The Act of Marriage After 40: Making Love for Life

The Act of Marriage After 40: Making Love for Life

by Tim LaHaye

Yes, lovemaking does change after 40, but it is still the most thrilling experience two married people of the opposite sex can experience on this earth! In this practical, fun-to-read, illustrated guidebook, Tim and Beverly LaHaye cover a broad spectrum of key topics and show married couples how to experience a more satisfying and joy-filled sex life long after age

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Yes, lovemaking does change after 40, but it is still the most thrilling experience two married people of the opposite sex can experience on this earth! In this practical, fun-to-read, illustrated guidebook, Tim and Beverly LaHaye cover a broad spectrum of key topics and show married couples how to experience a more satisfying and joy-filled sex life long after age 40. Millions of married couples have questions about sexual intimacy. Yet all too often, their questions go unasked . . . or unanswered. This easy-reading, medically sound book candidly addresses issues of intimacy. Does sexual desire actually reverse with aging? How does menopause affect a woman's sex drive? How can exercise and nutritional supplements improve our sex life? Is there such a thing as male menopause? What can we do to put more spark into our lovemaking? You'll learn about sexual desire and dysfunction. Understand the risk and temptation of extramarital affairs. Gain a better understanding of menopause and the dangers of breast and prostate cancer. Learn how to prepare for, and adjust to, physical changes affecting lovemaking. You and your spouse can rekindle that sexual spark in your marriage--or build even stronger intimacy and commitment.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Stress, aging and illness can contribute to a flagging sexual relationship for men and women after age 40. But the LaHayes, whose 1976 2.5-million-copy bestseller, The Act of Marriage, made it more permissible for evangelical Christians to discuss sex openly, say that combining the correct frame of mind with a few basic techniques can make the middle to golden years the richest and most sexually fulfilling. The husband-and-wife team (writing with Mike Yorkey, former editor of Focus on the Family magazine) cover the spectrum of sex and aging by discussing both male and female menopause, fluctuations in sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, breast and prostate cancer, common temptations and the importance of maintaining good health to enhance peak sexual performance. They offer practical tips and suggestions for the bedroom, demonstrating how spirituality affects sexual intimacy. Specifically, the authors advise couples to work on cultivating a warm relationship before entering the bedroom. They should take time to make thoughtful physical preparations and choose surroundings that are comfortable for both partners. Foreplay should offer a gentle touch, and intercourse involves finding those positions most conducive to mutual pleasure. The authors include a fascinating survey of approximately 800 men and women who answered 71 questions on their sexual history, satisfaction and habits. Each chapter is worthy of thoughtful, careful reading, offering hope to "over-40" married Christian couples. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
The authors' The Act of Marriage (Zondervan, 1998) has been a best seller among Christian sex manuals. With this latest collaboration, Tim, author of the popular "Left Behind" series, and Beverly, chair of Concerned Women for America, pitch their biblical-supported eroto-positive message to boomers and older. Their combination pep talk, refresher, and repair guide discusses enhancing intimacy, the basics of sexual arousal/response, male and female menopause, erectile dysfunction, breast and prostate cancer, sex and disability, nutrition and exercise, avoiding affairs, and recognizing one's spirituality through accepting Christ. Facts are supported by appropriate references plus survey data from older Christian couples. Stressing wives' satisfaction as well as husbands', this book belongs in all public libraries along with The Act of Marriage and Douglas E. Rosenau's A Celebration of Sex (Thomas Nelson, 1994). Books by credentialed Christian sex counselors Clifford and Joyce Penner, Ed and Gaye Wheat, and Archibald Hart should also be considered.--Martha Cornog, Philadelphia Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.63(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
Love for a Long, Long Lifetime
Many people as they grow older--notice I didn't say old--poke fun at their diminishing ability to perform sexually. For instance, one of my favorite jokes goes like this:
The following are the three stages of a couple's love life--
1. Couples in their twenties have sex triweekly.
2. Couples in their thirties try weekly to have sex.
3. Couples in their forties, fifties, and sixties try weakly to have sexual relations.
