out, or, as in our case – a trip. Even when you schedule it in, sex or intimacy is worth it.

I’m pleased to report that our collection is growing, but I acknowledge that it’s not an easy task when you have kids, careers and ongoing health challenges, as in my case. However, taking time for ourselves is a conscious decision the value of which has been wisely expressed to us by couples that both my husband and I admire, who have sustained profound and happy relationships despite the many challenges they have faced.

Recently, I found myself in the presence of some women who were a generation older than my 40+ years, and it was fascinating how they had all been affected in their perceptions about physical intimacy. In matters of the heart, love, passion and sex there was a myriad of different perspectives and I pondered where I potentially would fit in a decade. The one similarity in this particular group that struck me was that there seemed to be a weariness and lack of eagerness about love making. Some of these women had faced testing physical conditions or their spouses had, which had at some point presented an obstacle to lovemaking.

Others just thought of sex as young person’s thing and had no desire in participating in affectionate behavior, and had accepted that their spouse had other stimulus to fill in the gap when needed, including porn. But where was the closeness? Even if sex wasn’t the focus, wouldn’t an intimate massage, longing glances or merely holding hands and feeling each other’s touch be vital in simply expressing love? To them it seemed natural that intimacy, attraction and sexiness eventually fades. It’s just normal. Was this what I have to look forward too?

Luckily I also have had the chance to know other older women who report strong and vibrant sex lives into their 60s and 70s, which inspires me to think that even better times may lie ahead for my husband and me. Some of these ladies – all of whom have dealt with life and career challenges – shared heartwarming stories. One woman in her 80s talked about taking daily baths with her husband throughout their 50 years of marriage. She lost her husband a few years ago, but these fond memories of their intimacy and love prevail.

As well, my former mother and father-in-law into their 70s would ride the train to the city every Friday night for date nights despite the fact that her husband was fighting a debilitating illness. These weekly trips invigorated them and allowed them a sense of freedom and flirtation with life, she expressed. My mother has a friend who even now while dealing with a terminal illness puts on her best outfits and goes salsa dancing with her husband every Friday for their date night.

Many of these women report experiencing even better sex and bonding once they passed into their 60s and 70s, simply because at these ages you have become comfortable in who you are, and equally importantly, more comfortable with your body. No longer fighting to maintain an image 20 years younger, or a perfect body weight, or worrying about getting pregnant, or having to hide in the dark under the covers, or chasing careers and raising kids. This freedom allows you to just enjoy and explore your sexuality and intimacy without the chains of self doubt and negative self image. Their stories have left me looking forward to the journey.

I asked myself: what is the difference between the first group of women and the second? Why had one group successfully sustained and even increased intimacy through decades of marriage, while the other group had fallen into a comfortable, but mundane and less passion-filled routine that they felt was natural. To me it was a choice that those in the second group had made to make sexual intimacy and passion a priority and take the necessary steps at the beginning – and especially in the middle of the relationship where the most hurdles arise – to build the foundation for future happiness. So being sensual and sexual simply became a habit and therefore remained an integral part of their relationships.

I have been fortunate to have readers open up to me about their challenges, predominantly some of their health issues and the complications that these have had on their sex lives. From personal experience I understand these challenges, but it reinforces to me how valuable it is to understand that the physical bond that we maintain with our partners, especially when it may be a challenge to engage in actual sexual intercourse, creates a potent union.

We live in a society where everybody is in a rush, but at some point life slows down. I continue to deal with some health challenges, so it is not always ideal strutting around in my sexy lingerie. However, we continue to engage in embraces, caresses, tenderness and flirting, and it continues to be a source of joy and healing for me. I encourage you to strip your inhibitions away and simply enjoy skin to skin, heart to heart loving with your partner.

