Individuals between the age of 40 and 50 experience changes likely to affect their sex lives in different ways. According to Shannon Chavez, a licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist in Los Angeles, California, both men and women deal with hormonal changes in their 40s that can cause changes in sexual arousal, desire and general physical comfort during sexual activity.

For women, this period is associated with menopause and a fall in their oestrogen levels, which controls sex drive. They are also likely to experience vaginal dryness. For men, they will start experiencing erection changes such as less firm erections. Good thing is, you can still have great sex amidst all these ‘challenges’. Find out how…

Do Kegel exercises

In order to boost your libido, you will need to stay physically active as this will help raise your testosterone levels. This will in turn boost your energy and sex drive, making sex even more pleasurable despite your age. Kegel exercises are mostly recommended by doctors due to the great effect they have on one’s sexual life. A Kegel exercise is done by contracting your pelvic floor muscles and holding the contraction for five seconds, then relaxing for another five seconds. This should be repeated at least 10 times for four times a day.

Orgasms tend to be more of a miss than a hit when we approach our 40’s, however, Kegel exercises can help you hit multiple orgasms. They help to tighten your pubococcygeal muscle – the muscle that contracts during orgasms – making it easier for your body to use those muscles during orgasms.

Kegel exercises are not just beneficial for women but for men too. When your partner contracts her pelvic muscles around your penis during sex, you are likely to orgasm easily. Also, as men age, it gets hard to keep an erection for a long period, however, doing Kegels can help them increase the time of their erection. So next time you are urinating, try to cut off the flow of urine midstream before your bladder is empty.

Besides Kegels, general exercise will do your sex life good. Look out for best strength-training exercises. For men especially, exercise will help you keep erectile dysfunction at bay.

Sharpen your foreplay skills

As you approach 40, you will realise that sexual penetration doesn’t last as long as it used to. You will therefore need to pleasure each other more during the foreplay stage. One way to do this is by giving her the finger, spend more time playing with her clitoris and the opening of her vagina. Ensure you master the delicate art of fingering so that you do not end up bruising your partner. Clitoral stimulation, whether oral or otherwise, is important to most women as it is a real turn on.

At this age, it is important for the man to train himself on how to control his ejaculation. According to Dr. Thomas J Walsh, a urologist at the University of Washington, edging is one of the most useful techniques to use so as to avoid premature ejaculation. If you still find it hard to put your excitement under control after a long foreplay, then try to bring yourself right to the edge of orgasm before stopping all sexual activity. This edging technique will teach your brain and body how to have better control of your orgasm response.

Be spontaneous in your sex life

Spontaneous sex is more fun than planned sex, you never see it coming and so when either of you initiates and puts themselves out there, you will be thrilled. Spontaneous sex is recommended at this age as couples tend to be busy either with their work life or still raising children to do the dating kind of planned sex.

The idea is to have sex when you both least expect it. As a woman, you can surprise him by joining him in the shower as he gets ready for the day. This will take planning on your part but the thrill of him being surprised will most certainly consume both of you. The man can also wake up the woman in the middle of the night, of course if she isn’t the cranky type when sleeping. This is spontaneous in that it is not the typical bedroom sex immediately you wake up or a little after supper.

You can also interrupt your partner while they are doing chores on a weekend. Walk in while she is doing the dishes and kiss her on the neck, this will even show her that you appreciate her efforts in the house. After you have also done your Kegel exercises and are able to hold your erection, you can surprise her with a round two. This will double the fun as your partner won’t be expecting the second time.

Spontaneous sex is vital as it shows your partner that you want them right at that moment, this helps you to keep the fire burning as planned sex sometimes feels like an obligation – a job that needs to be done. Spontaneous sex also involves having sex when you are really in the mood, since at this age your libido isn’t that high, get to enjoy sex when it strikes it’s maximum at whatever time.

Consider using sex aids

At the age of forty and beyond, your sex life is most probably flagging but you can bring a bit of fun into it by incorporating sex toys. As we get older, vaginal secretions tend to decline as a result of ill health or side effects of medications. Sex toys, however, help in promoting the release of vaginal secretions by increasing the tone and elasticity of the vaginal walls. This will help in your lubrication during sex and thus making sex hotter for him and no pain for both of you.

Vibrators help to enhance sexual satisfaction and thus will help take the pressure off yourself and off your partner. This is in cases where getting an erection has become a tall order. According to the Kinsey Institute, 70 per cent of women need some sort of clitoral simulation in order to achieve orgasm. A vibrator comes in handy for these women as they can use it while their partner focusses on penetration. This will not just open the door to an orgasm but in some cases multiple orgasms.

Everyone has sexual fantasies and there is no better time to fulfill them than at this age. Sex toys are a great step towards fulfilling those fantasies as they help open your mind to the various ways you can satisfy your partner. Exploring your fantasies will not only provide excitement, but also knowledge about what both you and your partner enjoy sexually.

You both stand to benefit both emotionally and physically from sex aids as an awesome sex life mostly ensures you have a happy marriage.

Focus on other forms of intimacy

There are various types of intimacy in a marriage that will help you spark the sexual feeling even after 40. You do not only have to focus on the sex but something that will lead you to actually want the sex. Spiritual intimacy is a seed from which all other types of intimacy grow. When you pray together through the high and low times, it brings you together. You should also ensure that you make each other a central part of your prayers privately. Prayer is an intimate act that brings you together so when that feeling of closeness descends, it is even easier to focus on the love and sex.

Recreational and intellectual intimacy is also bound to to spice up your sex life in the long run. Engage in activities you both enjoy and discuss serious and lighthearted issues as such mutual enjoyment will help both of you fuel your connection. There will be no great sex without intimacy even if you involve the best sex toy, so take your time and reinforce the relationship cord that tends to get loose with age. Only then will you enjoy your sex life.