Sex without intercourse is still sex. Sex is any activity that arouses you and brings you sexual pleasure. Here are some reasons why we should expand our exploration of sex beyond penetration— especially as we age: Your body is a wonderland of sensation.
Seeing sexual expression as solely one set of genitals entering another set of genitals limits the possibilities of sex. Erections may become undependable as we age. Anxiety about erections being hard enough or lasting long enough causes even more erectile undependability. Performance anxiety is an erection killer. Medical issues — age-related or not — may make intercourse impossible.
Penetration may become uncomfortable or even painful for many women as we age. Our vaginas are drier and the tissues are thinner. The clitoris, not the vagina, is the pleasure place for most women. Many women find intercourse very pleasurable and exciting but still require clitoral stimulation; for others, clitoral pleasure is the main event.
This can get uncomfortable or painful for women partners see 5. Judging sexual success by whether or not the penis was hard enough or the vagina receptive or responsive enough just adds stress. Try taking the focus off intercourse and focusing on goal-free sensation and pleasure instead. Sexual Expression Without Penetration: What to Do Instead One of the biggest problems with focusing our sexuality on penetration is that it makes us ignore all the other ways we can express ourselves sexually, arouse each other, share intimacy and enjoy orgasms.
There are many options. Some will be perfect for you, while others might not attract you. Learn, sample, experiment and create your own menu of possibilities. Here are some non-PIV ways to enjoy sex: Our skin is our largest sex organ. Invite your partner to touch your body all over—no goals, just pleasure. On a different day, switch to exploring your partner. Share sensual, full-body massage. Your goal is to give delicious, relaxing pleasure. A full-body massage may lead to arousal and even orgasm — or it may just be a relaxing end in itself.
Explore new erogenous zones. Our erogenous zones can change as we age. Explore new ways to touch: Sometimes the difference between getting aroused or not is not where you touch as much as how you touch. Give and ask for feedback to communicate how fast and how much pressure feels good. What you find exciting may change as you get aroused. Oral sex is king! All genders find that the combination of the warmth, pressure and wetness of the mouth with the movement of the tongue invites us to orgasm better than intercourse.
Be willing to give your partner feedback about what feels good. Especially after plenty of all-over touching, stimulating the vulva or penis with hand and fingers can bring you to a strong orgasm. What rhythm do you like — slow and steady, maybe, or fast pulsing, or cha-cha-cha, or …?
A well-chosen, well-placed vibrator can be the difference between orgasm and no orgasm. Whether you like clitoral stimulation or the feeling of a full vagina or both, a well-designed vibrator can give you the intensity you need for orgasm.
Sex toys for penises are just as important and pleasurable as they are for vulvas. We know our own bodies best. Many couples find it very intimate to enjoy self-pleasuring together — you pleasure yourself, your partner does the same, and you either watch each other simultaneously or take turns. Masturbating together can be a joyful experience, and we can also use it to teach each other how we like to be pleasured.
The anus is alive with pleasurable nerve endings in people of all genders and orientations, and anal stimulation can heighten or cause an orgasm. For men who still have prostates, prostate massage with a finger or an anal sex toy with a flared base can be intensely erotic and orgasm-inducing.
Tantra is an ancient Hindu practice of combining the physical and spiritual into a slowed down, high-consciousness, meditative sexual practice. Many people over 60 report that their sexual connection with their partner is greatly enhanced after taking classes and reading books about how to do this see my resources list, below. Let go of goals — focus on pleasure. We have so many different choices for pleasure and intimacy. When you do that, you miss out on discovering lots of other delicious possibilities!
Change is inevitable, but embracing change and discovering new ways to experience pleasure can be amazing and as exciting as first sexual experiences were. Touch a lot during non-sexual times. Stand and sit close to each other. Try to get your awareness away from yourself how do I look?
Spend lots of time kissing. Kissing stimulates the brain and revs up the sex drive, as well as bonding you with your partner. For extra intimacy and excitement, try relaxing into your kissing and breathing in sync. You might like to start this way: Schedule two dates that you agree will be sexual pleasure dates without intercourse: Give each other plenty of feedback in the moment about what feels good, using words, gestures, moans, etc.
Talk later about what you both experienced. What was it like? What did you learn as the receiver? What did you learn as the giver? What did you enjoy enough to keep in your repertoire? What would you like to try next? Negotiating Better Sex Sometimes sex is a negotiation, especially with a new partner.
What do you like? What do you need to reach orgasm? What is uncomfortable for you physically or emotionally? What is absolutely off-limits? Sex columnist Dan Savage said this in a recent podcast: Everything has to be discussed and negotiated.
Straight people sometimes say to me, I wish I could have more sex. Which of these approaches might fit your style? How and when will you bring up your sexual needs and limitations? If intercourse will be problematic or not an option, how and when do you put that on the table? I suggest bringing it up early, as soon as you see that the relationship is headed toward sex.
Rather than frame your need or desire for sex without penetration as a sad limitation or an apology, word it in a positive way, such as some variation of these statements: Can we explore how to make love to each other without the goal of intercourse? I have to tell you that we might not be able to have intercourse. We have fingers and tongues and dirty thoughts and pretty underwear.
It is all about the two beings connecting. It is only secondarily about the bodies. The basic building block is the connection between the two live beings.