Chapter Ten


Sex: The best years, no kidding!

“It’s absolutely unfair for women to say that guys only want one thing: sex. We also want food”

Jarod Kintz

The years beyond fifty could well be the best sexual times of your life.  This is not vague optimism: I’ve done many tantra groups, and have heard many couples in their 50s, 60s and 70s sharing how good it is, and how they got there.  However, it’s no good treating sex like sanitation: something you hope happens of its own accord, because it creates a stink if it goes wrong.  Sex is another part of your life which will need re-invention, a willingness to learn and change.  And it will need this from you and your partner.  For a start, you need to learn how to talk about sex: with your partner, with men you can learn from, and maybe a good teacher.

I’ve spent a lot of time in groups of men over 50: the topic of sex is rarely discussed.  Do you think that’s because everything’s OK?  I believe it’s because we’re off the map without a compass.  We have no idea what’s normal any more, and we dare not share our problems for fear of shame and ridicule.  “Hey guys, this fellow actually can’t…”.  Locker room mockery still haunts us; and here again is the second adolescence.  When you can create the safety and permission for maturing men to talk about sex, the doubts and vulnerability are very moving.  So I hope that this Chapter and its Resources will give you clarity, confidence, and years of sexual delight.

We’ll start with what’s changing in physiology for men in their fifties, sixties and beyond: you’re not imagining it, you’re not alone, there are big shifts going on.  Then we explore how sex and relationship fit, and how to make these the best sexual years of your life, including the delights of Slow Sex.  Next we explore what tantra is really about, and finally we visit the female menopause.  There’s a fair chance that your partner is pre-, post- or full-on menopause, and if so, you can’t ignore it.

A good sexual relationship is an art: it can’t be learned mechanically.  But like handling emotions, there’s a lot of skills and knowledge which can help you.  It’s worth investing time and money in this, and it can be some of the most fun you’ve ever had while learning.

Sexual problems are ultra painful.  For one thing, you can’t hide them, it’s right there between you and your partner.  For another, sex defies men’s desire to treat every problem like a wonky car, and fix it mechanically.  As someone said, ‘In sleep, sex and fishing, the more you try, the less happens’.  Having had an averagely good sex life in my thirties and forties, the years since then have seen some humiliating failures, the realisation I had lots to learn, and some ecstatic sex beyond my fantasies.  You won’t find this on the High Street, but there’s a lot of expertise and a few good teachers out there who can help you.

Problems in most parts of your life will impact in your sexual experiences.  It’s sad but true that feelings like low self-confidence or depression do lower the libido, so you risk a vicious spiral of feeling that nothing’s going right.  However, the good news is that most women don’t expect men to perform 24/7: if you can stop judging yourself, you’ll probably find her really understanding.  And the other good news is that as you sort out other problems, such as anger, anxiety, addiction, it can really benefit your sex life.