As a longtime sex coach in my mid-50s, I find myself in a constant state of speaking truth to power when it comes to sex and aging. How is hot sex after 50 different from hot sex after 40? Or 20? How is it different from hot sex in the aftermath of divorce? Or during the hottest love affair of our lives?
The point is: hot sex matters. It generates and releases energy. It connects us to our fellow humans. For some of us, it is our most expressive and loving form of communication. For others, it’s a stretch of our internal resources that enlarges our humanity. For still others, it exposes and shares vulnerabilities that otherwise might weigh us down and close us off from the world.
When contemplating engaging in hot sex after 50, especially for women, many people are led astray into thinking hot sex just isn’t possible for them. Everything we read about sex after 50 has the same refrain: it’s over. So let’s tackle these ridiculous myths one at a time.
Myth #1: The “juicy bits” are all dried up
If I had a dime for every medical or therapizing treatise on my thinning and atrophying cunt, I’d actually be able to retire one day.
The truth: One truly great thing about my cunt in my 50s is that I understand and honor it. It birthed two spectacular children. It has been the site of insane multiply orgasmic nights that rival any porn star sex I’ve had the pleasure of downloading.
I love my cunt, and I can fully trust myself to notice and adjust for its waxing and waning juices. Lube has been my partner in great sex since I was in my 20s. The 50s are no different.
Myth #2: Your libido is dead
Is it really dead after 50? Deader than it was, say, after that first crushing breakup in your 20s? Or when you were taking care of an infant in your 30s? Is it deader than it was when you left that abusive lover in your 40s?
The truth: The thing about our libidos is that they thrive (or not) in the context of our lives. They demand attention (or not) in the confines of our physical and psychological wellness and the social and material worlds in which we find ourselves.
Age is beside the point. What’s happening in our lives right now is what’s relevant. Some of us might find ourselves turning our attention back to our partners after many years of parenting and sex-on-the-fly. Sex after 50 might mean the rediscovery of someone we cherish and relearning what gets us really hot.
Others may have never had the opportunity to stretch out into our fullness as sexual beings. Perhaps our 50s will give us a moment to pause and get with ourselves. What gets us off? If we were to create our sex highlight reel for posterity, what and whom is on it? What’s the significance of the reel? What breadcrumbs does it lay for us to follow back to our best sex?
Alternatively, for some people, our libidos may never have been the driver of our sensual and intimate lives. Asexual and demisexual 50-somethings may find relief in widely held assumptions that sex is not a significant aspect of life after 50. Rather than having to defend the ways desire and sex operate in their lives, aces in their 50s can just be without so much coercive noise about the centrality of sex in relationship.
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Our libidos thrive in contexts where we are maximally able to shape and express our sexualities. For some of us, our 50s will be a time when we are best able to create the conditions for sexual self-determination.
Myth #3: There’s not many people around to have sex with
The Partner Scarcity myth goes like this: if we’re single in our 50s, we’ve blown our chance at The One and are left with the world’s dating detritus, a club into which we must shamefully pursue membership.
The truth: The sexual scarcity narrative stands in direct contradiction to my OKCupid account, which flings 20- and 30-somethings at me rapid-fire on the daily. It seems there’s nothing more appealing to a horny young heterosexual man than the promise of sex without a future, a relationship with no elevator. We 50-somethings (especially we 50-something lesbians, apparently), are irresistibly sexy to prowling young solo males. So, if a hookup with a young cis or trans guy is what you are after, 50 is an awesome time to sort the field of six-pack abs.
Not into hookups? The wonderful thing about looking for partners in our 50s is that we are fully formed. We’ve made our mistakes. We’ve made many glorious choices that have created a life we can stand by. We have a cherished network of beloveds. And we possess perhaps the singular key to choosing well in partnership: we really know what our bottom lines are.
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Through trial and error, combat and compromise, we have come, over the course of our five-plus decades, to understand what we are willing to wiggle on and what is set in stone. This is an excellent basis upon which to find partners and forge a path to great sex.
Or not! Again: the great thing about our 50s is that we literally have zero fucks left to give. And this might mean a rich, sexy solo life, with the pursuit of sex partners finally, gratefully put to rest.
So, my darlings, I leave you with the advice I offer all my coaching clients, critical in every era, that works across all age groups, from teenagers to octogenarians:
Ignore the overwhelmingly racist, ableist, patriarchal chatter that proclaims you can’t create a vibrant sexual life on your own terms. You absolutely can. Go get it.
(Feature Image: Photo of an older woman standing outside with her arms up in the air and a radiant smile on her face as she looks upward toward the sky. She is wearing a light pink sleeveless sheath dress. Behind her is a tree and blurred house or building. Source: Italo Melo for Pexels)