45 Ways to Have a Healthy Sex Life After 40

Don't let your age follow you into the bedroom.

45 Ways to Have a Healthy Sex Life After 40

The mainstream narrative of life after 40 has a lot of yellow lights. Your metabolism is slowing down. Your knees start creaking. Your oomph has shifted from a roar to a purr. But just because there is a certain reality that comes with the natural wear and tear of an aging body doesn’t mean that your sheets-wrinkling days are doomed.

To keep the green-light glowing on your sex life, it has less to do with what you do for those 30, 20, or 4 minutes, but more to do with the rest of your day. Which means this: You can improve the quality of your bedroom boogaloo most when you’re least likely to be thinking about it.

Spin Class Sex After 40

Take a Spin Class

Sexual function is controlled, in part, by the quality of blood flow to your organs. Vigorous cardiovascular exercise—think at least three or four times a week where your heart rate jumps up to the point that you’re breathing hard—will prime your pumps.

“Because blood flow is vital for sexual organs to function, whatever you can do to improve the health of your heart will improve your sex life,” says Michael Roizen, MD, chief wellness officer of the Cleveland Clinic. One study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that 2 hours of vigorous exercise a week improves sexual function.

Talking Money with Partner Sex After 40

Talk Spreadsheets to Get Under Sheets

“Financial stress—the number 1 cause of problems in relationships—is related to lots of health problems, so when couples are having money issues, it usually means they’re also having trouble in the bedroom,” Roizen says. Especially for couples who have long-standing tension, it can be a complex process to clear up money stresses. But the first step: Schedule a financial meeting once a month between the two of you. Just the act of talking—even if you don’t always agree—gets things going in the right direction.

Eating Fish Sex After 40

Say Yes to Yellowfin

One of your greatest dietary allies: Healthy fats, like ones found in fish and nuts. “They will help lower inflammation, blood pressure, and your lousy LDL cholesterol. When they change, they can help improve sexual function,” Roizen says. And for amazing dietary advice, here are 40 Heart Foods to Eat After 40.

Couple on Date Sex After 40

Be a Routine-Breaker

There’s something to be said for relationship predictability. We have a comfort level in knowing that Friday is for movies, or that one of you will do the cooking and one of you will do the cleaning, or that both of you despise the Patriots.

But long-term couples should find ways to mix up the regular rhythm of their lives—with new outings, new restaurants, new couples to hang with. “The newer the activity, the greater the increase of the feel-good chemical dopamine,” which improves mood, says Ava Cadell, Ph.D., author of Neuroloveology. Better mood? Better mood!

Man Surprising Woman with Balloons Sex After 40

Learn Sexonomics 101

Small gestures—invested early and often—earn compound interest. But you can’t cash in the stocks every day; you have to ride the wave of good and bad markets, but trust in the process that steady investments will build your relationship portfolio.

man woman deadlift build muscle

Lift Weights Twice a Week

Resistance exercises not only will help change your body weight and shape (both of which will have a physical and psychological benefits), but it also increases your testosterone.

“Testosterone is the key hormone for both men and women for sex drive,” Roizen says. “Resistance exercise helps increase muscle mass, which improves testosterone.” No access to dumbbells? A routine of bodyweight exercises: pushups, squats, and lunges will work.

Eat Chili Sex After 40

Make Chili

And add plenty of hot peppers. One small study in the journal Physiology & Behavior found that spicy food increased testosterone.

Couple Hiking Sex After 40

Create a New Ritual That Becomes Yours

One that promotes partnership: Foot massages every Sunday night. Co-cooking every Thursday. A hard hike the first weekend of the month.

Couple's Compliments Sex After 40

Remember the Hierarchy of Compliments

What you say matters.

When you say it matters more.

How you say it matters most.

bedroom how to sleep better

Remember the Hierarchy of the Bedroom

What you do matters.

When you do it matters more.

How you do it matters most.

Couple Holding Hands on Couch Romance

Remember the Hierarchy of Desire

How you look matters.

How you act matters more.

How you treat each other—every single day—matters most.

Garlic Sex After 40

Add More Garlic

The breath-busting cloves have been shown to have artery-clearing benefits. (Playing for the long-term here, not the short-term.)

Woman Eating Greens Sex After 40

Bulk Up Your B

One study found a correlation between low levels of sexual function and low levels of folic acid. Food with folate (vitamin B9): dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, and beans.

Couple Eating Apple Sex After 40

Buy Stock in Apples

A study in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics found that women who regularly ate apples had higher reported levels of sexual function. The speculation is that apples contain compounds like antioxidants that improve blood flow (and thus arousal).

valentines day ideas

Have Verbal Sex

One British study that looked at sexual satisfaction reported that people felt lower levels of satisfaction if they couldn’t talk openly about sex with their partners.

breakfast heart healthy diet

More Body Talk

Compliment your partner’s body parts—and not just ones associated with sexuality. A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine reported a correlation between lower body image and low levels of sexual satisfaction. It’s not that you change body image issues in a word or two, but it’s something to keep in the back of your mind: More insecurity means more inhibition.

things women don't understand about men

Deconstruct the Architecture of Sex

The Blueprint: Your actions, your heart.

The Foundation: Your words, your ears.

The Decorating: Your kisses, your touches.

Drink Red Wine Sex After 40

Drink Red

An Italian study (natch!) found that those who had one or two glasses of red wine a day had higher levels of a sexual satisfaction, and another study found that red-wine drinkers had 30-percent lower levels of impotence.

