On sex at 40
Undoubtedly one of the most awesome reasons for being in your 40s can be found in the sex department. It had not even occurred to me that this is the best age for sex, until I conducted an informal but very exhaustive research amongst friends and relatives on the subject of being 40. I involved a lot of alcohol and laughter. When I asked them about what they thought were the best things about this age, all of them – and I promise it was all – concurred that it is/was in their 40s when they were either having or had had the best sex of their lives. Upon reflection, I can only agree and this is why:
Sex in your 20s
Now sex in your 20s is good fun, no doubt about it: you are still experiencing the thrill if the “new”, learning lots along the way. Assuming at that age you were not yet in a stable relationship, the variety is understandably somewhat of a kick. However when asking around and especially when asking women, they mostly agreed that, whilst it was fun, it was not much more fun that going out and having a drink with the girls. And, in contract to the former it was so much more hard work, that at times would not allow them to “just let go and enjoy sex for sex´s sake”. What they mean, is the effort we all had to put into the courting process: the getting ready, the dressing up, the picking up strangers ritual, the flirting, the inevitable set backs. And once you had a willing partner in bed, it usually took a little while to “adjust” and find out what makes them tick. If it worked at all, frankly sometimes it just didn´t…
“I used to be so busy with other things” a female friend told me laughing “that I completely forgot to focus on the task at hand. I would worry about my looks, whether my bum looked to big, my tits too small… all those things. I was self-conscious and not brave enough to try certain postures and would worry about not being able to pull it off “gracefully”. Usually, when I finally got myself to a state that felt good, he had already finished.”
A male friend equally stated:
“In my 20s? I just wanted to get laid. Sex was quick and to the point usually. I was mostly focussed on myself and not my partner and often got the “that´s it?” question at the end of it. I was impatient and did not understand the different rhythms that men and women have when it come to building up to sex. My idea of foreplay was a drink at the bar…”
And that is the thing with your 20s usually, isn´t it: you have plenty of sex but quality wise it´s not always great.
Sex in your 30s
Now in your 30s, this should have changed and it usually has, but one thing comes between you and good sex: life.
I have to say, I found two types of profiles in this age group, that are significantly different: people with kids and people without them. I shall focus on the first group, as I only have a very small selection of acquaintances who fall into the second bucket and they lead very different lives, too. also there wasn´t a great selection of them to interview, during my data gathering. They were probably at home having sex…
So that group aside, for most of us mortals, here is how it goes: our 30s are usually a very busy and overwhelming time in our lives. Most people are following a career of some sorts or trying to, which takes up a good chunk of your week (hourly-wise). They may have embarked into more serious and long term relationships, the may have gotten married. They may have started to acquire financial debt, mortgages and rates on cars, that sometimes keep you awake at night. And then, inevitably, they may have started having kids.
So this is when you wake up one morning and realise, exhausted, that you you are trying to juggle a job, a few toddlers, a household and a marriage, pay the bills, all of that whilst attempting to retain a tiny whiny bit of “self”. Or “me time”, which turns out to be a futile endeavour. You have not had a good nights sleep in months, possibly years. Most of your friends are in similar situations, so your social life is far from great, you hardly see each other. If you are female, physically motherhood will have taken a price and it is oh so bloody hard to get back into shape, especially when you don´t have time or energy to regularly work out. All of the above is kind of a libido killer.
“I get home every day”, a male friend tells me, “exhausted, after 10 hours at the office and a 2 hour commute back home, “and all I get is a moody wife who does not even wait for me to be through the door, before she hands me over a crying baby saying: here, your turn now!”
“The kids are finally, finally asleep”, his wife continues, “and, after tidying up dinner, the rest of the house and for the first time during the day being able to take a shower and relax a bit, I think it may be good if I made a bit of an effort and we tried to have sex tonight. After all, it has been God knows how long. So I get ready, you know, pamper up a bit, throw on something nice and when I come out of the bathroom he is fast asleep on the sofa. No, he is not asleep, he is in a coma and, for a brief moment, I contemplate the possibility of having to call 911. Then, I just turn around and go to sleep myself, actually somehow relieved that I don´t have to perform any form of physical effort tonight.”
It may not always be that bad, but you get the gist… There is certainly a period in the 30s decade, when sex comes to some sort of a halt, where it seems it is so far at the back of the “to-do-list” that you may as well completely strike it out. But things do get better, as the kids grow and become more and more independent and one day you find yourself being (almost) 40 and over the hill.
The glorious 40s
40 is the age of re-discovery for many people. And if it hasn´t been like this for you, you should certainly give it a shot. It has a lot to do with confidence and an attitude to life that you didn´t have in your 30s and certainly not 20+ years ago. It has to do with knowing what you want and don´t (in life and in bed) and frankly not giving a fxxxk about a lot of things anymore: stereotypes, looks, prejudices, what others may or not think or say, making noise, getting pregnant…. the list is endless.
Many couples re-invent themselves at this age and remember how it used to be years ago, but better. Sex is slower, longer, more enjoyable, as both sides now know (finally) what they are doing. Women are known to have more and better orgasms. Men have discovered that there is immense pleasure in giving pleasure. If you have a stable partner the complicity and familiarity plays in your favour as all barriers are down (so to say). If you don´t, you have free range to do what you were doing in your 20s but with less hassle, hurry and now you actually have money to spend on the dinners and drinks and expensive lingerie (these things do help).
Yes a few things are looming around the corner: hormonal changes, erectile disfunction, lubrication issues… but with a healthy lifestyle and an active sex life these can be overcome or delayed. And remember there is always modern medicine!
Lastly there is also an unmistakable truth: the more you do it, the more you will want to do it. So, get to work!