Grab a martini, let's demystify menopause.
The pressure! The pressure! Well, ladies, it’s Valentine’s Day. A day that focuses all the attention on love and sex. And, hey, if you love sex and are getting enough of it, this holiday is awesome. But for those of you without a partner, or feel like your libido has gone bye-bye,there is still hope. We’ve all been there, dear friend.
So, happy Valentine’s Day! But, before we start, I offer you this warning: things on this blog are gonna get real. I’m talking about the authentic, unfiltered kind of real.
Are you ready for that kind of REAL?
The truth and nothing but the truth: The fact is that during the perimenopausal years, lots of changes can happen to us sexually. Hormone levels shift and change, and suddenly all the things that make sex so wonderful — like the way we feel about our bodies, the I-can’t-wait–to-rip-your–clothes-off desires, and, yes – the hot, wet vagina – (ahh…remember those days?). ALL of this can change drastically.
Honestly, it’s going to be OK, I promise you. You can still have lots of sexy fun!
How do I know? I’ve lived it.
When these changes started happening in my body, I went to town researching and figuring things out because I didn’t want to be the one singing, “I’ve lost that lovin’ feeling!” I decided then and there that I was NOT going to be a Hormone Hostage in the bedroom and I refused to take these changes lying down! (no pun intended).
IF you build it, you will cum. Without getting into ALL the details (those will come in my book later this year, so stay tuned), I will say this: attitude is everything.
IF you allow yourself to think about sexy things…
IF you put fabrics next to your skin that feel sensual…
IF you read, or watch sexy programs…
IF you create an environment in your bedroom that is beautiful, from the sheets on your bed, to the fragrances you smell…
I guarantee that you will feel sexier.
Sex and sexy feelings start in the brain, so if you and your partner want more — use that noggin! I keep a collection of erotica for just this purpose. When I need to think sexy thoughts, all I have to do is open a book and start reading.
That does it for me…I get in the mood.
What does it for you? It’s homework time, ladies. We are lucky to live in the information age, so it’s easy to explore and, thanks to the internet, we can have privacy while we’re doing it. As you research, I highly recommend Dr. Barb DePree. Dr. Barb is a gynecologist and women’s health provider who started MiddlesexMD, a place people can go to understand and explore optimal sexual health and pleasure. You can never get enough good practical info on this, and Dr. Barb is a great resource!
BUT FIRST: let go of old ideas. Release yourself from the thought that all sex should be mind-blowing. If you’re in a committed relationship, sometimes sex is needed to simply create a space for connection and to decrease everyday stress. And of course, we must remember that sex with yourself is not only an option – it’s important! Masturbation (I like to refer to this as self-loving) is the perfect stress reliever. It can immediately calm you down and help you de-stress amid the craziness of this world.
Since we can all agree that relieving stress is one of the keys to living well for any women going through this change of life, I HIGHLY recommend sex as a stress reliever.
SERIOUSLY, friends. You’ll feel better.
Service is everything.
Lube, anyone? As we age, the change in our hormone levels causes vaginal dryness. A great solution for having better sex during this time is making sure that you’re well-lubed, and the best lubricant available is probably sitting right in your kitchen cupboard: coconut oil.
Coconut oil is my lube of choice because:
- It’s a natural substance and has no extra additives.
- It’s naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal so you’re way less likely to get one of those nasty vaginal infections or UTIs.
- It’s inexpensive and readily available at your grocery store
- It smells and tastes good - perfect for a lube!
Here is the brand of lube I use. Mmm…yes, I love me some Aunt Patty’s.
Acts of self-loving can be a life saver. There is no need to give up sex and the joy of mind blowing orgasm if you’re alone! I am a BIG proponent of vibrators.
Good Vibrations. While in grad school in my forties (yes, always a nontraditional student) I was carpooling and chatting with two other women; one in her early twenties, the other just into her thirties. The 30-something apparently had a sexual habit of always using a vibrator to orgasm before she and her boyfriend would have intercourse.
Her vibrator worked so well for her, that she rarely came with her guy inside of her. She used it daily, whether he was around or not. My 20-something friend shared that she never used a vibrator. She got off by using her hands.
I gotta say, ladies: up until then, I had never, EVER used a vibrator. I was a little embarrassed to admit this, even to myself. (This is probably attributed to the fact that I grew up in a very religious home where all things sex and sexuality were surrounded with thoughts of guilt and sin; not a constructive environment for healthy sexual choices, right? I hadn’t even considered masturbation since the times I did my ‘gymnastic stretching’ back in my teen years. 😉
But I digress…where were we? Oh, yes—my two lady friends…
Well, my curiosity was piqued by this conversation, so much so that I researched and wrote entire research papers on sex toys, women, and masturbation and then presented them at regional conferences!
I felt I had no personal need for sex toys, because my sex life was quite satisfying. As my curiosity grew and I entered perimenopause, I decided on a whim to purchase my first vibrator.
OMG! What had I been missing all these years?! I loved it!
This ends well for me. Fast forward ten years, and I now have a travel vibrator that goes with me on business trips, and my favorite toy lives next to my bed at home.
In a pinch, even certain electronic toothbrushes will do the trick!
Now, I can get that sweet, exhilarating release whenever I need it.
You can too. Single or not. If you haven’t experimented with toys and vibrators- get thee to an online or brick and mortar store, STAT, woman! Here’s a link to an organization I purchase most of my toys from, aptly named Pure Romance. Crystal Boles is the best! She can answer all your questions. Don’t let fear stop you – this is YOUR sex life and you deserve this!
Strike a pose! The point is, to be sexual, you need to be intentional about staying sexual, even if that means trying and exploring new things. By working alone and with your partner, you will learn SO much. For instance, after fourteen years of marriage, when our bodies were changing and our naked selves did not look like the naked selves we had when we got married, my husband and I hired a photographer to come to our home and take nude photos of us.
(Do you want to schedule your own sexy boudoir shoot? Contact Michael Swanson at bluecatz.com. He does a great job.)
We posed in sexy and sexual positions and it was a fantastically empowering experience for us! We hired a professional photographer, who knew exactly how to light us, how to position us, and where to focus his camera for the most flattering shots. We now have some of those photos hanging in our bedroom - and they continue to bring us happiness and positive sexual vibes.
So, there you have it. We sure got real didn’t we? I hope that it helps. Whatever you do to celebrate love on this holiday and on every day from now forward, make sure it makes YOU feel good. If it gets you screaming out loud- more power to you!
Happy exploring, ladies.
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COMING IN MARCH:
The Official Launch of Martinis & Menopause - STAY TUNED!
I’m Kelli. I am a menopause survivor, who has catapulted, stumbled, laughed, and cried my way to the other side of perimenopause and menopause. Along the way I’ve learned invaluable tips and resources to live my best self and beat the Hormone Groan!
No longer a hormone hostage (at least most days), my goal is to help you live well and with personal power through all the changes we go through in this incredible journey of life!