Every month in Sex at Our Age, award-winning senior sexpert Joan Price answers your questions about everything from loss of desire to solo sex and partner issues. Nothing is out of bounds! If you’re over 60, submit your questions to this column by emailing Joan directly at email@example.com.
“It’s hard for me to reach orgasm,” women over 60 often write me. “What can I do?” I usually answer one reader’s question in this monthly column. This time I’m compiling your questions to create a self-help guide for easier orgasms. Although your stories are unique, the essential question is often the same: “How can I reach orgasm more easily?”
Consult your doctor for a medical cause.
- “I have a few illnesses and I’m on medications.”
- “I’ve always been able to orgasm easily but for the past year and a half, I’ve been losing almost all sensation. I have not talked with my doctor about this.”
Many of you mention your medical conditions when you ask me for advice. You need to have this conversation with your doctor who knows your condition or your pharmacist who knows the sexual side effects of your medications. If your medical professional is dismissive of you or embarrassed that you’re asking about sex, you need a new one who is sex-positive and age-positive. This is essential for your quality of life! See “Talk to Your Doctor about Sex” for help starting this conversation.
Expand your sexual repertoire.
- “I have been unable to have orgasms because my husband is impotent.”
About 75 percent of women do not reach orgasm through intercourse, and I suspect that percentage is higher in our age group. We need clitoral stimulation before, during, or instead of intercourse. Your husband’s erectile dysfunction does not need to be an impediment to satisfying sex for both of you — there are many other ways to give and receive sexual pleasure. Read “A Senior’s Guide to Sex Without Intercourse” and/or watch my webinar, “Great Sex without Penetration.”
Use sex toys for faster arousal and orgasm.
- “I would like to know how to reach an orgasm on my own, as my husband is not interested. I have a vibrator and sometimes it helps, but most often it doesn’t.”
- “I have started to buy some sex toys for solo play, but I just cannot get an orgasm.”
- “I prefer to use a device of some kind. But I don’t know what to look for.”
Read my advice above about consulting your doctor in case there’s a medical cause for your inability to reach orgasm. If not, it’s likely that you haven’t found the right vibrator to make orgasms happen for you. There are many different types, and each has a variety of shapes, sizes, and intensities. The vibrations can range from buzzy to rumbly and from mild to turbo-powered.
Start with my blog post, “How to Choose a Vibrator.” Then, armed with your knowledge of what you’re looking for, read my reviews of specific vibrators, all from a senior perspective. (There are many reviews, so keep selecting “older posts” at the bottom of the page.) A faster way to see and learn about a selection of my favorites is to view my webinar, “Sex Toys for Seniors.”
If you’re partnered, communicate what feels good and what doesn’t.
- “My husband is never very good at sex and consequently I suffer. I’m trying to find a way to achieve satisfaction.”
Does your husband refuse or “forget” to do what pleases you? Or does he not know, because you haven’t found a way to communicate what you need? We grew up during an era of embarrassment about sex, and for many of us, it’s still difficult to talk to a partner about our sexual needs. Work on asking for what feels good to you. My book, The Ultimate Guide to Sex after 50, has an entire chapter on improving sex with a longtime partner, including how to find the right words for communicating your needs.
If you’re solo, enjoy self-pleasuring often.
- “My husband died 4 years ago. I haven’t had any sexual activity in about 10 years. I think I just want solo sex. Could you help me please?”
I’m so sorry for your loss. Grief often numbs our natural need for sex, though for some, it has the opposite effect. (Learn more from Sex After Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality After Losing Your Beloved.)
Be patient if you’re just getting back to sexual activity after a decade. Your body and brain became accustomed to doing without sex, and your drive and responsiveness receded. Some tips to improve this:
- Enjoy solo sex during the time of day you feel energetic and excitable. I call that your “tingle time.”
- Exercise first to increase blood flow to the genitals for faster arousal.
- Eat after sex, not before, so that the blood flow is not diverted to the digestive system.
“A Senior’s Guide to Solo Sex,” one of my most popular articles for Senior Planet, has more suggestions. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Your take-away tips:
- Consult your doctor for a medical cause.
- Expand your sexual repertoire.
- Use sex toys for faster arousal and orgasm.
- If partnered, communicate what feels good and what doesn’t.
- If solo, enjoy self-pleasuring often.
- The more sexually active you are — partnered or solo — the easier it becomes to reach orgasms.
A Message from Joan:
I receive many more questions than I can answer. To help yours get chosen, know this:
- I select questions solely from readers age 60+.
- If I already answered a similar question, yours is less likely to be chosen, so do a search for your topic first.
- When you submit a question, describe your problem, how it affects you, what you’d like to know. Your story will be edited.
- For medical advice, consult your doctor. Change doctors if you’re not satisfied or if you’re treated dismissively.
- I select questions for publication only. For a private answer, request a consultation. Most questions about sex and aging are answered in my books and webinars.
Send Joan your questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All information is confidential. Joan can only answer questions that are chosen for publication from readers age 60+
Joan Price is the author of several self-help books about senior sex including her newest, “Sex after Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality after Losing Your Beloved,” and the award-winning “Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex.” Visit Joan’s website and blog and her Facebook page. For senior sex news and tips, subscribe to Joan’s free newsletter.
I’ll make a suggestion. If someone is not alone one very erotic thing is to never self pleasure. My wife is open to trying new things. This is exciting because I have some orgasm issues. She put on her dominant hat one day during intimate role playing and forbid me from trying to self pleasure. I responded with a “yes dear”. She rewarded me with a prostate massage and a threat that she’d lock me in a chastity device we play with occasionally if I did. Lol I’ve never self pleasured since then.
Good read. I just passed this onto a buddy who was performing some research on that. He just bought me lunch since I identified it for him! Thus let me rephrase: Thanx for lunch!
I’ve probably not been intimate with a partner in probably 30 years. It has nothing to do with religion. I don’t care about either one.
I have many women friends but serious stuff just interest me.
I will be 76 next month. I met a wonderful man two years ago and could never have an orgasm with intercourse with him. I saw a specialist who put me on a program that included daily Kegel exercises – he had me work up to 80 per day – which helped tremendously (I had some bladder issues and trying to have an orgasm caused leaking during sex), but I still had trouble reaching an orgasm. Then I saw my GYN, who prescribed a testosterone gel that I rub on my lower abdomen sparingly twice a week, and now I am having MULTIPLE ORGASMS and seldom leak urine anymore!! I can’t believe the difference this has made in my life. I’ve never heard or read about this before and wish other older women knew about this miracle. The testosterone intensifies sensation in the nether regions like you wouldn’t believe. I am fortunate to have a man (he just turned 80!) who also has multiple “O’s” and we have them together, over and over. Neither of us has ever experienced sex like we have now. Please pass this information on (about the testosterone and the Kegels).
Thanks. I really enjoy reading your column.
Boy, people have problems…
We’ve evolved, evolved, evolved, and end up in utter barbarity.
Overfed, overprivileged, overprimitive.
Anna, we are sexual beings lifelong. No need to disparage those of us who find our sexuality important.
Sounds like you’re assuming that everyone who enjoys senior sex, or wants to, is obese, a White male, and crude. I’m sorry you consider sexuality “overprimitive.” But that’s you, honey.
I was amazed by your post, and I’d love to know more about the gel your GYN prescribed. It sounds like a godsend!
Do you have the name I could ask my GYN about (the gel)?
What great advice Joan. Somehow, you always seem to cover a myriad
of concerns us older folks are encountering as we attempt to maintain the fun and sensuality of senior sexuality.