Sexual Wellness Resource Center
For Adults over 50.

Sex Aids & Toys for Senior Women: How to Choose One, and Why You Should

Happy Senior Woman
By Michael Bates, M.D.

Sexual activity, solo or partnered, is a vital part of healthy aging. Orgasms are amazingly effective for reducing anxiety and depression and increasing your sense of wellbeing.

However, orgasms are harder for women to reach after menopause due to reduced pelvic blood flow and less sensitivity. Because of this, older women may need prolonged manual stimulation—yet arthritic fingers and wrists may tire. Stamina may be reduced. Sexual aids (sex toys) can help.

Find out why more and more senior women are discovering the benefits of sex toys, and how to choose one.

What are some of the sexual challenges senior women face?

Sexual dysfunction reportedly affects up to 40% of American women. It is not uncommon for women in all age groups, including those 50 and older.

There are four categories of sexual dysfunction for women:

  • lack of desire
  • painful sex
  • arousal (inability to obtain or maintain sexual excitement)
  • orgasm (difficulty, delay or absence of orgasm in spite of arousal)

Let’s focus on the last two categories. What is the primary cause of problems with arousal and orgasm? It is decreased blood flow to the genitals, for which there are many reasons:

How can these problems be treated? For many women, sexual dysfunction can be improved with mechanical devices, aka sexual aids or adult toys.

These devices have entered the mainstream to help with sexual arousal, orgasmic disorders, and to enhance female sexual response. Serious academic work is being done to investigate the effectiveness of these devices.

How can sex toys (such as vibrators) help?

Vibrators increase blood flow to the pelvis and provide the prolonged clitoral stimulation many women need for arousal and orgasm. Many older women also require more intense stimulation due to less sensitivity, which vibrators can deliver. They can be used solo or with a partner.

We use hearing aids to maintain our ability to hear, glasses to maintain our visual acuity, pacemakers to maintain heart function, and canes to walk with more stability. More and more seniors also use sex aids to maintain their sexual intimacy.

If you don’t fold or unfold as easily as you once did, if your hands and fingers are affected by arthritis, or if your stamina is shortened by age or chronic illness, sex toys are credible aids to achieve orgasm and enjoy all of its positive benefits.

What are the different types of sexual aids/sex toys for women? How are they used?

There are two main types of adult toys for women: vibrators and dildos. Both can be used with a partner or solo.

  • Vibrators tend to be used for clitoral stimulation and may or may not be phallic (penis like) shaped. They range in design from discrete devices that can fit in the palm of the hand, to wand-shaped devices, to “bullet” style vibrators for intense pinpoint stimulation.
  • Dildos are phallic shaped and are used for penetration and clitoral stimulation. Many provide internal as well as external stimulation.

These types of toys are readily available in brick-and-mortar or online shops, like the X’s and O’s Store.

There is also another type of clitoral stimulation device called a vacuum system. The Eros Therapy System is FDA approved and available by prescription only. This device applies gentle vacuum pressure over the clitoris causing clitoral and labial enlargement by increasing blood flow. A number of studies have found significant improvement in arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and desire.

How to choose a first sex toy

Whether you buy a sex toy in an online store or a brick-and-mortar shop, be prepared to have some fun with it. You might share the experience with your partner or shopLELO Vibrator with a friend. Relax, laugh and enjoy! Don’t worry about making a mistake—just like starting an intimate relationship, it can take time to discover what you like and don’t like.

It helps to start off with something small, basic, no bells and whistles...and always made with safe materials and quality construction. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, whether it’s from store staff or using an online help feature, like our Ask the Experts feature.

Start with a small clitoral vibrator—most women are more likely to orgasm from clitoral stimulation than vaginal. Penetrating toys can come later.

Here are a few good options for a first vibrator:

  • The Tenga Iroha Sakura vibrator is soft, small and light, and easy to use with only two buttons. It has a deep strength and offers subtle to strong vibrations so you can experiment with what you like.
  • The Palm Power is a stronger vibrator, yet small, light, and well designed. One-touch speed control makes it simple to use. Another nice feature is the optional attachment heads, which allow you to get different sensations without buying a separate vibrator.
  • The Sensuelle Point clitoral stimulator is designed to provide targeted and intense stimulation. This type of vibrator is often called a “bullet”.
  • The LELO NEA is a beautifully designed clitoral stimulator and massager that fits easily in the palm. It adapts easily to solo or couples use and has five vibrating settings all with a low sound level.

Our Sex Aids for Beginners collection is also a great place to start. Sex toys can be used with a water-based lubricant for more comfort and pleasure.

The take-home message? For many women, sexual dysfunction can be improved with sexual aids or adult toys. They’re also pleasurable and just a lot of fun! Don’t be afraid to try—the best sex you’ve ever had could be waiting for you.


Billings, K.L., “The role of mechanical devices in treating female sexual dysfunction and enhancing the female sexual response”, published in the May, 2002 issue of Word Journal of Urology