YOU MIGHT NOT mind the side effects that come along with aging. It’s hard to argue with a little George Clooney salt-and-pepper action in your hair, financial stability (finally), and a peak in endurance performance (seriously, research found the pinnacle athleticism for guys who do ultratriathlons is 41).
And while your 40s aren’t exactly kind to your sex life, don’t start panicking just because you’ve started noticing some changes, or you’re nervous about the changes to come. A lot of men worry about the effects of aging, and can start feeling so anxious they actually cause more problems for themselves. Sure, sex in your 40s is different from sex in your 20s, but those differences really don’t need to be that big of a deal—in fact sometimes they can even be a good thing.
Here’s what you need to know to keep the sex hot and healthy in your 40s and beyond.
1. Get serious about your health
Medical issues can play a bigger role in your sex life as you get older. If you haven’t already, it’s time to get into a good routine with sleep, exercise, and healthy eating. It’s also important to stop smoking. A lot of men don’t realize inhaling cigs by the carton is a major cause of performance issues—and the effects can worsen the older you get.
You may also want to get your hormone levels checked if you start noticing any changes to your sex drive or energy levels. While you’re at the doctor’s office, make sure to talk to your doctor about possible sexual side effects of any medications you’re on. Medications for blood pressure, diabetes, even allergies can lead to erectile and orgasm problems.
2. Be careful about STIs
STI transmission rates for people in their 40s and older are on the rise. A lot of people are coming out of long-term relationships or marriages, and tend to forget the safe sex basics as they get back into the dating pool. Plus, STI transmission can be easier as you age. Your skin naturally starts to thin as you get older. You’re more susceptible to microtears, which can transmit infections. The advice here is easy: Don’t forget to wrap it up!
3. Don’t freak out about performance issues
As you get older, you’ll naturally experience more frequent performance issues. In particular, you may find it takes longer to get erect, and that your erections can sometimes subside in the middle of sex. It can take longer to orgasm, and you may also notice your refractory period (the time it takes you to get hard after having an orgasm) is longer. These types of changes are just a part of life. They don’t have to be a big deal, you just need to make some minor adaptations to the way you approach your sex life (more on this below). The key is not to freak out or start getting anxious. Those feelings tend to snowball, and create self-fulfilling prophecies.
Men’s Fitness is a leading source of information, from Mzanzi and around the globe, on fitness, training, health & nutrition, adventure, high profile athletes, fashion, lifestyle tips, expert advice and much more.