Most of us long ago learned how to have great sex. Then we arrived at midlife and found ourselves wondering why those techniques suddenly don’t work quite as well today.
The fact is, whether because of menopause or aging, our bodies are different now. As Dr. Pepper Schwartz points out, “Our bodies have changed – for example, in terms of hormones, blood floor, lining of the vagina and sensitivity of breasts. If we want great sex after 50, we may need to re-think how our bodies want to be treated now.”
The good news is, we can regain control of our changing bodies – and have better sex than ever after 50. And something as simple and pleasurable as a vibrator can help.
In fact, VN blogger and menopause specialist Dr. Barb DePree often recommends that her patients use vibrators and other devices to aid sexual health. “What came without trying when we were young – reading the small print, responding to sexual stimuli – may now require assistive devices,” she says. Incorporating a vibrator into your sex life (with or without a partner) can make a tremendous difference, especially now.
The key, Barb says, is to find – not just any vibrator – but a vibrator “with more power and endurance than a young girl needs. Clitoral stimulation at our age needs to overcome the sluggish circulation in a clitoris that, if unused, will go dormant, pulling up into the body. Our vibrators need more power, over a longer period, to replace that circulation and encourage a clitoris to come out to play.”
But choosing a great vibrator at our age can sometimes seem like a daunting task, especially given the myriad of choices available today. Fortunately, the smart, health-conscious members of Vibrant Nation aren’t shy about sharing what does – and doesn’t – work for them. Here are their tips on choosing and enjoying the best toys for grown women.
Fact vs. fiction
If you’re relatively new to the world of vibrators, you may have some concerns to start. It helps to separate myth from fact.
- Myth: A vibrator will desensitize your body
Fact: Many women are afraid to treat female dryness with a vibrator for stimulation because they’ve heard that it will decrease their sensitivity over time and affect their ability to orgasm – but this is untrue. “Sometimes we need stronger stimulation than a hand can give without it becoming irritating. And sometimes we just need a different kind of stimulation for the sheer eroticism of it,” Dr. Schwarz says.
- Myth: A vibrator will turn you against “real” sexFact: According to Dr. Schwartz, it’s a myth that a vibrator will turn you against real, live sex. Vibrators can help many women over 50 achieve natural lubrication and orgasms faster, but they will never take away the intimacy you can achieve with a live partner.
- Myth: A vibrator will alienate your partnerFact: A confident sex partner won’t be put off by a sex toy; in fact, many will welcome it as part of normal sex play as a couple. As one VN member said, “My partner loves to watch me get my orgasm(s) on while I’m using my Hitachi.” Another member adds, “A vibrator can be used as an integral part of intimacy when you have a partner. If you let your partner use it on you, it can really enhance the experience together.”If you’re shy about introducing a device into your relationship, you can save the vibrator for private time. Perhaps encourage your male partner to personalize the vibrator by giving it a name. Our favorite name from the Vibrant Nation community: BOB (for “battery operated boyfriend”).
Choose your weapon!
Ready to shop? Here are some toys vibrant women love:
- The Celebrator. “If you are looking for a powerful clitoral stimulator, this is it. It costs $50, runs on two AA batteries and is quiet. I love it. It looks just like an electric toothbrush. (In fact, I keep it on my bathroom counter next to my toothbrush.) It has two speed settings and they are amazing!”
- A muscle massager. “I use a simple muscle massager. It’s a jet engine compared to the vibrate setting on my cell phone, which I can barely feel when the phone is in my pocket.”
- The Rabbit. Some women are satisfied with either clitoral or vaginal stimulation, but some women require both at once. If you’re in the latter category, the Rabbit may be for you. “It does both!”
- Hitachi Magic Wand. One VN member kept breaking her battery-operated vibrators, so she switched to the Hitachi. “I needed an industrial-strength vibrator. Have had one for four years and will never go back! My first Hitachi died this summer, may the dear thing RIP. I just ordered my second one – with three attachments. Girlfriends, the Hitachi Magic Wand is the only way to go. I have orgasms with it until I literally can’t breathe. Who’s afraid of turning 60 this year? Not me!”
- The Eroscillator. Looking for power with less noise? One VN member says, “The most high powered, low sound – not silent, but a lot less noisy then the Hitachi – is the Eroscillator. It is also expensive, but well worth the $$$.” VN member and sex blogger Joan Price also raves about the Eroscillator, “especially the ‘marshmallow’ attachment.'” A third VN member says the Eroscillator “gives one the most amazing orgasm ever! My husband is constantly amazed at the magic that happens when he uses it on me. Batteries never run down because it plugs in. We consider it to be the best $100 we ever spent.” (It also happens to be the only vibrator endorsed by Dr. Ruth!)
- Femblossom and Womolia. Dr. Barb DePree recommends these two models from Emotional Bliss. “They have great intensity and are quiet too. Plus, they have recharging batteries. They warm so no cold surfaces and are made of great materials.”
- The Gigi. Joan Price says, “The Gigi is my favorite for internal stimulation. It’s slim, which I appreciate, and shaped to rub the G-spot just right.”
- The Silver Bullet. “It goes wherever I go.”
- Aquasaki. This waterproof vibrator “makes bath time lots of fun.”
- Mystic Wand. Joan Price counts the Vibratex Mystic Wand Silicone Vibrator among her three all-time favorites because it “has power of a Hitachi Magic Wand (the former king of powerful vibrators)” while also being “lighter, more comfortable to hold, more versatile, cordless, and smaller for travel and storage. Plus its waterproof.”
Start your engines! 4 tips about using vibrators
- Take your time.
Dr. Pepper Schwartz says, “Masturbation, with our without a partner, takes some exploration in order to find out what your body needs.” When learning how your body responds to a particular vibrator after 50, be sure to stick with it long enough to figure out what works for you now.
- Be indirect.
One of the most common mistakes women make is to directly stimulate the head of the clitoris for too long. According to Dr. Schwartz, “The clitoris is a very sensitive organ and can be come irritated relatively quickly.” Try indirect stimulation instead.
- More is better.
VN blogger and menopause specialist Dr. Barb DePree often prescribes vibrators to her patients. According to Barb, “The secret to keeping sex alive after menopause is more.” So take advantage of the additional stimulation that ready access to a vibrator can give.
- If one vibrator doesn’t do it for you, try another.
Don’t give up if the first one (or two) you try don’t work for you; every woman’s dimensions and senses are different. Shop around, experiment, have fun!
Where to shop
- Woman-friendly specialty shops in your area
If you have access to a woman-friendly boutique store for sex toys in your neighborhood, don’t miss the opportunity to examine the product selection in person and ask questions of the knowledgeable sales staff. As one VN member said, “I didn’t know what to pick, as I am 68 years old, so I asked the sales lady at the store. She was very kind, and compassionate, and she showed me different kinds. Wow! There are so many to choose from. Now I just need to start using the one I chose!”
- Trusted online retailers
If your neighborhood lacks a woman-friendly sex shop, or if you’re shy about visiting the ones in your area, you can check out these trusted retailers online:
One advantage is that you can spend as much time as you want exploring these private, online retailers. The websites offer lots of valuable information, and employ sensitive, devoted telephone salespeople for women like us.
- If quiet operation is important to you
If you are looking for a particularly discreet device, keep in mind that brand and price can make a difference. Dr. Barb DePree says that “Lelo products are probably the quietest.” Joan Price includes both Lelo and JimmyJane, on her list of quiet vibrator brands. Because models do vary within a brand, read ads carefully. If a vibrator features quiet operation, the ad will usually specify this. And as a rule, remember: “cheaper vibrators won’t be quiet.”