But with age, sex changes. It becomes less like the Fourth of July, and more like Thanksgiving. A medically problematic lifestyle, for example, smoking , typically accelerates the changes, and a healthy lifestyle may postpone them, but even men in robust health with exemplary lifestyles experience age-related sexual changes.
Depending on the man, the changes may develop gradually or surprisingly suddenly, like within six months. After 45 and certainly by 50, erections rise more slowly and become less firm and reliable. Sexual fantasies are no longer enough to raise one. Men need fondling, and as they grow older, often increasing amounts of more vigorous stroking. Unfortunately, many men mistake them for erectile dysfunction ED and become anxious that they're nearing the end of the erotic ropes.
This makes things worse. Anxiety constricts the arteries that carry blood into the penis, making erections even less likely. In addition, many medical conditions impair erections, accelerate age-related sexual changes, and contribute to ED: True ED involves inability to raise an erection despite extended, vigorous masturbation.
If older men can still get hard solo, they don't have ED. They have normal annoying, perhpas infuriating erection changes. Premature ejaculation PE may return. A recent scientifially rigorous survey shows that PE affects 31 percent of men in their fifties, 30 percent in their early sixties, 28 percent from 65 to 70, and 22 percent from 75 to PE has two major causes, anxiety and penis-centered sex.
Anxiety makes the nervous system—including the nerves that trigger ejaculation—more excitable. Young men are often anxious about sex: Will she let me? How do I do this? The reason PE sometimes returns after 50 is that age-related erection changes make men anxious: Will I get hard? Will I stay hard? Penis-centered sex puts more pressure on the little guy than he can handle. Our sexual culture is preoccupied with intercourse, which leads men of all ages to believe that erotic pleasure is located largely—or only—in the penis.
Older men, in fact, all men, should embrace leisurely, playful, whole-body touching and sensual massage, which reduces anxiety and allows arousal to spread all over the body. This takes pressure off the penis and reduces risk of PE. Intercourse fades from the sexual menu. Intercourse is fundamental to reproduction, but after the reproductive years, it becomes problematic. For older men, iffy erections and ED become increasingly prevalent. Meanwhile, older women, develop vaginal dryness and atrophy thinning and inflammation of the vaginal lining , which can make intercourse uncomfortable or impossible, even with lubricant.
With creative outercourse, older couples can enjoy very erotic, orgasmic sex without intercourse. If women involved with older men want to feel "filled up," well-lubricated fingers and dildos are good alternatives. Surprisingly few older men use erection drugs.
The myth is that older men pop erection pills routinely. The truth is that few have even tried them, let alone become regular users. German researchers surveyed 3, older men, 40 percent of whom reported erection difficulties. Ninety-six percent could name an erection drug, but only 9 percent had ever tried one.
Cornell researchers surveyed 6, older men, half of whom complained of erection problems. How many had tried a drug? The transition to slower arousal is disconcerting for many men, but it means that the sexual discord of youth can evolve into new sexual harmony. Couples who appreciate this can enjoy more fulfilling sex at 65 than they had at 25—even without erections and intercourse.