“Everywhere I go, people ask if I’ve seen Grace and Frankie,” says Susan Jarvis, founder of The Spicy Boudoir, which specialises in adult sex toys for seniors.
They’re referring, of course, to that magnificent vibrator storyline from season three of the hit comedy; when the two mismatched best friends played by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin set up a senior-friendly vibrator business called Ménage à Moi.
“Oh my God, it’s beautiful,” Grace sighs, as Frankie adds with reverence, “It’s so light. It’s like I’m holding a cloud.”
Jarvis loves how the show’s bold storyline has “broken the ice” for older women who find themselves starting that side of their lives again post-divorce – as well as women over 60 struggling with loss of libido.
“It’s really great to see that topic of sexuality and libido in older women brought into the mainstream in such an entertaining way,” Jarvis tells Starts at 60.
Not just for lonely singles and the divorced, vibrators can also help spark conversation with your long-term partner and bring a little hilarity or fun back into the bedroom, says the 54-year-old entrepreneur.
“Long-married couples get into that habit of avoidance and the priority of being sexual with each other falls right down the list,” says Jarvis.
But getting down to business with a vibrator is not just about pleasure. There are loads of unexpected health benefits too. AND we’ve got 15% off all items over $125 in our Big Summer Sale this week only!
When we climax, we produce the sleep-inducing hormone, prolactin, so an orgasm before bedtime can help set you up for a much sweeter slumber. After a good night’s rest, we’re all better equipped to sail through the next day.
Those feel-good endorphins that accompany a satisfying sexual episode can help to prevent heart problems by naturally neutralising stress hormones, research by Michigan State University has found. According to Woman & Home magazine, studies have also found that “women who had two orgasms per week were 30% less likely to have heart disease”.
Sounds too good to be true, but frequent masturbation and vibrator use actually helps keep our vaginas healthy, thanks to the secretions our vagina linings produce when we are aroused. This provides more moisture to the region and increases the elasticity of our vaginas – a key factor in vaginal health. For post-menopausal women who suffer from vaginal atrophy, sex with a partner is much more enjoyable after being aroused by a vibrator first.
Orgasms are like mini-workouts for your vagina. As your vagina contracts during climax, it exercises your pelvic floor muscles too, which means better bladder control. A stronger pelvic floor can also mean more intense orgasms, hurrah!
If you suffer from regular headaches, migraine or joint pain, a session with a vibrator can calm the nerve impulses that have caused them. Why? Because the part of your brain charged with pain reduction is stimulated during arousal and endorphins kick in to help soothe neural nerves.
Jarvis, who actively practises what she preaches when it comes to vibrators, adds:
“Any activity that encourages blood flow and releases endorphins for you has to be good for your health and mental wellbeing.
“Before I started menopause, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and it was a horrible experience. But what I found is that tapping into my sexual energy has preserved my mental health and boosted my resilience.
“Using a vibrator tops up my tank!”