25/11/2017 09:21 SAST | Updated 25/11/2017 11:15 SAST

Sex After 40 Can Be Great -- But This May Need Some Hard Work

Like wine, sex can actually get better with age.

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An investment in your sexuality is an investment in your future, according to a local intimacy and relationship coach. This investment can yield returns whether you are 40, 50 or 60, although this might require a bit more work as compared to your 20s and 30s.

In fact, "hormone changing years can be a sexually excitable time," said Tracy Jacobs.

READ: 50-Year-Olds Are Getting It On More Than Any Other Age Group In South Africa

She shared her top tips to get the spark back, or maintain it in mature years.

1. Be honest to your partner about your feelings

Jacobs emphasised that, regardless of age, partners must communicate their honest feelings around intimacy.

To say: "Darling this does not feel so good", or "A little to the right", or "What about fantasies?" should be normal in a relationship, Tracy said.

This is because as people grow older, their abilities and sexual attitudes will likely change. Additionally, because of bodily changes, one partner may not be as comfortable with, for example, certain sexual positions.

There's no shame in talking to someone professional about sex

Particularly for women, "if there is any form of physical pain during sex, as with vaginismus, her libido will also decline," said sexologist and relationship therapist, Elmarie Craig.

Honest communication about this will enable mutual understanding about concerns, expectations, wants and needs from both parties in the bedroom.

2. Never say "our love is not (or no longer) about sex"

Jacobs strongly believes both "men and women are sexual beings who need sex" regardless of their age.

However, it's easier to keep sex at the back burner as pressures of life pile up -- money issues, children, stressful jobs.

However, this can be avoided by intentionally setting time apart to try keep the flame alive. During this time, the couple can do things they both love(d) to do or try new things, and who knows, one thing may (likely) lead to the next.

ALSO READ: If You're Distressed About Your Sexual Desire, This Could Be Why

3. Do not be scared to seek professional help

Jacobs pointed out how -- just as people seem comfortable seeking the help of financial, life and fitness coaches -- couples should not be ashamed to seek the help of intimacy or sex coaches.

Craig also noted that psychological, more than physical factors may affect sexual relations -- and this may need direct professional help.

Physiological issues as a result of hormonal changes, birth control, chronic medication can also women to lose interest in sex, and this is where professionals can assist.

"There's no shame in talking to someone professional about sex," added Jacobs, they are trained to do so.

It's also important for mature couples to remember that sex is good for one's health. Many studies have proven how sex improves mental health, increases lifespan and can render you emotionally closer.