By Diana Kelly
In case you haven’t heard, Miley Cyrus thinks sex dries up after 40. In a “Today” interview with Matt Lauer last fall, the 21-year-old said, “I heard when you turn 40, things start to go a little less sexual. So probably around 40, around that time, I heard that’s when people don’t have sex anymore.”
While that quote set off a slew of Twitter responses and blog post retaliations, the general consensus around the web was that, um, yea, that’s not true. (Miley, haven’t you heard that 40 is the new 30?)
Sure, your sex life is going to ebb and flow over the years as your body changes, yours and your partner’s sex drive changes, and overall you might slow down a bit in life with age- that certainly doesn’t mean sex after 40 can’t be hotter than it’s ever been.
Here’s why sex after 40 can be better than ever and tips on how to keep your sex life fun and exciting:
1. You know how to take matters into your own hands
In a 2004 AARP survey, almost half the women between the ages of 45 and 49 said they had taken matters into their own hands in the previous 6 month, according to an article on Prevention.com. And women aren’t just relying on their hands: A University of Indiana survey in 2009 said that more than half the women in the study had used a vibrator at least once, nearly one in four had used one in the previous month, and that women who used a vibrator reported more positive sexual function.
2. You shouldn’t be shy about phone sex
If you or your guy have busy travel schedules for work, consider adding phone sex into your relationship to keep things hot. According to a 2004 survey by AARP, only 17% of men and 18% of women between the ages of 45 and 49 have had phone sex, the article on Prevention.com reported. If that’s still a big step for you, start off with suggestive texts to let him know you miss him and are thinking about him. Or, wear something sexy when you talk via Skype or FaceTime, so he’s thinking about that outfit the rest of the trip.
3. You should find lube you love
As women age, our bodies don’t provide as much natural lubrication. Luckily, there are a huge variety of lubricants on the market that can help so you’;re not in pain. Even better, those sexual health researchers that we love at Indiana University discovered that women who used lubricant during sex reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction and pleasure.
4. You’re both spending more time on foreplay
Your guy’s erections probably aren’t as frequent or hard as they were in his 20s and 30s, but that doesn’t mean sex can’t be just as satisfying. He might need more hands-on help from you and you might want to spend some time caressing and massaging the rest of his body as well to get him excited and bring him to orgasm, suggests Michael Castlemen, creator of GreatSexAfter40.com. In a blog on PsychologyToday.com he says, “Men don’t need erections to have orgasms. Even with an older, balky, or even flaccid penis, a comfortable setting, vivid erotic fantasies, and a woman’s loving – and vigorous – caresses are enough to trigger climaxes that feel as enjoyable as ever.” In an article on NextAvenue.org, writer Suzanne Braun Levine says that women are finding “new routes” to orgasm that can lead to more pleasure. The women Braun Levine talked to for her article said that finding new foreplay activities – more stroking, kissing, holding – builds intimacy among lifelong partners as well as first-timers.
5. Your sexual attitude is a positive one
As we age, we learn to sweat the small stuff less and cherish the moment more – this definitely applies to sex, says Braun Levine in her article. One woman she interviewed said, “One of the reasons that people might be satisfied with their sex lives as they age is that they finally learn to expect less and appreciate more. Lord knows, as you age, you realize there are more and more things that you can’t change.”