Congratulations on being curious about having great sex after 50! Your sex life doesn’t end with menopause. Now is a great time to continue to learn, explore, and think about the future. What works for you now, or what’s worked in the past, may not satisfy you later on.
Change is normal. As we develop, so do our sexual desires. The key to great sex after 50 is knowing your body and its changes well enough so you can understand your sexual needs.
Make sure to get your information from reliable, sex-positive sources.
Once you understand your body and what gives you pleasure, you can start exploring. For example, when you know about your inner clitoris, you can learn how to provide yourself with the stimulation and time needed for it to become erect.
This can take up to 40 minutes for some women (it’s not possible to get a hand or mouth around it). But once you have an erection (which is internal), you’ll have the potential to experience a new world of pleasure and orgasm.
A few great women to look up in your search are Betty Dodson, Tristan Taormino, and Christiane Northrup.
Self-love is an attitude to us and our bodies. It’s a part of our sexuality that many of us need to cultivate.
Slow down. Giving yourself enough time to feel sensual is paramount. Touch yourself lovingly and with curiosity. This will help you discover new erogenous zones. It will also help you learn your arousal cycle and what turns you on. This is a great time to get a good, body-safe toy (I like LELO and Tantus).
Lube is your best friend after menopause because there’s a natural drop in estrogen, which can lead to dryness. Pain and discomfort due to dryness is the biggest complaint from postmenopausal women. If left untreated, dryness can cause atrophy and even fusing of the vaginal walls. Ensuring your vagina stays moisturized is crucial.
Some women will only need a good, natural lubricant during sexual play. Others may need to apply a vaginal moisturizer internally (not for sexual play) each day. Or, some women will need to use topical estrogen to help repair and maintain their skin.
Once you love and understand yourself, and know about lubrication, it’s time to tell your partner what you’ve learned. Explain that you’ve changed and tell them you’d love to show them what works for you now. This is a great way to start the discussion.
You may want to share some of the articles you’ve read with them, so they know your new preference isn’t a criticism of them. Start the conversation outside the bedroom where nobody is naked and vulnerable. Your partner may have changed too! You can educate each other. Keep the conversations loving and short but express your feelings.
As we age, it’s natural for us to change — physically and otherwise. After you go through menopause, your sexual desires can change, too. It’s important to understand your body so you can know what pleasures you. Remind yourself that the result will hopefully be great sex!
Emily is Ireland's only clinical sexologist and runs a thriving private practice in Dublin. Her mission is to encourage a more sex positive, mature, and educated discussion on all sexuality. She trains other professionals, teaches, and runs workshops and seminars to help people feel comfortable and empowered sexually. Visit her website, or find her on Twitter or Facebook.