Sex after a long period of abstinence, I’m afraid of having pain

My friend and I are stressed about starting a sexual life again after several years of abstinence together. I’m afraid of hurting, and he’s afraid it won’t work. What to do to make everything go well? asks Carine, 50 years old. Dr. Catherine Solano, sexologist and andrologist doctor (Cochin Hospital, Paris) answers him.

First of all, congratulations for having discussed this period of your sex life with such simplicity with your new companion. This situation is more and more frequent with the increase in the number of divorces, separation and the increase in life expectancy.

Talking about it together is an excellent thing, not only for communication between you, but also because it allows you to unload your anxieties: talking about your fears helps to evacuate them in large part. This may not be enough to solve a difficulty, but it contributes considerably to reducing it.

On the other hand, knowing that you are feeling stressed puts you on an even keel. You are therefore no longer afraid to start with someone very sure of himself! The situation of equality is much better for everything to go well .


Above all, do not feel obliged to say to yourself: “Such a day at such a time, we will have our first sexual intercourse together”. Rather, think for a while, not to hurry, to hug each other, sexual caresses without going as far as penetration. Kind of like teenagers.

These are always great times, free from the stress of success and getting to know each other’s bodies and seeing that your body and sex are working.


On your side, for everything to go well, you need sufficient excitement, one that leads to good lubrication associated with vaginal relaxation. This is achieved by long foreplay , at least 20 minutes of non-sexual caresses and hugs before moving on to the genital area.

In case of intimate dryness , use a lubricating gel for a protected relationship with a condom. It is often essential. And if you are postmenopausal without hormonal treatment, consult your doctor to ask him for local vaginal hormonal treatment. This treatment allows the vulva and vagina to be well hydrated, very “soft” and not to become fragile and hypersensitive after menopause.


As for your companion, after an interruption of sexuality of more than six months, a man often has less good erections when he starts his sexual life again. And solo masturbation in the meantime doesn’t change that. Once sexual activity resumes, erections gradually return to normal.

To avoid this sometimes stressful time for a man, he can ask his doctor to prescribe him an erection medication . This medicine can act as a starter at the beginning, like for a car that has been in the garage for a long time!

This type of prescription is very common (if there is no contraindication) and allows many men to resume a sexual life that they would not have had the courage to start again for fear of failure.