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VN Editors
Sex after menopause: Treat vaginal dryness and dyspareunia by reawakening the clitoris and G-spot
Love & Sex
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Many women who suffer from female dryness often wonder how they can have better sex after menopause if their body won’t cooperate. Unfortunately, a woman’s body produces less natural lubrication as it ages, resulting in vaginal dryness and dyspareunia, a nasty word for post-menopausal thinning of your vaginal walls.

While female dryness at this stage of life can result in intercourse pain, the good news is, effective treatments exist for vaginal dryness and dyspareunia.

Many women help relieve female dryness and overcome painful intercourse with their own hands. Your body can be retrained to maximize its natural lubrication by “waking up” your clitoris and G-spot to relieve vaginal dryness and dyspareunia for better sex after menopause.

Here are some examples of how to do just that.

Awakening the clitoris for better sex after menopause

You’re undoubtedly aware of the nub of the clitoris — the glans — but did you know that the structure of the clitoris extends beneath the surface? It’s true: the clitoris and its thousands of nerve endings extend far and wide beneath the surface of your body.

The clitoris is the only part of the human body that has no function other than giving pleasure. Women who suffer painful intercourse, or have lost sensitivity due to aging and hormonal changes, or who experience vaginal dryness and dyspareunia, might 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.

Be prepared for this process to take some time. As Dr. Pepper Schwartz says in Great Sex After 50: A Woman’s Guide to Getting Her Mind, Body and Relationship Ready for Pleasure, “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. The most common one is to directly stimulate the head of the clitoris for too long. The clitoris is a very sensitive organ and can be come irritated relatively quickly.”  This may be something you need to address openly with your partner as well: “You are touching my clitoris too directly. I need you to stroke the outside area and not directly on the top of the clitoris.”

Remember, even 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 floor, lining of the vagina and sensitivity of breasts. 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.”

Defeating female dryness with the vibrator

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. This is untrue, as is the myth that a vibrator will turn you against real, live sex. As Dr. Schwarz says in Great Sex After 50, “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.”

While vibrators can help many women over come vaginal dryness and dyspareunia, and achieve natural lubrication and orgasms faster, the vibrator will never take away the intimacy you can achieve with a live partner.

Women shy about introducing a device into their relationships can either save the vibrator for private time or encourage their male partners to give their vibrator a name. Our favorite name from BOB (for “battery operated boyfriend”).

Many women are also shy about shopping for vibrators or other sex toys. Be not afraid of that either, and be sure to check out women-friendly, online retailers like Good Vibrations and A Woman’s Touch.  If you’re unsure where to start, try a couple of vibrators favored by women 50+:

And 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.

Finding the G spot for better sex after menopause

The Gräfenberg Spot (aka the G-Spot) is one of those little mysteries that have confounded scientists. Although it has been the subject of research since 1981, arguments over its very existence continue. But many women over 50 declare that not only do they know it exists; they’ve found it and are using it to their advantage!

With the right technique and a bit of practice, stimulating the G-spot has been reported to provide orgasm, multiple orgasms, and female ejaculation. Not all women find G-spot stimulation to be pleasurable. There are many ways to experiment with stimulation to find the technique that is right for you.

The G-spot is a zone about two or three inches inside the vagina on the front wall, closest to the clitoris or pubic bone. The best way to locate it is to extend your first two fingers (index and middle fingers) and make a “come here” motion. If you were to do that inside your vagina, that is the approximate location of your G spot. Many G-spot toys have been created with a curve intended to stimulate this sensitive area.

In an interview with, renowned author and women’s health specialist Dr. Christiane Northrup explained, “Women have as much erogenous erectile tissue in their pelvis as men do in their penis; it’s just all inside and no one teaches them this. All that tissue is created for pleasure and to create increased nitric oxide. And you can learn to wake this area up.”

In her Vibrant Nation interview, Dr. Northrup recommended practicing finding your G-spot twice a week, either alone or with your partner. “It’s a whole new world that couples can get into together, and the man never even has to have an erection.”

How does all this result in relief from vaginal dryness and dyspareunia and better sex after menopause?

How exactly can exploring your own pleasure spots undo the effects of vaginal dryness and dyspareunia? As author, advocate for ageless sexuality, and Vibrant Nation Blogger Joan Price says, “As we age, we get less blood flow to the clitoris and vagina, and the vaginal walls get thinner. Most of us need more arousal time and more time to reach orgasm after we’re aroused.”

