Men, ageing and sex: how it changes

Siski Green / 12 November 2015

It’s not all about erectile dysfunction for men… find out the unexpected ways sex might change as you age.



You’ll worry about your erection

Where you probably once worried about getting erections at the wrong times (in public places, while kissing a new girlfriend and so on), now you worry about not getting one when you need it! 

While erectile dysfunction is what most people associated with ageing, sex and men, it isn’t as common as you might think – according to research on persistent erectile dysfunction, as opposed to a one-off occasion, only 4% of men in their fifties and 17% of those in their sixties suffer with it. 

That said, researchers believe the main causes of ED are physical - specifically the body’s inability to pump blood around the body efficiently, resulting in a flaccid penis. So if you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, you are at higher risk.

Read our guide to enjoying sex with erectile dysfunction.

Your libido won’t be the same

You may have been gasping for it 24-7 when you were younger and you might find it worrying that you’re not thinking about sex every second anymore, but it’s perfectly natural. 

“It’s not that your libido is in trouble, it’s more often that you are enjoying other aspects of your life more,” says Kerner. “So, for example, you might get a thrill out of travelling to exotic places, or deep satisfaction from playing golf. It doesn’t mean you’ve gone off sex, just that your priorities have changed.”

Find out what no one will tell you about sex over 60.

Nighttime is more about sleep than sex

It’s not just that you’re getting old and so want to get to bed earlier, it’s also because not being able to get a good night’s sleep reduces your desire for sex. 

“Being tired is a far more important factor in sexual desire and libido than ageing in itself,” says Kerner. “So if you’re one of the many people who find it harder to get a good night’s sleep after you’ve hit retirement, you may also find this has a negative impact on your sex life.”

Find out how to get a better night's sleep.

You’ll enjoy sex even more

Well, it depends on how you define enjoyment but research consistently shows that older couples report more sexual satisfaction than their younger counterparts. 

“Usually this is down to being more relaxed about your body, its functions and what you enjoy,” says Kerner. “It might not seem logical but younger adults, with their youthful good looks, are often more insecure about how they look and feel than those who are older.” Feeling secure in your body is key to having great sex so enjoy that confidence!

Read our tips for five great ways to have better sex.

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