Sexual problems can creep up as you age. Sure, you can resort to meds or therapists, but you might be able to take care of minor sexual issues by helping yourself. Sometimes tweaking a few things in your lovemaking repertoire can do the trick. Here are a few suggestions on how to take your sex life to the next level:

Check out erotica: Reading is fundamental! Reading about people getting down and dirty can be downright arousing. Studies have shown that reading erotica can have some serious mental health benefits. According to mental health and sexuality educator Sarah Jane, reading sexy books or material that is supposed to be arousing can help you shift your stress or anxiety into positive emotions. Erotic literature can allow you to become more comfortable in your sexuality, communicate easier with your partner, and may even impact your ability to orgasm. Peep these sites to get things going–, and

Slow lovemaking is a good thing: Face the facts, aging means you aren’t as spry as you were once upon a time. Your sexual responses will slow down. Arousal and orgasm might take a while to reach. But hold on! Slow sex ain’t a bad thing! Having a lovemaking routine that lasts a while can be stimulating and open up doors to a new kind of fulfilling sexual experience. “Sure, you can feel things during fast sex, but during slower sex, there is more time for your brain to process the experience of each sensation,” says Kate Balestrieri, Psy.D., a licensed psychologist, certified sex therapist, and founder of Modern Intimacy. “So, it’s as if you feel more. Sex is a multi-sensory experience, and when you slow it down, you can savor more of the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches.”

Lube it up: During menopause, thinning vaginal tissue and dryness due to a lack of estrogen can make intimacy uncomfortable — or even painful. Lubricants can help. They work quickly and offer short-term relief from pain and dryness during sex. So, don’t hesitate for a minute to whip out your lube to avoid painful sex. We like Good Clean Love Almost Naked Lube which is water-based. The North American Menopause Society recommends water-based lubricants over oil-based ones because they are less likely to cause irritation, easily wash off, and won’t damage latex condoms.

Try cuddling: Cuddling is a love language all its own. Let’s face the facts, it takes energy to have sex, and you might lack it on some days. A little smooching and touching can be fun, satisfying, and helps maintain a physical and emotional bond between you and your mate. Oxytocin isn’t called the “cuddle hormone” for no reason. It’s released when you cuddle and leaves you feeling loving and connected. Cuddling also has a calming effect which may lower blood pressure according to clinical research.

Share a fantasy: Sexual fantasies can be very healthy expressions of sexuality and can also spice up your bedroom routine. Writing fantasies down can help you explore possible activities you think might be a turn on for both you or your partner. Try thinking of an experience or movie that aroused you, then share the memory with your partner. Sharing sexual fantasies with each other and coming up with creative ways of incorporating the fantasies into your sexual experiences could be a very fun and playful experience. You and your partner can collaborate to design how the fantasy could be materialized into reality and try out the different variations.This exercise is especially helpful for people with low sexual desire.

Use it or lose it. When estrogen drops at menopause, the vaginal walls lose some of their elasticity. You can slow this process or even reverse it by having sex. If intercourse is not an option, then take matters into your own hands by masturbating. Use a vibrator or dildo (an object resembling a penis) to help stretch the vagina. For men, long periods without an erection can deprive the penis of a portion of the oxygen-rich blood it needs to maintain good sexual functioning. As a result, something akin to scar tissue develops in muscle cells, which interferes with the penis’s ability to expand when blood flow is increased.

Got no interest in sex? If you’ve tried it all and still have no interest in sex, have a conversation with your doctor. A medical professional can get down to the root of your issue and prescribe an effective treatment. You can also try contacting a sex therapist who can help you explore issues that may be standing in the way of a satisfying sex life.