08/06/2018 12:23 SAST | Updated 08/06/2018 12:26 SAST

Take ANC Stalwart Andrew Mlangeni's Happy Marriage And Sex Tips To Heart – Intimacy Coach

'We agreed on... three times a week... we strictly kept to that practice,' he said, referring to sex with his late wife.

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Earlier this week, during ANC stalwart Andrew Mlangeni's 93rd birthday celebration, the old man had pearls of wisdom to share about married life, and wasn't shy to candidly talk about sex.

He said that he and his late wife decided before they got married not have sex every night. "We agreed on that‚ [but] three times a week... We strictly kept to that practice. Only occasionally would we go beyond three‚" he said.

Mlangeni also said he had read somewhere that when a man turned 35‚ his desire for sex decreases. "You understand what I mean‚ but that of a girl goes up," he said.

Local intimacy and relationship coach Tracy Jacobs said that although it may not be true for everyone, a number of women do reach their sexual peak in their thirties and forties. This may be due to a number of reasons, chief among them being a better understanding and comfort with themselves as they grow older. Many women in their thirties say they feel sexier and more connected with their bodies than they did in their twenties.

"In your early twenties, you may still be discovering yourself sexually and finding what excites you. Some people don't realise that sexual fulfilment normally takes time. For example, in your twenties, you may still be focusing on intercourse as a key to orgasming, and it can take until the next decade to realise the key to your orgasm is outside of penetration," said Jacobs.

Some research studies have, in fact, proven that orgasms become easier for women as they age.

For men, on the other hand, there is research that indicates that with age, erections may take longer to develop. A younger man may be able to experience an erection in a matter of seconds, while some older men may need a prolonged period of more intense and effective physical stimulation to become erect.

Men embracing the provider role may also face intense pressures from the financial responsibility of providing for their families, and sometimes extended families. "Actually, the stress of life pressures can greatly affect one's sex drive, regardless of age and gender."

Jacobs strongly believes both "men and women are sexual beings who need sex" regardless of their age, and cautioned that although that desire can come and go in a relationship, it's not a permanent given. "Sometimes, just having sex often enough can be sufficient to bring desire back."

Her top tips to keep the flame in your thirties to forties:

1. Prioritise intimacy

Owing to many commitments in our thirties and into our forties — careers, children, finances — intimate time may need to be scheduled in, and that may be a better option than leaving it to chance, or hoping for spontaneous sex.

2. Don't settle for lazy sex

This can be rushing through foreplay, or skipping it entirely to "just get the job done". Lazy sex robs you of the full experience of what intimacy can bring.

Jacobs also believes the general view of sex as an exercise with an end goal needs to be challenged, as it robs couples of experiencing other things sex can bring — for example, connection, playfulness and intimacy — and this can be necessary for intimacy as we grow older and don't have as much time as we had in our twenties.

3. Self-pleasure

"I always say to couples, there is no shame in masturbation, as long as there's no secrecy behind it. We must also remember that to masturbate takes less energy than to make love, and you don't have to be cognisant of pleasuring your partner, only yourself — and you know your body best," local sexologist and clinical psychologist Dr Eugene Viljoen previously pointed out to HuffPost.