That’s too bad, experts say, because even serious medical conditions need not prevent elders from having a satisfying sex life

That’s too bad, experts say, because even serious medical conditions need not prevent elders from having a satisfying sex life

Some studies also suggest that the supplement ginkgo biloba, which increases circulation, can help treat impotence, but others show no such effect. Men should always check with their dong other things, ginkgo hookupdate.net/de/parship-review/ can interact with anticoagulants to cause a stroke. Despite these hopeful prognoses, studies show that only a fraction of the seniors who could be treated for sexual problems actually seek medical help. Seniors should see a physician if they’ve lost interest in sex or are having sexual difficulties. Some sedatives, most antidepressants, excessive alcohol, and some prescription drugs have side effects that interfere with sex; a doctor can help adjust medication or set guidelines on alcohol intake. Illnesses, disabilities, and surgeries can also affect sexuality, but in general, even disease need not interfere with sexual expression.

For men, «biology or hydraulics» is the biggest impediment to sex later in life, says Dr

The physical changes that occur with age can give older people a chance to revitalize their lovemaking by focusing more on intimacy and closeness instead of sex alone. Often less preoccupied with performance, they can express their affection and closeness in other ways, such as cuddling, kissing, and stroking.

«Sex is being warm and caring; sex isn’t just sex,» says Christopher Rhoades,* 66, a San Francisco Bay Area college professor who’s been married for 18 years. «It feels good to lay next to a naked woman’s body.»

As he grows older, Rhoades says he doesn’t feel the «compulsion» to have sex as much as he did when he was younger. With a grown son still living at home, he says he makes love less often than he’d like but still enjoys it very much. «There’s a great beauty in the freedom from necessity. Sex becomes more a matter of choice and is more interesting and intriguing for each partner,» he says.

But among older women who are widowed, divorced, or single, finding a partner can be difficult. According to several reports, women make up the majority of the elderly without partners. The reasons: women live longer than men, and healthy older men tend to pair up with younger women. Older women are also judged by society as less attractive than their male counterparts, a double standard that women’s groups have long decried.

Missing male companionship, she has gone out on blind dates and actively sought out partners through dating services and personal ads — an exercise, she says, in «futility and frustration

This «partner gap» greatly inhibits women’s social and sexual activity as they reach their senior years. In the NCOA study, older men are more likely than older women to be married and have sex partners.

Mia Pickering,* a 74-year-old San Diego author, knows this all too well. Widowed after two 20-year marriages, she finds herself single again. «A lively man with something to offer can find a woman 10 or 20 years below his own age, which leaves women in my age bracket generally out of the running,» she says.

Despite these challenges, Pickering, like many seniors, wants to have sex and intimacy in her life. «At this point I don’t have a lot of loose lust flying around,» she says. «My sex drive has diminished, but if I met a man that really attracted and interested me, it could be restarted.»

After grieving for several years over her husband’s death from Alzheimer’s, Wellborn began a new relationship with a man in his 80s. They occasionally have sex, but mostly they enjoy each other’s company, she says. «He wants so badly to have an erection, but it’s hard for him,» she says. «It might be the heart medication he’s taking that causes the problem, because he’s a very virile man. So we just have sex in a different way — I don’t mind at all — and we’re also very affectionate. He says it’s so nice to wake up next to me.»

Men may suffer from impotence or have more difficulty achieving and sustaining erections as their blood circulation slows and testosterone levels decrease. Impotence is also more prevalent in men who have a history of heart disease, hypertension, or diabetes. Now, however, sildenafil citrate (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis) have aided some older men who weren’t helped by other treatments. (Some experts, in fact, worry that these drugs may cause an upsurge in AIDS in people over 50, because they are not likely to take precautions; they urge older people who are dating to practice safe sex.)