Use a Warming Lubricant
A “warming” lubricant or oil contains minty or peppery ingredients, which increase sensation and stimulate circulation in genitals before and during sex, with or without a personal vibrator.
The sensation can last from a few minutes to a few hours. Water-based warming lubricants are good for self-stimulation and for vaginal penetration. Warming oils, on the other hand, are meant for external genitalia only, and are especially good for pre-penetration arousal or non-intercourse sexual play.
Women over 40 especially like warming products because the drop in circulating hormones means many of us have decreased circulation and sensation in our genitals. Warming products help us regain that sensation.
A word of caution, however. If you are experiencing any vaginal irritation or atrophy, a warming lubricant could make you feel as if you’ve set your genitals on fire. Not at all a pleasant sensation! So, we advise their use only for women with healthy vaginal tissues.
To make sure you don't have extra sensitivity, test a small amount on yourself when you're not planning penetration first. After that test, use a warming lubricant as you would any lubricant, using a quarter-sized dollop, to start, and applying it to both your genitals and your partners’.
Warming oils can be used on a woman’s external genitalia, applied from the top of your labia, over the clitoral hood, inside and outside the inner labia, including the vestibule (the entryway to the vagina). Some women like to include their perineum and anus. And some like to use warming fluids on their nipples.
Men may like warming fluids on sensitive parts of their bodies too, but avoid using oil-based products on the penis if you plan on vaginal intercourse. Keeping oil-based products out of the vagina is important for good vaginal health.
Start slowly. Let your own experience be your guide.
First published 03/05/2010 Last updated 06/29/2010
In the MiddlesexMD shop
Learn how your body's changes affect your sexuality.
Understanding what's changing can help you keep sex enjoyable.
Enhance comfort by caring for your vaginal and vulvar tissues.
Compensating for lower hormone levels means taking care of yourself.
Increase sensation in genital tissues.
Taking more time, energy, and attention can re-awaken our sensations.
Maintain tone in the pelvic floor muscles.
Exercising these muscles encourages circulation and strengthens orgasms.
Build intimate relationships.
Having emotional bonds is essential for good sex after 40.