Sexuality, Love and Aging
As humans we all have different personalities, goals, eye color and taste in music......But the one thing we all have in common, is the need and desire for love, touch and affection. We want someone to share our lives with, to hold us, to have that deeper connection with, and the bond of a sexual relationship.
The biology of finding and choosing a mate is an interesting one. In the same way we say digestion begins with the eyes, love really begins in the nose. Yep, the nose.
We all know, for the most part, what physical attributes we like in a potential mate, but the real messenger of love is chemical...pheromones.
Pheromones are steroidal micro smells that travel though the air, into your nose and trigger you to utter the corniest pick up lines you can come up with, “Your once, twice, three times a lady....” “Do you have a map? Because I keep getting lost in your eyes...” Been there?
When we find that special person our brains start pumping out the “feel good” chemicals dopamine and serotonin, giving you that sense of euphoria. The heart pounding, dizzying feeling of “being head over heels in love”.
However, over time you develop a tolerance to the effects of dopamine and serotonin and the “high” isn’t quite as euphoric as it was in the beginning. But never fear, another hormone does kick in, oxytocin that helps you feel intimacy and a connectedness. Oxytocin increases when you are having a conversation. This explains why having great communication is so important in a relationship! Deep meaningful loving conversations keep love and relationships strong and much more intimate. (Yep, guys, your gonna have to talk to us)
As we get older, we need to keep reinventing our relationships and keep the passion alive. Perhaps the passion isn’t quite as fiery hot as it was in the beginning but the intimacy is much deeper.
I like to think of a love affair as a journey of investments. Every day think of ways you can make an investment into your relationship rather than withdraws. That could be as simple as a compliment, a note left in a pocket, or a special dinner for “no reason” or a hug out of the blue. Over the years, making these types of investments in your relationship creates huge payoffs. (And if you have a big savings account, when you make a mistake, there’s plenty of support there to get you outta the dog house!)
Be ok with not being the one to always “win” an argument, or the one who gets to be “right”. Needing to “win” or be “right” all the time leads to a breakdown in communication, trust and love. Learn to grow love rather than growing apart.
The Lovin’ Spoonful
Our health, is an accumulation of a life time of choices. How we arrive at an older age is really up to us. Sexual health is no different than anything else. If we have kept ourselves active and have chosen good food we will be in good shape.
Sexual health depends on good blood flow and circulation! So saturated fats, smoking, sugar, diabetes, high blood pressure are definitely not gonna help you out in the bedroom. And, for the record, exercise will help with endurance.....Eating foods that increase blood flow and give you the right nutrients are important.
Sharing a meal together has always been a part of a loving courtship and certain foods have always been considered aphrodisiacs. Food is a sensual experience. The colors, textures, smells, taste and yes, the shape.
Some foods that contain key nutrients in creating a healthy libido:
- Avocados contain B6 which stimulates testosterone and blood circulation
- Bananas have high amounts of potassium and B vitamins to increase testosterone as well as libido enhancing bromelain.
- Figs are high in amino acids that increase libido and sexual stamina
- Asparagus is high in Vitamin E and stimulates testosterone
- Gingko Biloba increases blood flow to the brain and sex organs
- Nutmeg increases sexual stimulation
- Chocolate (Were you worried I was going to forget the chocolate?) Contains phenylanine, an amino acid that raises endorphins and increase libido.
Testosterone depends on zinc in the diet. Vegan sources of zinc are sesame seeds and tahini (sesame seed butter), pumpkin and squash seeds and peanuts.
Men also loose selenium in semen, so add some selenium rich foods such as walnuts and brazil nuts to the diet.
Enjoy the journey of love!
Love, health and sex go hand in hand. Sex is so much deeper and fulfilling when shared with someone you truly love and have a commitment and connection to. Caring for your health is one way you can let your partner know you love them, by being around to enjoy life together for along time! Enjoy the journey, make it sweet, love deeply and laugh a lot! (And stop using ridiculous pick up lines!)
Here are a few recipes using our libido enhancing foods......Here’s to love!
Chocolate Avocado Mousse
- 4 avocados, mashed
- 1/3 cup honey/agave
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg, opt
- 1 tsp cinnamon, opt
In a bowl or processor, blend avocado until smooth. add all ingredients until creamy. Chill for a few hours. Serve with berries and bananas and take turns feeding each other :)
Fig Berry Smoothie
- 2 cup water
- 3 figs fresh
- 1 bananna
- ¼ cup cup blueberries
- ¼ cup raspberries
- ¼ avocado
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
Place ingredients in Vitamix. Blend until smooth. Enjoy with love!
The closer I’m bound in love to you, the closer I am to free.
Robert G Ingersol
Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life.
Enjoy the journey called love.....
Lori Clayton, LMT, CHHC