Life After 50: Afraid of Aging? A good sex life helps you live longer

The Home Minister Zahid Hamidi, in announcing the setting up of the syariah police unit, called upon Muslims “to set aside their political differences and unite to solve issues facing Islam”.

Welcome to the ongoing discussion about living your best life after 50. Each week, I post an article to ignite a discussion about the challenges and joys of midlife. Please read, share, comment and engage! The more people involved in the conversation, the more we’ll all connect and learn from each other. If there’s something specific you’d like to discuss, I’d love to hear from you.

Is it possible to move past your partner’s betrayal and save your marriage?

Not a day goes by without some celebrity scandal or the other splashed across news channels or tabloids. Truth be told, they make for interesting dinnertime gossip. Case in point: Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Even though the two have now officially parted ways, The Twilight heartthrob graciously took back his co-star and girlfriend, despite her infamous cheating scandal. However, what happens when you are at the receiving end of your partners’ infidelity?

Contrary to popular belief, an estranged couple can work towards re-building their relationship. If there has been infidelity in a relationship, there are steps that one can follow for the complete revival of their relationship.

Know the reasons for the infidelity: There are countless reasons why people cheat. You might reach a stage of both emotional and physical disconnect or your partner might be getting lavished with attention that you don’t give him/her anymore. Even though the act of cheating is not justified, recognizing the reasons behind the act is important. The one thing that becomes certain after an affair is that your relationship needs immediate repair. Says clinical psychologist Seema Hingorany, “Dealing with your partners infidelity can be a traumatic experience. The basic premise of a relationship that is trust is broken or fractured in a relationship. Identifying the reasons for the infidelity is of utmost importance.”

Give yourself time to get over the hurt: The amount of time you’ll take to get over your partners’ cheating varies from person to person. It’s important that you allow yourself the time and space to deal with it in the right way. You may want to lash out at your partner or keep your distance from him. Different people have different ways of healing. “When I found out about my husband’s infidelity, after seven years of marriage, I decided to stay away as I felt betrayed and hurt. After a point though, we decided to sit together and confront our feelings in order to salvage our relationship,” says Megha Rai (name changed).

Accept and communicate: If it boils down to pointing fingers and accusing one another, it will be extremely difficult to renew your broken relationship. Both partners should first accept their part of the blame and decide whether they want to work towards rebuilding their relationship. Honesty and complete openness with your partner can help. Remember that there are no winners or losers and all trace of ego or pride should be kept aside. Once the partner who has been infidel accepts his faults, you can both be well on your way to weaving your trust back again.

Set boundaries: It’s of chief importance that your partner knows the amount of hurt he/she has caused you. Talk it out with your partner and set some much-needed boundaries in order for both the parties to grieve and repent respectively. “The correct, process to deal with cheating is to give some time for your hurt to heal. Never suppress or bottle up emotions about what you are feeling,” adds Seema. It can take considerable time for the feelings of hurt, disloyalty, and pain to subside, don’t bargain your self-respect out of fear of losing your relationship. Instead set some important boundaries and stick by them.

Move forward: Reminding yourself or your partner about the infidelity at every other instance should be avoided. The cheated-upon person goes through a flood of emotions but so does the infidel. If you have both mutually decided to move past the incident and work towards repairing your relationship, persist and be sensitive towards your partners emotions. When a couple decides to reconcile and make concerted efforts towards the same, they could potentially have a fuller, more mature relationship post the cheating incident. It might not be too late, after all.

Women indulge in sex not for love and passion, but for various other “unromantic” reasons— including relieving themselves of boredom, out of pity for a man and even to cure a migraine headache—says a new book. 

Why Women Have Sex by Cindy Meston andDavid Buss has highlighted 200 reasons as to why women have sexual intercourse. 

While attraction ranks way down in the list, it seems that women go to bed with their partners as a way of relieving boredom, keeping the peace, curing a headache and even as a thank you for a nice dinner. 


“Research has shown that most men find most women at least somewhat sexually attractive, whereas most women do not find most men sexually attractive at all,” the Telegraph quoted the authors, who are both psychology professors at theUniversity of Texas, as saying. 

The researchers interviewed 1,006 women as research for the book, and found some very surprising answers. 

One revealed that she did it for a spiritual experience, as she thought it to be “the closest thing to God”. 

Others listed “cure for stress headache”, “to make my sexual skills better” and “for a clearer complexion”.


However, the majority (84 per cent), admitted that they had sex to ensure a quiet life or to bargain for their partners to carry out household chores. 

“I have sex to relieve the boredom. Because it’s easier than fighting. Plus it gives me something to do,” said one of the interviewee. 

While another admitted: “I had sex with a couple of guys because I felt sorry for them.” 

One of the surveys carried out by the authors revealed that one in ten women admitted having sexual intercourse in return for presents, or lavish meals.


