When I turned 40, I was at my physician’s office getting a prostate exam. The nurse who gave me said exam joked that, upon seeing my penis stand at attention when she examined the size and firmness of my prostate gland, that my sexual health was not in question. I then queried as to how many men in their 40s actually either a) end up being diagnosed with prostate cancer, or b) have issues related to sexual dysfunction. She noted that she had no concrete figures, but that she knew that African-American men over 40 were at a higher risk of prostate cancer, and that “like half of the men over 40 say they have some sexual dysfunction.”
It was at that point when I realized that for the next year, I needed to be more proactive about ensuring my physical and sexual health. One year later, I’m 41. I just recently re-visited the same physician and the same nurse. I was physically healthier and sexually happier than I have ever been. Having "passed" my exam, the nurse asked why that was the case. After rattling off five notes, I thought I could share them. Although I am not a licensed physician, here are five things that have helped me have better sex after 40.
Being Conscious About Maintaining a High Protein/Low Fat Diet
Obesity and diabetes are linked to an increase in the risk of erectile dysfunction. At the age of 40, whether a white or blue collar professional, you tend to be a bit more established in your career, and likely a bit too busy to maybe stop and prepare healthy meals that include lean meats, beans and legumes, and plenty of vegetables. I started turning down chicken wings and fries after happy hour in favor of sauteeing kale greens, roasting potatoes and grilling steak tips. The increased blood flow and well-modulated blood pressure certainly made 40 feel more like 30, or maybe even 20.
Safe, Sane and Sustainable Kink Experimentation
What could be something as simple for you as wearing a blindfold and having your senses heightened and enticed was, for me, the significantly more intense road of orgasm play (forced, ruined and edging). Either way, there’s something about disproving the idea that an “old dog” can’t learn “new tricks” that is an immediate confidence boost both in and out of the bedroom. The endorphin boost related to both the kinky act itself and its successful completion can create a level of excitement that could, when extrapolated to other facets of one’s life, be something that staves off the fear of old age and the welcome the joys of attempting an embrace of perpetual youth. For some, 40 means slowing “adventuresome” behavior. However, the exact opposite should be strongly considered. (You don't need a partner for this either! Try a sex toy like the Kiiroo Titan, which is designed for practicing edgeplay - and boosting sexual stamina.)
I’m a casual half-marathoner who will happily explain that the “runner’s high” - the state of euphoria some runners report after a prolonged period of exercise - is a fantastic aphrodisiac. Even further, the interplay of serotonin, dopamine, and cortisol creates what Pamela Peeke, a spokesperson for the American College of Sports Medicine and author of the book "Fit to Live," tells Runner’s World in a 2017 article, is “better living through your own chemical soup of wonderful things that are going on throughout your body." The blend of serotonin’s relation to happiness, dopamine’s control over reward-oriented behavior, and cortisol as a metabolic steroid creates an explosive physical response. A brisk, five-mile jog is a small price to pay for a lifetime of great health and, yes, great sex!
Mindfulness and Meditation
Try yoga. If you think about this point rather basically, then you’re likely imagining being bent by your partner into some sort of arcane pretzel-twist of a sexual position. However, that’s not quite it. Of the many forms of yoga in the world, it’s Tantric yoga - yes, it's related to Tantra, the highly sexualized Hindu tradition - that unifies posture, meditation, positivity, physical freedom and awakening your spiritual core. This allows for the spirit of Shakti, the female deity that represents creativity and change, to be present in your life. Shakti’s energy, best known as Kundalini energy, is described as an extremely powerful force that controls your sexual feelings, awakening and inner passions. It is your primal energy, the one that gives you the “cannot-get-you-naked-fast-enough” feeling. Being able to tap into that type of magical force without a magic wand? Yes, it's as amazing as it sounds.
Having already covered the health and motivation required for having great sex after 40, let’s talk inspiration, too. Turning 40 is the perfect time to maybe sit and stare at your bank account for a minute and, motivated by a desire to have anything from a “better than the last time” to “truly amazing” sexual experience, sign up for a paid pornography site. The quality control apparent in paying for pornography is helpful in really getting the most idealized sense of what is indeed sexually possible. But wait! A bikini-model-as-fetishist isn’t your cup of tea? Well, there’s mature people, gay people, trans people, people of color, plus-sized folks, and individuals of every stripe and background doing pretty much everything you could imagine (and many things you can't). Pornography, just like your individual male sex drive, is not a monolith. In this case, it’s about being inspired to attempt to achieve the fantasy presented on screen that actually makes fantasy worthwhile. (For a really interactive, real-life experience, try the Kiiroo Titan Feel Pornstars interactive stroker. You can pair it with 4,000 compatible x-rated videos for a totally interactive experience.)
Although I am not a physician, I have used these tips to ensure that I am my healthiest and sexually happiest at age 41. Getting older need not be a time when your sex life slows down. Rather, there is an opportunity to discover a depth and scope of excitement and fulfillment that ensures peak arousal and performance far past 40, and for the rest of our lives.