For many women, the thought of aging and what comes with it (gray hair, wrinkles, hot flashes anyone?!) may not exactly put them in the mood. Some assume that sex simply takes a backseat as the years pass — and it's true that life gets busy and complicated, and sex isn't always at the top of the agenda.
Whether you're worried that getting older will make you feel less physically sexy or less interested in getting laid, it's true that your sex life may change as you age, but that doesn't mean it has to change for the worse. While maintaining satisfying sex does take work — especially if you're in a decadeslong monogamous relationship — studies actually show that sex often can, believe it or not, get even better with age.
Curious about why and how getting older can make some women feel even hotter and headier between the sheets? We talked to real women who spilled their great-sex-at-any-age secrets..
“I can't recall the last time I felt worried and shut down over some insecurity about my body, my partner's body or whatever we're doing together. When I was young, that's how I felt all the time. But now, it's sex with full lights on, lots of noises, during which I ask for what I want, accept what's offered and just go for it. I'm never disappointed by sex, because with maturity comes acceptance and gratitude, both for my many diverse sexual partners and for myself.” — Stephanie, 45, Mesa, Arizona
“As we get older, sex isn't just a function of unbridled lusty attraction. Sex and intimacy, when you're over 50 and have had more than 25 years together, becomes an extension of the sacredness of a life shared. It isn't even simply sex anymore, but rather an open-hearted communication of two souls. When we honor our own innate soulfulness, only then can we honor our partner's innate soulfulness. This enables a couple to share a smile that's a divine, sacred union that just might lead to divine, sacred lovemaking." — Renee Tarantowski, 50, Mundelein, Illinois
“My fear of getting pregnant in my 20s, 30s and even 40s made me more paranoid about sex. Even when I was on birth control, I worried because I had friends who got pregnant while on the pill. Being preoccupied with that worry made great sex very, very difficult for me. Now that I'm in my 50s, and there's no biological way for me to get pregnant, I have a lot less anxiety when I have sex — and that spells better sex." — Mary, 56, Woodstock, New York
“By the time I reached 50, I knew my body better than ever. After having kids and going through menopause, my body changed so much — including and especially what turned me on and made me orgasm. Now that I know what my body likes, it makes sex that much more fun and satisfying with my husband." — Judith, 62, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
“I’m definitely more comfortable with my body today than I was in my 20s and 30s. While I still exercise, I don’t worry anymore about my love handles, thighs and stretch marks. That’s a far cry from when I was nearly anorexic in my youth because I worried how my boyfriends would see my body. I’m happily married and my husband couldn’t give a lick about my soft areas. Losing these concerns and growing confidence over the years has made sex better." — Chris, 43, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Deeper emotional connection
“I used to read page after page of 'sex advice' in all those women's magazines when I was younger. I feel like a lot of it distorted my vision of what good sex is. As I got older, I put the magazines down and listened to what I wanted, not what the world told me I should want. It was then that I actually started enjoying sex. It wasn’t easy, though; it took two failed marriages to realize that sex isn’t just about the physical, but also so much about the mental and emotional." — Faith, 51, Sacramento, California
Quality over quantity
“I don’t worry about how frequently I'm having sex anymore. It's natural that when you’re younger, you’re having more of it. But my husband and I are both in our 70s and just don’t have the energy and stamina that we used to. That’s not to say we don’t get physical with each other. Just because we’re having less sex doesn’t mean we’re not sexually satisfied. Over time, you develop a closeness and trust, like you’re one person. That said, even things as simple as a hug and kiss feel wonderful with him. And when we do have sex, it’s just as magical as it’s always been." — Anne, 73, Montclair, New Jersey
Less stress, more sex
“It’s really not until after you retire and the kids are off to college and on their own that you really have the time to relax and enjoy each other. Sex always felt good with my husband, but it was often hard to squeeze it in. Making time for sex physically and mentally can be challenging, but now that we have less stress, our sex life has become more fun and relaxed. It's easier to be present.” — Stevie, 64, Overland Park, Kansas