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Senior Sex: Tips for Older Men

Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Reviewed by Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Written by Geoffrey C. Whittaker

Published 09/23/2021

Updated 03/28/2024

Whether you’re a swinging septuagenarian or just a curious young whippersnapper, we suspect you’re here because you have questions about the sex lives of older people. 

We’ll cross our fingers that your search results weren’t too…uh, graphic…on the way here. While many younger individuals look at seniors as infirm, elderly or off their game, there’s plenty of reason to believe that the retirement-age generation is having some of the best sex of their lives.

Cars replaced horses a very long time ago, but if you’re looking to get back in the saddle yourself, you don’t need to be self-conscious, ashamed or feel like you’re the odd man out. You do, however, need to keep some precautions and tips in mind to stay safe, uninjured and able to keep performing until your centennial. 

Below, we’ll go over some essential health data for any sexually active senior and offer tips for those who’ve been out of commission (and those who need a tune-up).

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Of course, 70-year-old men can be sexually active. Michael Caine is in his 90s, and if you don’t think…okay, we’ll skip the detailed imagery. The point is, age doesn’t limit your active sex life any more than calorie data limits ice cream intake. 

Provided you’re in good-ish health, you can enjoy sex over 70 and well beyond. But various issues could prevent you from having sex in your gilded years.

We’re going to assume pregnancy isn’t your main goal. But beyond fertility, some sex-related changes may take place as you get older:

  • Your overall sex drive might become weaker, reducing your interest in intimacy.

  • You could develop erectile dysfunction (ED) and struggle to get or stay hard enough for sex or masturbation.

  • It might be more difficult to reach orgasm, and ejaculating may be delayed or hurried.

  • Muscle tone, stamina and strength may all decline, making sex more rigorous and challenging.

  • Your injury risk goes up due to brittle bones and weaker muscles. 

  • You might experience a gradual decline in testosterone levels.  

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The good news is that, while sex may not make these specific problems disappear, it can have a generally positive impact on your life — and maybe indirectly make your sex life better, too.

Scientists (even the ones not yet in their 70s) generally agree that older sex presents numerous quality-of-life benefits, including:

  • Higher enjoyment of life. A study published in the journal Sexual Medicine surveyed nearly 7,000 men and women with a mean age of 65. It found that seniors who reported at least one sexual event in the past year had higher enjoyment of life scores than their peers.

  • Improved overall health. Sex is a form of mild exercise, similar to a leisurely walk. In a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, healthcare professionals looked at the effects of physical and mental health conditions on sexual activity in adults in The Villages — a retirement community in Florida. It concluded that sexual activity offers physical and emotional health benefits.

  • Better social life. The above study also mentioned that people with active sex lives in this age bracket were generally more social in their retirement communities.

As a healthy aging man, you want to have better sex than ever, as often as possible, without causing any sexual problems like STDs or medical conditions like chronic pain. You’ll also want to manage your risk of heart attack. It’s a long list of big ambitions. 

How you get there is up to you, but we’re certain you won’t hit peak good sex without doing the following things.

Check Your General Health Regularly

Look, getting old while sexually active is like driving a classic car: You’re going to get lots of looks, but you have to take the thing to the shop anytime it’s not working correctly.

Part of this is just ED prevention. Cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes are two common causes of erectile dysfunction, and both occur more frequently in older adults.

Regularly check in with your primary care provider about your sexual health and testosterone levels (which research suggests decrease at an average of 1.6 percent a year). 

Atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and hypertension (high blood pressure) are also known causes of erectile dysfunction that occur more frequently in middle-aged and older men.

Maintain a Healthy, Active Lifestyle

Exercise is crucial for keeping medical conditions that could cause ED at bay. Conversely, a sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of erectile dysfunction. So maintain a healthy, active lifestyle, engage in regular physical activity and try to eat a balanced diet. 

We’re not talking marathons and deadlifts — a daily walk around the neighborhood and a salad for dinner are great starts, especially if the salad contains lean sources of protein.

