Our favorite sex experts reveal the pills, creams, tricks and toys that actually work to get FOFs in the mood.
The hard truth: menopause depletes our estrogen, which can cause vaginal dryness, loss of arousal and loss of sexual satisfaction in some women. Or, in the words of Dr. Michael Krychman, Director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health, “orgasms were once like thunder and lightening, and now they are the pitter-patter of rain.” But, being FOF also brings increased confidence, freedom and self-awareness which can lead to the most satisfying sex of your life. At the end of the day, the former is fixable and the latter is fabulous.
Here, our most trusted authorities on women’s sexual health, Dr. Patricia Allen, Candida Royalle, Dr. Holly Thacker and Dr. Michael Krychman, reveal everything that’s really worked to help their FOF patients get the “thunder and lightening” back in the bedroom.
- 1. Get your “equipment” in working order.
- Dr. Pat Allen: “Lack of estrogen can cause vaginal tissues to become dry and thin–not very arousing. To restore pinkness and plumpness, I prescribe the use of high-dose vitamin D for three weeks. Then a woman can choose to use vaginal estrogen, which generally comes in two forms—a cream (Estrace and Premarin are the two most common) and a pill called Vagifem that’s inserted twice a week. Vagifem is designed to limit its absorption in to the blood vessels, however some small amount of the estrogen many enter the blood stream and could increase the risk of breast and endometrial cancer. It’s thought to be an extremely low risk.”
- Dr. Michael Krychman: “If you don’t want to use or can’t use hormones, you can try non-hormonal vaginal moisturizers such as Me Again or Replens which are applied on a regular basis to help hydrate the vaginal tissue and improve skin quality.”
- 2. Lubrication, lubrication, lubrication.
- Candida Royalle: “Use a good water-based lubricant, especially around the outer opening to the vagina.”
- Dr. Holly Thacker: “Water-soluble lubricants such as Astroglide® or K-Y Jelly®, can help a lot.”
- Dr. Pat Allen: “For women who are allergic to the propylene glycol found in products such as KY, plain old mineral oil is a wonderful lubricant. It would not work with a condom–you must use a water-based lube with a condom. Some women don’t want their partners to know that they’re not getting lubricated. For that, KY ovules, used twice a week, on a regular basis, could be enough to keep you lubricated when the time comes.”
- 3. Try an aphrodesiac that actually works.
- Dr. Holly Thacker: “There is an over-the-counter ‘feminine arousal fluid’ called Zestra that’s available without a prescription. A small, randomized trial showed that when women applied Zestra to the genitals–versus some other over-the-counter oil–they had better sensation and slightly better ability to climax.”
- Dr. Michael Krychman: “I’ve seen good results with two over-the counter products: Zestra, a proprietary blend of essential oils that increases arousal, and ArginMax, a supplement that helps by improving circulation.”
- 4. Edit your sexual script.
- Dr. Michael Krychman: “Patients often come to me and say things like, ‘We always have sex on Friday night after Letterman.’ Just changing one thing about your sexual routine–the location or time for example, can have a major effect on arousal.”
- 5. Rub a Dub Dub. Get going in the tub.
- Candida Royalle: “Take a warm bath before intercourse to help you relax. You could even begin some sensual self-stimulation and caressing while in the bath to get you in the mood. Consider adding a waterproof vibrator.
- 6. Tell him the doctor made you do it.
- Dr. Michael Krychman: “Forty percent of women don’t have orgasm during penetration and many have a much easier–and better–time when a vibrator is involved. But women are nervous about bringing vibrators into the bedroom for fear their men will feel threatened. I tell my patients, ‘Tell your husband that your gynecologist prescribed it.’”
- 7. Lights, Camera, Get Some Action.
- Candida Royalle: “Many women claim watching an erotic movie that they like works better than anything else they’ve tried. Consider movies made by and for women. Or read erotic stories together. Some couples become well-versed in telling their favorite erotic stories to each other, which can really put you both in the mood.”
- 8. Practice makes perfect.
- Candida Royalle: “Masturbate regularly to keep yourself vaginally and sexually fit. This will help your body continue to produce “sex hormones” and enable you to be more easily be aroused. Also, doing regular Kegel exercises not only helps keep the muscles strong to enable good bladder control; it also increases blood to the vaginal walls, which will increase lubrication and keep your vaginal walls toned and able to feel sensations more easily.”
Dr. Holly Thacker, MD, FACP is the director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Specialized Women’s Health and the of authored two outstanding books on menopause and hormones.
Dr. Patricia Yarberry Allen, MD, director of the New York Menopause Center, is a gynecologist affiliated with New York-Presbyterian Hospital and a board-certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Dr. Michael Krychman is a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist and the Director of the Southern California Cetner for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine.
Candida Royalle is a renowned sex expert and the the founder of Femme Productions, and female-focused erotic film company, and of Natural Contours, a line of intimate sexual toys for women.