Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 12/2/2022
If you’re someone above the age of 70 who’s hoping to spice up your sex life, get back into the saddle, go for a roll in the hay, toss the sheets, knock boots or do the no-pants dance, there are countless ways to enjoy yourself and stay safe.
Okay, we’re done making sex euphemisms now, we promise! But we’re here because sex is fun, right? And just because you’re of a certain sage, it doesn’t mean that sex has to be boring or an unimportant, secondary aspect of your life.
In fact, as a senior, maintaining an active sex life is just as important as it was when you were in your 20s, 30s or forties.
Below, we’ve covered everything you need to know about maintaining a healthy sex life after the age of 70, from the age-related changes you might experience to the countless benefits of being sexually active during this part of your life.
We’ve also shared some practical, evidence-based tips to help you enjoy sex, maintain a strong sex drive and make the most of your senior sexuality.
Put simply, of course. Although your level of sexual desire might change as you age, it’s normal to maintain a strong level of interest in sex as you enter your 60s, 70s or eighties.
Provided you’re physically healthy, there’s no reason that you can’t be sexually active and enjoy sex over 70. Just make sure to check in with your healthcare provider if you have any conditions or other health issues that could get in the way of enjoying sex in your seventies.
Although it’s absolutely normal to be sexually active in your 70s and 80s, there are changes that you’ll likely notice. These can range from a reduced level of interest in sex to issues like erectile dysfunction (ED).
As you get older, you may notice the following sex-related changes taking place:
Your sex drive might become weaker, meaning you feel less interested in having sex or masturbating.
You may start to developerectile dysfunction, making it more difficult for you to get and maintain an erection when you’re in the mood for sex or masturbation.
Reaching orgasm and ejaculating might become more difficult (delayed ejaculation) or happen earlier than you’d like (premature ejaculation).
Your muscle tone, physical strength and endurance might start to decline, making sex more difficult from a physical perspective.
Your risk of developing injuries, including injuries that can occur during sex or in your normal life, may increase.
You might start to notice discomfort, pain or other unpleasant sensations during sex or masturbation.
Your sperm count and fertility may gradually decrease, making it more difficult to make your partner pregnant.
Many of these changes or similar changes could also occur in your partner. For example, many women begin to experience a decline in vaginal lubrication as they get older, which can cause sex to feel less comfortable.
It’s also common for the vaginal wall to slowly shorten and narrow with age, which may result in discomfort during sexual activity.
In men, many sex-related issues that can occur with age are linked with hormonal changes that can happen in your body, as well as chronic diseases and medical conditions that become more common as you age.
For example, as you get older, it’s common and normal to experience a gradual decline in your testosterone levels.
Research suggests that total testosterone levels decrease at an average of 1.6 percent a year, while bioavailable testosterone levels decline by an average of two to three percent per year in aging men.
Testosterone plays a key role in maintaining your sex drive, producing erections, making sperm and promoting strong bones and muscles, meaning many age-related sexual issues in men are potentially the result of a decline in overall testosterone production.
Many chronic diseases and health conditions that can affect your sexual performance can also become more common as you age.
For example, issues such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, atherosclerosis (clogged arteries), and hypertension (high blood pressure) are all known causes of erectile dysfunction that occur more frequently in middle-aged and older men.
Before we get into more detail about health issues that could affect your sexual function as you age (as well as what you can do to treat and prevent them), let’s talk about some of the benefits of staying sexually active in your 60s, 70s and beyond.
Ask anyone, and you’ll probably hear that maintaining intimate relationships and participating in sexual activity makes their lives better in some capacity.
And, enter science, experts are largely in agreement, with numerous studies showing significant benefits to older sex.
These include improvements in mental well-being and overall quality of life, as well as significant physical benefits from sexual activity.
Research suggests that engaging in sex after 65 or 70 can have real benefits for your quality of life and mental well-being.
For example, a study published in the journal Sexual Medicine, which involved surveying nearly 7,000 men and women with a mean age of approximately 65, found that seniors who reported at least one sexual event in the past year had higher enjoyment of life scores than their peers.
Among men that participated, frequent sexual intercourse, kissing, petting and fondling were all associated with greater enjoyment of life.
In addition to improving general quality of life, older-age sexuality is associated with numerous physical health benefits.
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.
They found that increased sexual activity in older adults was associated with improved physical health and social behavior.
Sex is a form of mild exercise. In fact, having sex burns around five calories a minute — a similar amount to a leisurely walk.
This means that engaging in sexual activity on a regular basis may help you to burn away extra calories and maintain a healthy body weight — something that’s important for reducing your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other common age-related health problems.
Understanding the benefits of maintaining a healthy, enjoyable sex life is one thing, but actually putting it into practice is a different story.
