Penelope was a PR in London in the 70’s, then a Hollywood researcher. She was a freelance magazine journalist and teacher. Now she writes!
Senior Citizens and Romance
It can be very scary launching into romance after years of habitual 'coupledom'. Those sweet kisses, that wonderful late-night sex, the romantic compliments, and the way you felt about each other's bodies that fueled your love for years at the beginning of your relationship might be sadly filed away. The idea of being close in those romantic familiar ways hasn't crossed your mind for ages. Or has it?
Is it that you've become too embarrassed physically or too set in those 'older couple' ways to feel romantically inclined once again? You'd like to. Maybe you're stuck in a mold. Both of you.
Sexual Love and Intimacy Don't Need to Stop as You Get Older
It doesn't have to stay that way. Being romantic, becoming intimate, feeling your sexual love can go on till we are way into our 90s (sexologists assure us), because we have those intimate urges and we have those needs.
We could turn a few pages in our daily habits book if we want to. We could move away from being the parents to our teenagers, or the old fud at the office, the golf leader, or the do-gooder (or whatever it is we see ourselves as now), and we can move on to a new page and enjoy our new older-couple selves. Like thousands of other happily romantic couples, we can feel re-fired by each other, again and again.
If that's scary (there's a lot of cobwebs to break through, after all), then here are a few tried and tested tips for romance for older couples.
How to Re-Develop Intimacy as an Older Person
If your partner and you don't have a serious rift between you, so serious that you need outside help, then you can make these moves towards being intimate and comfortable inside your relationship again. They are simple moves for men and women, and you don't have to do them intensely. Slowly and gradually is obviously fine and a lot more fun. Anticipation is very romantic.
- Without unending conversations—which are romance killers—you can wisely pick your moment and then simply say one day, "I miss being close with you, so don't be surprised if I plan on doing something romantic with you very soon." And you mean it. You let it go at that.
- You can gradually make fun changes to your wardrobe and hair to renew your looks, remembering what your partner always liked about you.
- You can take special care of your hands and nails.
- You can make some small changes in the bedroom (a new throw cushion, some candles or scents). Or bring flowers and chocolates home or send them as gifts.
- You change the way you spend your evenings in small ways; either you suggest going out, or you suggest having food sent in, or you eat in another room, or you make different food—and if it doesn't go down well, then make fun of it.
- You can go to the movies and dress up for the occasion. Choose fun movies or romantic comedies, or even erotic ones.
- You can socialize a little with people you really like.
And last but not least, for both men and women:
- You can take a class in something new and physical, such as the tango, belly dancing, or ballroom dancing. Take the class separately or together! No big deal!
These mini-steps to change are actually maxi steps because doing any of these things means re-thinking your priorities each day. Instead of making the usual list of things to do, you're now putting things on the list that are just for you, for romance, and for your love. And it's about time, too! Those always used to come first.
Special Romance Ideas Away From Home
A break from everything that is familiar is a challenge. Challenges bring out different responses in each of us that are bound to be Interesting. That's good.
Late in life, we tend to admit that we can do without more challenges! We don't feel we need them anymore (and we are quite entitled to this!) because we have "been there, done that, and wear the T shirt." Certainly, if someone offered me the chance to sit quietly and read a book, or run around the block three times, I know which one I'd choose, and it isn't running anywhere.
Unchallenged, however, we get soft—and that's a problem. Here are some left-side romance tips for older couples to strengthen up and show some muscle (or something).
Do Something Unpredictable Together
Instead of going on those predictable genteel holiday weekends at country inns, on the beaches of Seychelles, or to the theater in New York for a romantic getaway (which would be wonderful), why not go on a journey to throw all your marbles up in the air and see where they come down—together.
The reasoning behind accepting such a challenge is that the situations are unpredictable. This means you'll need to tap into aspects of your personalities you've maybe left dormant for some time and re-learn who you are (or were). These characteristics will get you going again. And if the experience isn't a great success, well, at least coming home again will be fantastic. (Oh, you can go to New York, too, if you want!)
What you want is some vitalizing fresh air rammed into your possibly otherwise complacent life that's so filled with habits that you've become without oomph. Get the oomph going, and it's fun again. There's the true adage "When you smile, the whole world smiles with you."
Fun breaks the ice, and a kiss is easier. Try kissing anyway, soft little kisses full of love. (Oh, you can kiss hard, too, if you want!)
Did You Know?
A USA Federally funded survey published in The New England Journey of Medicine stated that:
- "Sex and interest in it do fall off when people are in their 70s, but more than a quarter of those up to age 85 reported having sex in the previous year."
- ".....more than half of those aged 57 to 75 said they gave or received oral sex, as did about a third of 75- to 85-year-olds".
- "Sex with a partner in the previous year was reported by 73 percent of people ages 57 to 64; 53 percent of those ages 64 to 75, and 26 percent of people 75 to 85. Of those who were active, most said they did it two to three times a month or more".
Being Romantic When You're Older Is Fun!
At the end of the day, it was undoubtedly and agreeably lovely to get into bed with your partner and enjoy each other sensually. That easy intimacy and pleasure kept you connected. Time passes, the children, the job, some extra weight, illness, whatever, life happens and slowly those often-times of pleasure can slip gradually away.
But you are still together are you not? It can't just be about practical stuff!? Can it? Back in the recesses of your joined selves are the memories of all the romance and passion. You just have to tap the back of your mind and body a little, literally.
Agreed, there's an age for everything but being older doesn't mean that being romantic and being sensual together is over with. I'd beg to differ, 'far from it'. Please read the survey figures in the column on the right.
It's time to haul those hours back in, literally reach out, look unashamedly seductive, and aim to please:
- Perhaps start with a little head massage
- Give a body massage—especially if you've got massage oils
- Wear great underwear and have smooth skin
- Beautifully manicured hands—on men or women—are a turn on
- Romantic or erotic literature is a lot of fun, so keep some by the bed
Basically, it's down to doing what you said you'd do a while back when you nonchalantly said, "I miss being close with you, so don't be surprised if I plan on doing something romantic with you very soon."
Have a lot of fun, get out of yourself—and into her or him. Make some music happen. Tra la le ra.
Seniors and Sex
- Sexed-up seniors do it more than you'd think - Health - Sexual health | NBC News
An unprecedented study of sex and seniors finds that many older people are surprisingly frisky — willing to do, and talk about, intimate acts that would make their grandchildren blush.
Questions & Answers
Question: Is it possible that at 78 years old it is not possible for women to have sex even when they would like it?
Answer: It is possible that at 78 a woman has the possibility to have sex because she would be having sexual stimulation. Without sexual stimulation she wouldn’t be interested.
© 2013 Penelope Hart