Delaware Health: So, Let’s Start a Fire

If you’re looking to rekindle feelings of desire, no matter what your age is, there are many things you can do.

Just do it.
Having sex can in and of itself trigger the desire for more sex by raising estrogen levels. “It’s a real case of ‘use it or lose it,’” says Whitney.

Take care of your heart.
Men and women of all ages need good blood flow to the genitals for arousal and erections. While people throughout history have used a variety of aphrodisiacs to heighten pleasure between the sheets, a heart-healthy, low-fat diet rich in antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids will be good for your sex life, says Aymi Wyatt, a registered dietician at Beebe Medical Center in Lewes.
And what about warming up with that glass of wine? “One or two glasses of red wine can be beneficial to blood flow, but anything beyond that can act as a depressant,” she says. Exercise can also enhance sexual satisfaction. “You’ve got to do the work to have the fun,” says Whitney. “Everything feels better when you’re feeling good about yourself.” Communication is key to great sex at any age. “I tell patients you have to have a dialogue with your partner,” says Fan.

Communicate with your partner.
Your partner has to be involved in the process because he needs to make sure you’re actually enjoying it. He may need to do something more for you.

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Sex does not have to include intercourse.
For women who have lost their interest in sex, leisurely and pleasurable contact often leads to arousal and sexual desire, says Laino.

Figure out a way around the challenges.
If arthritis is a problem, find a new position that will work for both of you. If vaginal dryness is causing discomfort, don’t be afraid to try one of the many lubricants designed for sex. “A lot of women find using lubricants distasteful, that if you have to break down and use a lubricant, you’re throwing in the towel,” says Whitney. “But lubricants can be fun.” (Stay away from “spicy” or petroleum-based products, as these can be irritating.

Get acquainted with your own body.
“Ideally, I would like women to start touching themselves,” says Laino. “Understanding your body and what feels good often comes through self-exploration.”

Couples can also benefit from rediscovering the excitement that comes with dating.
“If every week or every other week you make time for your partner, your relationship is going to benefit, and your sex life might benefit as well,” says Fan.

Acknowledge and celebrate your sexuality.
“Sex is a wonderful part of a person’s life, and we’ve got to treat it as something that’s important and not something to be ashamed of,” says Whitney. “I think, as women get older, they can appreciate that a little better. It’s only going to get better if you let it.”

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