Sex for a lifetime

A recent story – Sex after 45 ‘infrequent, brief and low quality’ – makes it sound like sex starts going downhill at 30, and by 50 you might as well forget about it. I’m here to tell you that it does not have to be that way. I’m 49, and honestly it’s still getting better every year. I’ve talked to men and women ten, twenty and more years older than I who said it was still awesome.

Below are a few of the findings of the study on sex among older couples, in my words, and my comments on those findings

  • 85% only had sex in the bedroom, 64% always have the lights off, and the majority use only one position.
    — Nothing wrong with “vanilla”, but this suggests some repression or boredom, both of which will kill a sex life, especially after the lust of youth is gone. (See A week plus of sex tips for a series of tips on spicing up your sex life)
  • For the average 45-year, sex occurs once a week.
    — In reality that’s just not enough to sustain good sex, much less make it better. Practice is important.
  • On average sex, including foreplay, lasts 22 minutes.
    — Really? Why bother!? A quickie can be fun, but good sex takes time.
  • A third of people said they had cut sex short due to becoming too tired to continue.
    — This one I find rather scary – especially given how short sex tends to be for most. If you can’t do half an hour, you are asking for problems both in and out of bed. On the other hand, sex is an awesome aerobic workout.

Sex can be good for your entire life, if you work at it. However, it will take some work. Just because it’s as easy as falling into bed at 25 does not mean it will always be that way. Be ready to address problems as they arise. Ignoring sexual issues just makes them worse, and often there is a short window of opportunity for easily fixing things.

Useful link: Having erection problems? Frank Talk is an outstanding web resource for this issue. It’s not Christian, and it has a very few images of male genitalia, but it’s well done, clean, and not selling a lot of crazy products. I learned a couple of things I did not know in a few minutes there.

10 Comments on “Sex for a lifetime

  1. Good day, Paul..I agree with you..In about two weeks I’ll be 49 and sex for my wife and I seems to be getting more “explosive”! It’s like everything else, if you desire things to get better, you have to work on it..If not, it starts decaying..My marriage was at the stage of either it’s going to be a “once in a couple of months thing” or we were going to have to split..That was almost 4 years ago..Yes, it was really a lot of hard work..I do agree , it takes two..But, if the husband does what is right, in probably more than 98%, the women will react accordingly..

    Sorry, just had to comment..I am loving life with my sweetheart and lover of almost 3o years..Have a blessed day..

    Your brother,


  2. Are you saying that “vanilla” suggests boredom? How can you know that from a study? So much of what happens in the bedroom is prepared outside the bedroom, and so much of what happens in the bedroom happens in two people’s hearts. To conclude from a study that says most people use only one position, and saying something is wrong, is inconclusive, because it doesn’t take into account what happens inside the hearts of the two people in the bedroom. That study only appears to take into account what can be seen, not unseen.

    • @eppvolvo – I did not mean to say “vanilla” was bad, and have in the past said some couples are very happy with a very simple sex life. I’ve also said if you can’t be happy with a simple sex life, no amount of “spicing it up” is going to make it enjoyable.

      That said, decades of the same sex, in the dark, is very unusual for a couple who is really enjoying sex. It’s not that variety is making sex good, but rather that really enjoying sex tends to result in a bit of variety. I’m sure there are exceptions, but they are just that – exceptions.

      The study went beyond the seen, asking couples about their sex lives, and their perceptions of their sex lives and their sexuality. I would expect to see significant correlation between “I’m not sexual” and sex only in the dark. It’s not going to match up perfectly, but to a large degree the actions and the inner feelings do correlate.

  3. DW is 56, I am 52. Our sex life gets better as the years go by. I’m beginning to think she is more interested in sex than me. Wow, what a wonderful change. PTL!

    • As much as some younger folk may be suprised, as we have aged our relationship and sex life has moves to new levels… not always wild passionate abandon, but a freedom that comes with trust, understanding and a desire to please and pleasure each other. We are both 53, still much in love and discovering more about each other. We have had our ups and downs, but one thing that we both enjoy is sex… as often as we can!

  4. My comment is regarding your point “— In reality that’s just not enough to sustain good sex, much less make it better. Practice is important.”

    I generally agree with most of what you say, and find many of your posts helpful and educational. So, I don’t mean to be critical. Please realize I only intend this in the spirit of one desiring to hone an even sharper edge on a much treasured hunting knife.

    I think you are skating on thin ice if you make an unqualified statement, ostensibly as established fact (“In reality…”), about how often couples should make love. What works for you, and maybe for some other people you know and respect, is certainly worth sharing. But don’t you think it should come with a little qualification, such as “We have found that, for us, that’s just not enough…?”

    Thanks for taking the time and the risk of sharing so much of your life with us all. Keep up the good work.

    • @Jeff – I understand and appreciate your comment. What I have probably failed to be clear about is that everything I am talking about here is for older couples. In older couples there are some frequency related issues that are a function of aging bodies. The line will vary from couple to couple, but there is a line, and below that line a couples is going to see sexual decline. As with all things physical, our bodies change, and we find it more and more difficult to increase an activity. I won’t say it’s impossible, but it’s a rare couple of ANY age that is going to see their sex life remain mutually enjoyable having sex once a week, and it’s even more rare that a couples sex life is going to get better doing it once a week.

      • You clearly did not get my point, but I won’t waste any further bandwidth pestering you about it.

  5. Paul, I agree wholeheartedly with you on this!

    I am one of those who believes, contrary to popular thinking, that sex should actually get better over time and that if it declines into the abyss, it’s a bad sign for your marriage. Although it isn’t universally true, I believe the bedroom (or living room, bathroom, kitchen, back porch or wherever suits your fancy) is often a pretty good barometer of the health of your marriage.

    Bottom line: sex should get better over time because your marriage should get better.
    .-= Scott´s last blog ..Is Happiness the Right Goal in Marriage =-.

  6. Studies are basically a census. King David was punished by God for taking a census. If you look hard enough, you will find what a study eludes to, hidden in the obvious. We, as humans tend to put too much into a “study”, and I think we too often come up with wrong answers. The very reason God did not want David to take a census.

    If frequency of sexual intercourse is an indicator of the direction of a marriage, then David Livingston had a problem? Not! I can not think of a more passionate marriage I have ever read about. But then again, I wasn’t in their souls, so how can I really know.

    Don’t make the mistake of collecting people around you that agree with you.

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