How to have great sex in your 30s
Consider this your invitation to really enjoy the ‘Dirty 30s’
We imagined our roaring 20s would be the years of no-strings-attached sex, an all-you-can-eat buffet at a 5-star hotel. But it was more like trying to deal with government bureaucracy. No one knew where you were supposed to go or what you were supposed to do next. You kept getting elbowed in the gut just going from one place to another, until you reached the right spot. It’s popularly believed by experts and us common folk alike that you start to have great sex in your 30s. Your ‘dirty 30s’, if we may say so.
By this time, you’re more familiar with your body. What you like, what you don’t, and what you want to try more of. You realise that when it comes to arousal and orgasm, it’s a lot more emotional and mental than it is physical (as is the case for men).
While this is all true for women around the world, Dr Rukhsana Hashim says we need to take into account the Indian cultural context when we talk about how to have great sex in your 30s. We’re still largely traditional folk with the mean age of marriage and first pregnancy being under 25 years.
Marriage and pregnancy are personal choices, but we bring them up because both influence the nature of our sex lives.
The emotional and mental factors that go into having great sex in your 30s
Feeling comfortable about your own sexual desires
People aren’t used to women asking for and talking about their own pleasure. They get taken aback. Before taking that conversation to a partner, it should happen with ourselves. “Women feel bad, guilty or ‘dirty’ about having fantasies or wanting more sex. The shame starts with ourselves, then it’s either reinforced or taken away by others,” says consultant psychotherapist Mona Lisa Bose, MindCare Clinic.
Whether it’s about having great sex in your 30s, 50s or even 20s – it starts with being comfortable with your sexuality and body.
Spend some time feeling different parts of yourself. See what feels good and what feels very good. Explore your sex organs. Find the speed, movements and combinations that you enjoy through masturbation. It’s when you’re confident in your body and desires that you find it easier to communicate them, according to Barnwal.
If you’re still a bit unsure about going all out during the act itself. Barnwal suggests finding a figure or character to emulate. “That could be Demi Moore from Striptease, or Sharon Stone from Basic Instinct. What works for some women is the fierceness and strength of Goddess Kali. It can be anyone that works for you.”
Fortifying channels of communication to talk about experimenting
There is comfort in having a steady, single partner. But even after marriage, we’re still not comfortable talking about what we want when we’re between the sheets. In our social environment, where talking about the act and experimenting sexually doesn’t make for polite dinnertime banter, we fear we’re going to hurt the other person’s feelings, or be shamed for revealing our fantasies.
One study found that women in their 30s and early 40s feel significantly more sexual than younger women. They shared having more sexual fantasies (and more intense sexual fantasies) than younger women.
Talking to your partner about experimenting sexually can be a slow process when we haven’t grown up with the language to express ourselves in this manner with ease. But it doesn’t have to be awkward either.
Talking about sex, pleasure and trying new things should be part of communicating in a healthy relationship. Pick your words carefully in that first conversation. You can create a sex wish list with your partner and even use the rush of post-coital happy hormones to open up and talk more about each other’s desires. We spoke to women about how they brought up this subject with their partners and created a helpful guide of sorts, that you can read here.
Coping with the physical changes of your body
Stimulate your sex drive with toys
We asked 897 Tweak readers if they noticed a change in their sex drive in their 30s. Over 82% said yes. In your Dirty 30s, your imagination is running wild with sexual fantasies and all the possibilities with your partner, but your body may not always cooperate. Hashim says that while our desire to have sex may be at its highest, it’s also a time when our hormones begin to fluctuate.
For a lot of women, it’s around the age of 35 that the level of testosterone in our body begins to decline. While it’s the hormone that primarily drives sex in males, oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone together all affect sexual desire and arousal in women.
You would have also noticed a change in your sex drive after childbirth. Hashim attributes this to the dramatic post-partum drop in oestrogen and progesterone after you give birth. While they start to get back to normal pretty quick, oestrogen stays on the lower end of the spectrum if you’re breastfeeding.
