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Sexuality Education Resource Centre

Intimacy in retirement

by Bre Woligroski

Dear Ate Anna:

My husband and I both retired last month, and we finally have more time together! It feels like we are starting to know each other again. Do you have any tips on us getting closer?

A Reader

Dear Reader:

Congratulations on your retirement! It is very positive that you both want to use this time to get to know each other better.

There are many benefits to aging, and one of these is that your experience of sexual intimacy may improve significantly. The more we use our bodies, the more we know about them. For example, we know what kinds of touching we like, and what kinds of touching we don’t like. If you are with the same partner for a long time, the two of you can really get to know each other and what each other enjoys. Also, the emotional intimacy you build over the years can greatly increase the amount of satisfaction for many couples.

The way we experience sex and sexual intimacy shifts throughout life. As we grow older we may need to adjust to our changing bodies, but this leaves a lot of room to be creative and try new things.

Be patient

Be patient with yourself, with your husband, and with your process together. Aging might mean that it may take longer to get sexually aroused than it once did. This is not a bad thing; as long as you are patient, this time spent investing in each other can be very enjoyable! Take the time to stimulate and enjoy each other in different ways. You may find different ways to be together that feels good for both of you.

Be open

Communication can really improve your time together. Take time to talk through what you want, what you are comfortable with and what you are uncomfortable with. Listen to him while he tells you what he is feeling also. The more you talk, the better you will understand each other.

Be playful

Growing older may mean that certain positions you used to enjoy might be difficult; this is an opportunity to try new ways of doing things that you might really enjoy! Talk to each other about what you are feeling, and be open to trying new things.

These tips should help you get closer. Also, remember that if you or your husband has had some health challenges, or are on certain medications, this may be contributing to some of your intimacy challenges. If you feel comfortable, talk to your health care provider about this. They may be able to assist you in giving some options of different medications, or different ways of feeling more comfortable through your health problems.

Enjoy your retirement!
Ate Anna

Ate Anna welcomes your questions and comments. Please write to: Ate Anna, Suite 200-226 Osborne St. N., Winnipeg, MB R3C 1V4 or e-mail: Visit us at for reliable information and links on the subject of sexuality.

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