13 Things You Need to Know About Sex in Your 40s

You may need to put a little more work into it

You can thank declines in hormone levels for the fact that you may not be ready to go at a moment’s notice. If you’re really missing desire, check out ways you can improve your sex life in just one day. “Both men and women deal with hormone changes in their 40s that can cause changes in sexual arousal, desire and general physical comfort during sexual activity,” says Shannon Chavez, PsyD, CST, a licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist in Los Angeles. “Changes in hormones may require an increase in stimulation during sexual activity or increased focus on sensual pleasuring in order to get aroused.”

You may be wilder in the sack

Think you’re in for the same old, same old if you’re in a long-term relationship? Think again—that’s just one of the many myths about aging. “Couples in their 40s are having some of the best sex of their lives—they have more permission and motivation to explore different aspects of sexuality,” Dr. Chavez says. “Couples may try kink, role play, watch erotica together, open their relationship or try Tantra in their 40s. Couples are more open to exploring at this age due to sexual confidence, a stronger sense of sexual self, desire to make sex more playful, or feeling deeper emotional bonding for more meaningful and passionate sex.”

You’ll need to start paying attention to your heart health

We’re not talking about the state of your love life. Your cardiovascular system is key to a thriving sex life. “A healthy cardiovascular system is essential to sexual functioning,” says Gracie Landes, a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sexual therapist in New York City. “Maintaining good physical health is important.” That means keeping up with your cardio, but don’t skimp on the strength training, either. You’ll have more energy for fun in the sack, and the confidence that comes with looking better always helps—heck, even just going to the gym increases libido.

You may go through a lull—and that’s OK

Sexual desire may fluctuate—and you might be starting to head into the slow decline that comes for many couples as they age. “A lull in your sex life, no matter what age, is inevitable,” says Dr. Chavez. “People in long-term relationships get comfortable and may lose the routines around sex that worked in earlier phases of the relationship like getting ready for sex, taking each other out on dates, flirting, and being playful with one another. Couples are not always talking about sex in healthy ways that enhance desire for connection. The important part is being able to talk about it with your partner or a professional.”


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