One of our favorite sex toy brands Dame Products conducted a survey on sex toy use. They found that
about 40% of people who said they use a sex toy when they masturbate were over 40 years of age.
Now there are some of us who are over 40 who would go well that is no surprise. There are also a whole bunch of us of all ages that cringe at the thought of older people, parents etc having sex or using sex toys. Putting it plainly the human race would not exist, you would not exist is your parents, if older people didn’t have sex (FYI, yes we know some of us came to be thanks to the wonders of science and IVF but we are pretty sure that your parent(s) were having sex even if they need a little extra help having a baby. Thankyou science!)
Sex sells, sex is currency and what is considered sexy in society is youth and beauty. We don’t agree with this standard but it is a reality that we have grown up with and struggle against.
These ideas about sex and what is sexy have given us fairly narrow idea of ‘what’ sex is and the ‘how’ of sex. Sex education doesn’t do much to change that.
We need more people talking about sex in all its forms throughout the lifespan.
Not just in the context of young and stereotypical sexy, or penis in vagina sex. We need to have real voices talking about real sex. We need more women over 40 talking about sex and sexuality. Most conversation around sex is centered around twenty and thirty-year old’s, not leaving much room for the exploration of navigating sex with a changing body. If we think about it the 20 – 30 age group is the main age group for having a family that feeds into the message currently shared in our sex education, sex for procreation, not recreation. When the reality is that we are sexual beings long after our ability to have children has passed. We are sexual beings as our bodies change, as we age.
The reality for women is that menopause impacts everything. It impacts every part of your body, it can impact your mental health and functions. It impacts your sexual function, vaginal dryness, your vaginal changes, your uterus changes, your libido changes, your levels of arousal and how you respond to sexual stimulus changes, pain during intercourse can start or continue/change.
How it impacts your life varies from person to person and it is not all bad.
So what are some of the best things about aging and sexuality?
Most women over forty are still having great sex, they know what they want and know how to ask for it. They embrace the confidence and emotional maturity during intimate encounters that tends to increase as we get older. As we age we know what works and what doesn’t, more so than when we were younger. We know how much effort we’re willing to put in, how comfortable we are being vulnerable and to what extent and we are not as afraid to get help or walking away from things that don’t work for us.
All that goes for sex as we age too.
If after 40 you don’t know what you like in sex and what you don’t. Now is a good a time as any to learn. Masturbation is a health-maintaining practice, it is sexual self-care. If you ever needed permission to masturbate or self-pleasure, there you go. Now you have it.
Have you ever heard the old saying ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’. That applies to vaginal health as we go through perimenopause and menopause. If you are not having sexual activity through these periods, solo or partnered it really affects your vagina. Masturbating is a great way to maintain vaginal health because it gets your natural lubrication going, increases blood flow to the area which, stimulates nerves and releases happy hormones that are also great for your mental health.
Who needs more reasons? Not us.
Conversations about sex and aging, about changes in our body, are important. They are not only important for us as women but also for our partners, our lovers, for our emotional and relational health.