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5 Secrets From Women Who Have Mind-Blowing Sex All Their Lives

Follow their lead so that YOU can be more satisfied in bed.

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Woman on the kitchen countertop with a man kissing her neck
Nick Onken/August
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When you think of hot, steamy, hormone-fueled sex, odds are you’re thinking of horny teenagers, not women who could easily qualify for the senior discount at Denny’s (even if their hormones are just as out of whack). That view appears to be evolving, however.

“Sexual adventure is on the horizon for many of us who are aging,” says Wednesday Martin, author of Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free. “There is anecdotal data that as women age, being freed from the fear of pregnancy, having more career success, having more expendable income, and feeling more confident about themselves can make them feel very sexy and sexual.”

The data is more than just anecdotal: When an over-50s dating app called Lumen polled more than 2,000 American users in 2019, nearly a quarter of respondents said they were more sexually adventurous at age 50 and up than they had been in any other decade.

While physiological changes can sometimes take a toll on libido, there are so many other factors at play when it comes to maintaining a satisfying sex life as you age, says Holly Richmond, a certified sex therapist based in New York. Paying attention to them can help you have more — and better — sex than you ever had as a teen. Here are five things experts say the most satisfied women have in common.

1. They know how to please themselves

Sex is like potato chips: The more we have, the more we want, says Richmond. “That includes sex with ourselves.” In addition to a plethora of benefits we get from the dopamine released by orgasms — research shows it can play a role in better sleep, increased immune function and decreased anxiety, among other things — it can help kick-start our arousal for our partners. The problem, Richmond says, is that a lot of women, particularly those age 40-plus, are not doing this on their own. “They didn’t get the societal messages about masturbation being acceptable that women today do,” she says. Really, though, this is one party it’s OK to come to a little late.

2. They’re not picky about where orgasms come from

In large part, sex is portrayed the same way in popular culture: missionary style. But less than 25 percent of woman orgasm from penetrative sex alone, says Richmond. When her clients hit a slump in their love life, she tells them to take that act off the table for two or three weeks. Doing so, she says, forces them to forget about what they’ve been taught sex should be and focus instead on what feels good to them. “It makes them pay attention to pleasure, not performance,” she says. Once they’ve nailed (heh) that, they can gradually add penetrative sex back into the mix. A study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior confirmed that women were more likely to climax the more varied their sexual activities (e.g., manual, oral and deep kissing as opposed to just plain old intercourse). It stands to reason that women are more likely to want sex when they’re getting equal pleasure out of it, however it happens.

3. They try new things — in and out of bed

Traditionally, when sex died in a relationship, it was chalked up to disinterest on the part of the female partner. And that’s true — but until now, research didn’t take a good look at why. “Regardless of their age, women tend to experience a drop in desire somewhere between years one and four of a long-term, exclusive, cohabiting relationship,” says Martin. In other words, they get bored. Numerous longitudinal studies back up this finding, which she calls “one of the most under-considered but common factors dampening women’s libidos across a range of ages.” Women, Martin says, “have a need for sexual variety, novelty and adventure that we have severely underestimated.” Incorporating new things into your relationship — whether that means reading erotica together or taking a road trip — can help reinvigorate those feelings.

4. They watch sexy programming

Porn is much maligned, and not without reason. But when you’re talking about a generation of women who have been having sex for decades, they aren’t at risk of mistaking what they see on the screen for an instructional video. “Porn is pure entertainment,” says Richmond. “It can be a great enhancer for sex, although not a replacement for it.” Recent research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that women’s brains responded to sexual imagery identically to the way men do, putting to rest the common trope that men are more reliant on visual stimuli in the bedroom. Porn, especially more modern stuff that centers on women’s pleasure, can spark creativity and desire in your own sex life.

5. They don’t wait until the mood strikes

In sex therapist-speak, desire and arousal are two different things. Desire is wanting to have sex, while arousal is the flood of sexy feelings that get you in the mood. In men, desire often precedes arousal, Richmond says, meaning that a guy can see an attractive woman, want to have sex with her, and that thought is all he needs to spark arousal. For women in long-term relationships, often the reverse is true. They need to feel sexy or turned on before they want sex. Of course, with all the stress of everyday life, waiting for lust to strike is going to be a whole lot of waiting. Instead, Richmond suggests setting the scene even if you’re not particularly feeling it. Put on a sexy outfit or initiate some kissing with a partner. “Desire,” she says, “will follow.”