Learning how to increase blood flow to your genitals faster and more powerfully will give you more pleasure and the confidence that such pleasure is within your reach again..

A Husband Secretly Watching Porn Could Mean Something’s Missing in Your Relationship
Love & Sex
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man with wedding ring typing on laptop

This post is of such a delicate subject matter that I am sure that some of the words used in this post will cause my blog to come up in some very interesting search results on Google in the near future. Undoubtedly I will also get a whole bunch of new Twitter followers who have very provocative profile photos when I promote this post on Twitter. This is not necessarily the type of blog recognition I want, but I am willing to post it anyway because I think this subject needs to be discussed out in the open.  Married couples, and those in long term relationships, need to talk about this before it becomes an insurmountable problem in your relationship.  So take a deep breath in….then out….now keep your mind open and read on.

Does your husband secretly watch porn for personal stimulation?  If you say no…are you sure?  This may be a shocker but if he is secretly watching porn it does not mean that there is something wrong with him, and it certainly does not mean there is something wrong with you either!  But it could mean there is something missing in your sexual relationship.  Now before you start attacking me for saying that, please read the entire post.

I recently discovered by accident that my husband was secretly watching porn.  My initial reaction was anger, then I felt rejection, jealousy, betrayal, and then more anger.  But before I walked out on a great marriage with a man who is so good to me in so many ways, including sexually, I sat down and talked with him about what it was he was watching, why he was watching it, and why he felt that a video could give him more than me.  What I learned was that he was not rejecting me at all.  He did his best to explain to me that he loves our sex life and is completely turned on by me so I did not need to feel rejection by his actions.  After a very difficult conversation that went on for more than 24 hours, he finally found the words to tell me about a certain sexual fantasy that he has had for most of his life but was too embarrassed to tell me about it because he thought I would think he was weird.  The desire for this fantasy is similar to an itch that really needs to be scratched once in a while.  So to scratch this itch, he would on occasion watch a certain type of porn video to enjoy that fantasy while masturbating.

He was not using porn in place of sex with me, nor was he using it to get worked up before sex with me, both of which would indicate a problem according to some sex experts I have been reading lately. Still I was very upset that my husband would desire something other than me.  We have a very active and satisfying sex life together so it was difficult for me to imagine there might be something missing.  What could be so embarrassing that he could not talk to me about it?

As open minded as I was trying to be, I still could not accept the fact that my man was watching other naked women to experience this fantasy.  To me that is cheating, even if the other woman is only in a video.  He did not feel it was cheating at all.  He said he is totally faithful to me and our marriage and sited the fact that when his married friends have invited him along to “Titty-bars” (as we call them) he would flatly refuse to join them saying that was cheating.  He even stopped hanging out with one long-time friend because he was always doing things that was going over the line for my husband, but the friend didn’t think it was cheating because he was not having intercourse with the other women.

I explained to him that if you go to a Titty-bar and watch a woman pole dancing for your sexual stimulation then that is the same thing as watching a porn movie -isn’t it?  He said that when I put it that way, it does sound like cheating…but he just never thought of it like that because he never came in contact with another real life person, he just watched a movie in the privacy of his own home.   Apparently many men do not feel that watching porn while masturbating is cheating because they didn’t have another human interacting with them in real life.  But in my book, that is still being unfaithful to your relationship with your wife.  My husband considers himself to be a very faithful husband so this was like a slap in the face…albeit one that he apparently needed.

Like all things unknown, they tend to grow into something much larger and much worse in your imagination then in real life, so I thought I needed to take control of this before it got totally out of hand and caused a serious problem in our marriage.  I said to him, “Just show me the damn videos that you were watching.” I wanted to know what I was competing with (even though he assured me I was not in competition).   He was really uncomfortable with this but he showed me anyway.  After watching it I thought…“That’s it? This is nothing like what I imagined he was watching.”  I said, “Honey, I don’t have a problem with us doing any of that.  I can’t believe that for all these years you have been afraid to ask me about this and would risk our marriage for fear of telling me about this fantasy.”

