Throughout your menstrual life, you’ve probably experienced fluctuating hormones, and with that comes mood swings, arousal peaks and troughs, fatigue and sleep deprivation, and bouts of anxiety – all on a monthly basis. However, hitting your menopause is like a second puberty, where your hormones seismically shift once again and you experience a new set of changes. Cue “The Change”.
What may not be a priority for some, sex and sensuality is still an important part of anyone’s wellbeing, and contrary to popular belief, low libido in older age doesn’t have to mean the end of your sex life.
From the very minimal scientific research done on this change, and mostly from personal accounts, we can determine that the frequent drop in sex drive in menopausal people is attributed to many significant hormonal changes.
A Second Puberty
For one, a drop in oestrogen (also known as the love-bonding hormone) can decrease blood circulation to certain parts of the body, notably the vulva and clitoris, which means less nerve endings will receive oxygen, which can lead to a lack of sensitivity and lubrication in the genitals, which can also mean painful sex.
Progesterone (also known as the sedating hormone), found in high quantities during PMS (premenstrual syndrome) leaving people feeling exhausted, bloated and tender. However, there is also a drop in this hormone during the menopause which instead of keeping you awake and free from bloat and tenderness, allows for sleepless nights and high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
What does all this mean and what can you do about it?
With this shift in hormones, sleep deprivation and high anxiety levels may trump any thoughts of attempting to engage in your self-pleasure and intimacy. However, this is actually an essential part of growing into the new person you are becoming. Sex and wellbeing are so interlinked, and practicing a routine of self-love can aid with negative symptoms.
Enter, Sensual Tech.
Just like sex tech, sensual tech aims to encourage sex positivity, overcoming stigma and taboo that we so often find clouding our pleasure. WISP, a leading brand in Sensual Tech, is doing exactly that. The personalisable jewellery is worn to evoke the senses, to ignite sensuality and arousal in the body. Interchangeable perfume and massage orbs slot into your chosen sterling silver ring, earring or necklace, resting upon the erogenous zones to stimulate desire and used on the pressure points to relieve stress. The jewellery is a statement piece to be worn with a sense of empowerment around female sensuality. Open up a conversation with your friends and your partners to broaden your mind about your own body and discover how everyone experiences pleasure differently.
Smart vibrators, such as MysteryVibe’s Crescendo, are a great way to stimulate blood flow and reawaken nerve endings to the genitals when they may feel numb and dry from the lack of oxygen. Orgasms release a flood of that juicy oxytocin (the love hormone) which combats stress and aids sleep.
Up to 45% of menopausal people experience pain from vaginal intercourse. The Ohnut has been designed specifically to control the depth of penetration. The spongy rings fit around the penis creating a more comfortable experience.
During this time lubricants are your best friend. Even if you don’t experience vaginal dryness, lube can literally add to the sensuality of your sex life, creating new sensations across the body, particularly CBD (cannabidiol) infused oil. OHNE, for example, has created Anti-Teardrops oil for your intimate parts to ease discomfort during menstruation. However it also works wonders for discomfort as a result of low oestrogen. Even though it’s only 1% infused, after about 20 minutes of application, the CBD encourages vasodilation, increased blood flow to the genitals, and therefore sensitivity and more natural lubrication. Ingesting CBD oil is also known to have the same effects, as well as calming the nervous system which emotionally prepares the body into a state of relaxation and openness for experiencing sensuality.
Sensuality is not just a physical experience though, and sexual wellness apps such as Ferly aid with mental sexual stimulation. It’s ultimately a personal guide to help you rediscover your sensuality through body mapping and orgasmic breathing.
Take away points. Sex is not limited to penetration. Arousal and desire are ignited through sensuality. Low libido can be overcome from slowing down the experience and relearning your body using sensual technology.
Author – Olivia Lipski