So, to give you a little push in the right direction, here are some tips to help you get started and enjoy a healthy sex life as a senior.
Many diseases and conditions that can affect your sexual function become more common with age, making it important to pay attention to your general health.
For example, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes — two common causes of ED — both occur morefrequently in older adults.
To make sure you’re fit and healthy, it’s important to check in with your primary care provider on a regular basis. Let them know if you’re experiencing any symptoms that concern you, or if you have worries about your sexual function.
Your lifestyle has a huge impact on your sexual health. For example, habits such as maintaining a sedentary lifestyle, smoking or drinking alcohol regularly can increase your risk of many forms of sexual dysfunction, including ED.
Try to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Make sure to engage in regular physical activity, even if it’s just a quick walk around your neighborhood. Try to eat a balanced diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables and lean sources of protein.
In addition to improving your physical health and sexual function, keeping yourself active may help to improve your brain function and protect against cognitive impairment.
It’s also important to limit your consumption of alcohol. If you smoke, make an effort to quit. Not only can quitting improve your sexual health — it can also reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, even when you quit after middle age.
Erectile dysfunction can have a serious negative impact on your sex life, as well as your overall well-being as a man.
Like many other sex-related issues, ED becomes more common with age, meaning your risk of experiencing erection-related difficulties is typically higher in your 70s than it is in middle age or earlier in your life.
The good news is that ED is treatable with medication. Currently, there are several medications for erectile dysfunction that have been approved by the FDA, which are part of a class of drugs referred to as PDE5 inhibitors.
Oral medications for ED include sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra®), tadalafil (Cialis®), vardenafil (Levitra®) and avanafil (Stendra®).
These medications can be used before sex to improve blood flow to your penis and help you to get and maintain an erection.
ED medications are safe and effective for the vast majority of older men. However, it’s important to inform your healthcare provider about any other medications you use, as ED medications can interact with some medications for cardiovascular health issues.
We offer several ED medications online, following a consultation with a healthcare provider who will determine if a prescription is appropriate.
As women age, they begin to experience hormonal changes that can make issues like vaginal dryness more common.
This decrease in vaginal lubrication can make penetrative sex less enjoyable. In some cases, it may even lead to significant discomfort and pain during sex.
Because of this, it’s important to have access to a reliable lubricant that you can use during sex to keep things functioning smoothly.
Our Glide Water-Based Lube is designed specifically to let things slide with minimal discomfort, letting you and your partner enjoy satisfying, pleasurable sex at any age.
Sexually transmitted diseases are a significant risk at any age, and research suggests that they occur in the elderly more often than you might think.
In fact, over the last few years, there’s been a dramatic worldwide increase in sexual infections among older adults. This increase is particularly significant in older adults who are divorced or widowed.
Because of this risk, it’s important to practice safe sex by using condoms and — if possible — by getting tested for STDs.
When you practice safe sex by using condoms, both you and your sexual partner can relax and know that you’re reducing your risk of transmitting a sexually transmitted infection.
Looking for a condom that won’t reduce pleasure? Our Ultra Thin Condoms feature proprietary technology that enhances their strength, allowing them to use an ultra-thin design that reduces any loss of sensation during sex.
Just because you’re over 70 doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to enjoy some extra sexual expression, consider experimenting with sex toys such as vibrators, massagers and sex pillows.
Alternatively, try sex without penetration. Oral sex, mutual masturbation and other forms of sex can all be pleasurable and enjoyable, even if they don’t involve vaginal penetration.
Sex shouldn’t come with a lot of pressure. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by sex toys, positions and other “must try” aspects of maintaining a healthy, satisfying sex life, it might help to take a step back and keep things nice and simple.
This can mean ignoring what’s trendy or new and just having sex the old-fashioned way. It can also mean taking a break and having sex when you want to, not because you feel as if regular sex is an essential part of life.
Essentially, when in doubt, keep it simple and do what feels natural. It’s totally normal to have sex on a daily basis, every other day, once a week or once a fortnight. Do what you enjoy and don’t let what you “should” do get in the way of your sexual relationship with your partner.
Age doesn’t have to dictate your sexual life. As long as you’re having safe and consensual sex, acting on your sexual desires and maintaining intimate romantic relationships can be a healthy, normal part of your life as a senior.
As you get older, issues like erectile dysfunction can become more common. Our detailed guide to getting and maintaining a hard-on after 65 shares proven techniques that you can use to stay hard, allowing you to enjoy a more fulfilling sex life.
If you’d like more help with getting and staying hard, you can take part in an ED consultation via our telehealth platform and access evidence-based medication for erectile dysfunction.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to keep an open dialogue with both your healthcare provider and sexual partners about sex. Stay safe, have fun and know that you’re only as old as you feel, particularly when it comes to your sexual health and well-being.