Sorry for the click bait title, but it got you here. Now for some actual substance.
I have been talking to a lot of folks over 40 about sex. This is partly due to the fact that I am over 40 and I have a lot of friends over 40 and we talk about sex. The other part is, there is next to no good info out there about sex for folks between 40 and 65. Those of us in this age group disappear from the media. Sex over 40 is seen as such a turnoff that several major magazines have accepted pitched pieces and then when they ask for a bio and see I am over 40 reject it explicitly stating their readers are only interested in sex info from folks between 25 and 39. Blick!
In my conversations with older folks one thing that arises pretty consistently is how much better sex is after 40. There are lots of reasons for this, of course. But one overarching factor that predicts individuals reporting better sex after 40 is more comfort with their own bodies. This actually kind of surprised me.
Why am I surprised? Because aging bodies can be harder to love! For me, my joints ache more. I have a ton of gray hair- everywhere. I am fatter, saggier, and less bendy than I was in my 20s. I miss those days where I could crash on a friend’s floor for a night and not feel like I was hit by a train the next morning. I miss being able to go out drinking and not have to plan a three-day recovery session. I miss not dealing with boob sweat. But… here I am.
Despite all of this sex now is so much better than it was even five or ten years ago. I find this is true for a lot of peeps over 40. A huge part of sex leveling up is the fact that even as our knees crack and balls sag a bit more and we get salt and pepper pubes, we are cool with it.
Get Comfortable with Your Body
Getting comfortable with your own body and whatever flaws it may have doesn’t just come with the aging process. The people I know who got comfortable with their own bodies did a lot of work. Here are the steps a lot of us take.
The first part is unlearning the culturally dictated rules of beauty. This gets easier as you age. Magazines, television, and pretty much all media including social media, holds young, ridiculously skinny, white, folks with perfect teeth, skin and hair as the pinnacle of beauty. Even as corporations find it profitable to jump on the body positive bandwagon, they still stick to the typically “acceptable” bodies.
For example, there is a legging company that touts in all its ads that they make leggings and bras for “all sizes.” There is not a single model in any of their ads over size 2 or a bust size of a B cup. Shout that you make appeal for “all sizes” but you xxl is a 16 and your biggest bra accommodates a 38D and you are only fooling your ad team about being “inclusive.”
As we age, we see fewer and fewer folks that look like we do. So the ability to see the absurdity of the American/Western beauty standard becomes easier. If you start to seek out images of people who look more like you (and there are plenty of folks on Instagram, Tumbler, and blogs) who cover all body types, sizes, races, abilities, hair styles, and ages it makes it easier to start seeing yourself as acceptable. I strongly suggest seeking out folks on Instagram and bloggers who look like you! There is something really empowering about seeing yourself reflected as beautiful and fashionable outside of your own home.
Your Changing Body
Second, folks who get comfortable with themselves accept that their bodies will change. Longing for the thigh gap you had at 20 or the flexibility and strength you had in high school, or the hair you had in your 30s will only make you miserable. Its not coming back. That is simple physiology.
This doesn’t mean you cannot be strong, or flexible, or healthy or fit. I know plenty of runners and crossfit enthusiasts and yoga practitioners over 40 who have incredible physical skills. Some of them are even stronger or more flexible or have better mile times than they did in their 20s, but none of them have the bodies they had two decades ago. Accepting this as a fact of life makes it easier to love your own body.
Start trying to accept small changes. Instead of violently plucking out the gray hairs lamenting that you are aging, either decide you want to dye it away or embrace the gray. You don’t have to sport a mane of ivory locks to prove you accept yourself. Its perfectly fine to dye the gray away