Think your sex life is over after 40? Hardly—you’re just getting warmed up. Here’s what to expect when you’re getting it on in your fourth decade.
You may need to put a little more work into it
You can thank declines in hormone levels for the fact that you may not be ready to go at a moment’s notice. If you’re really missing desire, check out ways you can improve your sex life in just one day. “Both men and women deal with hormone changes in their 40s that can cause changes in sexual arousal, desire and general physical comfort during sexual activity,” says Shannon Chavez, PsyD, CST, a licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist in Los Angeles. “Changes in hormones may require an increase in stimulation during sexual activity or increased focus on sensual pleasuring in order to get aroused.”
You may be wilder in the sack
Think you’re in for the same old, same old if you’re in a long-term relationship? Think again—that’s just one of the many myths about aging. “Couples in their 40s are having some of the best sex of their lives—they have more permission and motivation to explore different aspects of sexuality,” Dr. Chavez says. “Couples may try kink, role play, watch erotica together, open their relationship or try Tantra in their 40s. Couples are more open to exploring at this age due to sexual confidence, a stronger sense of sexual self, desire to make sex more playful, or feeling deeper emotional bonding for more meaningful and passionate sex.”
You’ll need to start paying attention to your heart health
We’re not talking about the state of your love life. Your cardiovascular system is key to a thriving sex life. “A healthy cardiovascular system is essential to sexual functioning,” says Gracie Landes, a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sexual therapist in New York City. “Maintaining good physical health is important.” That means keeping up with your cardio, but don’t skimp on the strength training, either. You’ll have more energy for fun in the sack, and the confidence that comes with looking better always helps! It isn’t just good for your overall health, hitting the gym can give your libido a big boost, too!