Whether you’re into solo sex, mutual masturbation or want to make sex more interesting, there’s no need to wear your fingers down to the bone when you can get a battery-operated helping hand instead. It can be tricky to know where to start looking for sex toys, or what will go easy on your body if you have menopause symptoms such as joint pain, or vaginal discomfort, thinning skin or and dryness. Start here with our guide to the best sex toys during menopause and other things that can improve your sex life, from the best lubricants for menopause dryness to recommended condoms and sex toys.
Find what you need quickly
What happens to arousal after menopause?
Your genitals change during menopause and as you age and this can cause:
- Blood to take longer to reach your genitals – it may take longer to become aroused
- Decreased sensitivity – it might take you longer to orgasm
- Less natural lubrication – penetrative sex can be more uncomfortable
- Pain during sex – vaginal walls become thinner and less elastic
Comfortable and fun sex is absolutely possible. Taking your time and engaging in sensual foreplay – fingers, hands, tongues and lips – can really help, as can lubrications and sex toys.
Another factor that can affect arousal is your mental health. Anxiety and depression are especially common around the time of menopause, and can really put a dampener on things. If this is the case for you, speak to your doctor for advice or treatment.
Can a woman have an orgasm after menopause?
Orgasm is not an impossible goal and you can still ride those satisfying waves. It might mean you have to experiment, get creative and even figure out what works by yourself so you can show your partner what gets your rocks off.
One of the biggest myths around sex is that penetration is the key to satisfying sex. It isn’t. Most women need some clitoral stimulation to come and it becomes even more important during menopause.
Did you know that stronger pelvic floor muscles can help you achieve more intense orgasms over time? Who knew there was another upside to preventing leaks! Download Stella to understand how to build pelvic floor exercises into your daily routine.
To let your body go with the flow, your mind needs to be in a happy state. Communicating with your partner about what feels good and, more importantly, what doesn’t, really helps you focus on the moment without anxiety that they are going to do something that causes pain.
The best sex toys for women
If you are with a partner and have not used sex toys together before, reassure your partner that this is about additional ways to have fun and not whether they’re enough for you. Perhaps you could try shopping for sex toys together so they feel included and know exactly what you’re looking for. We love this Wild Flower Sex article debunking the myth that sex toys are meant to replace your partner.
You might need to try out a few different toys to find something you like. While it can be annoying to invest in products that don’t end up working for you, it’s all about experimentation. Don’t forget to try sex toys at different vibe levels and intensities and try them with lubricant to see if that helps. There are plenty of brands out there proclaiming to create the very best sex toys for women, but everyone’s different – a high-intensity wand vibrator that works for one woman might not be right for you.
Sex toy buying guide
Samantha Evans, co-founder of Jo Divine, which sells skin-safe luxury sex toys, says: “Make sure your sex toys are made of body-safe materials, such as silicone, glass, metal or ABS plastic. There are lots of toys out there made of jelly, latex and rubber which are highly porous, can’t be properly cleaned, leach out chemicals and degrade over time. These are bad for your body and can lead to infections.”
The centre of pleasure in a woman’s body is not her vagina, but her clitoris. If you are new to sex toys or are dealing with vaginal discomfort, try a clitoral stimulator. They’re great if you want to avoid penetration and are really easy to introduce into partnered sex, making them one of the best sex toys during menopause.
Coming (excuse the pun) in all shapes and sizes, vibrators come with different strength levels and pulse settings if you want to dial it up or tone it down on sensitive areas. Vibrators for women can be penetrative or intended for clitoral stimulation. We recommend trying something small to start with, like a bullet vibrator or something soft and flat. These can also fit between bodies really easily if you’d like to share them with a partner.
Air pressure toys
New to the market, these toys work by rapidly blowing and sucking air onto your clitoris. They’re a little more adventurous but have positive customer reviews, touted as feeling better than oral sex.
Sex toys for vaginal discomfort
Fluctuating hormones can cause a range of vaginal symptoms. If you want penetration but are experiencing discomfort or painful sex, there are many options that can ease you back into it. Learn more about vaginal discomfort in our symptoms library.
