We are not going to tell you that aging does not affect sexual performance and desire. It does. All things slow down for all men as they get older and this process begins long before you find your first gray hair or realize you are running out of steam on the racquetball court sooner than you did when you were younger. The urgent, ever-present sex drive you had during adolesence simply does not last forever. By your thirties you may be less preoccupied with sex, and, unless you are exceptionally performance conscious, by your mid-forties you are less focused on orgasms and ejaculation, instead deriving pleasure from the general sensuality of sexual activity. After age fifty, the physical changes—which have been happening all along— do become more noticeable. You can no longer ignore these facts:
- It takes longer to get an erection.Your erections are not as full or as hard.It takes longer to get a second erection after ejaculating.It takes longer to reach orgasm and ejaculate (which is one change you may actually welcome).Ejaculation is somewhat less powerful.You need more direct physical stimulation in order to get an erection and/or reach orgasm.
- You may engage in sex less frequently than you once did.
While sexual functioning may indeed diminish or change and you may occasionally experience various sexual performance problems, sexual pleasure and desire need not follow suit. If you aren't wedded to the idea that more sex is better, if you don't define satisfaction solely in terms of the firmness of your penis or the vigor of your orgasms, and if you are willing to engage in a variety of sexual activities rather than intercourse alone, your sex life will weather the effects of aging without causing you much distress or inhibiting your sexual desire.
Unfortunately, you may not be able to adapt to these inevitable changes easily or accept them gracefully. If your approach to sex has always been goal directed, performance oriented, and limited to a few minutes of routine foreplay leading up to intercourse, the physical effects of aging may deprive you of much and perhaps all sexual satisfaction. And if you are unable or unwilling to modify your sexual behavior, chances are you will lose your sex drive instead. If you agree with Raymond, who once insisted, "It's getting to finish line that matters," and if you cannot trust your body to get you there, you will consciously or unconsciously suppress your sexual desire to avoid the failure of not making it over that line.