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Sexual and Intimacy Health

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Sexual and Intimacy Health

Intimacy As You Age

Many men can enjoy sexual activity throughout their lives. But sexual responses change as people age. To get and keep an erection, an older man is likely to need more fantasy or touching than a man in his 20s. Older men may take longer to climax. Also, women's sexual responses may change as they age. Knowing about these changes can help you and your partner maintain an intimate relationship that grows with time.

The Aging Process

The Aging Process
The Aging Process

As people age, they often become less active. This can reduce muscle strength and cause weight gain. Sleep patterns may change. As a result, both men and women may have less energy. In men, testosterone levels begin falling in the late 30s or early 40s. In women, hormone levels decline after menopause (when menstruation stops). These and other changes in both men and women can affect sexual response.

Taking care of your body and mind can help make sex easier and more pleasurable - for men and women. If you haven't already, try the self-care tips below.

  • Quit smoking.
  • Drink less alcohol.
  • Exercise often. (Talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program.)
  • Reduce the stress in your life
  • Keep your appointments with your doctors, counselors, and other health care providers.

Building Intimacy

Building Intimacy
Building Intimacy

Being intimate means being close as a couple, with sex as just one part of intimacy. A hug, a kind remark, or a gift can be very romantic, even if sex doesn't always follow. So renew your intimacy, along with your sex life. Spend time doing things you both like. Learn to talk with, and listen to, your partner. And remember that your value as a man or woman goes beyond what you do in bed.

Tips for talking

Tips for talking
Tips for talking
  • It's okay to be shy when you talk about sex with your partner. But talking gets easier with practice. Use these tips when you talk with each other.
  • Choose a time and place when you're both relaxed and comfortable.
  • Listen to your partner. Try repeating back what you think the other has said. This will help show if you've understood each other.
  • Don't judge what your partner says. Talking feels safer if you don't criticize each other.
  • Don't be defensive. You may not like something your partner says. But you can still thank your partner for being honest.
  • Think about meeting with a counselor. They're trained to help couples who are being treated for ED.

Tips for intimacy

Tips for intimacy
Tips for intimacy
  • As you and your partner become closer to each other, you might find that you can enjoy sex more.
  • Show and tell your partner what you like. If you don't, your partner might not know what you want.
  • Ask your partner to show you how he or she wants to be touched.
  • Be patient. Take your time. Relax. Give your selves a chance to become aroused.
  • Try being intimate without intercourse. Instead, exchange back rubs. Or try kissing, or just a soft touch.
  • Focus on what you and your partner like about each other. This could be a certain laugh or smile, or other joys you share together.