1. Open up dialogue with your partner
There is a sensitive way to bring up the subject of being intimate again.
‘Always begin with a positive,’ says Pam.
‘Instead of accusing the other of not being attracted to you, which may bring their guard up, start with something like, “We make such a great team when we deal with the children, and I just hope now that we can focus a bit more on us.”’
And don’t be afraid to say what you want more of... but maybe not while you’re watching telly.
‘If talking about sex is uncomfortable, which it can be – even with a long-term partner – broach it when you’re getting frisky,’ advises Pam.
‘Reinforce things you like with, “More of that, please.”'
'Or, if you want to try something new, “I love that, but I also like…”'
'That way you’re encouraging your partner while getting more of what you want.’
2. Boost the romance
If you want more romance, then lead by example rather than waiting for your partner to make the first move.
These small gestures will help get the ball rolling:
• Create a playlist of songs that bring up nostalgic memories.
Mix tunes you listened to when you began dating with music you associate with happy times.
• Suggest returning to a place you visited together during the years you first fell in love with each other.
‘This is a simple way to recreate the sense that those old feelings aren’t just lost to the past,’ says Pam.
• Bring home a small gift and say, ‘I was thinking of you.’
Letting your partner know you consider them will help rekindle romantic feelings.
3. Work through your body hang-ups
Sex is often put to the side when one or both partners suffer from increasing body insecurities.
‘I get a lot of women telling me they’d be embarrassed to try it on with their other half because they haven’t exercised for decades, or because their breasts aren’t in the same place as they used to be,’ Pam says.
‘Men get concerned about balding or having gained a belly.
Body image issues aren’t just for the young, and the resulting anxiety is enough to put a stop to a healthy sex life.’
But, there are ways to boost your self-confidence:
● Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.
‘Remember everything you’ve accomplished in your life – you are more than a bit of cellulite ,’ advises Pam. There is more to you than that hang-up, and no one else is scrutinising it like you.
● Get active together.
If you’re worried about weight, then start to feel better by getting moving. ‘Join a wildlife walking club, or take scenic strolls with your partner – this allows you to spend quality time together while getting you both in shape,’ Pam says.
● Take up a hobby you enjoy.
Did you once dance? Or do yoga? Make time in your week to do something that makes you feel good.The better you feel, the more your relationship will thrive.
4. Broaden your definition of sex
Sex in older age can mean working around physical capabilities, so understanding that sex can mean many things may help you and your partner.
It’s not all about intercourse – kissing, touching, and intimate contact are also a big part of sex, and can be equally as fulfilling.
‘Ask your partner about their needs and share yours – it may be that foreplay takes a bigger role than the intercourse itself,’ says Pam.
● TURN IT INTO A GAME: Offer a massage and ask your partner to tell you where they feel most sensitive.
It’s a great way to get back in touch with each other’s bodies and learn how to modify positions to suit their needs.
5. Sort out medical problems
● Does your partner suffer from erectile dysfunction?
‘Rule out any heart or circulation problems first, as there might not be enough blood flow to the area, which is common in the 60s+ age group,’ says Pam.
‘If all is fine, consider if they feel unsure about their body image and try talking it through with them.’
● Is vaginal pain an issue?
Loss of lubrication is enough to put anyone off.
‘First, consult a doctor, then look into lubricants – a great quick-fix solution,’ Pam says.
New to the dating pool?
Divorce rates are highest among those nearing 50, which leaves many looking for love again later in life.
If this is you, but you’re nervous about the prospect, Pam has a tip for you.
‘Confidence is key,’ she says.
‘If you project the feeling of being comfortable and confident, half the work is done.
If your body language is slumped over and closed, those are the feelings you’ll project.
Wear an outfit you feel amazing in or do your make-up in a way that makes you feel good, and never underestimate the power of a smile.’
Dr Pam Spurr is supporting the Viveve treatment that’s specifically designed to help the millions of women who would otherwise silently accept vaginal laxity.