So that day I helped my husband live out this fantasy that he has had unsatisfied in real life for several decades.  How was it?  For me it was no different then the great sex we already had, but for him it was an amazing experience made better by the fact that we live it out together, which made it even better for me as well.  I don’t think he is going to desire any more secret porn sessions because now he knows that he doesn’t have to be shy about what he desires, he can just talk to me about what he would like.  And he knows I am still the sexually open-minded woman that he married so many years ago.

Sometimes in a marriage it is easy to become stagnant sexually, especially in a long marriage, so it is really important to keep talking, sharing, and experimenting.  If you keep your secret fantasy to yourself, it will only bring you dissatisfaction, so open up and share it with your partner, it might just heat things up in the bedroom for both of you!

So a few questions for you
Do you consider it cheating if your husband secretly watches porn?
If you discovered this, would it make you feel rejected?
Would you be open to trying new things in the bedroom if your partner shared his deepest fantasies?
Are you willing to share YOUR fantasies with him?

Foreskin retraction during intercourse for greater sensitivity for the woman
Love & Sex
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Hello – I have a somewhat detailed “logistical” question I’ve posted on mens’ sexual health forums that I thought I’d post here in case anyone can offer advice.

My b/f is “uncut”; his foreskin fully covers his penis when flaccid and mostly covers it when erect. He is a very energetic sex partner and is a decent size, at least average if not more. My problem is this: when we are having intercourse, much of the “in and out” consists of the “gliding” I’ve read about – his foreskin slides up and down over his penis, which feels like a very thick condom to me, blocking much of the sensation. There’s no friction against my vagina so my pleasure is greatly diminished. I am plenty wet enough and he is not that sensitive, so it’s good for him to feel his uncovered penis inside me. We have been together long enough that we do not use condoms, so that is not a solution. I’m hoping to find a way to retract his foreskin down against the bottom half of his penis (towards his body) so that it stays put and does not keep sliding up to cover most of the top half during intercourse.

It’s very frustrating because other than this, our physical relationship is wonderful. I just miss so much of the physical sensation due to his foreskin gliding rather than feeling the friction of his penis inside me.

I should also mention that he is the first man I’ve been with who is uncircumcised, so I have very little experience in this area.  We are both over 50 and there’s plenty of sex life left in us so I want it to be as good as possible.

If you have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it. I was envisioning a “half condom” that would simply fit over the bottom half of his penis to hold the foreskin back, but I have no idea if such a thing exists or would even be practical.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Should I date a man’s who’s impotent?
Love & Sex
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So I met this really nice guy, we’ve been seeing each other not exclusively yet but things are heading that way. He just told me that he hasn’t been able to have an erection for over a year. He seems very interested in me sexually so I was surprised because I don’t really understand how a man can be sexually interested and impotent?

I like him but sex is very important to me, I was celibate for four years, then had a two month fling and now I’m ready to be in a relationship again.

It seems like older men – I’m fifty-four and ony date men at the most a couple of years older than me – tend to have these issues. Even the guy I had the fling with had problems keeping an erection at times.

My new guy says he is more than willing to provide sexual satisfication to me in other ways but I really like the intimacy of sex too.

So hmmm. Any thoughts? Do I just figure from here on out, men are going to have these issues and take what I can get?

He isn’t interested in sex, intimacy, hugging, or affection. Why does he say he loves me?
Love & Sex
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I’m smart, I give GREAT advice and wisdom; but I don’t listen to my own advice!  I’ve been married and divorced twice.  Now, I’ve been in a relationship for nearly 7 years, and he is not interested in sex.  Not that important to him, he says.  We go days with out kissing or hugging.  If I don’t initiate affection, we’d go weeks!  Good man, good provider, works hard, and we have a beautiful home!  I could go on.  And, I love him.  I’m a very young 53 year old, and he’s 50!  We still have a lot of years in us; and I want to have SEX!!!  Yes.  I’ve told him.

VN Editors
Vibrator use after 50: A vibrant woman’s guide to Toys for grown women
Love & Sex
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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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!”
  2. 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.”
  3. 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!”
  4. 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!”
  5. 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!)
  6. 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.”
  7. 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.”
  8. The Silver Bullet. “It goes wherever I go.”
  9. Aquasaki. This waterproof vibrator “makes bath time lots of fun.”
  10. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

  1. 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!”
  2. 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.

  3. 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.”


“Friends with benefits” — at our age?
Love & Sex
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Can we have a bedmate who isn’t a soulmate — or even a steady date — at our age?

