When people talk about sex for men over 50, they often focus on erection problems. As men get older, it can become more difficult to get an erection. But men with erection problems also face other intimacy challenges, including the dreaded midlife crisis.
Joe Kort is a certified sex and relationship counselor. He says that men typically become more concerned about their sexual vitality as they age. As their bodies change, men have to reevaluate what it means to be a man. There’s no doubt that sex is different for men after age 50. Here are a few of the biggest challenges they might face.
Changing hormone levels
Most people know that men tend to be more aloof after sexual encounters. We’re all familiar with the stereotype where the man rolls over to take a nap after sex. That effect is primarily due to the hormone testosterone, which makes men feel more distant from their sexual partners.
Men and women actually have approximately the same levels of oxytocin. This “love hormone” helps people bond to their partners and children. In a 2012 study, men in relationships who received a dose of oxytocin were less likely to approach or flirt with attractive females when compared to single men.
A man’s testosterone levels start decreasing around age 40. Then testosterone really starts plummeting after age 50. However, a man’s oxytocin level stays nearly the same as he ages. That means that men can start feeling closer to their sexual partners after sex. This change in emotional vulnerability can be a shocking for some men.
Exploring sexual fantasies
When it comes to sexual exploration, women are generally more open than men about their fantasies. But men are more likely to explore their sexuality and find new ways to be intimate after age 50.
Erection problems can actually lead to creativity in the bedroom. Men often have to find new ways to experience intimacy and it opens up new possibilities. Many men over 50 will start expressing their sexual desires and trying things they never tried before.
Older men tend to lower their defenses when it comes to sex. Sharing fantasies can bring excitement to a relationship. It can be an interesting time for couples. Communication is the key to healthy sexual exploration.
Thinking about infidelity
A midlife crisis can spawn more than the desire for a fancy new sports car. Many older men are also looking for newer, younger sexual partners. That urge can sometimes lead to infidelity.
Why do men over 50 cheat? Experts believe that many older men are simply following basic biological urges. It’s natural for a man to want a woman who can have children. Even if that thought doesn’t come to the surface, it can still drive a man’s behavior and create interest in younger women.
Some men also view this time as their last chance to get the woman they’ve always wanted. That can lead to panic. They feel like it’s now or never. That can lead to hasty decisions and bad behavior. Men over 50 should carefully consider their actions before making life-changing decisions.