Responses included “he bought me a nice dinner” or “he spent a lot of money on me early on”, “he gave me gifts early on” and “he showed me he had an extravagant lifestyle”

Recently, I posted an article here on The Huffington Post that generated many comments and lots of shares. “The Seven Biggest Mistakes We Make in Midlife (and How to Avoid Them” delved into some of the areas that seem to cause the most angst for us as we age, holding us back. I offered thoughts on how to address them, head-on. Based on the input I got from readers on HuffPost, Facebook and Twitter, one of the biggest issues for a lot of us is fear, and specifically the fear of aging. Many people talked about the fear of being alone, of poor health and of being forgotten. Here’s a snippet of what I wrote in that article:

The best advice I can give you is this: Be fearless after 50. Fear will stop you from pursuing your dreams, and could cause you to give up and give in, keeping you a prisoner in your comfort zone. This is the simple concept I learned from researching, writing and living the advice in my book. If you’re healthy, you feel good. If you feel good, you look good. If you feel good and look good and have a vision for your future, you feel even better. If you’ve got all that plus the knowledge how to stay that way, you feel amazing. And if you feel amazing, who cares about age?

We tend to associate good sex with heat. We use terms like hot, steamy, scorching, searing when describing memorable sex. On the other hand cold showers, cold shoulders, and cold hearts generally aren’t associated with lustful pursuits.


Here are some hot and cold tips to spin your world on its head! 

– Bring something cold and hot to bed. That bag of frozen peas may not be ready to be cooked rightaway, but wrap it in a t-shirt and bring it into bed tonight.

– Ice-cubes are always there. Dip them in chocolate or strawberry syrup and enjoy licking it off your partner. You don’t want to use the cold to shock your lover. Be sure to wait until things have hit a rhythm in the sex, and then gently touch a less sensitive part of your partner’s body with the cold. Once they know what’s coming, you can experiment heating things up with your bodies, and then cooling it down with a more sensitively placed cold touch.


– To heat things up, you can explore everything from silicone toys and glass toys (both of which retain heat and warm up nicely if you soak them in hot water before using). 

As always, have fun!

Getting and staying healthy and fit is essential as we forge ahead, and I wrote a lot about how to do that in “The Best of Everything After 50.” In fact, I will never stop saying it, and try to work it into every article I write and every talk I give, because this much is true: if you feel good about how you look and how you feel, you’ll be much more open to new experiences, people and opportunities. We need to be as fit as we can be so we’ll be able to keep more of the illnesses and diseases that can plague us after 50 as far away as possible, for as long as possible. This is the most important thing we can do for ourselves.

A new study has revealed that a great sex life will not only help you feel and look younger — it will also help you live longer. 

Dr Eric Braverman, an anti-ageing expert from the US, has written a new book ‘Younger (Sexier) You,’ in which he says that sex not only raises your hormone ­levels (so keeping you young), but can also boost your metabolism, brain function, heart health and immunity.


Braverman says that coffee can help boost a flagging libido, while snacking on peanuts can enhance arousal, reports the Daily Mail . 

Eating brown rice can help combat sexual coldness, while avocadoes might increase your capacity for pleasure. 

Braverman also points to a study by Queen’s University in Belfast that suggested having sex three or more times a week reduced the risk of heart attack or stroke in men by half. 

Orgasms are thought to fight infection – increasing the number of infection-fighting cells by up to 20 per cent. 

A recent study also found that greater sexual activity in older men might protect them against prostate cancer.


According to the doctor, the best aphrodisiacs are asparagus, bananas, cabbage, celery, figs, oysters and sea veggies. 

But it’s not just about the mechanics of sex. Healthy sexual function is also about how your brain reacts to the messages it’s receiving from your body, he adds.


When your brain is working at its peak, brain chemicals are produced and dispersed at the correct levels. A reduced sexual desire can apparently be the first sign there’s a problem with one of the four key brain chemicals – dopamine, acetylcholine, GABA and serotonin. 

The following spices can also boost dopamine levels: basil, black pepper, cayenne, chilli peppers, cumin, fennel, flax seeds, garlic, ginger, mustard seed, rosemary, sesame seeds, tarragon and turmeric. 

Spices good for boosting acetylcholine include allspice, basil, cumin, peppermint, sage, thyme and turmeric. 

Alcohol increases GABA ­levels, but make sure you stop at one or two glasses a day — a man might not be able to maintain an erection and a woman could nod off. 

Good antidepressant spices for serotonin include anise, dill, marjoram, nutmeg, peppermint, saffron, spearmint and turmeric.

But beyond that, the bigger questions are:

    • How can we be fearless after fifty?
    • How can we ignore the noise from the media about how “younger is better” and stay the course?
    • How can we leave our comfort zones and move ahead into (potentially) unknown waters?
  • How can we stop fearing (and fighting) the aging process, and learn to embrace it?

It isn’t always easy getting older, on many levels, especially when the media tells us that we’re invisible, and academic studies insist we’re glum. But this is not the time to simply give up, give in and hide away in fear. On the contrary, this is probably the most important time for you to rise up and stare those fears down.

Here are five key ways to help us fight the fear:

Visualize How Big We Really Are

Picture this: We are part of the largest demographic in the history of the world. If you’re feeling isolated or invisible (another big issue for many people over 50, especially women), keep this in mind. We are not alone, and there are enough of us to enable our voices to be heard. There is power in numbers, and we wield a considerable amount of power, especially economically.

