Sex After Menopause
Sex at any age can be a minefield to navigate, but when your hormone levels change drastically, it can be even more challenging. Today we are exploring sex after menopause, so you can live your best sex life at any age.
Like a fine wine, I believe that sex can improve as we age. We deepen our understanding of our bodies, care less and less about what people think, and embrace presence and pleasure.
Yet Another Change
As women, we are incredibly cyclical beings, who are always growing, changing, evolving, and adapting. What happens when it feels like the body you’ve always had, and the sexuality you’ve always known, radically shifts? For some women, that is how menopause feels. Suddenly feeling as if your body is a foreign land, and you’re a stranger to your sexuality. Dr Kathryn McGoldrick, former editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association, says;
“Perhaps with education and proper perspective, we can look forward to the day when people will stop viewing menopause as a crisis, or even as “the change”, and see it more appropriately as “yet another change.” For living is constant change. This is its essence and its promise”.
So what does this, ‘yet another change’ look like, and how can we best support ourselves in navigating our changing sexuality gracefully?
A Change In Hormones
During and post-menopause, you no longer have as many hormonal fluctuations as years past. You have one consistent estrogen-testosterone-progesterone blend, that’s lower than the levels you’re used to during your menstruating years. It’s a similar hormone cocktail to the one experienced during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, which is the time in your cycle when your sexual energy should be the most focused on your arousal stage.
These ‘lower than you’re used to experiencing’ hormones, particularly the estrogen, may cause lowered libido and/or vaginal dryness, which is quite common and nothing to be embarrassed about. Many women find relief from this by prioritising lots of long luxurious foreplay, using toys before and during sex, and using a high-quality lube like Pjur Nude.
If you are still experiencing vaginal dryness after making these changes, it’s best to see a naturopath, midwife, or Obgyn to discuss herbal supplementation or topical estrogen creams.
A Change In Lifestyle
Menopause often seems to occur during a time of major life transition, regardless of what age you are when going through it. Perhaps you’re spending less time with your children, as they grow up and move out. Maybe you’re spending more time with your family, and even enjoying some grandchildren. You might be enjoying more solitude than usual, turning inwards in reflection and deepening your connection to self. Perhaps you’re retiring and traveling the globe, relishing in your freedom and exploring new places.
Regardless of where you are in your life when menopause begins, it’s a beautiful bodily marker to acknowledge yet another of life’s many transitions, and a time honor where you are in life. Reframing it in a positive light can have a wonderful impact on your mindset.
For some women going through menopause, it can be incredibly sexually freeing to no longer have any concerns about potential pregnancies. Sometimes the liberation from menstruation and pregnancy is even enough to compensate for the extra effort in lubrication.
A Change For Our Muscles
Whether we like it or not, our muscles change as we age. Around age 30, we begin to experience as much as 3-5% muscle loss per decade.
Staying active and healthy can greatly improve your body’s ability to handle menopause smoothly. Exercise supports your body in processing hormones and may help ease the hormonal transition. It also boosts feel-good hormones like oxytocin, which may improve sex drive. Now that’s a win-win!
The pelvic floor muscles can also be exercised through abdominal workouts, manually doing kegels, and you can receive some extra support by using the Apex or Intensity by Pour Moi. Correct kegel workouts can also help with urinary incontinence, which can be a big deterrent to sexual interest for some women.
6 Top Tips For Menopausal Sex
1- Focus your energy on activities that bring you joy in your daily life
2- Eat well, keep hydrated, and stay active.
3- Embrace a pleasure prioritized mindset, shifting away from goal-oriented sex.
4- Mutual masturbation can be a sexy addition for when you’re feeling very specific about your preferences. It can also help clue you into what your partner is preferring with their own changing body.
5- Sex toys are your friend for solo sex, and great wingmen for partnered sex.
6- Sex is what you make it.
Living A Juicy Life…
As with most things in life, everyone will have a vastly different experience. Some women breeze through menopause, barely noticing it, and others have a very challenging time.
Feeling emotionally and physically prepared can certainly help, as well as being able to surrender to the experience, embracing the cyclical nature of life and female bodies.
While your body will change, your sex life can still be a vibrant, juicy, orgasmic experience. You may even be surprised at how amazing it might be.
Isabella Frappier is an Australian writer and a holistic Sexuality Doula, who specializes in body literacy and sexual sovereignty. She is also a host on the popular new Sex Magic Podcast. When she’s not busy championing her sex-positive agenda, she—oh wait—she’s always busy doing that. Follow her adventures on Instagram.