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Myths About Sex After 40

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Myth 6: It's normal for sex drive to drop as you age.

Truth: Actually, it may be the opposite. "It's more likely for younger women to experience dips in libido," says McGrath, probably thanks to the hormonal upheavals of pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and dealing with young children. So if you have little or no desire for any kind of sex—even with George Clooney in your fantasies—see your doctor to be sure you don't have a medical condition, such as thyroid issues or certain cancers, says Dr. Sebastian. Beyond that, libido has a lot to do with how easily you can talk to your partner, and how bothered either of you is by how often you have sex. For one couple, once a month feels fine, whereas for others three times a week is practically nothing. "Figure out how much sex is enough before you decide you have a libido problem," says McGrath.

Myth 7: Things that once turned you on no longer work because of your age.

Truth: "This is more a fact of a long relationship than aging," says McGrath. You might be bored or in a rut (and so might your man), so address it as soon as possible, advises Dr. Sebastian. Get a video, buy a book, shake things up. Have a whole range of moves in your sexual arsenal because different things turn you on not just in different stages of life but on different days!

Myth 8: If I've never had great orgasms, it's too late now.

Truth: This is easy to debunk, says Dr. Sebastian, who admits, "I was never multi-orgasmic until after I had my second child." She attributes the change to a newfound sense of self-confidence, an ability to start asking for what she wanted in bed. Are you stressed? Did you have a fight with your spouse? Did you recently get a promotion at work and are feeling good about yourself? These all can affect your ability to climax. It's never too late to explore what turns you on, says McGrath. "People think they're born knowing how to be a great lover, but it has to be learned."

 

Originally published on Nov. 6, 2012

 

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