How to orgasm after menopause

Putting the "O" in menopause: Tips on finding pleasure after "the change" from a sex therapist.

There are few greater stigmas than the one that surrounds actively seeking female pleasure—let alone seeking sexual stimulation during or after the menopause.

It can be difficult for many women to reconnect with their sexuality after "the change", largely due to the many biological changes that can wreak havoc on the mind and body. However, it’s important to remember that sexuality and pleasure are well-within our control, and menopause doesn’t change this fact.

woman lying in sheets with a rose placed over her thigh

Mia Sabat, sex therapist at Emjoy, the audio sexual wellbeing app for women, offers insights into experiencing sexual pleasure during, and after, menopause.

NSFW: The following content contains explicit references to the vulva and self-pleasure, and is best enjoyed in a private moment. 

 

Arouse your mind

woman reads in the bath

You might be surprised to learn that your brain is your most valuable sex organ. Next time you want to self-pleasure, focus on your mind before you even touch your body.

Whether you want to explore erotic literature or spend some time crafting your own sexy fantasy, try allowing your arousal to blossom in your mind, rather than pushing your body to feel physical arousal first. This will help you learn to enjoy all forms of stimulation, reduce the pressure to feel physically turned-on, and prioritise your mental pleasure.

Remember to take as much time as you need to let your mind unwind and connect with your sensuality. It’s sure to lend a totally new experience to you and your relationship with self-pleasure.  

 

Re-learn your pleasures

woman's hands holding a candle

It’s highly common to experience vaginal dryness and decreased pelvic floor tone after menopause. Additionally, after menopause, studies suggest that blood fills the genitals more slowly as you become aroused, meaning that reaching orgasm can also take longer.

These changes often make it more challenging for post-menopausal women to experience orgasm, so it can only be expected that your go-to orgasm-achievers are likely to change, too—and that’s okay! Although it might be hard at first to see a positive side in the midst of these changes, try to embrace them and enjoy exploring new and exciting ways to connect with your body and re-discover your sexuality.

Now is the time to experiment, try new things or ways of touching, or look for new forms of play. Just as it’s natural for our interests and taste to change over time, it’s also natural for our sexual desires and preferences to evolve as we age—embracing and working with your new body is the best way to move forward with it.

 

Explore erogenous zones

woman in sheets holds rose

If you’re not sure where to begin when re-learning your pleasures, remember that sex and masturbation is about much more than just the clitoris and penetration. Take the focus of sex off of intercourse and orgasm and indulge pleasures of outercourse, which includes every form of sexual activity except penis-in-vagina sex. If orgasm isn’t as reliable as before, make pleasure the goal of sex rather than orgasm.

Everyone has unique parts of their body which they love to be stimulated, or gain arousal from. You’d be surprised where you can find them, but the best places to start are often sensitive areas like your earlobes, neck and inner thighs.

"Take the focus of sex off of intercourse and orgasm"

If you’re not sure where to begin, start by experimenting with a sensual massage. Gently touch your body from head to toe to see what feels pleasurable to you in the moment, marking your personal pleasure points with body oil or lotion, creating a map for you to explore. Experimenting with different levels of pressure and kinds of caress can be extraordinarily tantalising!

This practice will not only help to turn you on but assist you in understanding what you do and don’t like post-menopause. It’s truly the perfect blend of self-pleasure and self-care to spoil yourself with at the end of a long day and removes any worries about penetration or physical issues from the equation.

 

Masturbate

woman dragging red rose petals along her thigh

Masturbation isn’t just something to do to replace a sex partner: it is a self-affirming sexual activity, an act of self-love and, for many, an essential part of their self-care routine. What’s more, masturbation is eminently useful in helping us to discover different routes to sexual pleasure. When we masturbate, we are allowing ourselves to listen to our bodies and re-learn what they need.

It is also incredibly healthy to masturbate: regular sex, either with a partner through masturbation, or a combination of the two, helps keep vaginal tissues more supple and moist and, mentally, it helps to maintain your feelings of desire.

Read more: Overcoming masturbation shame

 

Lift your libido

a woman lying on her front in bed reading, with her legs kicked up in the air

Four out of five women experience hot flushes and night sweats, and if you have encountered this, you might want nothing more than a break from your body and its intense changes.

It’s extremely common to be frustrated with the fluctuations you’re experiencing and to be put off from pleasure all together. In fact, as many as 86.5% of women experience a drop in libido during and after menopause—but it doesn’t have to stay this way. For those who are eager to sustain their sexual self, there are many different things you can do to look after your libido.

  • Lube is your best friend

Vaginal dryness is nothing to be ashamed of—in fact, there’s an entire product market that caters to this exact need. Whether you’re going at it solo or with someone else, find a lube that suits you. When experimenting with lube, try to find one that won’t disrupt your natural pH, as this can lead to infection, and do your research to see which kind of lube will suit you and your sexual experiences: some allow for extra sensation, whilst others double as a massage oil. You might want to invest in a range of types.

  • Try different forms of erotica

Pornography and erotica are finally beginning to cater to the female audience and it doesn’t have to be as explicit as you might imagine. If you are curious, don’t be afraid to experiment until you find something that suits your desires. Audio-based erotica, for example, has been proven to help women to regain libido and achieve sexual satisfaction. In addition to audio erotica, erotic novels and magazine offer an excellent alternative for those who don’t feel excited about visual pornography, as they focus on arousing the mind fully before addressing the body. For those who might feel a little more daring, different types of pornographic films and genres, like female-focused, female-made pornography, are an excellent option as they are truly made with the audience, and a woman’s pleasure, in mind.

  • Toys, toys, toys

Since sensitivity can diminish throughout menopause, investing in suitable sex toys might be exactly what your solo and partnered sessions need. Both internal and external vibrators are excellent options. Using a vibrator will help to stimulate the areas of your vulva to get you the most aroused. This is especially helpful because vibrators stimulate the flow of blood to that area, which increases vaginal humidity, as well as sexual response. Vibrators can also be used on different parts of the body to activate different sensations, so they are great to add to your repertoire. Do your research to see what will suit your wants and needs best to help you decide which toys might truly send you over the edge.

 

Stay positive

black woman with short hair smiles in a yellow top

Every woman is different and experiences menopause in a different way. Some women view menopause as traumatic or approach it with sadness, while others may welcome it with happiness. This experience will depend on many factors: how we see menopause, what we know about it, our own beliefs or how our self-esteem was before.

Menopause is a time of change and for some women, this change leads them to question the impact that is being had on their body, mind or appearance. If this is true for you, it is important to connect with your emotions in a positive way: tell yourself you are beautiful, love yourself for all your worth. Attitude directly influences how we live our sexuality and our levels of self-esteem. Once the transition is completed, many women feel that they are facing one of the best stages of their life. In fact, most women say that sexual satisfaction is higher in that stage of life.

 

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