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How Sex Changes For Women After Age 40

You may be in for a surprise!

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couple in bed after sex
Dan Saelinger/Trunk Archive
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Women hit their sexual prime in their 30s.

At least that’s the message I received in my younger years. The truth is, in my 20s sex was something that I did for men. I pretended to like it. I knew how to move my body, what sounds to make and what to say afterward to create the illusion that “wow — that was amazing!” But that was a big, fat, unsatisfied lie. I didn’t hate it, I guess, but I sure as hell didn’t love it! I imagined everything would magically change when I turned 30 and I would transform into this new and improved, lustful version of myself.

I didn’t hit this mythical sexual prime in my 30s, but I did get my sexual groove on once I hit 40. Suddenly, I am enjoying sex more than I ever thought possible, and I don’t think it has anything to do with a so-called sexual prime. You see, I am wiser and now listen to my intuition — I no longer sleep with men whom I am not physically attracted to.  

I have more confidence and am no longer too timid to ask for what I want in bed (life’s too short to fake anything!). And I now know that I am indeed worthy of having mind-blowing sex, so I have become more selfish in bed, too.

After 20 years of having sex, I am finally loving it!

I can’t help but wonder, is this new love of sex short-lived? What will the rest of my 40s bring? How about my 50s? I want to know that I have decades of great sex ahead of me because, Lord knows, I waited long enough to discover it. In an effort to ease my own sexual anxieties about the future, I reached out to some great women to share their experiences with sex and aging. Here is what they had to say about how their sex lives have changed over time.  

Quality over quantity

“In my 40s, the number of times I had sex with my partner reduced. This was mainly due to the body being tired — looking after three kids, cooking and work took a toll on my body and [sleep became more important at times]. Although the quantity is reduced, the quality has improved by a big margin. I think as you grow older and stay together longer, you get more emotional and emotions make sex much better.” – Jessica, 46, Australia

Secrets revealed

“[Our sex life] is quite different from what [it was] 20 years ago. Sex has become something even more meaningful and feels like an exchange of senses now. We started experimenting with various toys to keep getting there when we’re tired or need extra stimulation. We trained ourselves not to hide our real wishes — no matter what! The awesome discovery for us was that simply talking about a ‘secret’ desire can be enough to spice things up. That’s probably because verbalizing sexual dreams is already a powerful act.” – Monica, 51, Texas

Party time

“There’s a cliche that goes a bit like this: You get married and have children, the years go on and your sex life dies off! I have always enjoyed an active sex life and continue to do so. There is no need to retire your vagina, but you do need to get more organized around kids and schedule time for sex. Sounds off-putting? Well, I find it surprisingly exciting — a bit like getting ready to go to a party!” – Alice, 48, Oregon

Better than ever

“Sex is better for me now than it ever has been. I’m able to completely let go of my previous need to please only my partner, to get sex over with, and then feel disappointed in myself for that cycle. Aging takes time, and time was what I needed to grow my confidence and insist on finding someone who would want to understand me the way I want to understand him — both in and out of the bedroom.” – Tsara, 46, Quebec

There you have it, girlfriends! Like everything else in life, sex changes with time, wisdom and the unavoidable act of aging. Lucky for me (and you, too) it doesn’t have to stop altogether. Here’s to (at least) 30 more years of great, creative and ever-changing sex, because — as the millennials like to say — YOLO (translation: you only live once!).