By Corinne Farago
For most of us, sex takes up a huge amount of our brain’s bandwidth throughout our entire lives. (Allow me to generalize a bit here, keeping in mind that sexuality is a unique path for any individual.)
As teenagers, many of us stumble through a decade of infatuations, fantasies, and hormonal-driven preoccupations with bodily pleasure (solo and partnered). We’re assessing our physical attractiveness, and comparing our bodies to other people’s standards. Most of our sexual explorations come in the form of awkward experimentation, infused with self-doubt. We’re both innocently dependent on approval, and stubbornly independent of unsolicited advice.
Our 20s and 30s are spent seeking sexual experience, building confidence, and for a lot of us, hoping for long-term love. Sex may be front and center in our attention. We might dig deeper into our sexuality and open ourselves to new sexual expressions.
In our 20s and 30s we’re peaking energetically, and biologically prepped to procreate. We talk about sex with our friends. We’re attempting to construct an empowered sexual identity. And if sex is important to us, we do our best to insure that it’s a priority in our lives and relationships.
By the time we reach our 40s and 50s, we may be feeling mostly pressured from outside demands. We might feel pre-occupied under the weight of responsibilities.
If we’re partnered, we do our best to insure that sex and pleasure don’t fall off the schedule.
Other priorities may begin eroding our youthful sexual appetite. A midlife crisis, an affair, sexual exploring, can all add fuel or drama to our sexual experience.
What was once our body’s predictable sexual desire, is shifting to something less familiar. If we’re partnered, we try to make sex a priority, but it seems to be another task that’s slotted into one long busy schedule called Life.
Sex in our 60s and beyond contends with physical changes that can take us in one of two directions. Changes in our desire and bodies can either shut sex down, or they invite us into new experiences of an ever-evolving sexuality. The hormonal bodies that so urgently ushered us into puberty now lead us by the hand into our later years. The purpose of sex over 60 has shifted from biologically-driven procreation, to new frontiers of intimacy and physical pleasure.
Every decade serves us up a unique sexual buffet of experience and challenges.
We mature emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually, and if we want sex to remain an integral part of our lives, we make sex part of our conversation, to insure that sex matures right along with us.
Much of that maturity is dependent on our willingness to participate in that evolution, to do the personal work to understand our blocks and resistance. Sexual maturity is accepting change as part of our sexual journey. It’s acknowledging that our sexuality is an ever-shifting landscape.
Our sexual tastes mature, our desires express themselves differently, and our body’s arousal and responses change. Sex isn’t just one thing that starts in our teens and stays the same. Our sexuality is an integral part of us that grows and matures with us throughout our lives
If we resist change, such as levels of sexual desire in a long-term relationship, we’re not examining, what’s possible now.
If we’re pulling away from sex because our abilities to have orgasms or maintain erections, is suddenly unfamiliar to us, then we’re missing the opportunity to learn more about pleasure.
If our changing bodies, and how we feel about them, is causing us self-doubt, then we’ll find excuses to shut sex down.
Where are you in the life cycle of your sexuality?
What phase are you in?
Sit down with your partner and talk about your sexual evolution through the decades. What did sex mean to you as a teen? How did it evolve as you matured into an adult? What was it like when you first met each other, and how did you see it progress. What phase is your sexuality in now as a couple?
By talking about our relationship to our sexuality, we’re opening up and sharing a deeper side of ourselves. There’s no shame in admitting that our sexuality changes, or our bodies feel differently. Stay open and honest, and avoid blame or judgment. Get curious about your partner and what they have to say.
Ask questions that draw them out and help them feel safe enough to stay honest.
When we talk about our sexuality openly, and stay engaged with sex and intimacy, then every decade offers us opportunities to learn more. Every decade is a new sexual frontier with challenges to embrace and lessons to learn.
Keeping sex and intimacy alive and fulfilling is a unique journey for each couple. Schedule a Discovery Call with me and discover how coaching will shine the light on the part of your relationship that’s key to your happiness together. Coaching gives you the knowledge, the awareness, and the tools to mature in your love, and in so doing, allows sex and intimacy to mature right along with you.