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15 women share the best things about sex after 40

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

There's lots to love about sex after 40 — we asked real women to weigh in on the reasons why

As a woman who is rapidly approaching her mid-30s, I've become much more aware recently of chatter about sex for women "of a certain age." That threshold — the one where some people claim sex stops, seriously dwindles or suffers at — seems to be 40.

But, c'mon... that can't be true, right? What could possibly change between now and then to make me want to have sex less? Sure, my body will likely go through some physiological changes in the near future that could change the way my husband and I pre-game. However, I feel confident we'll still be doing our thing long after I've blown 40 candles out on my birthday cake.

More: Shower sex positions that are just the right amount of steamy

To bolster this conviction and clear up any misconceptions about the quality of your sex life at a certain age, I asked women over 40 to weigh in on the best things about intimacy and fun in the bedroom once you close the door on your 30s.

Here's what they had to say: 

"As a 40-year-old divorcée, I will say the best thing is that at this age, guys are way better in bed! They're in general less selfish, more skilled and more dedicated to the woman's pleasure." — LolliaSabina

"I feel like I don't have to try as hard. Does that make sense? Like, I don't have to do anything for my husband to find me sexy. I feel like I'm explaining this badly, but it's a good thing. Maybe it is because I am more confident at this stage in my life and he can see that, but he thinks I'm sexy without all of the 'special effects' like makeup and cute lingerie. And I can enjoy myself more because I am more confident and because I can see in his eyes that he thinks I'm sexy." — Lisa R.

"I'm 55 and I find that because I know the workings of my own body so well that it is a lot easier to orgasm." — eyeluvtoast

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"Less stress. When I was in my 20s, I was constantly worried about getting pregnant or how to talk to boyfriends about whether or not they'd been tested for sexually transmitted diseases. In my 40s and in a longtime relationship, I don't have to waste energy worrying about things like that." — Marilyn C.

"It's awesome. Confidence in yourself and comfortability in your own skin makes it easier to shed your inhibitions, relax and enjoy it!" — snetgul

"My sex life is actually way more exciting now than it was when I was younger. Because my husband and I have been together for 15 years and have created a strong trust between us, I think we're more adventurous in the bedroom. Part of that might be necessity, because after being together so long you have to get creative or you'll just end up doing the same things all the time. It's nice, though, because we can try things we probably wouldn't have tried 10 years ago. Even if whatever we try ends up being a horrible fail, we can laugh about it together and create a different kind of intimacy in that." — Shelley R.

"Better. I think you know yourself better and become less inhibited.The only downside is that your sexual appetite is insatiable." — leggingsrnotpants

"You both feel more comfortable in your own skins in bed, warts and all. Communication is easier and richer. You know each other's bodies so much better. That's what's better. What's worse is that your respective libidos gradually start to slow down, usually at different rates. That's what motivates many of the complaints about dead bedrooms. The trick is to talk about it. Make some compromises: One agrees to sex a little more often than they would prefer, and the other a little less often than they prefer. If you care for your partner, you must never leave them wanting because idle bedrooms are the devil's workshop." — Some-Like-It-Hot

"I think, for me, the biggest change has been that I'm not too afraid anymore to ask for what I want. In my 20s and even 30s, I never wanted to offend the person I was dating by asking them to do something different in the bedroom that might work better for me — I thought they would interpret that as me thinking they didn't know what they were doing. But at 43, I know what does it for me, and I definitely don't shy away from asking for it or showing him how to do it." — Cathy B.

More: 9 tips for when your sex life goes limp

"I'm less self-conscious about my body; I've had three babies and stretch marks happen. I know my own body and what does it for me and I'm not afraid to say so anymore. I'm also way more adventurous than I was 20 years ago." — PM_your_recipe

"It's just better. Can I say that? People always say that it is harder to enjoy sex when you get older, but that has been categorically untrue for me. Maybe it's because I'm more comfortable in my own skin or I know what turns me on, but the 'big O' is way bigger now." — Regina R.

"That I can scream all I want because my kids are gone and living on their own." — Dennis2_

"You feel so much less inhibited during sex in your 40s. You're not spending the entire time thinking about how the cellulite on your legs looks, because at this age you've made peace with the things about your body that were a big problem (in your mind) when you were younger. And when you aren't spending time being insecure and worrying about how your body looks, you're more in the moment." — Caroline H.

"I'm 55. My SO is 58. Our kids are grown. We don't have unexpected visitors (i.e., the kids) interrupting us. We don't have pregnancy scares. We can be as noisy as we want. We're more relaxed. We don't dwell on a new wrinkle. We're not self-conscious about our bodies. We can enjoy each other!" — Heemsah

"I feel like for me it has a lot to do with the level of comfort my husband and I have after all these years. We got to know each other over the course of the last 16 years, and we know what we like... I suppose if I were single, I'd answer similarly in that I'm comfortable with who I am and what I want sexually, and I'm no longer shy about it. I used to be worried about what I looked like or that things I wanted to do would be perceived negatively by a partner, and was pretty inhibited with some partners. That faded in my late 20s, and by the time I was 30, I didn't care anymore. If seeing me do something I enjoyed was going to make a man judge me or not call me again — well, he wasn't the man for me, so thank you and next please. Then I met this guy who liked everything I was doing and I felt that way about him too, and it stuck." — puss_parkerswidow

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