In our younger years, passion is wild. Then we learn to carve out time for intimacy while building a career and raising a family. As we get older, the busyness of life subsides, and we can look forward to exploring sex more again. But sometimes, our bodies and minds don’t cooperate.
It’s a common belief that our sex life gets shelved as we age. Though our bodies are changing as we move through the menopausal phases, this isn’t a one-way ticket to sexlessness. On the contrary, these years can be the most passionate years of your life, and taking care of your intimate wellness is key. You no longer need to worry about pregnancy, and you can let go of insecurities and inhibitions that may have held you back in the past.
These years are also a wonderful time to approach intimacy in a deeper, more profound way. Let’s examine why you may need to approach sex differently as you age and then discover ways you can breathe new life into the bedroom.
How Sex Changes for Older Women
As you move through menopause, your body changes in ways that may lead to sexual challenges. This doesn’t mean sex is off the table. But it does mean you and your partner need to consider these changes and consider vaginal wellness during menopause, and make accommodations to help suit your needs.
During your menopausal years, the decline in hormone levels may change how your body responds to sex. These changes include:
- Vulva and vaginal wall thinning and atrophy
- Loss of vaginal lubrication and dryness in surrounding tissue
- Increased sensitivity, which may lead to pain
- Longer arousal time needed
- Exhaustion and fatigue
Loss of interest in sex or your partner
Some women find vaginal intercourse incredibly painful. Even touch around the vulva and vaginal areas can lead to irritation and discomfort. Additionally, some women find it difficult to achieve orgasm, which leaves them frustrated or feeling inadequate.
Ways to Rethink Sexual Intimacy During Menopause
Rather than giving up on sex, it’s important to reframe your ideas around sex as you age. Sex is a beautiful way to bond with your partner, and it expands beyond intercourse.
If you experience decreased desire or discomfort during sex, it’s essential to share your concerns with your partner. Your healthcare provider can also provide support, which may include hormone replacement therapy or home-use devices, such as vFit, our women’s intimate care device which helps provide natural lubrication and improved sensation.
When it comes to intimacy, talk with your partner about the ways you like to be touched. Your body is covered from head to toe in erogenous zones. So you have plenty of ways to get turned on without involving the vulva.
You can also discuss how much time you need to feel ready. Quickies may be a thing of the past, and now is an excellent time to learn extended foreplay. Sex is no longer about orgasming but about feeling pleasure — and pleasure comes in different forms. From simple flirtations at dinner to romantic dates, you can invite foreplay into all areas of life.
You may also want to invite new ways to play into your bedroom, including sex toys, roleplay, and lingerie. Remember, the most important sex organ is your brain. Allowing your mind to let go of stress and inviting in new fantasies is one of the best things you can do for your sex life.