When I was a kid, the mere thought of my parents having sex was enough to have me projectile vomiting all over the nylon carpet. I mean, they were in their THIRTIES!! URGH!!
As we know, anything past 30 to a child is practically Jurassic.
I imagine we’ve all got stories like this but as a teenager I walked in on my parents one Sunday afternoon. IN THE LIVING ROOM!
OH. MY. GOD.
It was one of those moments in life where you pray that you’re experiencing a psychotic episode and the horror you see before you is an hallucination. Only it wasn’t an hallucination. My parents had taken advantage of a teen-free house but hadn’t bargained on their daughter popping home for her Duran Duran LP. Needless to say, I’m still in therapy.
*assumes fetal position and quietly sobs*
Why am I even mentioning this?
Well, my mother was well into her menopause by then so, HORRIFYING as that memory is, it’s also kind of cool that there was still some life in the old girl despite the decline of her reproductive bits. Mother did later confirm (under the influence of numerous whiskies) that she’d enjoyed an active sex life up until her late 50s. My fingers were jammed in my ears at the time but I think that’s what she said..
My grandparents having sex?
In my grandmother’s day – women hit the menopause and sex was off the menu except for the odd fumble after one too many port and lemon’s. To be fair, families were generally much bigger back then. A woman’s job was to be a mother and a home-maker and many were still firing out babies into their late 40s and early 50s. Understandably the menopause provided a welcome break to women and their weary vaginas..
Things are different now.
Women are different now.
Many menopausal women have the same sexual appetite as they ever did. More so, in some cases – especially if they are HRT’d up to the eyeballs. However, some women experience do sexual problems during and after the menopause..
Sex drive gradually declines with age in women and men. However, women are more likely to be affected earlier because of the
menopause. Think of your libido as an air bag that’s been deployed, a deflated balloon snagged in the branches of a tree or a bouncy castle after the generator’s turned off..
It’s not all gloom and doom though. There are things you can do to inflate the ol’ libido.
Exercise – If you are overweight and feel crap, it will affect how you feel sexually. So eat healthily, lose a few pounds and do some exercise.
Stress – Stress affects libido BIG TIME so take address your stress levels. Do some relaxation exercises or go stare at a tree for half an hour a day.
Stimulate Thyself (brain) – Read Fifty Shades of Filth or other such classic literature.
Another problem with libido is that having hot flushes at night. They interfere with sleep and turn amiable women into fire-breathing dragons. Morning sex? Well yeah, IF YOU HAVE A DEATH WISH! The LAST thing a woman wants after night’s hormonal sweat-a-thon is a frisky partner with cod breath!
The Big O
Another problem is that many women notice that their orgasms are more, Oh, Than OH OH OH!!!!
How to explain this?
Orgasms can become more of a damp squib than the knee-tremblers you may be used to but before you go and hurl yourself into the nearest canal – listen up.
You can STILL achieve a decent (ish) orgasm.
The key to it is stimulation.
You can lie there and think about Sean Bean in his Y Fronts till the cows come home, dears. You need to go that extra mile (or two) and so will your OH. Get him/her to play you like a banjo if needs be. Failing that, get yourself a vibrator and give yourself a blast on that thing for five minutes. Think of it as giving yourself a ‘jump start’. A bit like starting up an old banger on cold a winter’s morning. Get your jump leads out and stick em on your battery!
Tip. Don’t bother with anything handbag sized if you’ve heaved out a few nine pounders. It’ll be like throwing a chipolata up a corridor. You get me?
Another problem women have to endure is pain during sex.
Here’s the rub (intentional pun)
Lack of oestrogen thins the vaginal walls. Yes, really. Technical word is vaginal atrophy. It’s nature’s way of telling us that our reproductive work here is done and we can crawl off into a corner and DIE. You might start to find that the ol’ vageroonie gets a bit dry? VERY COMMON. The reason for this most shittest of conditions is a decline in oestrogen.
You can get oestrogen creams via your GP if you prefer but be aware that there could be unwanted side effects and not just for you. If used incorrectly your bloke could develop bigger boobs than you. NOT JOKING.
Bottom line. If you want to keep your ‘glovebox’ in good working order – keep it lubed and exercised.
A Word on Pubes
Another perk of the menopause is that your pubes turn grey. MASSIVE bummer. However, we have options.
Shave them off. Or if you’re into pain, pay to have some sadist wax them off.
Dye them to match your natural shade or go for something a bit more funky. Shocking pink perhaps?
Embrace them as they are. Greying. Sparse. Depressing.
Next time you go to the hairdressers, nick some hair off the floor that’s closest to your natural shade and make yourself a little pube-toupee.
It may be the case that you’ve had enough of sex for one lifetime and you’re quite looking forward to settling down at night with a Horlicks and Saga magazine. This is perfectly acceptable, as long as your partner is happy with the situation? Bit of an issue if they’re not. You need to talk to them because your menopause affects them too. It’s important that they understand that your body has changed – therefore your sex-life will change. This isn’t the 1950’s where we talk about ‘the change’ in hushed tones. It’s something that happens to every woman. It’s also worth bearing in mind that there are many other ways to be intimate that don’t involve swapping body fluids but that’s one for another post because I’ve already exceeded my word count..
The menopause may signal the death knell for your reproductive life but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time for the flannelette nighties just yet. You just have to put in a little more effort, that’s all.
Viva La Menopause!