I am a wife-mother-fashion-food-music & culture enthusiast, blogger, freelance remote corporate associate & wardrobe coiffure. I have survived breast cancer, breakups, fashion mishaps and eyelash extensions. I am a big believer that DNA doesn't make you a family. Our family is comprised of a myriad of characters that have the commonalities of love-loyalty-commitment and presence. Life has given me a million reasons to cry, and many more to laugh. Follow me on my recently launched blog, City Girl Seeking Culture in the Burbs, where I share stories highlighting my endless search for all that is inspiring in art, theater, music and fashion in the 'burbs. You can also follow me on Twitter @KWellington.

Comments

  • Wendy WB

    Great advice, as usual!

  • Suze NF

    Love the article and look forward to my 70s and even 80s! Does anyone have advice for the hubby that has lost interest? He’s the one that doesn’t want to go there very often. Things were great when we first got married but since having kids sex has dwindled to occasional holiday sex or maybe once every couple of months at other times. When it does happen, it’s as good as ever. I am mid 40s (he is early 50s), look after myself, have my own business, feel confident and attractive and most importantly still find him hot, gorgeous and love him to pieces! We have had many chats about this over the years and I know this is a sensitive issue for him – I go to great lengths not to critisize or blame him – but not sure if I can do this for the rest of my married life. Sometimes the conversations have led to arguments which just add fuel to the fire. I am 99% sure this isn’t about anyone else – he just doesn’t seem to want/need sex anymore. We have tried a few different things but always seems to go back to months of nothing, despite my best efforts.

    • Karla Wellington

      Suze thank you for reading the article and sharing your experience. Try and re-introduce the element of romance into your life by creating opportunities to go on dates without any sexual expectations. The rekindling of romance may potentially ignite some of the initial attraction through flirtation and re acquaintance and create anticipation which may lead to some flirtatious nights.

  • Smith J

    Great insight! Getting stuck in that rut seems to be so easy for couples. It takes hard work to maintain the passion, but definitely worth it. A good movie came out recently starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as an older couple dealing with empty nest blues and a stagnant sex life – ‘Hope Springs’. Definitely worth a look, though it may be uncomfortable for some.

  • Catherine Astolfo

    This discussion is very refreshing and liberating. Not so long ago, women didn’t talk about sexual issues. The stereotype has also persisted, that any problems in the bedroom were strictly the woman’s fault. Karla’s article demonstrates that there are several sides to any problems. I might add here that men often experience physical difficulties as they age. Since males are often hesitant to seek medical help for a perceived delicate issue, it’s up to their partners to gently encourage them to do so. Serious illnesses can be prevented – plus halt tension in the bedroom. Congratulations, Conversation and Karla, for continuing this discourse. It’s encouraging, informative, and inspiring. Thanks.

  • olithee

    I have been with my partner for 7 years (am 27) and we have lost our sexual connection a few years ago.
    Dont get me wrong, we have not been more connected or happy together. Our first years were great and then I got sick and then we lost it.
    I have a complete trust in him and in myself so what if we could live without sex for a while ?

    Take care, Olithée

    • Karla Wellington

      Olithee thank you for reading my article. I love that you’re connected and happy every couple has their own manner of expression of love and sexual activity at a time of illness is not always feasible as I have been there myself with my Cancer journey, but the bonding through other means is so special. I’m happy for you. Thanks for sharing.

    • olithee

      You are absolutely right sexuality is not only what we all have in mind, it goes by nice little attentions and its probably a good start to reconnect. Thanks for replying, feeling lucky ; )

  • http://www.facebook.com/jana.luste Yana Yanamos

    Loved this article! I am only 21 and have never previously (or currently) been in a relationship with anyone, however wisdom like this helps me see the bigger picture of things and lets me get a glimpse of years to come in my life. I’ve never been one to look for a relationship or even really yearn for one, like I’ve come to realize so many other women out there do. However, this piece has helped me understand that even if I ever imagine what it would be like to be in a relationship now, I should just remind myself that there is no rush, because there will be so much to learn and experience in one anyway, and sex is just a fraction of it. Thank you for writing this, and thank you for helping seeing things in perspective where I must acknowledge that just because people say that your 20’s are some of the best years of your life, it doesn’t mean that just about everything gets worse as you get older. And I believe that many people out there don’t imagine having sex in their 60’s!

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