TabuToys Moderator
by Sari Locker, Ph.D., for Match.com's Happen Magazine

Whether you've been single for a while or are just getting back into the dating scene, you probably have a few ideas about what your love life should be like at this age. Maybe you've even joked to yourself, "What love life? Aren't I too old to act like a hormonal teenager?" But the truth is, these years can bring on your very best sexual experiences. To show you how, I've laid out some of the most common misconceptions about sex at this age, and explained where faulty logic may lead you astray. Keep these reality checks in mind and plenty of satisfying experiences await.

Myth #1: If you're having sex with someone, you can assume it's serious
You may remember back in high school when, after three dates, you were officially a committed couple. But times have changed. Today, even if you've been dating and/or sleeping with someone for months, you can never assume you're exclusive -- or, for that matter, that your one-and-only is dying to find a life partner and settle down. Many 50-somethings want to date around, especially if they're divorced and experiencing single life again for the first time in years. So, don't get so caught up in the excitement of your new romance that you let this crucial detail slide. Many people find that the best time to pop the question is once it becomes clear that you may soon start having sex. If that's your case, consider saying it this way: "Before we sleep together, I need to know this relationship is exclusive." Or if you've already crossed that line, it's completely fine to pull back and say, "I'm not comfortable continuing to sleep with you unless we're in a committed relationship." That way, you're both clear on your expectations and won't be blindsided by surprises.

Myth #2: You're too old to worry about STDs
Just because the risk of pregnancy is gone after menopause doesn't mean you're in the clear when it comes to having unprotected sex. Sexually transmitted diseases can be passed from partner to partner at any age and aren't merely something younger generations need to worry about. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 percent of the total diagnoses of HIV in the past year were in men and women who were 45 or older. Overall, about 10 percent of all people with AIDS in the U.S. are age 50 and older. And that's not all there is to watch out for -- herpes, HPV, Chlamydia, and other ailments are all surprisingly common in this age group. So make sure to use condoms and consider both getting tested before you jump into action.

Myth #3: Your aging body is no longer as attractive as it once was
Sure, many of today's most prevalent sex symbols -- Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan and Justin Timberlake -- are young. Still, there are plenty of celebrities over 50 -- Goldie Hawn, Susan Sarandon, and Sean Connery, to name a few -- who prove that people can be hot at any age. So stop worrying about your wrinkles, gray hair and less-than-youthful assets and revel in the ways age has made you even more seductive: Now, more than ever, you're in touch with your turn-ons, turn-offs, and what makes you tick. And that's very attractive! Plus, take a cue from some of those older hotties I mentioned by staying fit, getting a new hairstyle, or splurging on a new outfit or two to feel fabulous and up-to-date. Also, if you are meeting someone, forgo the sedentary dinner date and ask this person to go on a walk or dancing instead. Revving your energy like this can boost your body image and pave the way to a lustier post-date encounter.

Myth #4: Sex should feel the same as it did when you were younger
It's a fact of life: Sex is going to feel different as you age. Post-menopausal women lubricate less, which can make sex uncomfortable. Men over 50 may find that their erections are not as firm or frequent as they were when they were younger. This is all normal, and in no way means you can't enjoy yourself by making some adjustments. Consider getting a water-based lubricant (many are available at drugstores) to help out where nature has left off. Men, see a doctor to find out if Viagra or a similar medication will give you the boost you may need. But products and prescriptions are not the only solutions. When the action's lagging, consider switching from intercourse to oral sex or asking each other, "What can I do to make you feel good?" Keep the lines of communication open, and you'll easily adapt to your body's changes and those of your partner.

Myth #5: By this point, you know what you like -- and should stick to it
Think you've been there, done that with all things sexual and have a good handle on what floats your boat in bed? Guess again: People's tastes and turn-ons change through the years, and sometimes, the only way to figure out what works is to try it -- or, if you already did decades ago, give it a second chance. Maybe sex toys seemed silly or embarrassing to you during your younger years. Now, however, they are an array of cute, non-threatening products available in non-sleazy stores and online sites (like Goodvibes.com). Or, maybe you were never a fan of a certain sex position (like woman on top) or activity (like talking dirty). Well, now's the time to reconsider. It sure beats doing the same old, same old for the next few decades. Treat sex like the ongoing adventure it should be, and the fun will never end!

