It can be hard to keep the spice alive in long-term relationships. Whilst ageing lowers your libido, health experts say that twice-a-week sex at any age has benefits for mental and physical health.?

The pandemic could turn people either way. Being holed up together with more time on your hands can encourage couples to spend more time being intimate with their partner – just for something to do.

For others, too much time together can hinder your sex life because there is not enough intimacy.?

In her book, ?Mating in Captivity?, author Esther Perel explains the paradox of sex and intimacy. She writes: ?Love rests on two pillars: surrender and autonomy. Our need for togetherness exists alongside our need for separateness.?

Most people need their own space. In a relationship, partners need to spend time apart in order to make a connection when they do spend time together. If there is no opportunity for alone time, there is no time for connecting. 

Lockdown may be all well and good for young couples with a healthy sexual relationship. Maternity wards are expected to be packed over the Christmas and New year period. 

Couples that have been married for decades, on the other hand, will need to use their imagination to keep the romance alive. The US-based sex shop owner, Khara Cartagena, revealed there has been an increase in sales of lingerie, performance pills, and gallons of massage oil.

Stress and Sex

Regardless of age, ?uncertainty stress? caused by the pandemic could impair your lovemaking. Concerns about elderly parents, job futures and income affects people?s psychology, mood and overall relationship with a partner.

Some people lose their libido once stress kicks in. For others, sex is a coping mechanism to take their mind away from uncertainty. 

Sex therapist, Diane Gleim, says the stress prompts a delicate balancing act with a person?s sexual chemistry. Just enough anxiety/tension/uncertainty can stimulate the hormones in some people and drown them in others.

However, researchers have found that sex is an antidote for stress and can improve mental and physical health – especially as you get older.?

study performed by Arizona State University study examined the sexual activity of 58 middle-aged women. Researchers found that physical affection and an active sex life with a partner significantly improved the mood and lower stress levels the following day. 

Engaging in?sex as you get older?has also been linked with improved cognitive function and the potential to avoid erectile dysfunction. Women that do not have sex on a regular basis also struggle to release hormones that lubricate the vagina.?

Moreover, sex releases endorphins – the feel-good hormone in the brain. These neurochemicals help to relax the body and mind and give the immune system a boost.

So if you are in a long-term relationship, keeping things alive in the bedroom helps to keep you alive for longer as well. 

Sexless singles, on the other hand, could be damaging their health. Sexual activity improves blood circulation and can ward off heart failure. As you age, a healthy sexual relationship is arguably more important than ever.