Share How You Feel

A recent article I wrote talked about how women very often deal with the more difficult sides of aging a bit better than men because we’ve mastered the art of staying connected, relating and maintaining friendships, all of which help us to weather the aging storms. By simply sharing your thoughts — especially those that are most frightening — with other people who might be going through the same experience is very effective, and can ease your mind. Consider joining Facebook and getting involved with some of the sites that are specifically geared to those over 50 (I offered a list of some of the best in last week’s article). Based on recent research, staying connected to others should be a part of a healthy lifestyle. “Schmoozing With Your Girlfriends Is Great for Your Health!” says it all.

“Do I have a perfect sex partner? If not, how can I get one?’ Indeed a million dollar question that hovers in the minds of most couples!

Though it might be hard to find an absolute sexually compatible partner, but most couples don’t even know the traits that they or their better half should posses to be a perfect sex partner.

Having an outstanding sex partner takes a huge burden off an individual’s mind. It allows them concentrate more on the act, instead of thinking too much about whether they’re making love to the right person or not. When it comes to a perfect sex partner, attributes like height, weight, age, behaviour, choices etc take a backseat. What matters is that he/she suits you and shares an amazing chemistry in the bedroom.

Dr. Kirti Mishra, a clinical physiologist and a relationship expert elucidates, “The idea of a perfect sex partner varies for different individuals, but some common traits like sexually active, experimental in bed, hygienically sound etc are a must, as they are the key for finding sexual bliss. Most couples today are working on their personal attributes to match their partner’s prerequisites and thus become a perfect sex partner.”

Apart from good looks, a hot body and a heady sex drive, let’s explore the less superficial elements of what makes a perfect sex partner. And if your partner bears these qualities in bed, you can unquestionably boast of having a great sex partner…

1. Hygiene holds the key
Everyone likes making love to a clean and tidy partner, so good hygiene holds great importance in a sexual relationship. Ensure that your partner is well manicured with a fully waxed body to ensure a higher comfort level. Too much hair on body makes it uncomfortable to enjoy each inch of your lover. So look out for a soft and clean skin in your partner complemented with a nice smell, as a bad body odour is a huge turn-off.

Hot tip : “During sexual intimacy, everyone wants a hygienically fit partner, as this not only enhances the comfort level, but lets you enjoy the act more. So make sure you seem as fresh as if you have just stepped out of the shower before getting into bed. Sexual scents and aphrodisiacal fragrances are a good choice,” recommends Dr. Devesh Roy, a sex therapist.

2. Oral sex shouldn’t be an issue
You know what pleases you, so a wonderful partner to have in bed is one who doesn’t hesitate going out of the way to give you that pleasure. If not routinely, your partner should be ready to please you orally as per their own mood and comfort level. While no one is perfectly adept at the oral act, but a partner who tries learning the little tricks to arouse you can surely add magic to your love life.


Hot tip : “Don’t wait for your partner to tell you or give hints each time they feel like experiencing oral pleasure, instead make it a part of the love making act. It is quite safe and enjoyable as the actual act, so don’t be unwilling to go for it,” states Dr. Deepak Gupta, a sex expert.

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

How will you ever know what you’re capable of doing if you don’t get out there and try? You can always find reasons why not to do something, so instead focus on all the reasons you should. It’s a mind shift. All of us need to be in a place of “productive discomfort,” asDaniel Pink, author of “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” calls it. He wrote, “If you’re too comfortable, you’re not productive. And if you’re too uncomfortable, you’re not productive. Like Goldilocks, we can’t be too hot or too cold.”

 

Starting a new business can be daunting and scary. It brings out every single insecurity you can imagine: Will they buy it? Can I get the financing? Is this crazy? Will I lose all my savings? It’s also frightening to consider leaving a marriage or starting a new one in midlife, or thinking about retiring. Any change can make us want to put the proverbial blanket over our heads and simply do nothing. I’m in the throes of thinking through a business idea right now, and so decided to start my own Board of Directors Club (which I also refer to as my “Kitchen Cabinet”). Here’s how it works: The four of us (but any number of people will do) get together every Tuesday morning, without fail, at the same diner. Each one of us gets 15 minutes to discuss everything and anything that needs to be discussed. Usually it pertains to our blossoming businesses — or, as in one member’s case, getting a new job — but not always. Sometimes we talk about exercise, or men, or kids, or whatever is most pressing. But the real goal of this club is to get input, to brainstorm and to create a level accountability that is often hard to do on your own. We leave the meeting each week with our own personal “To Do” lists, and the items must be checked off the list by the next meeting, or there’s a lot of explaining to do.

Embrace Your Age

Make this your personal mantra: “Don’t fight your age. Embrace it, whatever it is.” Again, this doesn’t mean giving up and giving in. It is a very powerful concept — letting go of your younger self, and embracing and loving your aging self. Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and take care of you — body, mind, and soul — as you would your children, your family and your friends.This is your time.

 

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