There’s plenty of evidence to support the idea that sex gets better with age. But if your salad days are a decade or two behind you, may have noticed that your orgasms aren’t quite what they used to be. I’m talking about a few different but sometimes related things here; a weakening in the way an orgasm feels; a weakening in the force with which you ejaculate and a reduction in the volume of semen you produce when you orgasm.
It was several years ago that I started to notice that orgasms that rendered me unable to remember my name or where I was were becoming few and far between. Then, last winter, I started to suspect that the volume of semen I produced was decreasing and the past few months, I’ve become certain that the force of my ejaculations has been on the wane. Before chalking it up to the aging process and accepting that my orgasms were going to be markedly less spectacular from here on out, I decided to educate myself on what might be going on down there. I’m glad that I did, and if you want the best orgasms of your life to be ahead of you, you will be, too.
There are certain changes we expect to take place as part of the aging process. One we might not think about too much is our capacity for making more semen. In one study, men over the age of 52 had half the volume of semen as men under that age (1.8 ml versus 3.2ml).
“The ability to create the components of semen is also affected by advancing years as the body performs none of its functions with the same robust efficiency of youth as men age,” says Michael Reitano, physician-in-residence at men’s health startup Ro. While turning back time is not an option, lengthening the time between ejaculations is, and it could result in higher volumes.
Even if a reduced capacity for making a mess isn’t a concern, ejaculating in quick succession is likely to result in weaker feeling orgasms, according to Erik Wibowo, a male anatomy expert from the University of Otego in New Zealand. This, he says, is because of the refractory period that follows after an ejaculation in which re-arousal is dampened. Wibowo adds that how quickly you could return to baseline varies significantly between individuals.
“Lessening frequency of ejaculation may help with this,” says psychotherapist Ian Kerner, author of He Comes Next. Kerner says that edging or postponing ejaculation during sex or masturbation may increase the tone of the pelvic floor muscles and increase the force of ejaculation.
Getting set in your ways is, generally speaking, part and parcel of getting older. It stands to reason. By the time you get into your 40s, you’ve gained enough experience under your belt to know what trips your trigger and what doesn’t. However, that trigger will be harder to trip if you don’t switch things up every now and again. And that can mean weaker orgasms.
“I’ve observed that when psychological stimulation is high—a particularly juicy piece of porn, a sexual scenario that deviates from one’s pattern—men also claim to have more powerful orgasms, “ says Kerner. “Certainly, psychological stimulation and the percolation of arousal plays a role in the quality of orgasm.”
Your move? Whether it’s in your sex life, your mental fantasies, or the kind of porn your watch, keep an open mind when looking for inspiration. Finding something novel or unexpected is likely to pay dividends.
You’ve probably heard that, as men age, the amount of testosterone we producediminishes. What you may not know is that a drop off in testosterone is linked to weaker orgasms. Wibowo says the difficulty in studying this topic is in part because most men with very low levels of testosterone are not engaged in sexual activity anyway, due to the diminished libido associated with it. He does, however, cite a 2018 paper about how androgen deprivation therapy used to treat prostate cancer causes pelvic floor muscle shrinkage. “This is no surprise because skeletal muscle morphology depends on testosterone,’ he says.
While a doctor will need to see your blood work to assess whether you could be a candidate for testosterone replacement therapy, there is a suite of things you can do with the aim of boosting it—and your Os—naturally. These include eating a balanced diet consisting of protein, carbs, and fats, engaging regular resistance exercise, lowering stress, supplementing your diet with zinc, vitamin D and other minerals, drinking less alcohol, and making sure you get good sleep consistently. In fact, one study showed that on average, for every additional hour of sleep you fit in, your testosterone levels rise by 15%.