These sets of dildos vary in widths and lengths so you can slowly and gently re-introduce penetration into your sex life at your own pace and comfort levels. You can get them at pharmacies, shop online or speak to your doctor.
These toys are made of squishy, body-safe silicone and fit on the end of your partner’s penis to reduce the depth of penetration you experience without reducing the sensation for them. You can experiment with different levels of depth and some can even vibrate for extra sensation for both you and your partner.
Sex toys if you have joint pain
Joint pain during menopause is common as oestrogen levels decrease, which is our natural anti-inflammatory. There are many sex toy types that don’t rely on a firm grip and may make sex more comfortable for you.
Larger wand vibrators
Originally designed as body massagers, these toys can be great sex toys for menopause. They have a large vibrating head and a longer body which can be easier to hold and manoeuvre if you have joint pain in your hands and arms.
Gripping isn’t needed with these sex toys which attach directly to your fingers, a great option when it comes to the best sex toys during menopause.
Suction cup dildos
If your hands hurt, try these for a hands-free option. You can secure them in place on a flat surface (bed frames, shower walls etc).
When it comes to the best sex toys during menopause, there are also lots of great external vibrators for women that are hands-free. You can put them down your pants or on your partner and grind away!
You might want to buy products that help you to maintain your position with ease and for longer, such as:
- Sex pillows/wedge – Moisture-proof cushioning to help support positions that get you there. Some even have dildo holders to ease hand pressure.
- Harnesses and sex swings – You may not have room for them, but they are useful for taking the weight off your joints.
Best lubricants for menopause dryness
Finding the perfect lubricant to help with menopause dryness is game-changing when it comes to pleasurable and comfortable menopause sex – but where do you start?
Samantha from Jo Divine says: “The vagina is acidic which helps protect your vagina from germs and bacteria, so we want to avoid neutralising it with alkaline products. Lubes with a balanced pH will help maintain a healthy vagina, which is especially important during menopause as the vaginal pH can reduce naturally.
“Ingredients really matter when it comes to your intimate health as many products contain many irritating ingredients that can cause thrush, irritate the vulva, vagina, penis, anus and urethra and exacerbate symptoms. These include glycerin, glycols, parabens, sorbitol, dyes, perfumes, glitter and alcohol. Avoid products described as “tingling” or “warming” sensation lubricants as they often achieve this feeling through extracts of menthol or chilli which can be very irritating.”
Samantha adds, “Always do a skin patch test with a new lubricant to see if it will cause irritation.”
Lubricants and condoms
“If you’re using condoms, avoid oil-based lubricants as they damage the latex and can render the condom ineffective. Instead, opt for silicone or water-based products.”
“People think they have a condom allergy, but it is more likely to be the ingredients in the lube on the condom, not the latex, as latex allergies are rare,” Samantha says.
Lubricants and sex toys
If you’re using silicone toys, avoid a silicone-based lubricant.
Struggling? Could HRT help?
Dr Lucy Wilkinson says: “If you are struggling with vaginal dryness, painful sex, tightness or discomfort, you could potentially find some relief from HRT.
“These are all symptoms of Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (also known as vaginal atrophy), which affects the majority of women after menopause. The reduction in oestrogen levels at menopause causes tissues around the vagina and genital area to become thinner, drier and tighter, all of which can make sex difficult and painful no matter how much lube you use.”
The good news is that this can be treated effectively with oestrogen creams, gels or vaginal tablets. If you think this might be a good option for you, speak to your doctor.”
Looking after your sex toys
No matter which ones end up being the best sex toys during menopause for you, make sure to clean your toys between use with an appropriate toy cleaner. This includes washing the toy between vaginal and anal use or if your partner also uses the toy in their body. Most sex toy shops also sell cleaning products that are designed for toys.
Keeping sex enjoyable is completely possible as you age, even with restricted movement or penetration is no longer comfortable. We hope you can find time to experiment and find something that works for you.