World renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel is the best-selling author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, and if you haven’t seen her viral TED Talk on maintaining desire in relationships, you’re practically alone—it’s been viewed nearly six million times.
One key message the between-the-sheets guru wants you to know? Even if you’re leaving your 20s or 30s behind, the best sex of your life is likely still yet to come. (Cue sigh of relief.)
“A lot of us in our twenties may have had a lot of sex, but it doesn’t mean it was good sex,” 57-year-old Perel said during a talk last week at ABC Home, with superstar yogi Elena Brower. “There’s this idea that sex is amazing when you’re young and then it only goes down from there—but really in your twenties, you lie to yourself and your partners that it’s the greatest thing ever, when you’re really wondering what the big deal is all about.”
So why will you find sweet, sensual fulfillment as an older adult? “Self-confidence and self-acceptance. That comes with age. You may be less acrobatic but you have more of that,” Perel explains. “People feel better during sex when they feel more entitled to it. You deserve to feel good and to claim your desire, but that comes with life and maturity.”
So wherever you are on the consenting adult maturity spectrum, we’re sharing a few of Perel’s tips to make sure your sex life is filled with excitement as you age.
1. Don’t be afraid to schedule it. Sure, this sounds like something an old person would say, but hear us out. “Everyone thinks sex has to be spontaneous,” Perel says. “There isn’t one type of sexuality. For some people, there’s something about preparing for it, by doing things like punctuating the moment by lighting candles. Don’t think ‘sex has to be…blank.'” Why limit yourself when putting it on the calendar may actually work for you? “If you plan to go to yoga, not a single person says that takes the pleasure out of it,” she reasons. Which brings us to…
2. Use your yoga skills. “So much of yoga is also about breath. Many people in their lovemaking forget to breathe,” she says. “You have to connect movement with breath, and move! So many people move certain body parts during sex but don’t move their bodies. You don’t do yoga without engaging the whole body, and sex is no different.” To go deeper, you could even tap meditation.
3. Mix it up. This may sound obvious, but it’s worth the reminder. “With relationships, we rely on the fact that tomorrow will look like it does today,” Perel says. “Over time, that sucks the eroticism out of it.” Put it back in by experimenting. Hey, you may even discover that sex in your 20s wasn’t even hitting your personal sweet spot. —Jamie McKillop
(Photos: Stocksnap.io, Elena Brower and Esther Perel via ABC Home)