Great Sex in Midlife Self Help Advice

Written by Paul Wolf

Getting older doesn't mean it's lights out for your sex life.

Myth: Your sex life has seen better days, and decline is all you have to look forward to.

Truth: If sex is just about raging hormones and feats of stamina, youth takes the prize. But there is so much more to the complete picture of sex and intimacy, says Dr. Bernie Zilbergeld, author of The New Male Sexuality.


Zilbergeld believes the following are more important than age:


The quality of openness, sensitivity and communication in your relationship.


The ability to focus on both giving and receiving.


The level of comfort and trust shared by you and your partner.


Your ability to be "present in the moment" without letting expectations or goals rule you.


With experience can come ever-increasing pleasure. "The lucky ones who have had the benefit of a sensitive, longtime partner, or a number of such partners, know they can keep growing sexually," says Zilbergeld.


From a "performance" standpoint, there is a difference between young, old and those in between, says Zilbergeld, an Oakland-based sex therapist who currently is working on a myth-busting book about sex in later life.


"What is important is to be a great lover, not a great performer," he says. "That takes years or decades to get really good at it."


People in their early adult years tend to leave a lot to be desired in the "great lover" department, he adds.


Zilbergeld alludes to a study of middle-aged people in which nearly four out of 10 rated their sex not as equal or inferior to when they were young adults, but as "better than ever."


Naturally, there are important health considerations that may be thrown into the mix. But healthy adults of all ages have the ability to grow sexually.


Bottom line: Sex is more about relating and mutual pleasure-giving than about objective standards of performance.

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