Dr. Sari Locker, Ph.D., is a sex educator, TV personality, and author of the bestseller, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amazing Sex. She has an M.S. in sex education and a Ph.D. in psychology, and was the host of Late Date with Sari on Lifetime Television. Her website is sarilocker.com.
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Roadie
Let's do this one myth at a time...as I, a male over 50, see them...

Myth #1...Assume it's Serious - After my wife died, I dated a couple of woman, both over 50, both older than me. They both thought our relationship was exclusive...and it wasn't. And both had designs to get married...to me...ASAP. Thanks, but no thanks. I have found...thru chat rooms and on line dating services...that most woman over 50 are looking for a man to take care of them...for the rest of their lives. That may be a broad generalization, but thats what I saw. Coming from the situation I was in, that was not in the cards. As they were both very nice women, I hated to tell either of them I was not ready to marry them.

Myth #2...You Are Too Old to Worry about STD's - Stupid as it may sound, or ignorant, the thought of catching an STD at my age, with the women I was with never entered my mind. I did offer, in both relationships before Dreamer, to wear a condom. Both declined. I also made the same offer to Dreamer. I believed them and did not wear one.

Myth #3...Your aging Body - I learned a long time ago I was not the square-jawed, muscle-bound, athletic type that has no active brain cells that seemed to draw woman to them. I am 6'5' and have been for a long time and have always been skinny as hell. There was nothing I could do about it then, and there is nothing I can do about it now. I learned that women would have to take me as I am and what I am...or it was their loss.

Myth #4...Sex Should Feel the Same -  Based on the limited experience I had when I was younger, that is a hard one.
I know what I thought sex SHOULD be when I was younger, it just never happened that way. It's happening now and I am struggling to catch up.

Myth #5...Knowing What You Like - As I mentioned above in Myth #4, I have had very limited sexual experiences. But I have always had a Fantasy List. As I got older, I thought some of those would have to be crossed off my list. But finding someone that seems to have an endless desire for sex has reignited the list...and it has gotten longer. Somewhere in the recesses of my feeble brain, I had trashed some of those things and have brought them back.

I think an important point that is missing is the 'partner' involved in all these myths. Now that I have Dreamer in my life, there doesnt seem to be any such thing as a myth. All I have to do is ask, ask her how she feels about something, sexual or otherwise, and we discuss those things. And most of the time it blows most of the myths right out of the water!!!
Lovin My Wife...Lovin Life

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Hank Alvarez
Who said, "Youth is wasted on the young?" I think there's a lot of truth in that but it's as much between your ears as in your genitals. I was married to a woman for twenty-one years who decided life was over at forty and she'd acted that way since we were thirty. The gal I've been married to for the last twenty-four years is sixteen years younger than me and she can make me feel and perform like a teenager, even if it's for a shorter duration. She learned early on that if she grabs my pull toy I'll follow her anywhere.

But aging is a bitch! Sometimes what the mind wants the body really has trouble doing. This is where you have to out think your disabilities and aging is a disability. You're not likely to get hard when the wind blows like you did as a teenager but you will when she does.(Think about it). I think oral sex has become much more appealing and necessary at my age and it's a rescue when the old bod' just won't cooperate at the end of a weekend of fun. The urologist gave me a Viagra sample that I haven't had to use yet, but I'm sure I will.

My wife and I used to get off together when I was forty and after twenty minutes I was ready to go again. That's when she gave me the nick name, "you horny old dog." Unfortunately, those days are gone. Now, we'll get off together but then I need a break. It might take an hour to get me going again but it can be a wonderful respit. So I guess the bottom line here is that you have to know each other and work together and believe me if you do it can be as good as it ever was.  Hank
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Roadie
When I was younger...much younger...my then-wife had a saying...'What goes up, must come down...but stick around 15 minutes and it will be up again'. Sure aint that way now. But you are right...its is mental. And having a very understanding wife makes it a whole lot easier to handle.

Oral sex and hand jobs are a part of our sex play now. Dreamer has also found that when her lips get close to my wee wee, I will be ready again shortly. As long as it doesnt bother her, I'm right there!
Lovin My Wife...Lovin Life

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Hank Alvarez
I don't know if this belongs in Sex and Aging or Oral Sex but I have to hand it to Roadie, (no pun intended), oral sex and hand stimulation is not only helpful but necessary as we age. Some clown in our neighborhood has a license plate frame that says, "Happiness is Linda's lipstick on my dip stick." I don't know if he's talking about Linda Lovelace but she certainly publicized a good thing. Maybe I just appreciate my wife's talents more now. Hank
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