The Best Age for Sex: Have You Peaked?

If you’re past your 30th birthday, the following might be some bad news: Men have the most sex between the ages of 25 and 29, says a new study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Even worse: The frequency of sex drops off sharply at age 50, to an average of 1.22 times per week. Compare that to guys in their late 20s, who have sex about three times per week.

Does that mean you’re over the sexual hill after turning 30? No, fortunately, because staying frisky is more about physical and mental health and the strength of your relationship than it is about age, says J. Stephen Jones, M.D., F.A.C.S., a urologist with the Cleveland Clinic. It’s just that getting older is too often accompanied by weight gain, declining health, increased stress, and stale relationships, he says.

If you want to keep getting busy, follow this three-step plan so you can be sure to have great sex every night until you’re well into retirement.

Preserve your wood

The most vital aspect to having sex as you age is to make sure your member is working properly. To safeguard your erection, maintain a healthy weight and stop smoking, Dr. Jones says. A 2011 study in the European Journal of Endocrinology found that the bigger a man’s waist, the higher his chance of having erectile dysfunction. “And if you want to ensure sexual dysfunction early in life, smoking is the way to do it,” he says. For more ways to make sure you can always rise to the occasion, see these Rules for Stronger Erections.

Keep your confidence up

Don’t freak out if your erection doesn’t show up in the morning or you’re not as hard as you used to be. It could be your testosterone: T levels generally start dropping around age 30, and by your 40s you lose about 2 percent of your testosterone per year. And if you’re regularly having trouble performing, it can lead to a loss of sexual confidence that can drain your sex life, says Barry McCarthy, a professor of psychology at American University and the author of Men’s Sexual Health.

Strength training is a natural way to boost your T levels, because it helps you build muscle and ditch your gut, both of which set your body up for maximum T production. If you have a low libido or trouble performing and suspect testosterone is the culprit, you can see your doc for a blood test. T levels below 240 may make you a candidate for testosterone replacement.

Focus on pleasure

Amazing sex is not always about reaching the finish line—it’s about feeling good and having fun. The sooner you learn that, the better, says Eric Marlowe Garrison, online sex counselor and author of Mastering Multiple Position Sex. “There may be a time when orgasms may become more difficult to have, but you can always have a pleasurable time together,” he says.

You can have great sex well into your golden years if you make it more intimate, interactive, and variable, McCarthy says. (Rather than the wham, bam, thank you ma’am sex you had in your 20s.) Be open to new experiences beyond everyday intercourse, like an erotic shower, a candlelit massage, exploring other body parts, or a trip to the adult store together. To up your game even more, learn How to Have Sex for an Hour!