You may need a helping hand to kickstart your sexual arousal with the help of sex toys. Sex toys can aid and abet the best orgasm of your life. Not just for solo play but there are also sex toys for couples to use together that can take your intimate experience to a whole new level.
Discreet websites are popping up all over the country, with smaller wallet-friendly options starting from ₹1,500 to hi-tech creations. ImBesharam has a wide range of sex toys on sale for every budget and desire to experiment. We recommend a handy vibrator to get things started for clitoral stimulation that’ll take you all the way to orgasm city.
Shop online on I’m Besharam from a range costing anywhere from ₹1,099 to ₹60,000 depending on what you’re looking for.
Accessorise your experimentation
As a couple, if you’re ready to really experiment and explore kinks then slowly step into the world of BDSM. A safe and consensual way to explore your sexuality with your partner that’s built on trust and communication.
Prachi S Vaish helps couples adapt to ‘alternative’ sexual lifestyles that include BDSM, polyamory, swinging and more. A clinical psychologist and couples’ therapist, Vaish set up an online psychotherapy portal through which a lot of her kink-interested clientele reach out to her. “India is really opening up their bedroom doors and in a good way,” she says. Many of the couples who approach Vaish, she says, are on the brink of relationship collapse. They seek out sexual experimentation as a new method of bonding, intimacy and reigniting the fire, as cheesy as that sounds.
You can start slow with beginner activities like dirty talk, then take it up to biting, spanking and start to accessorise as you get more comfortable with wrist ties, blindfolds, paddles and more. As long as both you and your partner are on the same page.
Adult Products India has an array of bondage accessories to choose from. Ranging from cuffs and collars to whips and full-body suits. Check out their selection here.
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Soothe the vaginal discomfort with lube
The vagina goes through a lot during natural childbirth. There’s a decline in oestrogen, there can be surgery involved that requires rest and time to heal. The vagina walls can thin and lose elasticity, and there’s a lot of vaginal dryness. “Breastfeeding mothers will have more vaginal dryness with even lower levels of oestrogen, and the way the body heals after pregnancy can lead to sexual dysfunctions and a lot of discomfort,” adds Hashim.
Sexual dysfunctions are best identified and treated with the help of a medical professional. But to beat the vaginal dryness until your hormones are back to normal, you can try sexual lubricants (lube) to have great sex in your 30s.
Lube decreases the friction caused by penetrative sex. There are many different kinds – gel-based, water, silicone and oil.
Water-based lubes are generally preferred by experts because they’re easy to wash off once you’re done, so it’s less likely to cause an adverse reaction if left over. They tend to be kinder to the gentle vaginal skin because they use more natural rather than synthetic ingredients and are free from artificial dyes and fragrances.
A note of caution: Please check the packaging of the lube to ensure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients.
Working out your pelvic floor
The pelvic floor muscles are among the most important, and ignored, when it comes to women’s bodies. A strong pelvic floor can mean better sex and no urinary incontinence. We need to start thinking about this muscle group and strengthen them through exercises, commonly known as kegels. This could greatly aid your efforts to have great sex in your 30s.
“The pelvic floor is tied between two ends of your pelvic bones and the more load or pressure on it, the more stress it’s going to take,” explains Vanshika Gupta-Adukia, pregnancy specialist, founder of Therhappy and pelvic floor physiotherapist.
You know when you really have to go to the bathroom but are squeezing hard to hold it in? Those are the muscles you want to engage during kegels. Contract the muscles, hold them for 5-10 seconds and relax. Take a break for 3-5 seconds and repeat. Strengthening your pelvic floor gives you more control over it.
Consult a pelvic floor specialist if you need serious guidance and attention, but anyone can do pelvic floor exercises.
Restoring the Pelvic Floor by Dr Amanda Olson is also a very informative read for those who want to know more about how these muscles work and the different exercises that can help us manage health conditions that go beyond the bedroom.