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Let’s Talk About Sex: How Sex Changes With Age

By July 28, 2022 August 16th, 2022 No Comments

How Sex changes with ageSex and sexuality are present throughout most phases of our lives. Sexual impulses and desires develop very early and shift and change as we age. However, narrowly constructed assumptions of what is “normal” at various ages can often be limiting and unhelpful. So what should you expect throughout your lifespan as a sexual being? Let’s learn how sex changes with age.


Sexual development actually begins in infancy. At that age, children are not sexual people yet, but infants do begin to explore touch and develop an awareness of positive physical sensations in the body. It is not uncommon to find infants touching their genitals not out of sexual motive, but because they find parts of their body that give a positive physical sensation.

As children grow, they continue to explore in a more purposeful way. By the age of five many will have a better understanding of gender and may be more sexually curious. This is often when they are taught about what is private, and consent about touching others. Children continue to deepen their understanding of themselves and their attraction to others, and then puberty hits. Childhood is also the time in life when most are learning that sex is normal or feeling shame and guilt, which can be very influential later on.


We often look back and compare our present-day sexual selves to our pubescent selves. Society often sees this as a type of “sexual peak”. As an experience, that is often what it feels like, with raging hormones and secondary sexual characteristics developing, a lot is happening. Exploration of masturbation and early sexual experiences are common and very exciting.  However, it’s unrealistic to compare our teenage hormonal years to later years. 

Young Adulthood

Sex in young adulthood tends to be a bit of a mixed bag as individuals’ bodies have settled a bit, and people begin exploring relationships. Some may be faster or slower, some more casual or serious. There is a lot of exploration still as people learn what feels good in their bodies, how to communicate their needs to partners and widen their sexual interests. Conversations around pregnancy and safer sex are also prominent. 

Longer Term Relationships

As life continues people usually form longer-term relationships. At this stage, it becomes important to be able to communicate more deeply about intimacy, both physical and emotional. Also, there may be more need for intentional novelty in a monogamous relationship. Stress also becomes a larger factor as it relates to libido. Other life changes, such as parenthood,  may also affect sexual activity.

How sex changes with age in later life

As aging continues many people still feel like sexual beings. However, at this point, the body has changed. Desire can decrease or shift to wanting certain acts more than others. The ability to produce lubrication or get erections can diminish. Often in later years, it’s about making adjustments to the type of sex or ways in which you’re having sex to continue to enjoy it. Usually at this point conversations around pregnancy are not a concern although safer sex may still be. 

Because typically we tend to be reticent about how our experience of sex, changes over time and through various relationships, it is common to feel lonely or confused at times. But experiencing how sex changes with age throughout your life is completely normal. And if you ever are unsure, you can always call upon supportive networks of friends or therapists.

Contact us today to schedule a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation or to book an appointment.