The change. The stage in life we know is coming, but really don’t want to acknowledge. From hormonal and body changes to decreased libido and a possible shift in one’s intimacy with their partner, it can be a lot to adjust to and process. Being invested in and informed about this time in a woman’s life will not only increase our sales, but it will also put the spotlight on the industry’s newest and most innovative toys.
If you have worked in an adult store, you have definitely witnessed couples walking in who have lost the spark. Their sexual intimacy is not what it used to be, and they’re feeling discouraged and disconnected. Fortunately, with the right retail help, that same couple can walk out of the store with a bag full of goodies that they can’t wait to get home to try. In the same way, when a cautious older woman walks in who misses her sex drive, her sensation, her orgasms — who no longer feels sexy — you can also help her walk out with products that will help her feel amazing again.
Helping a woman feel sexy again, and navigate her way around this change in her life, is one of the most rewarding and satisfying parts of the role I play in the adult retail industry.
What a beautiful thing, right? Let’s touch on a few ways to help customers in that situation feel sexier than ever.
A multitude of things can happen during and after menopause. There is a decrease in the production of estrogen and progesterone. Libido suffers, which makes it hard for some to connect with their partner — which in many cases leads to no sex. Intimacy is important for a couple, no matter the comfort level in the relationship. What are some solutions you can provide as a retailer?
There are a ton of resources, products and techniques we can suggest for this specific demographic. Sex toys and couples’ games are a great option for some fun and a little bit of taboo naughtiness. Remote-control panties during dinner, massage candles, a feather tickler, finger vibes or other vibrators are toys couples can use to make things sensual and relaxing. Tantric sex and kama sutra are popular for couples that want to reconnect on a spiritual level. This encourages them to bring back the romance. Suggest taking a steamy bubble bath, or sending each other naughty notes and pictures during the day. They can meet at the bar and pretend they’re strangers. Get creative!
It’s also not uncommon for a male customer to come in with one huge question: “How do I help my spouse?” It can be frustrating for them also. I always suggest lingerie and most of the products mentioned above, but my biggest suggestion is just to be patient, understanding and educated.
Another issue is decreased sensitivity and blood flow, as well as vaginal dryness — the trifecta that can make sex painful and orgasming difficult. Here is where the lubricants and female arousal products come in. Personally, I tend to recommend water-based brands I know won’t dry out easily. I am a big fan of thicker water bases such as the Wicked Jelle and Sliquid Sassy. However, I also recommend silicone for regular sex. I have found that a lot of women prefer the slickness of the silicone so I recommend brands like Uberlube and Migliori. I tend to stick with the higher-quality silicone lubricants. The more vitamins the better. CBD lubricants have been successful with my older customer base, since they tend to help dryness and increase sensation. Keeping it simple and non-intimidating is the key. I also always try to have a large selection of female arousal products that increase blood flow to the clitoris and G-spot.
Much like with our postnatal customers, the onset of menopause can cause the pelvic floor to weaken, leading to painful sex. The vagina doesn’t lubricate as well — thus the need for lubricants — and the tissue is thinner. One thing I often recommend for that is kegel balls, though sometimes this can be a bit much for someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience with toys. Still, the thing I love about our role as adult retailers is that even when we’re not going to grab that sale, these customers are going to appreciate our advice. I am always happy to educate them on manual exercises they can do without the use of products.
Encouraging solo play can be extremely helpful, but may be challenging for a woman who has no sex drive and, quite frankly, doesn’t feel sexy. I talk to so many women who are just discovering their bodies later in life. They want to feel sexy; they want to feel pleasure. But remember: sex and masturbation have been taboo subjects for so long, there is usually some hesitation involved. I lean more toward a gentle clitoral stimulator for this reason. Something small, feminine and quiet. Something ergonomic and easy to hold. Something easy in general.
When I’m helping one of my older first-time customers, I can sometimes sense their nervousness… but I can also sense the excitement in their eyes. The curiosity. Of course for the more experienced ladies, the sky’s the limit and with the plethora of amazing vibes on the market right now, it’s super fun to help them choose whatever catches their eye.
To conclude, I love the direction this industry is going in. It’s evolving in such an amazing way and things that used to cause shame or embarrassment are being normalized like never before. The art of helping customers discover what their bodies are capable of is finally getting some much-needed attention. The more our industry evolves, the more we evolve as retailers as we provide the best quality experience for not only our older customers, but all of our customers. We all know menopause can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be the end of our customers’ sex lives. If sex was important before, it’s definitely still important after. Helping a woman feel sexy again, and navigate her way around this change in her life, is one of the most rewarding and satisfying parts of the role I play in the adult retail industry.
Jessica DellaMonica is the purchaser for Playtime Boutique.