What you need to know about sex after 40


We unpack what’s happening with your body, look at how to work around physical changes you may experience and how to become more creative. 

Experience hormonal surge

You can blame your hormones for the fact that sex gets a whole lot drier after 40, as oestrogen levels start dropping. This will affect your sexual desire. Joburg-based Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr Trudy Smith says, “As you age and reach menopause the vagina becomes dry as your oestrogen levels drops. The older you get, the more uncomfortable it becomes and certainly after 60 it can get progressively dryer.” This is what Mary, 41, experienced. “Since I passed my 40th birthday I’ve noticed lower levels of desire and pre-menopausal hormones have wreaked havoc on my mood and created issues.” 

You become more confident

At 40 you aren’t spending time being insecure and worrying about how your body looks, you’re likely to enjoy sex more. Julia, 45, says she doesn’t have to try hard to impress her husband.  “I feel like I don’t have to do anything for my husband to find me sexy. I think it is because I am more confident at this stage in my life and he can see that, but he thinks I’m sexy without all of the make-up and lingerie. And I can enjoy myself more because I am more confident,” she says.

Less stressed 

Lebo, 44, says, “When I was in my 20s, I was constantly worried about getting pregnant and about how to talk to boyfriends to check if they were tested for sexually-transmitted diseases. Now that I’m in my 40s and in a long-term relationship, I don’t have to waste energy worrying about things like that,” she says. Dr Mulder Craig says, “With children grown and work less demanding, couples are better able to relax and enjoy one another at this age.” 

Sex is more pleasurable

Sex does get better with age, as 47-year-old Thabile discovered. “People always say that it’s harder to enjoy sex when you get older, but that’s been untrue for me. Maybe it’s because I’m more comfortable in my own skin and I know what turns me on, but the ‘big O’ is way bigger now. I will say the best thing is that, at this age, men are way better in bed. They’re generally less selfish, more skilled and more dedicated to the woman’s pleasure.” Dr Mulder Craig agrees, saying that the older you become, the wiser you may feel than you were in your earlier years because you know what works best for you when it comes to your sex life.

3 Tips for hot sex after 40

Illnesses that involve the cardiovascular system, high blood pressure, diabetes, hormonal problems, depression, or anxiety can affect sex drive. Certain medications can also inhibit your sexual response, including your desire for sex, your ability to become aroused and your orgasmic function. Expert says:

Sexual aids such as a vibrator or penis ring can assist greatly for men to last longer and for women to reach orgasm quicker.  The more sex you have the more you will want to have sex. If you don’t use it you will lose it. Set get back at it and your sex drive should increase naturally.

Improving your communication will help both of you feel closer, and can make sex more pleasurable.

Get more tips for hot sex after 40 in our May issue. 

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