There's no such thing as a sexpiration date! That's a myth. As we grow older we don't stop needing intimacy so if your sex life has come to a halt, here's how to get it going again.

More sex please!

The key to sexual desire lies in sex itself.

If you're having good sex you're bound to crave more of it so it's in your best interest to reignite that spark. Having regular sex has other benefits too.

Vaginal atrophy is an issue some menopausal women face. Tissues grow thinner, things get a little drier, and a little less elastic. This means that sex can be painful and uncomfortable, but regular sex and/or masturbation can help keep things in order. 

Dr Tessler-Lindau, Associate Professor of Gynecology at the University of Chicago, explains:

 

"If we don't use our biceps, they become weak. Likewise, if we're not using the pelvic muscles, hips or clitoris, those muscles and organs can get out of shape"

 

It may also be worth noting that regular sex between couples makes for more comfortable sex; the longer you leave it, the more difficult it becomes to, ahem, break the ice.

There is help at hand in the form of lubricants and estrogen treatments, so it is worth speaking to your doctor if you experience difficulties. 

Read more about sex and the menopause

 

Find the time

All too often sex is thought of as a night time activity. It makes sense—under the sheets, in close proximity to your partner, it may be the most intimacy most couples encounter on a day to day basis. But as relationships go on sleep tends to win over sex.

This doesn't necessarily mean there's a problem with the relationship. It's only human that after a long day relaxation takes priority. But don't forget there are other times of day, and all of them are ripe for some lovin'.

It is important to make time for sex. Believe it or not, sex in the early days of a relationship may have been fun because it felt spontaneous, but it probably never was. The fun bit about the honeymoon period was that sex was always on the cards, so you were always prepared for it. 

Making time for sex means you can set the environment, perhaps set up a date before hand, get yourself in the mood, and perhaps you could even introduce a bit of spontaneity into your love life by surprising your partner.

 

Fireworks vs embers

As mentioned previously, the early days of dating is sex filled and full of fireworks. But there's a lot to be said for embers. 

What do we mean when we say embers? Well, getting older means that we experience desire in new, often much more subtle ways. Learning to recognise these embers and not letting them pass is very important. 

Keep those embers going!

 

Eat sexy

Sexy watermelon

Coffee may give you bad breath but it also increases dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with your brain's pleasure system. It also increases blood flow, essential for achieving both male and female orgasm. Just remember to eat a mint before getting busy!

Ginseng root has been reported to improve erectile function—ask your doctors advice regarding this remedy.

Saffron contains several antioxidants believed to increase sexual desire. Cleopatra bathed in it before meeting her lovers, and the Romans sprinkled it on newlyweds' beds. 

Watermelon too has some sexy effects. According to research from the University of Texas A&M University, it contains the phytonutrient citrulline, which converts to an amino acid that relaxes blood vessels. So it may help improve blood flow to erectile tissue.

 

Get sweaty

88 per cent of women and 69 per cent of men reported a rise in their sexual performance after exercising 4 or 5 times a week. 

For men worried about erectile dysfunction, then exercise is particularly important as it increases blood flow to the penis. 

Yoga too has benefits, particularly among women. Not only does it help de-stress but it actually improves sexual function in 6 areas: desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, pain and overall satisfaction. Must be all those breathing techniques!

The most important thing about exercise is that it makes you feel better about yourself, and if your feeling fantastic, then good sex will undoubtedly follow.

Find out more ways to improve your sex life

 

Touchy feely

There is a lot to be said for foreplay and exploration. Take the time before sex to explore each other's bodies and remember to communicate. Communication is important when discovering erogenous zones.

If something is uncomfortable, or hurts, tell your partner what they should be doing instead. If it's too fast or slow, or is the wrong place, give a little direction. 

Equally if something feels fantastic—encourage it. If they've ever done something in the past that got you going and perhaps your partner hasn't done for a while, for heaven's sake tell them!

Kissing, caressing, and just feeling each other can really work up an appetite for a bit of the other.

 

Erectile issues

Erectile dysfunction happens for many reasons, whether its complications due to diabetes or depression or something else entirely. But this doesn't mean that intimacy is off the cards. It is possible to have a healthy sex life without penetrative sex. 

This could be a great opportunity to discover your partners body through touching, oral sex and use of toys. Advice can be sought from books, DVDs and websites. But remember not to pressure your partner and take it slowly.

Find more advice on erectile disfunction and intimacy here

 

Find another fantasy

Sexy lips

Unfortunately, after a long time of being with one person, sex can become boring. You know each other's tricks a little too well and can predict what's coming next. 

Instead of letting things go stale, talk to one another, tell them what you'd like them to do. Confess fantasies and encourage your partner to endulge in them.

Communication is key when it comes to sexual satisfaction, and one of the benefits of getting older is that we know ourselves better than ever and are less afraid to speak up.

 

Props and extras

If you're really looking to spice things up, there are many props out there to help. From vibrating rings, to the more traditional vibrators, sex toys are designed to titilate the nerves in your erogenous zones. 

Sex toys can open a new world of exploration for couples, and at the very least can make masturbation more fun. As mentioned earlier, the more you enjoy sex the more you want it, and that goes for masturbation too. Enjoying your time alone can lead to a more fulfilling sex life—particularly for women. Vibrators can actually help 

Even if you find using sex toys in the bedroom a little awkward, it can at least lead to a few laughs, which is in itself an aphrodisiac.

We've also seen a boom in erotic literature recently, thanks to 50 Shades of Grey. But it doesn't sotp at 50 Shades, there's a long history of erotic literature from the occassionally disturbing Marquis de Sade (who gave us the term sadism) to female writers such as Anais Nin. If you're struggling to find a fantasy, there is a world of literature waiting for you.

Erotic literature is also great to get you in the mood in the build up to sex, so make a little time to read a chapter or two before your lover arrives.

Imagination is of paramount importance in the sack.

 

Stay safe

If you're single and enjoying a vibrant sex life that's fantastic. Just remember to practice safe sex! 

 

Find a companion on Reader's Digest Dating.

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