Miriam, age 57, wrote me this email pondering whether or not it’s possible to have a “friend with benefits” — AKA “sex buddy” — at our age, getting the perks of sex with someone we feel comfortable with, but don’t consider a love relationship:

I read in Better Than I Ever Expected where you and others have had neighbors/friends/buddies you have sex with when in between partners. I never considered this option before and would like to explore it.

I eventually want another lifelong love. I could only consider having sex with someone I like and love. I’d like to try the sex-buddy approach, but I have a burning emotional question: Even if he’s currently a friend who is willing to be a sex-buddy and there’s not a chance between us for a long romance –how do you keep your oxytocin bonding feelings from taking over and locking onto your sex-buddy when you should be looking for a more robust, true love, like you had with Robert?

I’d love to know how to navigate this territory without getting derailed or distracted from my goal of finding a long term love. So who are good candidates? And what kind of parameters do you have with such a pillow pal? Monogamous with each other for the time being? Either one is free to have other partners? How do you end it?

I think you said in your book that you actually had a sex buddy when you first met Robert. How did you transition out of it? Any tips for how to make this successful?

I had several sex buddies during my long decades of single life. These were men who were friends first, and we genuinely liked each other. We recognized and discussed honestly that we were not each other’s true loves and we understood that our relationship would not develop in that direction.

Yet we were attracted to each other, and at the time we were not in other exclusive relationships. We did a lot of talking before we decided that we would enjoy being sex buddies.

We agreed from the beginning — and I think this is very important — that we would not be exclusive with each other, would not stop seeking that eventual soulmate, and if we started getting serious about someone else, we would terminate the sexual part of our friendship.

In my 30’s and 40’s, I had a dear sex buddy whom I enjoyed for many years, on and off (depending on whether one of us became involved in another relationship that needed to be monogamous). We were good friends in and out of bed.

But that was largely hormone-driven. Now other sexual needs drive us than our hormones — we want to be touched and held, we love our arousal and our orgasms, we love the high of sex with an enjoyable partner and the laughter and intimacy afterward. You’re right that our bonding brain chemicals could play tricks on us and convince us were’ in love when the sex is good, even though our logic says no.

The person you mention who was my buddy for two years (I was 55-57) right before Robert and I became involved was in a committed relationship with someone with disparate sexual needs. My friend and I met with his mate and discussed what would be acceptable. We agreed to do only what didn’t feel threatening to my friend’s partner. This worked out very well. But I know this is rare. We were, all three of us, unusually verbal and honest, with good communications skills and a solid friendship.

Then, when Robert and I shared our first kiss, I immediately broke things off with my buddy, who understood and wished me well. We stayed close, Platonic friends — and we still are.

Of course I was honest with Robert, who was understandably uncomfortable about the whole business — he had never had such a relationship, and didn’t understand or like this. So be aware, if you enter into such a relationship, that you might encounter this, too.

Robert eventually got to know my buddy and like him, though he continued to furrow his brow and shake his head at what seemed to him to be very odd behavior!

Miriam also asked me this:

Who are the candidates? When I think of my single male friends, overwhelmingly, I consider them like brothers, and there’s no sexual vibe at all. The only other candidates would be former lovers, if we’ve been able to separate amicably and maintain a friendship. I’d be willing to try that, but then I’m concerned about that oxytocin bonding boost. Since I have already been in love with them once, I fear I’d get too bonded to them again, and stop putting out energy to be available for anyone else, even though I know there’s no romantic long term future with them. But the sensual touch sure would be nice!

I would not return to a former lover whom I had loved for this experiment. It just seems full of potential problems, because your earlier emotions could kick in easily.

Readers, help us here. Where did you find a sex buddy who was emotionally safe? How did you approach a friend with an offer of FWB? I hope you’ll comment.

other blog entries from »

Erica Manfred
10 mistakes that guarantee you’ll get screwed in your divorce settlement
Family & Relationships, Love & Sex, Work & Money
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divorce marriage certificate and scissors

1. Fail to plan ahead.
Men who are planning to leave tend to clean out bank accounts and hide assets, which are extremely difficult to recover. Women need to pre-plan for divorce just as men do. When the marriage starts to go bad, when he stops having sex with you or stops coming home at night, don’t make excuses, go to a lawyer and find out how to protect yourself.If you’re the one who wants a divorce, figure out the family finances before you even tell your husband you want out. If your husband has been handling your finances, you may not know enough about what you have. Visit a divorce lawyer and a financial planner (preferably one who specializes in divorce planning) and get your financial ducks in a row before you even ask for a divorce.

