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5 Weeks to a New Life: Week 2

New Ways to Spice Up Your Sex Life

When it comes to sex, men and women can be very different. Get on the same page — and get busy!

Is sex now the same as it was when you were 20-something? Unlikely. You’re a different person today, so why would your sex life stay the same? But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be fabulous. “Boomers may be getting older, heavier, slower and less agile, but they know that a great sex life isn’t optional,” says Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D. "They realize that it's critical to staying mentally and physically healthy."

Join the discussion: How do you keep the passion burning?

Better sex in the new year- a senior couple flirt in bed

Sex is key to staying mentally and physically healthy. — Randy Faris/Corbis

Contrary to conventional wisdom, Dr. Schwartz says the 50-plus years actually may be the prime years for sex. You’re wiser now. You know your own and each other’s bodies and you may feel less inhibited than you did in the past. “Lovemaking can be more relaxed, slower and more sensual,” she adds. Whether your love life is already good or has become lackluster, Dr. Schwartz offers these tips for turning the heat up a notch.

1. Think outside the bedroom. Unresolved arguments, resentment, everyday stress, not to mention your aching back, can all wreak havoc on your sex life as you get older. When you’ve been together a long time, there’s also a tendency to take each other for granted, to forget that being friends and respecting each other is an essential cornerstone of a good sex life. So take some time to reconnect with your partner by focusing on him or her more fully. Ask questions about each other’s day, and share information like you used to do, not only about what happened to you but how you felt about it.

Stay in touch during the day: Use texts, instant messages or emails to say I love you, I'm thinking about you. Spend time together doing nonsexual things — have a picnic in the park; check out a new artist at a local gallery; go for a romantic dinner. Get to know each other as interesting people who share ideas, interests, hopes and dreams, as well as a bed.

2. Pencil it in. “It’s time to dispel the notion that if you have to plan for sex, it’s not going to be good,” says Dr. Schwartz. “That’s just plain wrong.” When you first met, you went on dates and a large part of the sexual thrill came from the anticipation of what might happen. You also took time to look and feel your best. It’s no different now. In this crazy-busy, fast-forwarded world, it’s essential to carve out couple time or you’ll never have any. Planning a date also gives you something to talk about together that you’ll look forward to all week. And getting away from your daily routine can help you put everything bogging you down into perspective.  So plan a romantic vacation. “I’m a big fan of going away and leaving reality behind for a few days, or even overnight. An occasional trip to a country inn or a seaside resort can do wonders for your sex life."

Next: Sex does a body good. »

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