Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.Full Bio
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How's your sex life? (You don't have to answer that.)
OK, try this question then: Do you want to spice up your sex life?
Yeah, we thought you might.
When you go through menopause, it's entirely normal for sex to change. Maybe your libido has taken a dive or you're dealing with a divorce or death of a spouse or sex is difficult or painful. Read more: Sex Doesn't Have to End With Menopause.
That's why we rounded up some solutions and products for you. Because we all deserve a little pleasure in our lives.
For when you crave some added oomph
Vibrators to the rescue. They're not called Intense Finish, Double Bliss or "mind-blowing" for nothing. Used solo or with a partner, these little devices can make sex more exciting and pleasurable. They may even help you discover unknown erogenous zones throughout your body. And head's up, ladies (pun intended)—vibrators are not just reserved for women. "Most guys don't even know how awesome vibrations can feel on their penises, particularly if they have trouble getting aroused in the first place," says this article in Men's Health. And this study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that adds up to more pleasure: men who used vibrators enjoyed better erectile function plus more satisfying sex than those who didn't.
For when you want full service
This candle not only provides sexy lighting coupled with aromatherapy, but the melted wax from the candle can be used to indulge in a body-safe erotic massage with all-natural ingredients that won't irritate your skin. Choose from vanilla & crème de cacao; snow pear & cedarwood or black pepper & pomegranate. Waste not, want more.
For when your vagina is feeling very, very dry
Lower levels of estrogen can lead to a deterioration of vaginal tissues, making them less elastic, thinner and drier. While there are plenty of prescription products that provide low-dose estrogen, if you'd rather go the over-the-counter route, try a moisturizer like Replens. Used every few days, it can relieve the dryness that plagues you.
For when you need a multifunction lube
Lubricants are made to make sex more comfortable. But if that sounds rather clinical and boring to you, this one from Uberlube goes the extra mile. Yes, it can be used to reduce the uncomfortable friction of sex and also can go to work to tame frizzy hair and reduce chafing from sport activities. And it's even available in a travel size, for when you want to take comfort with you.
For when you want to protect yourself
Condoms are not just for men. Female condoms are an alternative to male condoms and can protect against both pregnancy and some STDs (you're never too old to worry about safe sex!) with convenience and control. Some users say they are underrated and "offer the sensation of unprotected sex while still staying safe," along with a better sensation for the male partner.
For when you need more than cuddling and champagne
Bring out the essential oils. Research shows that aromatherapy can be an effective way of healing sexual dysfunction in menopausal women. Specific to the study was neroli oil or lavender oil and combined aromatherapy oils of lavender, fennel, geranium and rose. Other studies have pointed to the libido-enhancing qualities of inhaling sandalwood oil.
For when you want it within easy reach
Lola's Sexual Wellness Kit puts it all together, with a selection of products and resources to lead you to sexual success. It's got condoms, lubricant, cleansing wipes and more. The company even offers a customizable subscription for many needs, delivered to your door in discreet packaging.