The normal aging process in both men and women comes with a number of changes; be it emotional, physical or mental. These changes sometimes affect the ability, or even the desire to have sex in older people; as with younger adults, problems relating to sexuality would be considered the greatest challenge, especially due to the intimate nature of such problems.
Causes of Sexual Problems
One of the main causes of sexual problems as we age is changes in the body. For women this can include vaginal changes that result to a thinner, shorter and narrower vagina. It may also lead to less vaginal lubrication, affecting sexual function and enjoyment. For men, erectile dysfunction, which is the inability to maintain an erection for sexual intercourse becomes a common occurrence. This causes the man to take longer to get aroused, to have a flaccid, smaller erection and the man in question may also have a difficult time coming to climax.
Illnesses and specific medication, disabilities or surgery also affect the ability to have sex, and may also make it impossible to enjoy a fulfilling sexual relationship. Diseases that come at an advanced age, such as arthritis, dementia, stroke, bladder incontinence and heart disease all affect the ability of older persons to enjoy sex. In addition to the illnesses, unfavorable side effects of some of the medication used to treat and manage these diseases may cause a lack of interest in sex, or affect the ability of the body to get aroused for sexual performance. In other instances, alcoholism and depression also cause erection problems in men and delay orgasm in women.
How to handle challenges that come with aging
One useful way of facing the aging process is to make your partner a priority. It is possible to enjoy better and more fulfilling sex in old age, than you did as a younger couple. This is because there is less pressure at this stage in your life, more privacy and more time together. This means that worries about finances, retirement and medical challenges should be resolved conclusively, even with a therapist or financial advisor if need be. This leaves ample time to enjoy with each other, and appreciate the changes that you are both undergoing. It also gives you time to experiment different positions, or timing for sex, as there are no mandatory schedules in your lives at this pointy in time. Most importantly, you should relax and focus on each other’s needs, and perhaps spend more time touching, kissing, hugging and caressing so as to achieve full arousal.
Secondly, it is important to resist the temptation to use medication and drugs to enhance sexuality, especially for men as most of these medicines may affect your heart, unless specific pills are prescribed by a doctor. For women, the use of suitable water based lubricants is recommended to relieve vaginal dryness and make sex more comfortable. In other cases, a doctor may recommend the use of a vaginal estrogen to relieve the effects of menopause that affect the woman’s sexuality. In conclusion, open communication with your partner is always a sure way of identifying and managing and sexual problems, while resisting the urge to use pills and other potentially life threatening sexual aids.
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