2. Assume your lawyer will take care of everything.
For many women in our generation, getting taken care of was the norm. So when divorce strikes, our first inclination is to put our fate in the hands of a white knight, another protector, our lawyer. Yes, you need a lawyer, but before you even walk into that lawyer’s office, you must educate yourself about divorce law in general and your state’s laws in particular. Get on the Internet or buy a book and start researching. If you’re not fully educated and proactive, you will wind up with a settlement you’ll regret for the rest of your life.

3. Choose the wrong lawyer.
Don’t let desperation lead you to settle for the first lawyer you consult. When choosing a lawyer, consider his or her experience. You want a lawyer who specializes in divorce in your jurisdiction. The best way to get a good divorce lawyer is through a recommendation from a satisfied customer, preferably another older woman. So many women end up hating their attorneys that a satisfied customer is your best source of recommendations.

4. Fail to consult a lawyer at all.
If you can’t afford a lawyer, but your husband has substantial assets, you can ask the court to order that he pay your legal fees, which is not unusual in cases of extreme inequality of assets. If there is a possibility that you may get a substantial settlement from a wealthy husband but can’t pay your lawyer a retainer up front, an attorney may agree to accept payment on contingency, as with a personal injury case.

5. Rely on a mediator.
Mediators are supposed to resolve issues without conflict and save legal fees, but savvy divorce lawyers are adamant that you should not go to mediation unless the playing field is totally level between you and your husband. In order to get a settlement, mediators push the person most likely to agree – and that’s usually the woman. Mediators are supposed to be impartial and also inform both parties of their rights, but mediators are human and sometimes inadequately trained. If there are any contested financial issues, you may lose out big-time in mediation.

6. Fail to ask for enough alimony.
Marriage is a legal and economic partnership and should be viewed in the same way as a business partnership. A woman who stayed home has invested in the skills of her husband for twenty years. Instead of putting money in the bank, she put it into a person. Women need to calculate what that investment was and negotiate from that. Run the numbers: what would it have cost your husband to pay someone to take care of the children, clean the house, cook the meals, and facilitate his ability to work overtime and get better training? Project the numbers outward so you know what your income is likely to be in the future, before and after you start collecting Social Security and/or your husband’s pension. If you can’t run the numbers yourself, see a certified financial planner who specializes in divorce.

7. Insist on keeping the house.
Some houses can be more of a liability than an asset. Older divorcees need to run the numbers again before deciding to stay in the house. You may be better off selling the house and splitting the proceeds with your husband. Emotionally, it may also make sense to get out of a place you’ve lived in with him for twenty years and start fresh in an apartment or condo, where the maintenance is taken care of.

8. Get bogged down in the Tchotchke Wars.
Too many older women get obsessed with fighting over furniture, antiques, knickknacks, and other possessions, losing the big picture in the process. It’s easy to waste your time and worse, your attorney’s time, in petty battles, but fighting over minor possessions just makes negotiations on the important issues, like the house and support, more difficult. Follow the usual rule for splitting possessions: you both get what you came into the marriage with, and split the rest. As for things that you acquired jointly that you really want, be a savvy negotiator. Make a list of your must-haves, making sure to include some less important items that you’re willing to let go. Then “compromise” on the non-essentials.

9. Be overly anxious to get closure.
As attorney Elizabeth Bennett says, “If a woman hasn’t expected the divorce, she has a three-year learning process to deal with the three major issues: relationship and identity; home; and career. It can’t be done in six months and she can’t be pushed.” Too many women rush into divorce settlements that might be ill-advised because they’re seeking “closure,” but sometimes the desire for closure can mean the difference between a comfortable retirement and a marginal one. Remember, a piece of paper does not give you closure. Only time and working on yourself can do that.

10. Believe your husband about his assets.
Women who have let their husbands handle the finances for twenty-five years have enormous resistance to finding out what the family’s assets really are. It may seem easier just to believe what your husband tells you, but as attorney Lynn Gold-Biken says, “When he decides to leave, he’s been to a lawyer and taken the financial documents out of the house.” She recommends not signing anything you don’t have a copy of, ever. Don’t sign anything without legal representation either. If you suspect your husband is hiding assets, talk to your lawyer about your options. You may be able to order him to produce financial documentation in court, or you may have to consult a forensic accountant to uncover his assets.

