Love isn’t restricted to a certain age, that goes without saying. But what about sexuality later in life? Especially when menopause starts and beyond. At 45, I’m already noticing the ‘invisibility’ aspect of getting older. People, especially women, are dismissed by the media as no longer sexually attractive or desirable. While men are called silver foxes…women tend to be ignored and dismissed.
For International Menopause Day, let’s look at pleasure and intimacy later in life and reclaim our natural right to be sexual, feel desirable and get our pleasure on during and after menopause.
When does menopause start?
Menopause typically begins in the late forties or early fifties and signals the end of a woman’s reproductive years. This can be a liberating, albeit physically challenging, process. In simple terms, menopause is defined by no menstruation for 12 consecutive months. This is driven by hormonal changes, primarily a decline in estrogen production in the ovaries.
One of the most horrible sayings about this phase in a woman’s life is they’re ‘drying up’ which is simply NOT TRUE. Instead, let’s embrace that sexuality and pleasure change and evolve with us as we change and evolve. Let’s look at some ways to navigate menopause and sex drive for juicy adventures in self and partnered intimacy!
Take your time with foreplay
Women’s hormone levels can sometimes change during menopause. This might also reduce any desire for sex. Enter the beautiful world of foreplay! Foreplay is often overlooked as a just a part of getting to the main penetrative ‘event’. Fortunately, there’s a trend in valuing foreplay as its own deeply satisfying experience.
Arousal from kissing, massage and exploring erogenous zones are wonderful examples of how to increase sex drive during menopause. If you want more creative ideas on foreplay, check out out this guide.
Embrace the power of lube
A common symptom during or after menopause is vaginal dryness. This can sometimes cause a burning pain from penetration, which dramatically reduces the sense of pleasure too. However, this is easily solved – that’s what lubricating gels are for! Everything goes a lot more smoothly and sex is a lot more enjoyable. The lubricant increases both intensity and pleasure – for both men and women.
Our tip is to use water-based lubes as this is especially gentle on vaginal flora and can be used with toys too.
Menopause and sex toys
Masturbation is important at any stage of life – promoting relaxation, stress reduction and improving overall well-being. But! When menopause starts, a sense of alienation from one’s own body or even an identity shift can greatly influence our relationship to embodying pleasure. Reconnecting through solo sex can help in getting curious and enjoying shifts in selfhood during menopause. Menopause and sex drive don’t have to be mutually exclusive!
Solo sex during menopause can enhance pelvic blood flow, helping to maintain vaginal health and elasticity, which can alleviate symptoms like dryness and discomfort often associated with menopause. Make shower time ‘me-time’ with the Womanizer Wave – the world’s first clitoral stimulator and showerhead. Wet, warm and super relaxing for exploring stimulation!
Sex and menopause
No, nobody needs to try out every position in the Karma Sutra to experience fulfilling sex during menopause. The best sex position after menopause (or during) could be a classic like spooning or scissoring (a modification of the standard missionary position). Even a small pillow under the hip can be a game changer and make sex more comfortable for you both. Who says sex always needs to be exhausting?
Best sex positions for menopause
Rather than feel awkward or sore, adapt! Menopause and sex can mean looking for everyday helpers we have around the house. Start with using a chair to create support and maybe even add a little fun.
By simply including a chair with sex, there are a few new sex positions after menopause (and during!) for you to try. They will let you and your partner feel comfortable and in control. These include:
- Sitting on your partner’s lap facing away from them: As both of you have your feet on the floor, you can take the pressure off your arms and feel in control of your motion and depth of penetration.
- Facing your partner on their lap: If your chair is big enough or you’re on the couch, this position is also great as the cushioning is gentle on your knees and you can use the back of the chair to help you shift your weight back and forth.
- Bent over the chair: This variation on doggy style is also good for people with sore knees. One partner can enter from behind while the person in front is free to not only brace themselves on the chair in front but also relax against it too when they need a break.
#7: Green is good
As you get older, your body changes. That’s just a fact. But still, people can often feel insecure or uncomfortable. This then means they have trouble relaxing and can even find themselves unable to enjoy the moment.
Our tip is to enjoy a little CBD beforehand. This will not only get you feeling more relaxed, but there is often an aphrodisiac effect too. It’s win-win!