Here’s How Your Sex Drive Changes As You Get Older

Ever wondered what you can expect from your sex drive as you age? The truth is, it does change, but change isn’t always a bad thing. Here’s everything you need to know about desire and how it will fluctuate throughout your lifetime.

  1. Sex in your 20s is pretty great. People always say your sex drive can hit a peak later on in life, but your 20s are your sweet spot, at least according to science. A study found that 50% of women who were surveyed said that their sexual desire was at its peak between the ages of 18 and 24.
  2. Things can take a nosedive in your 30s. They’re called the Dirty 30s for a reason, but they’re actually a time when your sex drive can decrease. This is partly due to lower testosterone being produced in your body. Not only that, but your 30s are sometimes also when you’re juggling a lot of different demands in life like a career and possibly a family, both of which can also make sex take a back seat, at least temporarily. Sad but true.
  3. It doesn’t get much better in your 40s. During this decade, your hormones start to change because you’re entering perimenopause. This is a period of time that can last between five and 10 years before true menopause comes knocking. During this period, your ovaries are decreasing their estrogen production. Having a change in your hormone levels can definitely contribute to a lower sex drive. These hormones can also lead to things like vaginal dryness, which can make sex uncomfortable.
  4. Sex drive is about more than hormones. Did you know that your birth control can affect your sex drive? If you’re on hormonal birth control, this can make you have less of a sex drive because it lowers testosterone in the body and can also lead to issues like vaginal dryness, even if you’re in your 20s! That’s not the only thing to look out for.
  5. Health issues can affect your whole body. If have a health condition, it might be the reason your sex drive has gone out the window. There are many conditions that can do this, such as hypothyroidism, anemia, and diabetes. This is because they inhibit the body’s natural functions. Other conditions such as anxiety and depression can also take their toll. They can make you feel sluggish, which isn’t exactly conducive to a passionate sex life.
  6. Attitude counts for a lot. Honestly, if you have a lot of guilt about sex or you’re not confident about your body, these can have a major impact on your sex drive. In some cases, it’s not so much about age affecting your sex drive but what you think about sex and yourself.
  7. Don’t believe you’re doomed. Just because you’re getting older and your sex drive might be changing, it doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with it. You can do things like tackling health conditions or anxiety that you’re experiencing. For other problems, such as vaginal dryness that can make sex painful and add to your stress in the bedroom, the use of lubricants can help.
  8. Don’t feel like you’re not normal. It’s easy to think that there’s something wrong with you if you don’t have the same sex drive as you used to, or if you have a lower sex drive than your partner. However, it’s normal for sex drive to change for numerous reasons. Besides, what feels comfortable to you is what’s normal. It’s good to bear this in mind so that you don’t add more anxiety to the mix.
  9. You can have satisfying sex no matter what age you are. Once you’re aware of the issues that can come up as you get older (or due to other factors), you’ll be more empowered to take matters into your own hands. The truth is, you can have great sex even when you’re older. It’s just about focusing on what feels right for you and staying on top of your health. Reducing stress is also important—no one can have good sex if they’re super-stressed all the time.
  10. There are perks to sex when you’re older. Once you hit a certain age, you might feel more confident about your body and feel that you have more sexual experience. These factors can help you to embrace sex and enjoy it much more than when you were younger. So, even though you might not always be raring to go, that doesn’t matter because it’s about quality, not quantity.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.