How Does Sex Change As You Age?
As you've grown older have you noticed a change in your appetite and attitude to sex? If the answer is yes, that's not surprising because our bodies change over the course of a lifetime.
Here's a rundown of what you might sexually expect in each decade of your life.
In Your Twenties
Physical problems are less frequent in our 20s as bodies are younger and more athletic. Our hormones are pretty high as this point too and we've got the highest levels of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone we'll ever have. The optimum for time for sex is said to be two to four days before ovulation, when baby-making hormones surge.
However, we might be shy or inhibited about sex and PMS can affect us as hormones try to stabilise. The combined pill may also have a libido-dampening effect.
Women in their thirties are expected to be hornier than ever, hitting a sexual peak at 40. Unfortunately testosterone starts to drop here and your sex drive may go the other way.
Life stresses also play a part in dampening the old libido. Worries about mortgages, new families or ageing parents all take a toll on a woman's sex drive.
Fortunately orgasm becomes easier to achieve in this decade mostly because ladies have figured out what they like in bed. Orgasm for women can be more about an emotional connection or fantasy than the mechanics, making the big O more of a reality and therefore more of a reason to have sex.
At this point, some women start to care less about their perceived physical flaws and become uninhibited in the bedroom. Often childbirth can provoke this because after a surgical team has seen your innards, leaving the lights on for cowgirl is second nature.
In Your Forties
Vaginas change as women age. They can become shorter, narrower and the walls may stiffen up. This is due to falling testosterone levels; which are half of the level you had in your mid-twenties.
Vaginal dryness can strike now as well as a whole host of menopause symptoms like night sweats, depression and mood swings as the menopause gathers pace. Water-based lubricants are the answer to dryness issues.
Women can face a re-evaluation of life at this point. Perhaps children have left home, the menopause is over (woo!) and they need to adjust to a different life. This can push your sex drive either way. Physically, vaginal dryness and lack of libido may continue due to the big menopausal oestrogen drop.
Sex is still on the menus in your sixties and beyond, but physical problems like arthritis and their medications can take a toll - the mind is willing but the body is not. For the majority of women, menopausal symptoms have declined and they are balanced out again. Lube is essential now, but a lack of inhibitions can make this decade of sex one of the best.
Whatever decade you've reached, remember that your age does not protect you against contracting an STI. Only a condom can do that. You may not need contraception anymore but you do need STI protection.
If you're experiencing problems with your libido, whatever your age, make an appointment to see your doctor - there are many ways they can help you and you certainly won't be the first to ask.