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Intimacy: Build Intimate Relationships

Having emotional bonds is essential for good sex after 40.

As women, our sexual response is different from men's in a number of ways. We're more responsive than spontaneous. We're more easily aroused by sexual stimuli if we start from a place of emotional intimacy. Sex after menopause can be more satisfying when emotional intimacy is the foundation for our sexual experiences.

Midlife can give us the opportunity to rediscover that intimacy, or perhaps to engage emotionally for the first time. Within those relationships, we can have great sex after 40, fantastic sex after 50, and enjoy a healthy sex life for as long as we like. The suggestions below will get you started. 

Try these actions. We’ve started with the simplest first.

Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness—non-judgmental, present-moment awareness—has been shown to help people manage stress, pain, depression, and more. It helps separate our sex lives from “everything else” so we can really be present with ourselves and our partners.

Bonding Behaviors
The intimacy created by bonding behaviors can lead to a fulfilling sex life after menopause and beyond. Small, selfless acts of affection—such as smiling, approval through one’s eyes, and touch with intent to comfort—release neurochemicals that set the stage for bonding.

Alternatives to Intercourse
We may age, and our sexual abilities may change. But our need for physical affection, playfulness, and emotional intimacy never leaves us. When intercourse becomes difficult, couples can explore many more ways to express their sexuality.

Testosterone Therapy
Many women are discovering that sex after 40 can rival their experiences from decades before--including an increased sex drive. Testosterone therapy has led to restored sexual function, including sexual fantasies and libido.

When comfort, sensation, and tone are present, as described in Dr. Barb’s recipe for women’s sexual health, emotional intimacy is the final ingredient for an enjoyable, healthy sex life for you and your partner.