At different points in life including after giving birth and during perimenopause and menopause people born with vaginas experience hormonal changes that can equal changes in their sex life. Particularly during perimenopause and menopause our hormonal levels, oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone can bring on symptoms such as vaginal atrophy, dryness, pain with intercourse and lowered libido. Partnered and solo sex may be at the bottom of any of your to do lists and sex toys the idea of or the ones you own may seem totally irrelevant. This is not so, hear me out. Sex toys at this time in life are a simple way to make solo sex or partnered sex a whole lot more pleasurable and less painful.
Many individuals going through perimenopause and menopause take stock of different things in life and revaluate what they want. Your sex toy collection or whether you use sex toys or your normal sexual routine and what works for you is no different. Although it is still possible to fall pregnant during perimenopause for the most part the idea of falling pregnant becomes less of an issue and you can really start to focus on you, your pleasure and what you want from this part of your life. Today we talk about ways you can update your sex toy collection.
Vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy caused by menopause can make sex painful. Using a personal lubricant, one that is compatible with your body, your activity preference and any dental dams or condoms (protection from STI’s is still important) or toys you are using is the perfect way to reduce friction and increase pleasure.
There are lots of options and water based is usually everyone’s go to. It is condom and toy compatible; they clean up easily and if you have sensitive skin, water based personal lubricants are a good place to start (choose one with no colling or warming ingredients). Lucy Lube is a popular choice Australian made product that our team loves and SUTIL Rich was designed with menopausal users in mind.
The downside to water-based lubricant is that it is not as long lasting as other types and may need to be reapplied mid activity. You can try a hybrid (Try Pussy Willow Silk Hybrid Lubricant by Intimate Earth) which is usually a combination of water based and silicone based (may not be suitable for use with silicone sex toys, check manufacturers details) but are usually condom and dental dam safe. Silicone based lubricants are great for extra slip and a condom and dental dam safe, there downside is they can take a little more effort to clean up and shouldn’t be used with silicone toys (try Uberlube for the best quality silicone lubricant on the market). Oil based lubricants are becoming more popular and there more and more quality products of this type on the market. Oil based lubricants are not suitable for use with dental dams and condoms although they do need a little more clean-up but many can be very moisturising for your skin (Try Olive and Bee for an organic, natural, Australian made quality product).
- Non Penetrative sex toys
Gone are the days of noisy phallic toys that are designed with vaginal penetration in mind. These days brands are very aware that for most of us with vaginas the clitoris is the source of most orgasms and have a great range of sex toys designed to focus on the clitoris. For many vaginal penetration can be painful during perimenopause, menopause and even post menopause. For this reason, sex toys that a designed to focus on the clitoris can be very useful and pleasurable during this time. These include bullet vibratos like the Doxy Bullet or Zee by Dame or clitoral suction toys like Womanizer Premium or Sona 2 by Lelo. Wands have been a popular choice forever among those who like clitoral stimulation, try Doxy Wand or Le Wand Petite Wand. Sex toys really are a great way for individuals and couples whomever they are to spice up their sex lives.
- Still want penetration.
If you still want to enjoy vaginal penetration but find it painful and are looking for a way to make the penetration shallower try the Ohnut to control the depth of penetration. They have a vibrating ring option if you would like to add a little something extra to the experience. A slim vibrator (try the Minamo by Iroha or Cici by Svakom) can be used to vaginal penetration as vibrations can be helpful increasing blood flow to an area and therefore improving the health of tissue in that area (we use vibrating massagers on other muscles around our body and our pelvic floor and vaginal wall is not different really). Another option that can help is regularly using dilators with a good quality lubricant to stretch the vaginal wall.
- Position, Position.
As we enter midlife, we lose flexibility and strength, and we can start to experience joint pain. Of course, there are steps in everyday life you can take to combat this but for us we are going to concentrate on what it means in your sex life. It doesn’t have to be big changes unless that is what you need, it can be small changes that can set you up for a pleasurable sex life as you go through midlife.
Small changes like using sex pillows like Rockabilly Riser by Liberator to change the angle of your hips and vaginal penetration, they can also make some weight bearing activities easier and more comfortable. It doesn’t matter what age you are it is important to remember if something isn’t working for you whether it has in the past, it is ok to stop and make some changes in position or add a little extra lube to make things more comfortablehttps://www.blissforwomen.com/collections/lubrication and more pleasurable and then continue.
- Don’t give up your kink.
You don’t need to give up your kink as your body changes, you may need to modify it, but you can certainly continue to enjoy it. Something really physical like a Shibari suspension may be too hard on your body now but you can have fun exploring more supported ties and different techniques. If metal/leather cuffs are too hard on your wrists now, try softer restraints like silk ties. You can explore different sensations be it temperature play or switching from a wooden or leather paddle to something with a bit more give if spanking is your thing. Exploring kink can be a great way to bring mindfulness into your sex life as many kinks involve more mental stimulation and can be a way to bring a level of intensity and intimacy you are needing.
Midlife is a great time to start exploring other forms of intimacy and making small adjustments like adding lube, sex toys or supports for your favourite position. It is most certainly not the end of your sex life it is the beginning of an exciting new phase of pleasure and intimacy.