How to Assure a Long Road of Optimal Sexual Health

As an integral part of health, well-being, and general quality of life, sexual health is sometimes thought of as a taboo topic. Many older adults experience a decline in sexual responses and libido as they age. However, many aren’t aware of some extremely beneficial ways they can support their sexual health so that it is long-lived into their advancing years. 

Several factors can contribute to a lack of sexual arousal when it comes to intimacy. Health-related issues such as illness or surgery can decrease libido. Secondly, hormone changes as you age may reduce your feelings of sexual desire. Many types of medications may also reduce your sexual response. However, when these situations are addressed, it may help you and your partner become even closer.  

As partners age, one or both partners may become unable to partake in sexual experiences. If decreased libido is due to illness or surgery, blood flow and nerve response may be reduced in the pelvic area or the central nervous system. This can put a huge damper on intimate experiences as the body devotes its internal resources to overcoming the illness or recovering from surgery. However, partners can develop other ways to feel close during this recovery time, such as planning a romantic date night, reminiscing over fond memories and experiences, or spending quality time together.  

Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy a satisfying and fulfilling sex life. Luckily, there are a few key lifestyle changes that can make a big difference in your ability to enjoy a healthy sex life throughout your later years. 

Here are a few ways you can help assure a long road of optimal sexual health – at any age:  

1. Healthy Exercise and Diet  

This combination makes sense for many reasons. Staying fit by getting regular exercise is one of the best ways to keep healthy in general. In addition, keeping yourself fit is linked to a better mental state, which is also a key factor to promote sexual health. Eating well, especially focusing on a whole-food, plant-based diet can help boost your energy levels, keep your blood flowing, and helps maintain a flexible, responsive, and pain-free body.  

2. Smoking? Oh, it’s So Passé 

Smoking is a health nightmare, being the leading cause of lung cancer and which also escalates the, incidence of coughs, colds, and asthma. Additionally, smoking can cause serious health concerns such as pneumonia, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smoking elevates your risk of chronic lung disease largely because tobacco loads the body with toxic combustion by-products and also causes the blood vessels to constrict throughout the body (yes, even “down there”). Play it safe and put the cigarette down!  

3. Kiss Me Again . . . Or Maybe Not! 

Despite the portrayal in some romantic movies, drinking hard alcohol (such as whiskey or rum) does not facilitate a sexual encounter. . . and even the opposite. Research indicates that consuming large quantities of hard alcohol can have a decidedly negative impact on sexual health and libido for both men and women.  

4. Pillow Talk: Healthy Communication 

One of the best ways to enjoy an intimate moment is to feel unreservedly comfortable, where loving, non-judgmental communication between you and your partner can take place. Choosing to discuss your sexual preferences openly can lead to a mutual feeling of respect and love and can help set boundaries that will make sure both parties feel comfortable during intimacy.  

5. Sexual Safety 

Growing older should mean growing wiser. One wise choice is to acknowledge the risks and dangers of sexually transmitted diseases – and how to prevent them. Make it a point for you and your partner to openly discuss any sexually transmitted infections or diseases either of you might have or had in the past so you can take proper precautions to protect yourselves. 

When it comes to sexual health as you age, looking forward is better than looking back. While it may be impossible to regain the sexual activity level you experienced in your 20s and 30s, you can still have incredible, intimate experiences as you get older. Don’t let age or poor habits impact your sexual health – take charge today!