Sex Later in Life for Men

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Diane Riley
Diane and her partner Kerry Riley have been married 29 years and are Australia’s leaders in Tantra and sexual well being. Diane runs a private consultancy for couples and singles, assisting with education and issues of sacred sexuality and relationships, communication, and men’s and women’s sexual wellness. The Australian School of Tantra’s book ‘Sexual Secrets for Men: What every woman would want her man to know’, and DVD ‘The Secrets of Sacred Sex’ are internationally acclaimed.

How important is sexuality in our lives and what role does it play?
Sexuality is an integral part of our lives, it provides dynamic energy. It touches and inspires every aspect of life and affects us emotionally, physically and spiritually. We can learn to develop and enhance our experience of sexuality to create more love in our lives.

What is the philosophy behind Tantric sex?
Tantra emphasizes that we deserve all the love and sexual pleasure we can possibly receive; that sexual loving is a way to reach the mysteries of the heart, the soul, within each person. It also teaches that sex is a way of bonding with a lover physically, emotionally and spiritually to create feelings of ecstatic pleasure, deep intimacy and feelings of connectedness.

What happens to a man’s sexuality as he grows older?

It’s natural for many men to experience changes in their sexuality with age. Some may be concerned about sustaining potency, virility or have health or personal issues that impact on their sexuality and performance.

How challenging can it be for men to acknowledge these changes?

Many men report they don’t want this area of their life to be over while others feel they are too old and say they can’t do anything about it. A lot of men are challenged and don’t have the education around what they can do to sustain sexual well being into their older years.

How can tantric sex help men improve their sexuality? 
Contemporary tantra can assist men in a modern relationship in simple and profound way. Sacred sexuality and tantra can give us a few lessons on opening up to love with a partner on all levels – body, heart and soul. The magic of love and connection can be helped along. We are never too old for openness, wonder and playfulness to ignite our senses on all levels and bring us the benefits of a potent aphrodisiac. Tantra provides skills for potency and ejaculation control.

What is the PC muscle and how can it help men?

Specific tantric skills are very helpful in enhancing erection strength and ejaculation mastery! A practice to help with control is strengthening the pubococcygeal (PC) muscle. One way to locate this muscle is to try and stop the flow during urination by contracting the pelvic floor. If you can do that then you have found the muscle. It is taught in many texts that if a man contracts this muscle before ejaculation it will stop it. However if it’s not done correctly it doesn’t work. A common error that is made is trying to do it just before ejaculation; if you do it at 90 per cent and you haven’t practiced enough it won’t work and may even cause you to ejaculate. It’s best to do it in stages at 20%, at 30%, at 50%, at 75% and then 90%. If you experience prostate difficulties consult your doctor first.

What is your attitude to drugs such as Viagra?
These medications can increase performance but not necessarily desire, for him or his partner. Erection strength is only one ingredient. And the drug doesn’t necessarily help him with ejaculation control, although he may stay hard after ejaculation the passion and intimacy are gone. For some men these drugs may pose a health risk. In addition to the potential side effects the ancient Chinese believed that as a man’s life force diminishes, so does a man’s ability to get erections. This is the body’s natural protective mechanism to save him from over-ejaculating and losing more energy. By chemically inducing an erection most men then force themselves to ejaculate even though they don’t feel like it. The Taoists say this puts tremendous strain on the whole body and affects health and life expectancy.

Is there too much focus on performance rather than pleasure?

Too often, lovemaking is measured against orgasmic response. That is, the quicker and more often you come, the better! Orgasm takes precedence over pleasure. As a result so many facets of sensuous experience are overlooked. If we can learn to relax and enjoy pleasure it can encompass so much more for ourselves and our partners, that is the main goal of lovemaking or sexual loving.

How can tantric sex help men improve the quality of their relationships?

While making love, a great question to ask yourself is ‘How much love am I feeling while making love? ’ Men are more conscious about getting a result … good sex and orgasm… than how much love they are feeling in their heart. Tantra education may be good for him to learn how to connect sex and heart feelings.

Can you suggest a daily ritual that couples can do to help them feel connected?
A great practice for couples to try is to occasionally make eye contact during love making – it’s common to shut our eyes to loose ourselves in the feeling. That’s perfectly fine however ‘the eyes are the window to the soul’ and often we are not present with our lover and truly feeling the intimacy. It can feel quite awkward at first for some, but if you want to be an intimate loving couple, totally present and fully opened to each other, then try allowing yourself to be seen by you partner.

A practice anyone can try before sex or at another time is to sit opposite your partner, hold hands and shut your eyes for a few minutes and think about some of the things you enjoy about one another. We often spend a lot of energy inwardly complaining about the things that annoy us or we want to change about the other. So for five minutes, let go of that, open your eyes and take turns in telling each other ten things you appreciate about your partner. When one person says something, the other simply says ‘thank you’ and doesn’t comment. Just accept and enjoy. At the end have a hug and don’t discuss it further. Do something together, like taking a walk or simply share a cup of tea. Sounds too simple… but try it and see the effect for yourself. Theory is knowing it, practice is living it!

Five sexuality/relationship tips for older men

1. Strengthen the pubococcygeal (PC) muscle.

2. Connect sex and heart feelings.

3. Remember ‘it’s better to give a woman a little of what she wants rather than a lot of what you think she wants.’

4. Recognize the importance of ‘warming her waters’, eg. not just foreplay but lots of it with loveplay. Eg. stroking her body, finding those pleasure areas behind her knees, neck, ear lobes.

5. Be inventive not only with sex but in the ways you tell her you love her and appreciate her. Tell her five things you love about her/him!