“Sometimes I think it would be easier to follow the Yellow Brick Road and find Oz than to find out where my sex life went during menopOZ.” ~ Me! = Stephanie Lewis
Yesterday in the waiting room of my new doctor’s office, I overheard two husbands conferring in whispered tones. “Cindy has Vaginal Atrophy,” one husband confided. “Well, we’re here because Trixie, the little woman, has SAD,” said the other husband. At which point I could no longer restrain myself. “Listen you!” I said to the second husband, “I’d be blue too if my guy referred to me as Trixie, The Little Woman!” Next, unleashing my wrath on the first man, I shouted, “And I’ve heard of Trophy Wives, but displaying female genitalia-shaped awards on your fireplace mantle is a new low.” Both men rolled their eyes, muttered “Mood Swing Mama” under their breath, then proceeded to inform me that S.A.D stands for Sexual Arousal Disorder while Vaginal Atrophy is an inflammation. As they slipped me their business card, they told me to send the man in my life to their next HAM meeting. “But he’s kosher,” I protested, before reading the full acronym, “Husbands Amidst Menopause!”
A low sex drive is often made light of, but for many peri/post menopausal women, loss of libido is a highly disturbing issue. Wasn’t it just yesterday we shirked the dishes and dusting to get busy between the sheets? Nowadays laundering those same sheets is more Afternoon Delight than any Quicky I know – – unless of course, it’s a “Sticky Quicky” – – meaning someone is overnighting me dark chocolate from Belgium!
But we are not alone. Many women mistakenly believe that losing desire or passion is something that comes with the territory of aging and they accept this situation as the new status quo. Or worse, suspect something is wrong with their relationship because they’re changing the oil in their car more frequently than they change into negligees. Often many unnecessary months are spent in therapy trying to find a psychological cause, (sadly sometimes a divorce is even initiated) when emotions might not have much to do with it.
Then there’s always the old “fake it till you make it,” advice, which essentially goes like this – – “Just start having sex, even though you don’t feel like it. Soon the more you have it, the more you’ll want it.” Really?? Oh, that’s right! Because the other night, I forced myself to eat brussel sprouts and now I crave them. And six months ago, I had a root canal and today I go to a twelve-step program for people addicted to dentistry. C’mom! We deserve better information than this, because (as L’Oreal tells us) we are worth it! It makes sense to me to first explore the physical causes of a change in sexual desire by seeking a medical professional who has expertise in balancing hormones.
This explains why last night, even though my name is not Dorothy, I added a new, creative twist to the old, “Not tonight Honey, I have a headache,” routine. Washcloth draped over forehead, I moaned convincingly, “But it wasn’t a dream, it was a real place, and some of it wasn’t very nice, but most of it was beautiful! And you were there, and you, and you!” I said pointing to my significant other and our two night table lamps. “And I learned that if I ever go looking for my heart’s sexual desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard, because I’ve always had the power to get it back with just three clicks of…” dramatic pause, “my Testosterone crème dispenser!” He looked at me incredulously, with widening eyes, and I decided as long as I was on a roll (not just a roll in the hay!) why not throw in a hint for our next vacation?! “There’s no place like Rome, there’s no place like Rome,” I repeated hypnotically. But that’s another blog.