We think about menopause as a time when our sexuality slows down or becomes more of a struggle — while this is true for some people it also doesn’t have to be if you want to flip the script.
It’s true: lowering levels of estrogen during menopause means less blood flow to the vagina causing a decrease in vaginal lubrication. This makes sex at best, less than appealing and at worst, downright painful. Bladder control, medication side effects, stress, anxiety and even sleep disturbances during menopause can seriously affect one’s sex life. On the other side, post-menopausal sex is likely to be more relaxed. Knowing pregnancy isn’t a concern anymore can greatly improve the expression of sexuality and intimacy. Just make sure you keep using condoms until your doctor confirms you are no longer ovulating!
Menopause aside, our culture needs the constant reminder that sex is not just penetration. Furthermore, sex really shouldn’t be so goal oriented towards orgasm. It’s counterproductive to consider sex in such a heteronormative, big O-oriented way.
It’s important to honor however you feel around your sexuality — whether sex, as you have aged, has become of more or less interest to you. Do not get me wrong. I love orgasms. I want you all to have amazing, mind blowing, toe curling, screaming out to the higher power of choice kind of orgasms if that’s what you want.
The adventure is in the journey not the destination.
Yes, that might be a quote from a motivational poster of a rock climber in a middle manager’s office or one of those horrible shabby chic pieces of artwork at Target — but don’t try to tell me you don’t love Target and don’t try to tell me there isn’t a bit of truth in that cliché either.
We are chemically and socially programmed to react physically to that which we enjoy whether we are partnered or not, and that doesn’t necessarily have to stop simply because our periods do.
So, let’s talk about this journey of yours you vixen:
1. It’s dry down there? Sure it is, if you’re in menopause or fast approaching it. Lube is your friend. And no, spit is not good enough. Lube around your vulva is a great start but folks who are in menopause need more. There are even handy dandy little lube launchers that inject the slippery savior of sex further up your vaginal canal and make sex a hell of a lot more fun.
2. Let’s keep talking about lube. Remember when Zima was a thing? Well the more generic pharmacy type lubes are sort of like Zima. You’re better than Zima now and there are better lubes out there for you too. Double duty lubes! Lubes that not only serve the purpose of making things smoother during sex but also keeping the various parts of your vulva and vaginal canal more moisturized overall leading to a lot less discomfort. There are a number of lubes that are CBD infused too which can help as an anti-inflammatory. CBD-infused lube is essentially weed lube folks. It chills your vagina out without the bad case of the munchies.
3. So now you’re slippery when wet, like a Bon Jovi album: Where do you go from here? Well if you are partnered and enjoying yourself, keep flying that freak flag. Maybe you still think your partner is a hottie but you’re a little bored and want to shake it up with something different. Ask your partner if there is anything they have always wanted to do but never did. Sit down and write each other lists of what you’d like to try. Exchange them and then you each pick something off the other person’s list to explore together. Maybe you’ll find yourself at a lavish orgy in a five-star hotel or having sex in a bathroom at a truck stop Arby’s. You Do you darling — I am not here to judge.
Little side note: Be kind about people’s fantasies. You wouldn’t want someone making shaming you about your deepest desires. It’s always best not to yuck someone else’s yum!
4. Go solo. Masturbation is amazing because you don’t have to worry about pleasing anyone but yourself! Maybe you already know what pleases you — after all you’re an over-40- year-old woman and statistically speaking you’ve probably been playing with your genitals for over three decades. Trust me, there is always something new. Love your Magic Wand? Great! Ever stuck a vibrating butt plug up your ass AND played with your Magic Wand at the same time? I suggest you try it. You may never need or want to go on another date for the rest of your life. Ok, anal may not be your thing. That’s fine. The point is to try something new. People often get into the habit of masturbating in specific ways that we know are really effective. Effective is great if we’re just trying to pop one off before we head into work but the effective route also can chemically program our brains to associate our sexual pleasure in a very limited way. Does that sound smart and slutty? No, it does not. So, take your time with yourself. See if you can discover something new about how you experience pleasure.
5. Lust After Yourself. Here is where I’m going to get all inspirational on your ass: Your body is changing. Fun times ahead on the menopause train include — but are not limited to — irregular periods, depression and anxiety, mood swings, forgetfulness, dry and thinning hair and skin. Some folks also experience weight gain. Some folks don’t experience any symptoms around menopause at all and to them I say: you lucky c*nts. You don’t necessarily feel the same way you did before, but LOOK AT YOU BITCH. Really, take a good long look at yourself. Take a moment to remember who you are.
Aside from all the amazing life achievements that make you a bad ass, let’s think about what makes you truly physically and mentally turned on. Remember that dirty ass sex you had back in college? Did you ever squirt? Do you have a particular perfume that makes you feel impossibly gorgeous? Do you love the way garters and thigh highs feel at the PTA meeting? What are your steamy secrets? Do you like fantasizing about people on the train and what it might be like to fuck them or to watch them fuck other people? Did you have a tawdry affair with a priest or was that just a real appreciation for the mini-series The Thorn Birds? Whatever has made you the sexy beast you are, remember that on a daily basis and foster that feeling in yourself.
Do what feels good, pursue pleasure and don’t save the sexy underwear for special occasions.
This website is provided for informational purposes only. Always discuss your health and any treatment options with your physician.