VN Editors
Vibrators for women: The benefits of using sex toys
Love & Sex
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Sex toys have been around for a long time. In fact, in the early 1900s, vibrators for women were advertised in the Sears & Roebuck as a “lady’s aid” for “female problems and relief.”

Unfortunately, mainstream distribution of all sexually related items, including birth control, was ended due to a moral crusader named Anthony Comstock who rallied support from the public and the government. Fortunately, vibrators for women are much more accepted these days, and even doctors are talking about the possible benefits of vibrator use as a part of healthy sex life.

Many couples participate in vibrator use both alone and together, allowing them to to tap into creative sex and the pleasures they bring. In the Vibrant Nation Health Guide, A Woman’s Guide to Great Sex After 50: Getting Your Mind, Body and Relationship Ready for Pleasure, Dr. Pepper Schwartz explains:

“A lot of touching and using toys not only stokes up erotic desire, it also gets everyone excited without having a male partner have to last forever during intercourse. For one thing, as we age, our knees, backs, hips, and pelvis need a little relief, or sex will be more painful than pleasing.”

The benefits of vibrators for women can include:

  • Enhanced sexual performance: Vibrators for women can allow one to perform sexual acts that may be difficult to sustain for long periods of time. There is, of course, the obvious issue that many men find a challenge in that they may reach orgasm more quickly than their female partner and then are unable to continue with using their erect penis to pleasure her. Vibrator use allows him to stimulate her quickly in the beginning to the point of orgasm so that she is already sated before he climaxes, or after he does. This way she will always feel equally satisfied.
  • Decreased effort and cramping: Sex often requires precarious positions and repetitive motion that can cause major fatigue in your fingers, hands, neck, back, legs or mouth. Vibrators for women allow continued pleasuring with less work and effort. Further, vibrators use can allow sexual release for those with partners who have disabilities that keep them from normal sexual performance.
  • Timing isn’t an issue with vibrators: For women who are tired of getting turned down when they’re feeling amorous, vibrator use can be a wonderful thing!
  • Good health: Orgasms release stress and tension, and that’s a scientifically proven fact. They can be a pleasant way to start the day or a great remedy for a sleepless night. Vibrators for women can provide orgasms any time of the night or day!
  • No partner, no problem! You can use a vibrator alone or with a partner.
  • Long distance partner? Vibrators for women allow partners to have incredible phone sex while separated from one another for a while.
Dr. Christiane Northrup
Dr. Northrup’s 10 tips for better sex after 50
Love & Sex
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Sex in the second half of life is fascinating. Many women in their 60s and 70s are having the best sex of their lives, whereas some women over 50 feel that they’ve lost their libido. Everyone thinks the reason is because they’re going through menopause, but that’s not it. The truth is, the old way of having sex leads many women to lose their libido. They just need to rethink their own brainwashing!

