Men, sex and ageing: how getting older affects your sex life

It's not all about erectile dysfunction...

Updated: 
Diagnosing the Cause of Erectile Dysfunction

Sex changes as you get older, but it's not all bad news. Read on to discover how your sex life is likely to change in your fifties, sixties and beyond...

See also: Natural alternatives to Viagra
See also: Best sex toys for men

Your erection won't be as strong
Most men worry about erectile dysfunction as they get older, but it's in no way inevitable.
Research shows that just 4% of men in their fifties and 17% of those in their sixties suffer with ED on a regular basis – though more experience the problem on the odd occasion.

The fitter you are, the less likely you are to experience problems. The most common physical cause of ED is a problem with blood flow. Eat healthily, stop smoking and exercise and you'll cut your risk of erectile problems, as well as heart disease.

Wearing a cock ring can help you achieve a stronger erection and maintain it for longer. An adjustable cock ring (£9.99 from Lovehoney.com) is a good choice for beginners. Or please your partner and invest in a vibrating cock ring. The Lovehoney Bionic Bullet 5 Function Vibrating Cock Ring, £14.99, has been named #1 male sex toy by Men's Health Magazine.

Your medication may affect your performance
As you age, it's more likely that medication will play a daily part in your life. Many drugs can cause erectile dysfunction or make it hard to ejaculate – including blood pressure medicines, ulcer drugs and antidepressants. If you're concerned, talk to your GP about alternatives. Never stop taking prescribed medication without consulting your doctor first.

You don't think about sex as much
Don't worry if you don't think about sex as often as you did when you were younger. It doesn't mean your libido is fading, it just means that other things occupy your mind. Similarly, don't be surprised if you no longer get an erection just from thinking about sex, and need more stimulation to get hard.

Lubrication is a problem
It's not just men's bodies that change as they get older. After the menopause, women find that their bodies change in a number of ways. One of the most common sexual problems for older women is painful intercourse caused by vaginal dryness.

Lubricants have come a long way in recent years, so there's no need for dryness to become an issue for you. Today's water-based lubricants feel light and aren't sticky to the touch. Durex Sensilube is a unique vaginal moisturiser which supplements the body's natural moisture, available from Boots. Or try Durex Real Feel Pleasure Gel & Lubricant or Durex Play Warming Pleasure Gel.

Sex is easier in the mornings
Tiredness can have a major impact on your libido and sexual performance, and men whose erections are less strong or frequent can find that tiredness makes thing worse. Instead of waiting to have sex when you go to bed, take advantage of your 'morning glory' and enjoy early-morning love-making.

You'll enjoy it more
Your body is not what it was in your twenties, but research shows that older couples enjoy sex more than their younger counterparts. As well as feeling less insecure about their appearance, many couples report feeling more comfortable with one another and more willing to experiment.