Those of you crossing the threshold into the middle-age years may hear that there's 'a lot of will but no way.' But don't you believe it. Sex begins upstairs in the mind God gave you, so if you think you're too old for sex, you'll act accordingly. This would be a shame because we believe couples can--and should--enjoy a vibrant sex life until they are well into their seventies, even their eighties. Psalm 90:10 reminds us, 'The length of our days is seventy years--or eighty, if we have the strength.' To 'have the strength,' we must take care of our bodies by exercising moderately, eating the right foods, and taking nutritional supplements. (I'll have more to say about this later.)
One of our major themes in this book is that you can continue to love your spouse in physical and amorous ways that will be even better than during those first few sexually adventurous years of marriage. It is possible to enjoy an active, satisfying sex life well into your seventies and eighties. Affection, warmth, and sensuality do not have to deteriorate with age and can actually increase in the midlife years.
Sex in later life is sex for its own sake since our childbearing years are in our rearview mirrors. We make love for pleasure, release, communication, and intimacy. Since the midlife years are marked with fewer responsibilities on the home front (the kids are grown and gone or about to leave the nest), many find this era a time of exhilaration. We lose a step physically, but we more than gain that back with experience. Playwright George Bernard Shaw had it right when he correctly stated, 'Youth is wasted on the young.'
Sex can remain interesting, fulfilling, and exciting in the forties, fifties, sixties, and beyond. Older women rarely lose their physical ability to reach an orgasm, and many older men exhibit a capability for erections and ejaculations. We can expect the body to slow down gradually in sexual response, however, and for sexual desire to lessen, especially for women.
The fact that you have chosen to read about this topic suggests that your sexual relationship is important to you and your spouse. Based on that interest, we will attempt to answer several fundamental questions in The Act of Marriage After 40:
* What are satisfying love relationships like in the midlife years?
* In what ways does the act of marriage change as spouses grow older together?
* How can the sexual relationship improve in the second half of marriage?
To begin our discussion, let's debunk these common myths about sex in the midlife years.
Myth #1: Couples should expect to lose their ability to make love after they reach a certain age
We all know that males reach their sexual peak in late adolescence--between the ages of eighteen and twenty. A young male can ejaculate three to six times a day. We also know that after this sexual peak, males show a steady decline in their sexual ability to climax throughout the rest of their lives.1 A male's ability to make love will not drop off a cliff when he hits forty, fifty, sixty, or seventy; instead, it's a steady descent. Picture a Boeing 757 following a 'glide path' into Chicago's O'Hare Airport, and you get the idea.
On the flip side, women reach their sexual peak ten, twenty years after men when they are in their late thirties and remain on that plateau through their sixties, after which they may show a slight decline in sexual response capability.2 Fred Stoeker, coauthor of Every Man's Battle: Winning the War of Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time, once looked forward to the time in his marriage when he and his wife, Brenda, would experience a 'sexual nirvana' when his wife's peaking line of desire crossed his descending path. If only physical relationships were that simple, Fred says. 'In the end, it wasn't the match of ability or desire that mattered so much, but accepting the fact that there would likely be no match. Men and women are different, and understanding those differences was the key to sensitivity and tenderness for us,' he said.
One of those differences is that, biologically speaking, women experience little sexual impairment as they age. Many women feel that sex is more enjoyable after menopause since there is no risk of becoming pregnant. Others feel their sexual assertiveness increase because they feel comfortable in a stable marriage. Since men and women achieve emotional maturity in the midlife years, they can pave the way toward a superior intimate relationship.
Myth #2: The quality of sex declines for men and women in the midlife years
Your body certainly changes with age. A twenty-year-old man can be erect in five seconds, while it takes a fifty-year-old male half a minute. Maybe a septuagenarian needs several minutes of manual stimulation to become aroused. While an older man may take longer to achieve an erection, he often gains more control over ejaculation because he can sustain his erection longer. With more control, he can take his time to bring his wife to orgasm before intercourse.
The biggest difference is the 'rebound,' or the refractory time, before sex is again possible. At a male's sexual peak (in his late teens or early twenties), he could orgasm as many as three to six times in one night. Older men need twelve to twenty-four hours before they are capable of ejaculation--sometimes several days. We need to keep our eyes focused on how good the sexual experience can be, not how many sexual experiences one can have.

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