  1. Ask for what you want.
    Most of their lives, women are taught that their job is to get a man up and get him off in as short a time as possible. Women think it’s not about them at all. But when they finally decide that they can ask for what they want, they realize to their amazement that men are more than willing to provide it. By rewiring their sexuality in this way, women discover that they are orgasmatrons and they just never knew it.
  2. Focus on your pleasure to enhance his.A man’s body responds to a woman’s pleasure. In fact, a man can often get as much or more pleasure out of pleasuring a woman in a genuine way than he does just with getting up and getting off. That’s when the prolactin in men really rises. I have seen men who are on erectile dysfunction drugs, who needed them, able to get off them when their wives finally put their own pleasure first.
  3. Take the time you need. Too many women fake orgasm simply because they feel they’re taking too long. That’s why I say in my book, The Secret Pleasures of Menopause, that you literally need to put this on your calendar: Set aside time to explore your sexuality. Then both you and your partner will be able to get in a different state, a theta state, a delta state–a very, very entrained, healthy state loaded with nitric oxide.
  4. Use plenty of lubrication.If you’re experiencing painful sex, the solution may be as simple as needing more lubrication. Get a whole bunch–spit may not be enough.! It can be as simple as KY Jelly at any drugstore. I have to laugh–they’ve invented a warming formula now. Those are fun. Try all those things.
  5. Consider vaginal estrogen.If lubrication isn’t enough, talk to your doctor. Some women have thinning of the vaginal tissue and they simply need three or four more layers of cells there, which you can get back in a week or two with a little vaginal estrogen. Vaginal estrogen can be safely used even if you’ve had breast cancer. The most locally potent is called Estriol, available by prescription from a formulary pharmacy. It’s a very simple solution–there’s no need for women to suffer like that.
  6. Wake up your clitoris and G-spot.Women have as much erogenous erectile tissue in their pelvis as men do in their penis; it’s just all inside and no one teaches them this. All that tissue is created for pleasure and to create increased nitric oxide and you can learn to wake this area up. Read Tantra: The Art of Conscious Loving, which has instructions for massaging the G-spot. Practice with yourself twice a week. The male partner can also help with this–it’s a whole new world that couples can get into together and the man never even has to have an erection.
  7. Get your Vitamin D levels checked.Think of libido as life force. Eventually, batteries get drained and need to be recharged. You may recharge by going away for a spa weekend, spending time with girlfriends, sitting in the sun. One specific thing you can do as well is to get your Vitamin D level checked. Vitamin D helps mood. It’s the sunshine vitamin. D levels should be 60 to 80, but many women are dreadfully deficient; I’m willing to bet that in over 50% of Vibrant Nation members, it’s going to be 24. That’s way too low.
  8. Get enough sleep.This is very important. Get plenty of rest so your batteries are charged whenever they need to be–even when your partner reaches for you in the middle of the night.
  9. Experiment with different activities to awaken your sexual energy center.Words are very potent for women–our bodies respond to them. It’s standard biofeedback. So enjoy romantic and erotic fiction, both alone or even enjoy together as couple. You can also try a women-only art of strip tease class, S-Factor pole dancing or belly dancing.
  10. Become a new partner.As you’re rethinking your relationship to sexuality, understand that most men follow directions. You need to take the inititive and make it happen. Don’t get caught down the rabbit hole of “Oh my libido’s going away and that’s it for me.” The number one predictor of good midlife libido is a new partner. So, become a new partner!

VN Editors
Female masturbation: How to have better orgasms with vibrator use
Love & Sex
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The quest for big, better, and more mind-blowing orgasms is never ending. Luckily, it’s a fun chase!

Many couples use sex toys alone and together, allowing them to tap into creative sex and the pleasures they bring. In the Vibrant Nation Health Guide, A Woman’s Guide to Great Sex After 50: Getting Your Mind, Body and Relationship Ready for Pleasure, Dr. Pepper Schwartz explains:

“A lot of touching and using toys not only stokes up erotic desire, it also gets everyone excited without having a male partner have to last forever during intercourse. For one thing, as we age, our knees, backs, hips, and pelvis need a little relief, or sex will be more painful than pleasing.”

At our age, we often need more time and more intense stimulation, as well. That’s when vibrator use can provide a bit of help during female masturbation.

Blogger TessDanesi has some tips for multiplying your orgasms during vibrator use:

  • Fantasize – Most women need more arousal time and more time to reach orgasm, whether during female masturbation or sex with a partner. While your sexual organs are the place where sex happens, never forget that for many women the number one pleasure spot in their body is located in their brain. If you’re not feeling particularly creative, check out these 10 fantasies to jump start your sexy thoughts.
  • Read erotica – Again, you’ve got to get in the right frame of mind if you want a mind-blowing orgasm during vibrator use. Often, erotica can open your mind to new fantasies you’d never be able to dream up on your own. If you’re not sure where to find good erotica, here are some suggested erotica titles from the members of Vibrant Nation to help get your body in the mood with erotic fiction.
  • Try some nipple clips – If you like nipple stimulation, don’t be afraid to try some nipple clips. There are adjustable ones available that convert from light to heavy pressure as well as ones that vibrate.
  • Vibrator use – The number and variety of vibrators is staggering. Lucky us! The trick is to try several and find one that works for you. A variety of speeds, styles, shapes and sizes make the shopping fun.
  • Dildo use – If you’re ready to up the ante, you might try a dildo in addition to clitoral stimulation through vibrator use. Rabbit style vibes, vibes that provide simultaneous internal and clitoral stimulation, can be difficult for some to use, depending on their body shape and size. You can, however add a dildo to your vibrator use. It may require two hands, but it may also be worth the effort.
  • Use a butt plug – TessDanesi explains, “So your head’s in the right place, you’re merrily buzzing along feeling those amazing sensations in and around you clitoris, you have a dildo inside that you can contract your muscles around bringing you closer and closer — what else could you do to make this even better? Well, here’s where I like to go for the trifecta and make use of a butt plug.” A variety of butt plugs in varying sizes and shapes are available.
  • Relax and take your time – You’ll want to be sure that you have plenty of time when you’re going to try for a mind-blowing orgasm through vibrator use. As TessDanesi says, “Using sex toys is one way to take your orgasms from great to un-freaking-believable. Take your time, give these techniques a go when you’re not rushed and can really relax into the sensations, try adding one toy at a time, and remember you can try these with a partner too.”
VN Editors
Quieter vibrators for women who need discreet vibrator use
Love & Sex
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Vibrator use can be very helpful for women who have a little extra trouble achieving orgasm after menopause.

