Did you read my last week’s blog, “Confessions of Menopausal Women Who Can’t Keep Their Hands Off Their Men?” Neither did I! And if the title above is the exact same variation of the Ricky Martin song that plays (and replays) in your home….we need to talk.
Sometimes it seems the world revolves around sex. Everyone is fantasizing about doing it, actually doing it, talking about what it was like to have done it, or hoping they will do it again soon. Women our age feel there’s one big universal joke circulating, only we’re missing the punchline. Sadly, we often ARE the punchline. Which cake makes women hate sex? Wedding cake. Hmmmm.
Here are the reasons most studies cite for women losing interest in sex: Hormonal Imbalances, Stress, Anxiety, Irritability, Fatigue, Weight Gain, Depression, Hot Flashes/Temperature Changes, and Pain or Discomfort during Sex. Coincidentally these happen to be signs of perimenopause or menopause as well. And interestingly enough, addressing the first reason, (Hormonal Imbalances) will often alleviate all the others listed. So I always remind my girlfriends that this is precisely where to begin. In fact I’m currently involved (alongside my amazing doctor) in the hormonal balancing act myself, so at least I’ll play cards with a full deck once again.
Another reason a woman’s libido can decline is often not given much attention in research. Low Self-Esteem. Poor body image and insecurities skyrocket when we compare ourselves to airbrushed and photo-shopped images the media bombards us with daily. Or contrasting a friend’s appearance to our own. C’mon, we’ve all done this. Walked into a Super Bowl Sunday party like a relative of Levi Strauss – – evaluating all the other female forms in their jeans. A conversation with our man will thus ensue. “I’m the only one here wearing stretch denim.” To which he responds, “Wanna jog with me tomorrow?” An innocent invitation because he loves our company, right? Wrong! “Oh! So you admit I look awful tonight?!” Because “Hell hath no fury like a woman whose pants are poorly worn!” And now this pitiful guy will be playing solitaire all night.
Confidence also plummets because we remember how we used to look. Jealous much? Yep, we’re actually envious of a younger version of ourselves! We try on jeans from the 70’s and get furious when a seam rips, hoping Gloria Vanderbilt looks heavy and wrinkled today. That’s right – – “Hell also hath no fury like a woman whose pants are torn!” Or we peruse our wedding album sadly humming, “The Way We Were.” But woe to the man who happens to walk in as we’re muttering, “Damn, I never realized how good I looked back then,” when he nods his head in zealous agreement. “Oh! So you admit I look awful today?!” And now this same pitiful guy will be playing 52 card pick-up all night.
So, what’s the solution? I won’t pretend there’s one single answer, especially in a blog. But I know making peace with ourselves while cultivating inner love is the key to stepping out of pathetic puddles of pity. Surround yourself with compassionate women who can relate. Swap the measure of value from our exterior facade to our beautiful interior essence. Identify areas of our lives (aside from physical looks) that need attention and lavish some on them. Become passionate about a new charity, career, hobby, craft, skill or sport. But for now, start small and just cook something nourishing, yet exotic for dinner. Who knows? Tomorrow morning when that same poor guy comes strolling in with a compliment – – “Last night was great!” – – he may not just be talking about your new Hot ‘n Spicy Shrimp Curry recipe!