When do we become old? Is it when we can no longer do many of the physical things we use to? Or is it when we reach a certain age that we feel we should change our behaviour to meet society’s expectations of older people? Or is it when we feel that we are no longer attractive? In a world which seems to be dominated by youth and physical beauty what happens when you are not realistically represented in popular media? For many older people this is their experience. Just because a man turns fifty it doesn’t mean they have lost sexual desire and the need to feel attractive.
Historically older men who sought out sexual relationships have been dismissed as foolish or ridiculed for attempting to engage in a sexual activity which was ‘beyond their physical years’. The perception has prevailed that older men and women live the last twenty to thirty years of their life in a state of asexuality.
Although this may be a perception held by society, research has shown that this is not the case. Approximately 70% of seventy year old men in relationships are still very sexually active.
Although the frequency of sexual activity may decline as men age there is still a strong desire to maintain an active sex life. Older men are more likely to remain sexually active longer than women. And many remain sexually active well into their eighties and nineties.
Older men tend to have slower erections that are not as full. Older men generally need more stimulation to maintain an erection. The stimulation needs to be both physical and mental. Younger men only need mental stimulation. Older men experience decreased force and volume of semen during orgasm and the orgasm is briefer and the refractory period is usually longer – up to 48 hours.
It’s rare for the sexual organ in older men to fail. The main causes for sexual dysfunction are through medical interventions such as surgery or medications. Some of the main conditions that have side effects that may diminish both sexual performance capabilities and desire are; hypertension, depression and anxiety, cancer, the common cold, epilepsy, pneumonia, glaucoma, insomnia and schizophrenia.
Christopher Swane - Counselling And Psychotherapy For Men - Wellington New Zealand