How to enjoy sex through the decades

SUPPORTIVE: Experts say it is normal for some women to lose interest in sex after giving birth photos: istock
SUPPORTIVE: Experts say it is normal for some women to lose interest in sex after giving birth photos: istock

Does our enjoyment of sex evolve over the years? The argument of who has the best sex has been going on since the dawn of time.

Do people reach their sexual peak in their golden years, or is the Ben 10 craze true? That youngsters have the best sex and have more stamina?

These testimonies from our readers shed some light about their experiences.

Peter Rabothata is a 46-year-old married father of two who is an auditor at an auditing firm in Johannesburg, and stays in Naturena, southern Johannesburg.

Martha Thabethe is a 44-year-old mother of one from Westdene, Johannesburg, who is single but in the dating pool.

Psychologist Mampho Mofokeng also gives us insight into how our sex lives evolve over the years.

Sex in the 20s

Rabothata: "For me, sex in my 20s was a very selfish game. Selfish because I remember not really knowing, or caring about making a woman reach orgasm. For me it was about getting in and out.

"But I was at my sexual peak. I could have sex three times a day, and maybe three times in a session.

"I enjoyed women complaining that they are tired and could not go on anymore.

"Sex was about bedding many different women, and being hailed as 'the man' by my friends."

Thabethe: "I had a fear of enjoying sex fully because I was scared to be branded as a loose girl with too much experience.

"So I remember holding back a lot. Even sex sounds were contrived and tentative. Never initiating sex and always wanting the reassurance after sex that this was not a 'once off'. I definitely was just not in charge of my sexuality then.

"Most men that I met were also clueless about foreplay, so I remember having a lot of dry, painful sex. I would also wonder if I was doing this or that right. It was a very confusing stage."

Mofokeng says sex in the 20s is usually very experimental.

"This is a stage where you are probably emancipated from your parents and are still trying to forge a path for yourself as an adult. There is a lot of inexperience involved, and one is bound to kiss a lot of frogs before finding their prince charming or sleeping beauty.

"So sex tends to either be mind-blowing from excitement, or very sloppy based on a lack of experience."

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Sex in my 30s

Rabothata: "I got married in my 30s, so before sex was more about finding a woman I had sexual chemistry with, who I could potentially marry.

"I would say in my 30s is where I also started learning how to really please a woman. I mastered a lot of finger play and oral sex, and knew how to make a woman reach orgasm, even before penetration."

Thabethe: "I think I matured a lot in my 30s, and started being mindful of the type of guys I slept with, as well as if I was deriving pleasure from the experience. I also started becoming vocal about things I liked and those that I didn't.

"I knew how to make myself reach orgasm too, like being on top. So sex in my 30s was definitely about me, instead of trying to please the other person more.

"I played around with the idea of getting a sex toy, but instead I learned how to masturbate, a lot.

"So I knew what areas were sensitive and which points made me reach orgasm."

Mofokeng says sex in the 30s definitely matures.

"This is a stage where people have gathered all their sexual experience from their wild 20s, and can now do a proper filter of what works and what doesn't. Men are definitely in their sexual peak, and women are getting there.

"Thirties is definitely a nice age to have sex, especially if you are having it with someone who is your peer, as there is a great meeting of the minds."

Sex in the 40s

Rabothata: "Sex in my 40s has its pros and cons. I would say that the cons are that I am not as active as I used to be. A round usually satisfies me. But what I tend to do is elongate it, and make sure that even if it's only one round that I can give, it is definitely satisfactory.

"Another con is that because of the kids, sex is not as spontaneous as it used to be. So there is definitely a routine to it, which can be quite monotonous sometimes.

"A great thing about sex in my 40s is that there is no pretence.

"There are no smokes and mirrors, and mind games that usually go with sex when you are younger.

"We are both mature adults who know what they want in bed, and we know what to do to get satisfaction.

"If we want to spank, we will. But it is not for show. It's because we both enjoy it."

Thabethe: "Sex in my 40s is a bit tricky for me. I find I have a huge sexual appetite, and men in my age group usually cannot keep up with me.

"So what I do is date men in their 30s... not in their 20s because I need sexual maturity out of a man. But I find that I am more sexually liberated. I own my pleasure.

"I own a lot of sexy lingerie, which I would have been shy about in my 20s. I love sex, and I am definitely unapologetic about it."

Mofokeng says that sex in the 40s is usually more pleasurable for some, and drab for others.

"We see a polarisation of sexual enjoyment between men and women. Men usually do not have the stallion abilities they had in their 20s, but tend to be more sensitive to the sexual pleasure of their partners.

"Some women on the other hand tend to have very high libido, and need sexual gratification more often. It can be a tricky age, but my advice would be to own your sexuality in your 40s. You have all the experience, and if used correctly and to your advantage, your 40s can be your best sexual peak."