Staying active may have the added benefit of improving brain function and protecting against cognitive impairment.

Sweating to the oldies takes on a new meaning if you’re hitting the gym for sex after 60. Yes, having sex burns calories, but keeping the pace up builds cardio health and stamina.

It can also help you maintain a healthy body weight, all of which reduce your risk of age-related health problems like heart disease that could keep you from having sex.

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Take Care of Your Brain

Speaking of the ol’ brain, it’s important to protect what’s upstairs.

Sure, cognitive decline is no one’s idea of a retirement plan, but anxiety, depression, sexual performance anxiety and psychological ED will affect your performance if left untreated. Your self-esteem, comfort with your body and overall happiness can impact erectile health at any age.

You can go to all types of therapy, too, so if the idea of speaking with a sex therapist is worrisome, other options exist.

Consider Using Medication to Treat ED

ED is treatable with medication, in many cases. The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has approved a number of PDE5 inhibitors, including sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra®), tadalafil (Cialis®), vardenafil (Levitra®) and avanafil (Stendra®).

These medications work to improve blood flow to your penis and are safe and effective for older men. Still, inform your healthcare provider about other medications you use because some ED medications interact poorly with others. 

Understand the Importance of Lubrication

Sexual function problems aren’t just a guy’s issue. Women experience hormonal changes with age, leading to vaginal dryness, which can make sex less enjoyable for everyone. 

Luckily, this type of sexual dysfunction can be solved relatively easily with patience, support and lube.

Our Glide water-based lube is designed specifically for minimal discomfort, letting you and your partner enjoy satisfying, pleasurable, penetrative sex at any age.

Make Sure to Practice Safe Sex

While sexually transmitted diseases are a risk for any age group, it turns out that older adults may think less about these risks. That’s what a dramatic worldwide increase in sexual infections among older adults says to us, anyway. 

Getting tested for STDs (like gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV) is a vital part of safe sex, as are condoms, which are the second best way of avoiding sexually transmitted infections — the number one way, of course, is abstinence.

Our ultra-thin condoms feature proprietary technology for enhanced strength and reduced loss of sensation during sex.

Remember Your Partner Is Aging Too

Maybe you’re one of those guys dating well out of his age range — and more power to you if you’re having a good time. For the rest of us, though, our partners in the same general age range are aging at a similar rate, and they’ll eventually have their own age-related problems.

For older women, menopause affects sex drive, estrogen production, natural lubrication and reproductive health. That’s not to mention the same potential heart issues and other health risks that increase as the number of candles on their birthday cakes does. 

Just because you feel like you could go fight a bear doesn’t mean your partner is feeling as virile. So make sure to communicate, and be aware of limitations on both sides of the bed.

Try Thinking Outside the Box

Maybe the last time you read sex tips, they were written by an under-40 Hugh Hefner. But creativity shouldn’t be something you outgrow, you know? It should be something that becomes more prevalent over time, like incontinence.

Sex toys, such as vibrators, massagers and sex pillows, are great tools for keeping things interesting. But oral sex, mutual masturbation and other non-penetrative forms of sex can keep everyone excited for longer.

When in Doubt, Keep It Simple

Remember, man, no pressure. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by what seems necessary for a satisfying sex life, take a step back. Ignore what’s trendy or new, and don’t feel obligated to have sex on a daily basis or every other day — it doesn’t even have to be once a week or once a fortnight.

Do what you enjoy, and don’t compete with anyone. Sex isn’t a competition — a sexual relationship with your partner is cooperative. 

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Age is just a number, sir. And if you’re trying to increase your number of partners while enjoying your best years, more power to you. 

Sexual desires change as you age, as does your ability to get up and out. But if you’ve got one (or one hundred) last rides in you, here’s what we’d say before you ride out of town:

  • As you age, issues like erectile dysfunction become more common. 

  • Getting and maintaining a hard-on after 65 is often more of a challenge than it was when you were younger.

