"At 59, I’m divorced and starting to date again, and my long-dormant libido has returned. I really want to have sex with some of the men I’m meeting, but I’m nervous about two things. One: my vagina is really dry. I know I can slip into the bathroom and apply lubricant before sex, but will my partner think less of me if he finds out I don’t lubricate naturally? Two: I tried having sex with two different men, and both times I didn’t have an orgasm. I was excited, but maybe years of masturbating with vibrators have ruined me for sex with a partner. Now I’m nervous about trying again, and that’s frustrating me.?"
Congratulations on getting back into dating and reconnecting with your libido! Your only problem is treating a very natural part of aging as a source of embarrassment and thinking that you have to hide it. It is common for us to lubricate less as we age, and friction without added lubricant can be painful. No need to hide the lube in the bathroom – put it in plain sight beside the bed. Carry packets if you might have sex at his house or a hotel.
I suggest you say to a new lover: “Just so you know, I don’t lubricate enough for sex, so we need to use this lubricant for my comfort and pleasure.” Using lubricant makes manual and penetrative sex more pleasurable for him, too. There’s no downside!
Your vibrator use didn’t ‘ruin’ you. As we age, most of us need more intense stimulation, especially clitoral stimulation, and that’s what vibrators do best. I recommend the direct approach: “I need a vibrator to reach orgasm – would you like to meet my favorite?” Use it on yourself during your sexual interaction or teach him to use it on you, your choice. A partner who cares about your pleasure as much as his own will be happy to oblige. If he’s old-fashioned about vibrators (and I warn you, many older men are), it’s time for him to learn!