DEAR DR. JENN,
I am in my mid 30's and I am so much hornier than I ever was in my 20's — I feel like I've reached my sexual peak. Is it all in my head? My husband can barely keep up with me. —Dirty 30s
DEAR DIRTY 30s,
You are not alone. Over and over again, in my private practice, I hear women in their thirties talk about how much better their sex life is than it was in their twenties.
Many people consider the 30s to be women's sexual prime. Many women find they have a heightened sex drive, increased enjoyment of sex, and have stronger and better orgasms.
There are many reasons why this happens. For one, in their thirties, both men and women experience a drop in testosterone levels. This decrease tends to happen more slowly in women than men, which means that a woman in her thirties with a male partner may often find that their desire levels meet in the middle. Sometimes her libido may be stronger than his.
There are plenty of other reasons why women's sexual prime happens in their 30s, too. Ahead, a few reasons why the "dirty 30s" are a real thing.
1. You probably have more orgasms.
Infamous sex researcher Alfred Kinsey claimed that women had more orgasms in their thirties than any other time in their lifespan. The current research reinforces that the thirties kick the twenties' ass when it comes to cum. Researchers found 54% of women aged 18 to 30 struggled to achieve the big O, only 43% of those 31 to 45 did. They also found that women 31 to 45 were the most sexually active — 87% said they did the deed regularly. Having orgasms tends to make people want to have sex more, and having sex more tends to create a positive cycle.
2. You are more comfortable with your body.
As we age, we tend to become less insecure about our bodies and learn to accept those characteristics once perceived as flaws. Studies show that as women get older they tend to see a reduction in objectifying their bodies, body monitoring, body anxiety, as well as disordered eating. Any of these changes could contribute to feeling hotter — and thus hornier — in general.
3. You’re not using sex to validate or manipulate.
Let's face it, many of us spend some time in our twenties using sex to validate our attractiveness or sexual prowess. Understanding the power of our sexuality is a process, a rocky one for most. In our twenties, there is more of a tendency to use sex to hook a partner in or to get that person to stick around. This keeps us focused on the sexual experience of our lover, as opposed to our own pleasure, which doesn't often lead to earth-shattering sex. This pressure to perform makes sex less enjoyable. By the time we hit our thirties, we may have less of a need to use sex for other things. We are able to own our sexuality and enjoy it more fully.
4. You are more likely to have one regular partner.
Statistically speaking, by the time you are in your thirties, you are likely to be in a significant relationship, engaged, or married. Even if you are in an open relationship, you probably have certain partners that you sleep with regularly and trust. Having a regular partner means that you get to know each other's bodies and how to get the job done. Your life experience has probably helped you hone your picking skills, and you have managed to find a partner you trust, which also enhances the sexual experience. You have also probably come to terms with the natural ebb and flow of a long-term sex life, which reduces your anxiety about performing every time, too.
5. You know what you like and what you don’t.
You are probably in a more sex-positive place in your life. Hopefully the life experience that has gotten you to your thirties has helped make you less judgmental about sex and slut shaming (definitely of others, but also of yourself). The ability to let go of judging yourself and your preferences makes for a better sex life.
6. You know your body and you’re not afraid to touch it.
You don't have to put up with unsatisfying sex because you're familiar with your own body and know how to get the job done yourself — or to coach your partner if their techniques are not getting you there. Also, you have likely had enough sexual experience to realize that sex can be messy, and you are less squeamish about it. This also makes you less embarrassed about the weird noises, fluids, and funky positions that go along with a no-holds-barred sex
7. You’re more confident.
Your life experience has made you more confident. You have a stronger sense of self, which you bring into the bedroom. And confidence always makes for better sex. A poll of over 2,000 women found that 91% felt most "at ease sexually" between the ages of 35 to 44. So there you have it. Your "dirty 30s" are as real as those bed-shaking Os you've been having on the regular. Mazel tov, and enjoy.
In Hump Day, award-winning psychotherapist and TV host Dr. Jenn Mann answers your sex and relationship questions — unjudged and unfiltered.
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