Is there REALLY such a thing as a sexual peak?

Tracey Cox says the best sex of your life can happen at ANY time – as proved by real life racy stories including a woman in her 50s who’s ‘done things she can’t even admit to’

  • Sexpert Tracey Cox has revealed that there is no such thing as a set sexual peak 
  • She said we are all different and that your ‘peak’ could be driven by hormones
  • Tracey has also given a helpful range of hints and tips to achieve great sex 

By Tracey Cox

Blame Alfred Kinsey.

The infamous sex researcher was the first to float the idea that men hit their sexual peak in their late teens and women in their early 30s.

In the 1940s and 50s, Kinsey asked men and women how frequently they experienced orgasm and found men in their late teens had more orgasms than older men and that women in their early thirties had more orgasms than women in their teens.

He presumed it was because women feel more comfortable about sex at this age: we get less ‘people-pleasing’ as we move out of our 20s, know more about what we need to orgasm and have the confidence to ask for it.

Men were presumed to peak in their late teens because they can get an erection in the blink of an eye – and be ready to go again with the wink of another.

There’s some truth to both of these assumptions – but that doesn’t make it true.

In reality, there is no such thing as a set sexual peak because we’re all different.

Like most things in sex, it’s not a one-size-fits-all thing.

For starters…

How do you measure the best sex of your life?

Kinsey measured our sexual peak by the number of orgasms the participants reported.

Is that a good measure of your enjoyment of sex?

Not in my book.

Great sex isn’t just about climaxing – some of the best sex I’ve had in my life didn’t even involve an orgasm.

Connection, intimacy, risk, adventure, eroticism, lust, feeling desired, feeling highly aroused and sexy – these are all factors that people cite when describing the best sex of their lives.

The answer is rarely, ‘When I had three orgasms in one session’.

It’s not just about when our bodies are most physically capable of climaxing many times.

Our ‘peak’ can happen at any stage

A sexual peak is simply a period of time in your life, when you are enjoying sex to the full and feeling highly satisfied.

It can happen at any stage of your life.

If you’ve given up work or study for a year to back-pack around Europe, experimenting with drugs and having several ‘first time experiences’ a day, it’s highly likely the sex you’re having will be pretty damn mind-blowing, too.

You’re in that zone.

If you’re trying for a baby and forcing yourself to have sex at times dictated by fertility not passion, it’s unlikely to rate as the best sex of your life.

‘Baby-making sex is the dreariest, most boring, unsatisfying sex you will ever have,’ the mother of a six-month-old baby told me. ‘It’s the pits.’

When do lots of couples try for a child? In their mid thirties: when women are supposed to have their sexual peak.

It can happen at any age

The truth is, some women will have the best sex of their life in their early 20s. Others – like some of the women I interviewed for my book Great Sex Starts at 50 – say post-menopausal sex is the best because it’s less penetration focused and more foreplay based.

One survey of 1000 women found 89 per cent of women between the ages of 45 and 55 were at the most experimental sexual phase of their lives. (Kids leave home, meaning more privacy, and there’s usually less work pressure and financial stress.)

Sexual peaks are way more about circumstances than age.

If you’ve been stuck in a sexless marriage for two decades and finally blissfully free, that may be the start of a period where you explore sex that’s on your terms (always the best kind).

There is no one age when nature says ‘Right, strap yourself in love, you’re about to have the hottest sex of your life!’.

So if you’re in your 40s and panicking about not having experienced a sexual peak, you aren’t now destined for a lifetime of mediocre sex.

(Though I would say, if you are over 40 and can’t put your finger on a time in your life when you have had very good sex, it is time to look at the sex you are having and have an honest chat with your partner  – or yourself – about what’s working and what isn’t.)

Your ‘peak’ could be driven by hormones

There is no doubt that hormone levels significantly affect desire and our enjoyment of sex.

One reason why our early 20s are also often cited as our sexual peak is because that’s when we have prime production of oestrogen and testosterone.

But pregnancy can have the same result: more than a few pregnant women are more insatiable and lust-driven than they’ve ever been – or will ever be – because of the change in their hormones.

Menopause is frequently thought of as the time when desire drops sharply but ‘midlife wanderlust’ – experiencing a strong surge in sexual desire late in life – also happens.

There’s no set-in-stone time for the best hormone driven sex either.

It can happen more than once

Here’s the best news: even if you’ve clocked up several sexual ‘peaks’ already in your life, it doesn’t mean you can’t have more.

A new sex partner nearly always brings with it a mini sexual high as you enjoy that all-too-brief lusty beginning bit.

But even if you’re been with the same partner you’ve had for years, simply pushing out of your comfort zones can have extraordinary results.

‘My wife and I are quite conservative people but agreed to go to a fetish club with some of our racier friends, as a bit of a laugh,’ one 45-year-old man confessed.

‘You had to dress the part or you weren’t let in. We spent weeks organising the outfits – with a mix of terror (we’d look like old, unattractive idiots) and excitement. I’ve never fancied my wife more than I did that night.

‘She looked great and it was brave what we did. We didn’t do anything other than watch everyone else but the sex we had for months afterward was the best we’ve ever had.

‘We’d talk about what we saw and what we would do if we went back. We didn’t need to return though – that experience was enough.’

Science and biology don’t decide your sexual peak. You do.

Has yours really been and gone?

You’ll find more sex and relationships advice on traceycox.com along with her product ranges and books.

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