The vibrant women over 50 who comprise the Vibrant Nation community are the most accomplished, wealthiest, and healthiest generation of women in history. We’ve shattered expectations and broken barriers all our lives, redefining and reinventing ourselves from one decade to the next as our needs and goals have evolved.
When it comes to having great sex after 50, why should we be any different?
There’s no denying that our bodies change after 50 – often due to hormonal shifts related to menopause – and that some of these changes can adversely affect our sex lives. For example, after 50 many women experience pain or stinging during penetration, and tearing or bleeding of delicate skin, caused by lower levels of of natural lubrication or long periods without sex.
When sex hurts, a natural reaction is to avoid having intercourse at all – a tragedy at a time in our lives when we finally know what we want, like, and need!
The truth is, there is absolutely no need to give up on sex simply because in some ways our body is refusing to cooperate. If sex after 50 has begun to be a painful proposition for you, it may be time to think a little outside the box…and consider different sexual positions that may work better for you now.
Positions for pain-free penetration
During or after menopause, vaginal dryness and the thinning and weakening of vaginal walls can cause pain during intercourse, medically known as dyspareunia. The good news is that, as Dr. Pepper Schwartz discusses in detail in the new Vibrant Health Guide, A Woman’s Guide to Great Sex After 50: Getting Your Mind, Body and Relationship Ready for Pleasure, a number of treatments are available to relieve this condition. One of the simplest solutions, however, is a simple change in sexual positions.
As VN member MajorInsight asks, “Who says sex has to be penis in vagina, missionary position?” She’s right. Sex isn’t just a penis in a vagina, but the entire act of lovemaking. Extended foreplay helps a woman to lubricate naturally. And, of course, there are many lubricants available to help Mother Nature along.
Among the remedies you can try? A different sexual position. Many Vibrant Nation members who suffer from female dryness and dyspareunia have talked about how varying their sexual positions help tremendously when it comes to pain during penetration. If you see a doctor for vaginal dryness or dyspareunia, it may be recommended that you try various positions to see if it reduces pain during sex.
VN member Natalie2 said she feels that “maintaining a position that allows for more shallow penetration is more comfortable.”
A few pointers to keep in mind as you experiment to find the right position for you:
- Generally speaking, maximum penetration can occur when you lie on your back with your pelvis rolled up, thighs against your chest, and your calves draped over your partner’s shoulders.
- The least penetration occurs when you lie on your back with your legs flat on the bed and close together while your partner’s legs straddle yours.
- But there are so many more options beyond these two extremes. For example, you can can try being on top. Women generally have more control in this position, and can regulate penetration depth to prevent pain and maximize pleasure.
- Vibrant Nation member SatorisWings shared a position that really worked for her: “He was on his side and I was on my back, our legs intertwined,” she explained. “That position hurt a lot less than others and then after a month or so of actual sex, it didn’t hurt at all. And you know what? The sex is now better than it ever was prior to menopause. This position leaves the clitoris out and available for manual stimulation at the same time. Sex is now the best it’s ever been.”
Positions if you have arthritis, a bad back, or Charlie Horse
You may be still be running marathons and beating your thirty-year-old daughter at tennis, but if you’re over 50 – and especially if you’ve been active all your life – you may also be experiencing a few physical aches and pains that may keep you from enjoying sex to the fullest.
As Dr. Pepper Schwartz says in her Vibrant Nation guide, A Woman’s Guide to Great Sex After 50: Getting Your Mind, Body and Relationship Ready for Pleasure, “We never had to contend with these indignities when we were younger – and it’s no fun to have parts of our bodies that hurt. It’s especially unsexy to climb into bed, have a back spasm or have a calf muscle involuntarily seize up and yelp with pain. “Don’t touch me!” seems like an appropriate remark at the time.
Unfortunately, as we get older, the chances of some part of our body being uncooperative gets more and more likely.
Some of the pain can be alleviated by anti-inflammatory medicines. Back exercises, daily stretching, and nutritional supplements can often spare us the cramps or pain we feel when various muscles seize up. Pilates and/or a yoga regime will keep our body in the best shape possible.
But even given all that, sometimes we have to think of new sexual positions and set aside others that hurt our backs, arms, or hands.
For example, while doggie style sex might have been a hot position in your twenties or thirties, a bad back can quickly make that position painful. It might not even hurt at the time, but afterwards a reaction might be excruciating.
In general, you’ll want to avoid any position that makes you have to arch your back. In addition, here are a three good specific positions Dr. Pepper Schwartz recommends in A Woman’s Guide to Great Sex After 50:
- Spooning so that a male partner enters you from behind and your back is comfortably settled on a relatively hard mattress or surface so it is supported.
- Facing your male partner so that your closest leg is over him and he can enter you without you having to use your back.
- Sitting on his lap in a chair (either facing him or with your back to him), so that if he has a good back he can do most of the work and you can sit upright.
Interested in more practical, straightforward advice about having great sex after 50? Check out the Vibrant Nation health guide, A Woman’s Guide to Great Sex After 50: Getting Your Mind, Body and Relationship Ready for Pleasure.