Ask the Doctors: Getting Older, Needing Lube

Now that I am almost 50, I have noticed that I don’t lubricate like I once did.  I have been using Sliquid to help out but I am wondering if there is another alternative that can be used before sex – more like a suppository.  Or is that just not a good/healthy idea?  Having to apply Sliquid sort of breaks the flow.

It’s pretty common for women to find that their vaginal lubrication decreases over time, especially during or after menopause. Changing hormone levels can have that effect on lubrication and since the vaginal tissues can often become more fragile, it can make things even more sensitive.

The tricky thing here is that the lubricants that most folks prefer for vaginal sex are pretty liquid-y, which means that if you put it in more than a couple of minutes before having sex, it’s likely to follow gravity and not be where you want it any more. The thicker lubes will do that less, but they tend to work better for anal play.

A few companies make vaginal lubrication suppositories and some people I’ve spoken with say that these products can help with the sensation of irritation or dryness throughout the day. But not everyone likes the way they feel and they don’t seem to get great reviews as sex lubes.

It seems to me that perhaps one way to improve things is to see if you can stop thinking of adding lube as breaking the flow. For example, if you’re giving someone a backrub and you need to take a moment to add some massage lotion, does that interrupt things? Or can it be part of the experience? Can you think of it as simply one piece of the process? And maybe even enjoy it, since you know that things will feel great in a moment? If you can think of lubricants in the same way, then using it doesn’t have to be an interruption anymore.

It can also help if you keep the bottle handy so you don’t have to hunt for it. And a lot of people find that keeping the erotic energy up while they’re adding some lubricant can help. Kissing, sexy talk, or having your partner apply it can make it feel less like an interruption and more like part of the fun.

The creators of the Femani Intimates Wand Massagers designed their products to help increase blood flow to the vagina, which can improve lubrication. They also suggest massaging the vulva and vagina with a moisturizing lubricant like Liquid Silk, which they say works best to keep the tissues soft. That can make everything feel better all the time, not just when you’re having sex.

We’re dedicated to getting you the information you need about sex, pleasure and your health. If you have any questions, please email our staff experts, Dr. Carol Queen and Dr. Charlie Glickman, at! For product-related questions, please email or call our customer service staff at


Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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