Man and woman working out new year's resolution motivated

Drop Those 10

Being in better shape means that you’ll, uh, be in better shape. “Waist size is directly related to sexual function,” Roizen says. “The higher it is, the higher chances you’ll have some dysfunction.”

Married couple, great for the brain

Get Back in the Saddle

One study found lower satisfaction with couples who had sex fewer than four times in the past four weeks. It’s not that quantity means quality, but you have to have some quantity to have more quality.

Couple Acro Yoga Sex After 40

Pose More

A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that yoga helped improve sexual dysfunction and improve libido. Other benefits from practicing some poses: Improved breathing and control, as well as more flexibility. Note: In pre-bedroom banter, do not double-entendre the words downward dog.

things women don't understand about men

Be the Snooze Button

One corporate survey found that the best time of day to have sex is the opposite time of when many couples have sex: 7:30 a.m seems to be ideal. Note: In pre-bedroom banter: it is okay to double-entendre the words “Good Morning, America!”

Pumpkin Seeds Sex After 40

Apply Halloween Traditions, Part 1

Pumpkin seeds contain zinc, which can help boost testosterone.

Eat Chocolate Sex After 40

Apply Halloween Traditions, Part 2

Chocolate can boost dopamine, a hormone that improves mood.

Couple on Halloween Sex After 40

Apply Halloween Traditions, Part 3

Costume party!

Berries Sex After 40

Choose Berries Over Cookies

One of the biggest threats to a healthy sex life: Leaving toothpaste in the sink. Every. Single. Time. Another: A diet that pummels your insides. Decrease your intake of processed foods and replace them with ones that have artery-friendly compounds (yes, fruits and vegetables). “Foods with high amounts of added sugar increase your risk a number of problems that cause your arteries to function less efficiently—and that’s bad news for all body parts involved in sexual function,” Roizen says.

Man Writing Love Note Sex After 40

Write This

A thank you note: For the non-material gifts that your partner regular gives you.

Sunrise Best Date Ideas

Clean Up Dirty Talk

A Chapman University study about sexual satisfaction in long-term couples found that those who were more sexually satisfied say “I love you” during sex.

Couple in Bed Romance

Gimme the 3 P’s

The same Chapman University study found that sexually satisfied couples reported that their sex was both passionate and playful. That’s in addition to prolonged—satisfying trysts lasted longer than 30 minutes, according to the research.

Couple Dancing Sex After 40

Massage Conflict

Relationship troubles—which helps define moods and overall satisfaction, which influences desire—should be thought of as a negotiation not a competition. Working together means dancing together.

Couple Cuddling in Bed Sex After 40

Unite in Regular Doses

A small German study found that oxytocin—the bonding hormone that’s stimulated in moments of togetherness—can intensify orgasms as well as contentment after sex. Which perhaps makes the case for more hugs, more walks, more double-duty doing the dishes.

no woman should have old take out containers in her apartment

Order In

Pizza and watching Breaking Bad for the sixth time around can make for a nice quiet night, yes, but the tomatoes won’t hurt either. That’s because they contain lycopene, which helps protect the prostate (an organ that contributes to male sexual function).

Couple Fighting Sex After 40

Stop Avoiding

Conflict that’s not addressed becomes the stake that drives couples out of the bedroom. To have happier encounters, be willing to have angrier ones.

Couple in Water Sex After 40

Apply This Da Vinci Quote As You Wish

“Water is the driving source of all nature.”

Dancing Couple Sex After 40

Apply This Confucius Quote As You Wish

“Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.”

Asparagus Sex After 40

Grill It

Asparagus—for its various nutrients—has been linked to higher testosterone and sex drive.

Spice Rack Sex After 40

Add Spice

Instead of dumping four buckets of sugar/syrup/cream/flavor-of-the-month into your coffee, sprinkle on some nutmeg. Some animal studies have shown that the spice improves sexual activity.

couple embracing hugging on some rocks

Break the Rut

“After many years of sex with the same person, the actual act of making love can take on a certain predictability,” Cadell says. Switch up something: The room, the position, the night of the week, the order in which you remove clothes, the channel.

Couple Cuddling Sex After 40

The Next Time is Influenced by What Happened Last Time

A study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found one key ingredient to long-term relationship success: Cuddling.

man giving woman a massage

Never Underestimate the Power of a Massage

Candles, oils, some ambient music. Nothing sets the mood like a good full-body rub—for both of you.

couple drinking champagne in a bubble bath

Or a Bubble Bath

It’s just as relaxing as a massage, except with 100 percent less clothing. Pro tip: Double the bubbles with a bottle of Moët.

after sex, better husband

Invest in Some Ordnance

The truth is, we’re living in the golden age of sex toys: big, small, for him, for her, for both. You can even find a 24-carat toy that doubles (and passes) as a fashion-forward pendant necklace! If you haven’t invested yet, you’re missing out. The right option is an easy way to take your pleasure to unimagined levels.

couple using a laptop computer on a bed

Read Some Literature

Sure, you could put on a video to rev your engines. You could also try reading that sort of thing. Today, there are countless of sites brimming with such content. It’s like a personal theater—for your mind. Let your imagination run wild.

Man Holding Elevator For Woman Sex After 40

Hold the Door Open

So your partner can go ahead of you.

woman looking super positive


Despite any clichés about youthful experimentation (read: college years), know this: it’s never too late to test your sexuality. You’ll never know if you don’t try.

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