Getting Naked: Why Sex In Midlife Is Exciting

I was 45 years old when I was divorced.  I hadn’t had sex in over 4 years and although it seems crazy to write this now, I thought I was over the hill and that sex was no longer on the agenda for me. At the time I was okay with that. I just didn’t know what I was missing.


A few years back, whilst I was doing some research for my book  ‘Best Knickers Always: 50 lessons for midlife’ I asked a number of friends about their deepest fears for midlife. The visible signs of ageing were high on the list, followed quickly by ‘SEX’. This wasn’t just single friends of mine but those who were married too. 


Getting naked with a new partner terrifies some people. It did me. I still remember the first time I kissed someone after my divorce. It shocked me. I felt giddy like a teenager. I was so nervous my teeth were chattering and my whole body began to shake. There was a mix of excitement and real fear. What was I scared about? Well, would I remember what to do? Although blessed with good genes, my body shows signs of wear and tear! Would I make a fool of myself? Would my partner be turned off once my clothes were off? Would I ever stop shaking? 


The thing is, for those of us dating again in later life, we have a lot of thinking to do about who we are both physically and emotionally. Everything seems different. We’ve all got judgments about our bodies and our past experiences. Yet, if we can put all that aside and allow our bodies and mind to go with the flow and experience the moment it can be magical, even if that’s with chattering teeth. 


Here’s what I’ve come to appreciate and celebrate about sex in my 50s:


I take myself less seriously — sex is a funny business and the more you can laugh about it the better. Manoeuvring with a dodgy hip or getting cramps just adds to the hilarity of it all. Getting revved up and then promptly falling asleep before getting started is no big deal, it says nothing about me or my partner other than the fact we’ve had a busy day. 


Self-confidence — I know my body and I like my body. It’s taken me over 50 years to get to this place. Our bodies are incredible machines and something to celebrate and not berate. I’m much more able to say what I want and what I like and be confident with it. Self-confidence and self-awareness are sexy! 


Enjoyment and pleasure — there is nothing worse than when sex feels like a chore. This has certainly been my experience in the past. Age does wonderful things to us. Sex isn’t simply penetration, orgasm isn’t the goal. Gone is the performance anxiety of the past. Enjoyment and pleasure bring us a closer and deeper connection with our partner. I’ve found I’ve mellowed a lot. 


Intimacy — this to me is the best thing about sex in later life. To be truly intimate with our partners is such a joy. To enjoy each other in the moment, letting go of all the worries of the day, the lists, and current affairs. Being together mindfully isn’t something I had ever experienced before in my sex life. Being completely absorbed in the moment, in the touch, in the feeling with nothing else on my mind is, in my opinion, the joy of sex that comes with age.



Following a divorce, Rebecca found herself a single mother to three children and 45 years old in 2008. She hadn’t dated since her early 20s and found that much had changed! After a number of years of good and bad dates she met her guy (online naturally) and fell in love just before her 50th birthday. Midlife has taught her to be more open-minded, to take more risks, to worry less and live by the motto, ‘If not now, when?’


Rebecca is a qualified wellbeing and resilience coach and has worked with individuals and groups across all ages and sectors. Her passion is getting right to the heart of what her clients want for their lives, helping them see beyond what they currently believe is possible. 


Rebecca is co-founder of Irresistible Dating which she set up with award winning dating photographer Saskia Nelson. Their expertise lies in guiding clients into the right mindset for dating success as well as helping them create a dating profile that stands out. 


Rebecca is also the author of Best Knickers Always: 50 Lessons for Midlife. Her latest book, co written with her daughter, Recovery from Within: A mother and daughter’s journey through anorexia will be published in the autumn. Rebecca has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, BBC London and writes regularly for Medium where she was featured as one of their top writers on mental health. 


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