Ask Joan: How do I navigate sex with a new partner?

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I’m a 67-year-old woman. After no intimate relationship in ten years, I met a man, 54, and we’re exploring. I really like this guy! My body, though, has changed sexually since my long-ago last relationship. I need more foreplay and lubricant. The first time this new man and I were intimate, I used a subpar water-based lubricant. It dried up, and combined with the friction of the condom, I felt scraped inside. It was so painful that we had to stop.

Getting Ready

We’re holding off for a few days before trying again. Neither of us wants a repeat. Can you help me get “ready” by answering these questions?

  • Can you suggest a high-quality lube that can go the distance so I don’t have to keep replenishing? I bought a well-known drugstore brand, but I’m not sure if it’s up to the job and neither of us wants another painful experience.
  • I don’t know how to use lubricant so it works best. Does he put it on the condom? Is there an applicator I can use to “load up”?
  • I told him we aren’t going bareback until we exchange STD blood test results. What should be in an STD test panel? How long does it take to get results?
  • It takes me a lot longer to get ready and he still seems focused on the Main Event. I have a vibrator to stimulate my clit but he wasn’t wild about me using it, and it takes longer than I like to get myself ready. Any suggestions on a more discreet/small model—and how to get my guy more comfortable with it and not feel threatened?

Have I mentioned I really like this guy? It seems to be extremely mutual!

Brand New at 67

Joan responds:

Congratulations on connecting with a new lover! I’m happy to help you with your questions.


Avoid drugstore brands altogether—most have ingredients that you don’t want in your vagina. Instead, buy from a specialty sex retailer that specializes in sexual health and pleasure. If you’re using condoms, a high-quality silicone lube like Uberlube is condom compatible and stays slick without drying out. If you’re using a silicone vibrator, though, you’ll need a water-based lube, such as the fine options from Wicked Sensual Care or Sliquid, among others. Never use oil-based lubricant with condoms—oil degrades latex.

Overwhelmed? I recommend purchasing sample packs from Lucky Bloke so you can experiment and find your favorite(s).  For more about choosing lubes, see A Senior’s Guide to Lubrication.

How to use Lubricant

Put a drop of lubricant inside the end of the condom for his pleasure, or stroke his penis with a lightly lube-coated hand before putting on the condom. For your comfort, apply lube to your fingers and gently rub your vulva and inside your vagina. Even better, ask him to sensually apply the lubricant to your vulva and vagina as part of arousal before intercourse—very sexy! Don’t overdo the amount, but use enough that you feel slick and comfortable.

Safer Sex

The simplest way to stay safe: use barrier protection.  If neither of you has been with anyone else for three months or more and you’re committing to a sexually exclusive relationship, get tested before putting away the condoms. Your own doctor should advise you which tests you need and how long before you’ll get the results.

In my view, though, testing at this point is too soon and not as important as prioritizing and eroticizing condom use. You’re new to each other. It’s too early to know if your relationship has staying power and if you’ll want to be exclusive. Right now you’re sizzling with your brain’s lust chemicals and new relationship energy (NRE, a “condition” so common that it has its own acronym). Take your time, joyfully exploring this relationship sexually and emotionally, while making condoms a part of your sex play.

Learn more in Safer Sex for Seniors with Joan Price, my free, educational, and entertaining webinar.


Most vulva owners require direct clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm, and we need more intensity as we age. If you’re choosing PIV (penis in vagina intercourse) among the many arousing ways to give and receive sexual pleasure, you’re right to bring your vibrator to the party. For many of us, orgasms are only achievable with the extra clitoral sensation that a vibrator provides.

Instead of trying to protect his delicate feelings about vibrators, be direct. “This is how my body works: I need the extra stimulation of my vibrator on my clitoris before, during, or after intercourse. That’s how my pleasure and orgasm will happen, and I’m sure you want that for me.”

Consider upgrading your vibrator. My favorite vibrator that works during PIV without getting in the way of two bodies is the Eroscillator with the marvelous “soft finger” (I call it the “marshmallow”) attachment. Zowie. A smaller, more discreet, yet also powerful clitoral vibrator that fits during PIV is the Touch X from We-Vibe.

For more information on all these topics and many others, I hope you’ll read my Ultimate Guide to Sex after 50. Happy exploration!

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Joan Price has been Senior Planet’s “Sex at Our Age” columnist since 2014. She is the author of four self-help books about senior sex, including her award winners: “Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex” and “Sex after Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality after Losing Your Beloved.” Visit Joan’s website and blog for senior sex news, views, tips, and sex toy reviews from a senior perspective. Subscribe to Joan’s free, monthly newsletter.

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