- Explore Tantra. Tantra is an ancient Hindu practice of combining the physical and spiritual into a slowed down, high-consciousness, meditative sexual practice. Many people over 60 report that their sexual connection with their partner is greatly enhanced after taking classes and reading books about how to do this (see my resources list, below).
Let go of goals – focus on pleasure. We have so many different choices for pleasure and intimacy. Intercourse is a popular dish and it’s a favorite for many people. But there’s no reason to skip past all the other options or consider them only as appetizers. When you do that, you miss out on discovering lots of other delicious possibilities!”
Take Your Time
You’re learning new skills, plus your arousal is slower than it used to be, so be patient with yourself and your partner. “Slower arousal can honestly be a blessing in disguise, as it can be a great way to incorporate toys, more foreplay, and build communication and intimacy with a partner,” says Sarah Elizabeth Mueller, Lead Education and Research developer at The Smitten Kitten. “Pretty much all folks who are aging experience changes in their sexual function, desire, and therefore in their sexual and/or romantic relationships. Change is inevitable, but embracing change and discovering new ways to experience pleasure can be amazing and as exciting as first sexual experiences were.”
Sexual Expression Without Penetration: Getting Comfortable
Let’s look at some ways to prepare before we even get naked. Make some of these intimate activities a habit – they’ll nurture intimacy and improve your sexual responsiveness:
- Touch a lot during non-sexual times. Hold hands. Stand and sit close to each other. Remember when you were first dating, and you couldn’t bear to have an inch of space separating you? Whether you’ve been together for a year or half a century, reclaim that awareness of how good your bodies feel when they’re close and not having sex.
- Eye gaze. Take time just to look into each other’s eyes, which some call the windows to the soul. Try to get your awareness away from yourself (how do I look? what does my partner see?) and focus on your lover.
- Spend lots of time kissing. Kissing doesn’t have to lead to sex – though it might. Kissing stimulates the brain and revs up the sex drive, as well as bonding you with your partner. For extra intimacy and excitement, try relaxing into your kissing and breathing in sync.
How Do We Talk About This?
If you’re in a relationship that has been focused on intercourse, it may be awkward at first to try to switch or expand your repertoire to these other means of sexual expression. You might like to start this way:
- First talk honestly about why you feel it’s important to explore new modes of physical intimacy. Ask to hear your partner’s feelings and really listen, without interrupting or judging.
- Schedule two dates that you agree will be sexual pleasure dates without intercourse:
- The first time, you’ll explore how to give your partner pleasure. You’d like your partner to receive, enjoy, and not try to reciprocate.
- The second time, you’ll be the one to receive pleasure. You’d like your partner to be the giver and not expect you to reciprocate.
- Give each other plenty of feedback in the moment about what feels good, using words, gestures, moans, etc.