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Do you have better sex as you get older?
Let’s talk about sex, beauties! More specifically, about how sex evolves and changes as we age. It’s said that women reach their sexual peak in their late 30s/early 40s, but how much does this peak have to do with science, and how much with social factors? And does being in a relationship or marriage change the way you experience sex? Check out our Q&A with Clinical Psychologist, Gemma Cribb of Equilibrium Psychology, who gives us an insight into sex, women and relationships.
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In what ways does sex change/evolve from your 20s to your 30s and 40s?
In their 20s women are often overly focused on the physical: [whether] they find their partner 'hot' and how they, and their partner 'performs'. During sex the focus can be on how 'good' they are in bed and how they look.
In their 30s a lot of women are less superficial. Sex becomes about connection and intimacy more so than the 'fireworks' of the attraction that drove youthful sex.
During their 40s women often know what they like in bed and are more confident at asserting themselves. Sex can be more satisfying as a mutually enjoyable experience without the trappings of 'hotness' or marriageability as secondary agendas.
Are there social factors that contribute to these changes?
Yes definitely. The biological clock, wanting commitment and babies, and whether women are in a committed relationship, [all] play a part in how they choose a sexual partner. In their 20s women often choose based on superficial values as they aren't necessarily looking to 'settle down'. In their 30s many women are looking to find 'Mr Right' and forgo the more superficial concerns to pick a sexual partner who is a 'better match' on a broad range of levels.
In their 40s women often return to being sexual for pleasure's sake and, depending on their relationship circumstances, will choose partners who are able to meet their sexual needs. They can also have the confidence to explore their sexual curiosities, rather than the faux sexual curiosity of the 20s (which is more often about what they think is desirable).
Are there scientific factors that contribute to these changes?
Social and life cycle pressure is a real phenomenon which will affect sexual experience. Other than this, the biological effects of hormonal change will influence a woman's sex drive and therefore her willingness to engage in sex. It is commonly known that the quality of the relationship and the emotional connection has the majority [of the] influence on most women's sex drive. However women often reach their libidinal peak hormonally in their late 30s and early 40s and their sex drive drops off when they reach menopause.
Do you think sex gets better when you're in a long-term relationship/marriage? Why/why not?
It can get better if you have open communication and the comfort of a long-term relationship allows you to fully express your desires and experiment with them. However a lot of people find that familiarity allows a drop in sex drive generally and so a lot of couples find their sex lives become more routine, habitual and less fulfilling.
From your experience as a sex and intimacy specialist, at what age would you say women experience 'the best sex of their life' and why?
I would say women experience the best sex at the age they happen [to come] across a partner with whom they feel most comfortable communicating what they like with. Also if they come to an age when they are less self conscious about their body and can relax into the experience. Both of these experiences tend to occur in their 30s and 40s.
Spice it up
To avoid your sex life getting “routine, habitual and less fulfilling” as Gemma describes it, embrace your sexuality, experiment with your partner and don’t be afraid to create a kit to use as you please. Get started with a few prep and play essentials…
1. HERO Condoms Super Thin (for every HERO Condom sold, one is donated to a developing country to help fight the spread of HIV/AIDS)
2. Vagisil Fresh Plus Intimate Wash
3. Epilady Lady B – Bikini Trimmer
4. Lelo Adore Me Pleasure Set
5. SunFX Body Shimmer
6. Picobong Fear No Evil Teaser f
7. Imperial Leather No. 37 Flirtatious Pomegranate + Wild Rose Bodywash f
8. Durex Play Sensual 2in1 Massage
Do you agree with Gemma’s analysis? How do you think sex changes as you age?