  • ED medications, a healthy, active lifestyle and generally taking care of your mind and body can help you live your sex life to the fullest.

Luckily, this isn’t a ride you have to take alone. We’re here to help, especially with questions about how often couples have sex, what age men stop being sexually active and what happens when a man is not sexually active.

Need more help with getting and staying hard? You can do an ED consultation on our telehealth platform and access evidence-based medication for erectile dysfunction. We offer several ED medications online, following a consultation with a healthcare provider who’ll determine if a prescription is appropriate.

11 Sources

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.-d). Symptoms & causes of erectile dysfunction - NIDDK. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes.
  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.-e). Treatment for erectile dysfunction - NIDDK. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/treatment.
  3. Peacock K, Ketvertis KM. Menopause. [Updated 2022 Aug 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507826/.
  4. Orgeta, V., Abbey, C. E., & Orrell, M. (2018). Physical activity for improving cognition in older people with mild cognitive impairment. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2018(8), CD008198. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6513658/.
  5. Kalra, G., Subramanyam, A., & Pinto, C. (2011). Sexuality: desire, activity and intimacy in the elderly. Indian journal of psychiatry, 53(4), 300–306. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3267340/.
  6. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Sexuality and intimacy in older adults. National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/sexuality/sexuality-and-intimacy-older-adults.
  7. Smith, L., Yang, L., Veronese, N., Soysal, P., Stubbs, B., & Jackson, S. E. (2019). Sexual Activity is Associated with Greater Enjoyment of Life in Older Adults. Sexual medicine, 7(1), 11–18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6377384/.
  8. Bach, L. E., Mortimer, J. A., VandeWeerd, C., & Corvin, J. (2013). The association of physical and mental health with sexual activity in older adults in a retirement community. The journal of sexual medicine, 10(11), 2671–2678. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23981252/.
  9. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.-a). Heart health and aging. National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/heart-health/heart-health-and-aging.
  10. Stanworth, R. D., & Jones, T. H. (2008). Testosterone for the aging male; current evidence and recommended practice. Clinical interventions in aging, 3(1), 25–44. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2544367/.
  11. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.-f). Type 2 diabetes - NIDDK. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes/type-2-diabetes.
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kelly Brown MD, MBA
Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Dr. Kelly Brown is a board certified Urologist and fellowship trained in Andrology. She is an accomplished men’s health expert with a robust background in healthcare innovation, clinical medicine, and academic research. Dr. Brown is a founding member of Posterity Health where she is Medical Director and leads strategy and design of their Digital Health Platform, an innovative education and telehealth model for delivering expert male fertility care.

She completed her undergraduate studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go Heels!) with a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science and a Minor in Chemistry. She took a position at University of California Los Angeles as a radiologic technologist in the department of Interventional Cardiology, further solidifying her passion for medicine. She also pursued the unique opportunity to lead departmental design and operational development at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, sparking her passion for the business of healthcare.

Dr. Brown then went on to obtain her doctorate in medicine from the prestigious Northwestern University - Feinberg School of Medicine and Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, with a concentration in Healthcare Management. During her surgical residency in Urology at University of California San Francisco, she utilized her research year to focus on innovations in telemedicine and then served as chief resident with significant contributions to clinical quality improvement. Dr. Brown then completed her Andrology Fellowship at Medical College of Wisconsin, furthering her expertise in male fertility, microsurgery, and sexual function.

Her dedication to caring for patients with compassion, understanding, as well as a unique ability to make guys instantly comfortable discussing anything from sex to sperm makes her a renowned clinician. In addition, her passion for innovation in healthcare combined with her business acumen makes her a formidable leader in the field of men’s health.

Dr. Brown is an avid adventurer; summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (twice!) and hiking the incredible Torres del Paine Trek in Patagonia, Chile. She deeply appreciates new challenges and diverse cultures on her travels. She lives in Denver with her husband, two children, and beloved Bernese Mountain Dog. You can find Dr. Brown on LinkedIn for more information.

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