As Dr. Pepper Schwartz explains in Toys For Grown Women, “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.”

Vibrator use can actually help many women over come dryness and induce faster orgasms, but vibrator use will never take away the intimacy you can achieve with a live partner.

Still, there is a time and a place for vibrator use. Unfortunately, that time sometimes comes when there are other people in the place! That’s when a quieter vibrator for women is in order. Sure, you can do things like play a television or music to drown out the buzz and hum of vibrator use, but you can find vibrators that make a little less noise than others.

“…A good rule of thumb is that a plastic vibrator will tend to be noticeably louder noise than a latex or Cyberskin covered vibrator,” according to Ashley. provides a listing of some of their quieter selections. Here are a few vibrators for women that feature a “quieter buzz.”

Lelo Lily Vibrator
The Lily vibrates at ten speeds and is made to fit over your pubic bone, providing vibrations directly to your clitoris. It is small enough to be used during sex or with your favorite dildo for all-over stimulation. It is rechargeable, “extremely silent,” small and portable. The Lelo comes with a box, charger, satin carry pouch, and a one year warranty.


The Jack Rabbit Vibrator
The Jack Rabbit Vibrator has three stimulators: a shaft that rotates inside you, pulsing against your g-spot; pearls that line the shaft, rotating over your vaginal opening; and a vibrating clitoral stimulator (the rabbit). According to, “the Jack Rabbit Vibrator vibrates at a pleasurable purr, meaning it delivers a nice vibration quietly.”



Romance Vibrator
The Romance Vibrator is a silicone massager that offers “very intense, whisper quiet vibration.” It features seven functions of low, rumbling vibration and pulsation. You can use the Romance externally or internally and it’s waterproof for bathtub fun.

Well Spouse Affairs
Love & Sex
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I read your entry on affairs between two caregiving spouses.

I have to say that I appreciate what you wrote about that subject.  I also want to say that I am in one of those relationships.  The woman I share a relationship like that has a husband who has suffered from MS for over 10 years.  My wife has suffered from a myriad of painful issues.

What some of the people who responded with scorn don’t understand is that I was tough for over 10 years.  Pretty soon you hit a wall and you realize what is going on and you go crazy.  Don’t get me wrong, both the woman I am in a realtionship with and I are both committed to taking care of our spouses to the end.

We both realized that when the institution of marriage was established many millenia ago, people didn’t live that long and if they did become ill or disabled, they usually didn’t live that long.  Medical science is both a blessing and a cursing.  It can prolong life, but the quality of life is not all there.

If my wife were miraculously healed, I would end this outside relationship on a dime and the same is true for the other woman and I would expect her to as well.  Both of us see this as a kind of surrogate partner.  It is not perfect, just necessary to keep our sanity intact.

If readers don’t like this, try walking a mile in our shoes.  And to point to family members or friends who say they have not done this.  I say, you only THINK they haven’t.  Neither me or the woman I am in a realtionship with have even told anybody, not even our closest of friends.  So you may not even know if your friends who are caregiving spouses are or not.

Again, thank you for the article.

VN Editors
Pain-free whoopee: Try different positions for great sex after menopause
Love & Sex
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The 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, 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 Dr. Pepper Schwartz 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.”

Tips for finding the most comfortable sexual 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 that help if you have arthritis, a bad back, or get Charlie Horses

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.

Dr. Pepper Schwartz says, “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:

  • 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.