Did you know you have a part of your body whose only function is to create pleasure? The clitoris is comprised not only of the glans, but extends beneath the surface to include thousands of nerve endings. Women who experience vaginal dryness and dyspareunia (painful sex) are encouraged to experiment with self-touch, partner-touch, and/or vibrator-touch, using pressure all around the visible part of the clitoris, not just directly on the glans.
Don’t be embarrassed! What some people can’t admit to doing is common in the animal kingdom: dogs, cats, horses, bulls, rats, hamsters, deer, and whales all do it. And so can you.
In fact, in addition to improving sex after menopause, treating dyspareunia (painful intercourse), and encouraging more lubrication for those suffering vaginal dryness, masturbation is actually boost your health in many ways. Self pleasure has been credited with:
- Building resistance to yeast infections.
- Combating pre-menstrual tension, cramps, and backaches
- Relieving chronic back pain and increasing pain thresholds
- Providing stress relief.
- Boosting the mood by releasing endorphins.
- Acting as a natural sleep sedative.
- Building stronger pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to better sex.
- Putting a little pep in your step… It’s a natural energy booster.
If it’s been a while since you’ve gone solo, be prepared for it to take a while to “get there.” As Dr. Pepper Schwartz explains in The Vibrant Nation Guide to Better Sex After 50, “Masturbation, with our without a partner, takes some exploration in order to find out what works for you. Some women have not stuck with it long enough to figure it out. And they have made some mistakes.”
Schwartz warns that the most common error is to over stimulate the head of the clitoris. It’s very sensitive organ and can be irritated easily. Also, what once worked for you may be a bit different now that you’re discovering sex after menopause. If you learned how to masturbate effectively long ago, those techniques may not be work as well today because of the change in hormones, blood flow, lining of the vagina and sensitivity of breasts and clitoris. As Dr. Schwartz says, “Your body may have changed and so you might have to re-think how your body wants to be treated now.”
If you’re trying to combat female dryness, or if you’re experiencing painful sex after 50 — also known as dyspareunia — you might try masturbation to increase the flow of your own natural vaginal lubrication.