QUESTIONS? CALL 1-800-448-4919 M-F 9AM-6PM EST

Sexual exploration in menopause

By WHN editorial team

Has your sex life changed in menopause? Women don’t stop thinking about — or having — sex during menopause just because their bodies are undergoing hormonal shifts. If you’re like many women in perimenopause and menopause who are still very interested in sex, you may even be ready to spice it up a notch.

A woman in bed

Sexual exploration in menopause is an exciting proposition and many women want to learn more about it. And researchers say that women in their late 40s are far more likely than younger women to have fulfilling sex and multiple orgasms. Hurray for that!

If you’ve been waiting to let go sexually, now is the time. You can open the door to a richer, more exciting and ultimately more fulfilling sex life in menopause with our 3-step plan that shows you how to:

1. Expand your libido
2. Enroll in sex toys 101
3. Entertain your fantasies

First step: Expand your libido and sexual response

If you have physical symptoms like low libido and vaginal issues along with emotional ones like irritability and anxious feelings, you might not feel very sexual. Most women want to feel the pulse of a strong libido and there are effective, natural ways to feel more interested in sex.

Simple steps to lift libido and relieve physical barriers caused by dropping estrogen and hormonal imbalance can lead you to discover wonderful new ways to have and enjoy sex:

  • Check your stress level — long periods of stress can worsen imbalances in your sex hormones. When you feel nervous and anxious from ongoing or sporadic stress, use deep breathing to diffuse tension. Regular exercise and simply going outside also release stress.
  • Proactively support improved sexual response and interest with l-arginine, a naturally occurring amino acid that is converted in the body to nitric oxide and increases genital circulation. For many women, this extra step can reawaken and enliven their sexual awareness.
  • Try natural lubricants for improved moisture and increased vaginal comfort. “Lube” is longer-lasting and better at moisturizing sensitive tissues than regular lotions or oils. Visit a female-friendly boutique or try an online retailer such as Babeland. Applying a lubricating product to vaginal tissues eases dryness and helps stimulate arousal. More sexual activity — with a partner or without — can lead to better blood flow and improved vaginal health.

Second step: Enroll in sex toys 101

Ideally, taking erotic risks strikes the perfect balance between the thrill of being on the edge while still feeling safe. A sex toy can offer that “something new” sexual kick you’re looking for because it adds another dimension to exploring and masturbating with your fingers. And if you have a partner, you may have fun playing with a new sex toy together. Watching someone become stimulated can be very arousing.

Using a vibrator for the first time? To start, simply move the vibrator slowly all around your body to see what it feels like here, there — and there. Your vibrator can help you find and stimulate your most sensitive erogenous zones. The breasts, vagina, clitoris and anal area are all very responsive. Explore every curve and corner to discover what really turns you on. You might also experiment with a dildo, a penis-shaped toy used for, among other things, penetrative activities.

romantic red rose with scattered petals

If you’ve never used a vibrator, take your first erotic risk by trying one, especially if you haven’t had much experience with orgasm. To paraphrase our sex expert Barbara Carrellas, “Expecting to orgasm for the first time without using a vibrator is like trying to go around the world in a day without taking a plane.”

Vibrators are the go-to sex toy for women and they’re available in an astonishing variety of shapes, sizes and price points. Inexpensive ones plug into wall outlets, while others use batteries or are rechargeable. Higher priced versions offer more speeds and vibration types and they’re usually quieter.

Shopping for sex toys can be a fun and eye-opening experience, with specialty stores and online sites that market specifically to women. Babeland was founded expressly to supply women with information, encouragement and sex toys and it offers a nice array of erotic accessories. Another important note: always follow directions for the safe use of sex toys and properly clean before sharing or reusing.

Third step: Entertain your fantasies

Do you have a secret sexual fantasy that you return to again and again? Fantasies have been called the safest sex you can have because you control everything from the location, to the partner(s), to the type of sex, to the crescendo and what happens afterward. A good, engaging fantasy can lead to powerful, tension-releasing orgasms. If you have an active erotic fantasy life, you’re likely to have more sex and enjoy more diverse sexual adventures.

While women tend to have more typically romantic fantasies than men, we encourage you to let your mind wander where it wants during a sex fantasy. Even if they’re wild and strange — or possibly a little dangerous — fantasies are still make believe, and no one has to know what you’re thinking — ever.

The reality of life never has to intrude because everything in your fantasy is perfect as you imagine it. Your fantasy might require special clothes or lingerie, or a certain environment (lighting, music, etc.). You may also need props and accessories to effectively act out your fantasy.

Should you share your fantasy with a partner? Fantasies can be trial runs for activities to try with a partner or they can stay your private domain. Sharing fantasies can be very arousing though it may complicate sex with a partner if you’re not on the same wavelength. But erotic role-playing as a couple can inject new excitement into sex. When it comes to working out the details, it helps if you and your partner have solid communication abilities.

How to enjoy getting out of your sexual comfort zone

Barbara Carrellas helps people and couples figure out how to bring their fantasies to life among other things. She says having a sense of humor is one of the most important factors because comical things can happen on the way to ecstasy, and that’s part of the fun.

sexy mature woman in erotic lingerie ready for sexual exploration

For the beginning fantasist, Barbara advises that you set aside a space in your life to let your fantasies bloom. At first, you may feel self-conscious or awkward or even apprehensive or unsure. But that’s the point: you want to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. If you don’t know where to start, Barbara suggests asking yourself these gentle questions:

  • If I knew what erotic adventure I wanted to take next, what would that be?
  • If I knew who I wanted to take an erotic risk with, who would that be?
  • If I knew how I wanted to feel after my next ecstatic experience, what would that feeling be?

If you allow yourself to think about sex differently, those thoughts will help light up your desire. Sex isn’t just a physical practice — your mind is a key element to creating memorable sexual experiences. Letting yourself fantasize and experiment with erotic toys and ideas is a glorious way to enjoy your body. Why not take advantage of that opportunity?







Last Updated: October 2, 2023
on top