Granite Bay Counselor Offers Tips for Increased Intimacy for Older Couples
05/06/2015 10:06AM ● Published by LeeAnn Dickson
As baby boomers, we want to stay as young in our bodies as we feel in our minds.
Thankfully, science has helped make this happen by creating better lotions, potions and miracle cures, which keep aging at bay; while our TV sets are filled with anti-aging advertisements promising plumper this and smoother that.
Even though the wrinkles aren’t as deep as our parents and liver spots are a thing of the past, there are some areas of our bodies that—to put it delicately—may not function as well as they once did.
When it comes to sexual function, some of our parts and/or the sum of our parts may not be working as intended. “Performance issues, such as erectile dysfunction (ED) or low to no desire, are often more of an emotional or physiological problem than purely physical,” says Dr. Fran Fisher, an AASECT certified sexual counselor who’s based in Granite Bay.
And she’s right. With derogatory terms like “dirty old man” and “cougar” being bantered about, it’s easy to start believing that after a certain age society dictates that intimacy in our life is over.
Well, it doesn’t have to be. “We can all be sexual to the day we die, if we choose to,” Dr Fisher explains. “However that looks—it’s beautiful. Aging changes everything in our lives, and sexual expression is an evolving part of the whole.”
In her practice, Improve Intimacy, she sees people of all ages—helping older people, however, is very close to her heart. Being of a certain age isn’t a crime; we need to count it as a blessing. As the old Irish proverb advises: A new broom sweeps clean, but the old brush knows all the corners. Here are five tips to help you bring some love back into your life.
1 / Communicate with your partner or with a therapist. Talking about your wants, needs, and possible problems helps you and your partner avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
2 / Set the mood and build up to a romantic interlude. Put on Sinatra, light the candles and pour the wine. Then, when the mood is set, take your time and enjoy each other.
3 / Mix it up. Try something new and maybe try another time to enjoy each other. Morning is the new night when it comes to having a romp—some have more stamina when rested and fresh.
4 / Increase stimulation. Don’t rush—it’s the journey not the destination that brings the most satisfaction. As we age, certain areas tend to get dry; thankfully, there are many over-the-counter products to help in that delicate department.
5 / Just do it. Don’t let negative stereotypes stop you from enjoying this very important part of living. Get on with it, and have a good time!
Rocklin couple Fred and Ethel Mertz* know Fisher is right. “We’re in our 70s and are both healthy and feel great, so we’re not going to let that part of our lives fade away,” Fred says. Ethel agrees. “We just don’t make a big deal of it—we enjoy ourselves and have a fun and fulfilling sex life.”
*Names changed to protect their identity.