Anna Pulley, @annapulley
RedEye's sex columnist
4:52 PM CDT, April 11, 2012
I had heard from older friends that sex for women gets better in their late-20s and 30s, but I never really believed it until I hit 30. Holy crap, it's true! My sex drive is way more intense and I have more orgasms more easily than ever before. Not that I need justification to enjoy my awesome new sex life, but I'm just curious, why does this happen?
—30 and loving it
This is a phenomenon that can be traced back to Dr. Alfred Kinsey, whose 1953 book “Sexual Behavior in the Human Female” noted women tend to hit their sexual stride in their dirty 30s. But, remember that Kinsey’s research was conducted in the 1940s. By the time these lusty ladies hit their 30s, they were married and had a couple of kids. Pre-marital sex was very much frowned upon, and well, it was just a very oppressive time to own a vagina. Kind of like today actually! So it would make sense that Kinsey’s women in their teens and 20s wouldn’t have the knowledge and access to sexual pleasure that women have today.
That said, there’s no scientific evidence that a “sexual peak” exists in either men or women. Our bodies and hormones are fluctuating all the time, and our “sex drives” (a very subjective term) change just as frequently. Though several studies do point to a peak in women’s sex drives when they hit the middle of their reproductive cycle, which is why you might find yourself on that barstool or sexting an ex around that time.
The dirty 30s myth is counterintuitive on a few biological levels, namely that after adolescence, testosterone, which is the main hormone involved in libido, decreases steadily in both men and women as we age. Also, women are most-fertile in their early 20s, so it makes little sense that it’d take another decade for our bodies to be like, “Oh, hey, sex! Me likey.” This isn’t to say I’m not happy for your newfound life as an orgasm-machine. I totally am. But research on the topic has revealed that there’s no age when we are our most randy.
However, there are lots of other reasons that might account for your sudden increase in sexytimes, including the delightfully out-of-our-hands occurrence known as aging. A pleasant by-product of getting older is you give less of a f**k about what others think, your inhibitions are lowered, and you (most likely) have your shit more together. You’re probably getting more sleep and feeling generally more stable in your life. Plus, by your 30s, you’ve been around the block several times. You know your body and what feels good. You’re better able to communicate your desires to your partners than you were in your fumbling teens and regrettable 20s. All of these things lead to better, happier times in the sack. Basically, your sexual “peak” will be any time you feel comfortable and desirable in your skin.Want to ask Anna an anonymous question about love, sex or dating? Email your quandary to email@example.com.
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