Gina Answers: Painful Sex After Menopause

May 21, 2012 2 min read

Jo Asks:

I'm a Female, Age 54, completed menopause a year ago. Have not been sexually active in 3 years.   Have met a wonderful, caring, patient man...sexual intercourse due to dryness is very difficult...but he doesn't want me to use a lubricant, he wants the friction. Any ideas?

Dear Jo:

First of all, it’s great to hear that you’ve found a caring partner with whom to enjoy this phase of life!  Due to the physical changes that accompany menopause for some women, this can be a stage of exploration and discovery regarding sensuality and sexuality, especially with an open, patient and supportive partner.  As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and this is no exception to that rule.  I wish you both the best as you explore together.

In response to your question, it sounds like you two have conflicting but not necessarily incompatible desires and needs here.  First of all, I would encourage you to pay attention to your body’s cues and ask for respect from your partner regarding your vaginal health and safety.  The drying and thinning that can occur after menopause may make vaginal intercourse more challenging, and regardless of anyone’s specific desires for friction versus lubrication, safety should be a primary concern for both partners.  Too much friction during intercourse can cause tears in the vaginal wall that, over time, may cause irritation and inflammation and can make the vagina prone to more infections.  Thus, some lubrication is definitely necessary to protect the tissue lining the canal.  If you wish to accommodate your partner’s desire for increased friction, a compromise, with some lubrication and great attention to communication, may be able to be reached between the two of you, but please, if you feel pain, stop!  There are other solutions…

Remember that vaginal penetration is not your only option for providing your partner with high-friction pleasure.  Have you explored manual or oral stimulation (the former without any lube at all) as an alternate activity?  If so, and that has not given him the sensations he desires, you may want to come into the shop and explore our masturbation sleeves, which can be used with or without lube as well.  If you have yet to try one of these activities, take some time to explore them together; you may come up with a solution that gives him substantial satisfaction, which might trigger your responses to his pleasure and elicit the lubrication you need to move on to other activities...  like vaginal intercourse, which you can reserve for those times when intimacy and connection are more important than a desire for a specific sort of stimulation.

Hope this helps.  I encourage lots of communication, including a follow-up response once you’ve tried some of these suggestions, should you need more!

Best to you both,

Pure Pleasure employee & sexuality educator




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