What does every menopausal woman need to have in order to enhance her sexual experiences? For the next several days I’ll be talking about goodies you deserve to have in your tool box (yeah, I’m searching for a better, more feminine term).
One of the most important items you should have is a good lubricant.
Lubricant is essential at any age for enhancing sensation and eliminating friction. Betty Dodson refers to lube as the #1 sex toy. I’m a recent convert and can wholeheartedly endorse her statement. Why did I never think to use lube in solo play? The silky satiny feeling of a good lubricant reduces friction, gives a nice pleasant feeling and helps you get things moving. By eliminating friction on your delicate skin you are treating your body to a sensuous delight. The lovely gliding sensation of a lubricant really does enhance the experience.
Menopause and Lubrication
There are plenty of articles about lube and older women and the focus is always on lubricant as a helpful, or necessary, aid in intercourse. I agree. But, note that the focus is on intercourse and that’s not where women are likely to derive the most (i.e. orgasmic) pleasure. Using a lubricant with foreplay or self-pleasuring is equally important.
Dryness can be a issue at any age and can be the result of a number of factors. Stress, the effects of medications and the lack of arousal often cause a woman’s vagina to be too dry. With menopause the hormonal changes in our bodies can cause vaginal dryness for many women. For some women it’s a minor issue and for others it can create an uncomfortable condition causing discomfort during penetration.
During perimenopause, less estrogen may cause the tissues of the vulva and the lining of the vagina to become thinner, drier, and less elastic or flexible—a condition known as “vulvovaginal atrophy”. Vaginal secretions are reduced, resulting in decreased lubrication. Reduced levels of estrogen also result in an increase in vaginal pH, which makes the vagina less acidic, just as it was before puberty. (The North American Menopause Society)
If you experience vaginal dryness as a result of menopause you might find useful information in these resources:
Women to Women– this article is about the causes of vaginal dryness.
MiddlesexMD blog– Learn How Your Body’s Changes Affect Your Sexuality
Choosing a Good Lubricant
You should have a good lube, or lubricant, regardless of whether you’re menopausal or routinely experience dryness. You want a good lube because you’re going to treat your body well, giving yourself much deserved pleasure and enhancing your overall feeling of yourself as a sensuous woman. Let’s consider owning lubricant a necessity like owning a good eye cream.
There are water-based, oil-based, and silicone-based lubricants. The choice is a personal one which should take into consideration your skin’s sensitivity to scents, additives and whether you’re using condoms for intercourse (oil-based lube can break down the latex in condoms) This article by Dodson and Ross offers a basic primer, with personal recommendations, about lubricants.
Once you’ve gotten your new lube I invite you to try it out, alone. Find a little quiet time and apply some on your hands and explore. Don’t be goal-oriented; this isn’t about having an orgasm. You might, you might not. The exercise is designed to convince you of the difference it makes to use a lube and to get more acquainted with your body.
In the next couple of days we’ll talk about a variety of items you’ll want to have in your tool box. Look for an article on vibrators and one on sexy lingerie.
Is the idea of using lubricant for self-pleasure new to you?