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Eros and Aging - Page 9

Crucial Factors in Healthy Sexuality

We've found that the following 10 attitude shifts and actions can help men and women develop more realistic and rewarding attitudes about sex, and help couples establish a strong and resilient sexual relationship that will last well into old age.

1. Value sex in one's relationship as intrinsically good and humanly indispensable. This means accepting that sex is more than being sexy or performing perfectly: it's an integral part of one's attitudes, behaviors, and emotions.

2. Commit to developmentally integrating one's maturing sexuality into self-esteem as a man and a woman. Realize that one's sense of "manhood" or "womanhood" doesn't rest on the sexual behavior and characteristics exhibited by an 18-year-old.

3. Ground sexual expectations on accurate knowledge about sexual physiology, psychology, and relationship health.

4. Make intimacy the ultimate sexual focus, while valuing the joys of physical sex.

5. Value sensual and sexual pleasure above sexual performance.

6. Self-regulate sexual drive and arousal.

7. Incorporate flexible sexual arousal in lovemaking, rather than demanding total, predictable sexual performance.

8. Value cooperation in intimacy, viewing the partner as your intimate, erotic friend.

9. Integrate sexuality into daily life through a range of emotional and relational experiences, rather than compartmentalizing it into a separate event.

10. Embrace the GES model.

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