What Sex Is Like In Your 30s Vs. 20s, Because You'll Be A Master Of Your Masturbation Game
Ashley Batz/Bustle
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It's a given that our sex lives will develop and change as we age. The people, places and things that turn you on at 16 might not be the same at 26, and by 36? Goddess knows what you'll be into. Although it's widely held that sex in your 20s is the end all be all, sex in your 30s comes with its own equally pleasurable ups and downs.

The idea of a "sexual peak" is frequently tossed around in sex studies and casual conversation, but what does it really mean? Everyone grows into their sexuality at a different pace, so it's difficult to make generalizations about the exact time in life that your juices will flow freely and your orgasms will be everlasting. (In fact, it might never happen, and that's totally cool too.) But given the life changes that many of us go through between our 20s and 30s — like entering the work force, cohabitating with someone for the first time, and getting your self-pleasure game down — there are bound to be some sexual differences between those decades.

I asked women from a variety of backgrounds to weigh in on how their sex lives shifted after the big 3-0. Here's what they had in common:

1"Firsts" Are Few And Far Between

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"Sex in your 20s is like exploring foreign territories, while sex in your 30s is like finding new nooks and crannies in familiar places," says Jamie L., 32.

Many of women begin their sexplorations between 20 and 26, so by the time they get to their third decade it's less about experiencing something novel every time they hit the sheets, and more about making the most of every moment.

2You're A Master Of Your Masturbation Game

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"In my 20s I hooked up all the time, but now I know my vibe gets me in ways a rando partner never will," says Caia S., 34.

Whether you're a Hitachi Magic Wand devotee or more of a Lelo INA Wave fan, a date with solo sex is often all you can fit in amidst adulting. However, that's definitely not a bad thing, as most of us have well earned our PhDs in pleasure by our 30s — so why waste time with someone who doesn't know what buttons to push?

3Your Body Hangups Become Less Of An Issue

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"In my 20s I was so hung up on how I looked during sex," says Kate G. "At 37, if you don't like it, there's the door."

A resounding "hell yes!" to body positivity and aging out of oppressive beauty and body standards.

4Your Sex Number Doesn't Matter

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"I've been married since my 20s, and some friends have been single that whole time — our sex lives are drastically different, and it's not a competition," says Julie T., 36.

Although many women are socialized young to believe that their "sex number" is actually a thing that matters, it seems more and more ladies over 30 couldn't give AF, and are celebrating their sex lives, whether they've had five partners or 55.

5You May Have Dabbled in Kink

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"Almost everyone I know has gotten a little kinky by 35," says Jade S.

Whether we can thank Fifty Shades of Grey or the sex positive feminist movement, more and more folks are incorporating role play or pleasurable pain into their erotic arsenals by the time they're past 30. (Whether they choose to keep doing it, however, is another story.)

6You'd Rather Have No Sex Than Bad Sex

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"Sex can be amazing, but these days I'd rather abstain than have so-so sex," says Jasmine, 31.

Ah, growing up brings us so much wisdom.

7You Don't Let Dry Spells Get You Down

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"I have gone a full year without sex as a 34-year-old, and it's really NBD," says Cara. "When I was 24, however, I would have thought it was the end of the world."

It's never fun when you're hot and bothered and unable to find a partner to please you, but once you're three decades into life, you also realized there's more to it than orgasms and lube and non-stop sexing.

8Netflix & Sleep Often Wins Out Over Sex — And You Could Care Less

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"Your late 30s are more like Netflix and sleep, not Netflix and chill," says Joan, 39.

Although everyone is different in how much arousing activity they partake in, sex isn't always first on the docket for a normal night in once you're past your mid-30s, and that's perfectly normal.

9Lazy Lovers & Pillow Princesses Aren't Cool Anymore

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"I'm way too old to fake it at my age," says Jackie B, 35.

The beauty of getting older is the ability to stop putting up with bad sex, and that means no faking orgasms, no repeat performances with pillow princesses and lazy lovers, and no f*ckboys — if you can help it.

And although sex in your 20s is lauded for being a wild, horrible/wonderful maiden voyage of pleasure, let's not forget how sex in your 30s can be an upgrade to a world where quality is better than quantity, and experience is better than innocence.