What are your thoughts on midlife sex? Is it meh or is it more tantalizing, and more amazing than ever before? For those who checked that “tantalizing and amazing box” welcome to the magnificence that is a woman at midlife. And baby, enjoy the ride! The good news—data supports the fact that you’ll likely be rockin’ more than that rocking chair for some time to come now. For those of you for whom sex at midlife is more meh than man-oh-man, let’s talk about the three “S’s” that might well be holding you back and hindering your sexy—and let’s fix that! Here goes…

The First S – Sure. As in Sure Physiologic Changes

You’ve surely heard the famous saying by Benjamin Franklin that nothing is certain except death and taxes. I’d like to add a few things to that list. The reality is that if you’re fortunate to live long enough, aging and natural physiologic changes of the body are just as certain as death and taxes. For women, as we age our ovaries decrease in function and stop producing key hormones that are important in our sexual vitality.

Declining levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone can cause a variety of symptoms that can plummet your sex drive. These include sleep disturbances, hot flashes, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, and sometimes even painful intercourse. Discussing these natural changes with your Gynecologist to assess whether or not hormone replacement therapy or other treatment to address these issues is indicated should be a part of your regular healthcare treatment. Don’t wait until an annual visit rolls around if you’re having symptoms that warrant a conversation with your physician—make an appointment sooner rather than later.

Don’t surprised if this topic is not mentioned by your healthcare provider. Many younger physicians may have their own internal biases on aging and sexuality, but don’t let that deter you. Be bold and direct and make sure your sexual well-being is fully addressed! Accept nothing less.

Stereotypes

While we are all quite familiar with Webster’s definition of stereotypes: “A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.” If we’re truly honest, we would admit that we have indulged and embellished in a stereotype or two of our own. So what are some common stereotypes about sex and aging? Here are a few: You need to be young to be sexy. Well, it certainly doesn’t help that we are bombarded with images of youth and sexuality and are almost conditioned to believe that they are interconnected, so with the loss of youth so goes sexuality. That’s flat out oversimplified, untrue, and ridiculous, to say the least.

Perhaps it’s not the youth itself that’s associated with sexuality, but perhaps the vigor and vitality that is often a part of youthfulness that we equate with sexuality? Could it be these stereotypes about sex and aging are fading as we begin to see more vigor and vitality in all ages? Consider some of these amazing women:

  • Earnestine Shepherd, A bodybuilder at age 74
  • Diana Nyad, Swimming from Florida to Cuba at age 64
  • Tao Porchone –Lynch, The oldest yoga instructor at age 93

You certainly don’t have to search far to find examples of vigor and vitality in women of all ages. Could it be those shifts in attitude and imagery are now changing stereotypes and attitudes amongst us all, showing up in places we may have least expected? Consider the 2017 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, featuring Christie Brinkley in a bikini at 63. If that doesn’t speak to new attitudes about sexuality and aging, I’m not sure what does.

Modern Midlife gives sexuality a new meaning. Don’t allow yourself to be stuck in the past, with old outdated stereotypes that might be getting in the way of your SEXY, because I’m here to tell you that you’re all that—and more!

Midlife “Stuff”

Let’s face it, getting to this milestone in life a whole bunch of “stuff” has happened to us ALL. Loss of a loved one, divorce, illness, children leaving the nest, retirement—there are a host of things—things that I call stuff, that can disrupt decades of smooth sailing and put a dent in your groove.

These changes often thrust many women back in the dating arena, with challenges of anxiety, self-esteem, and simply wondering if they still have it—whatever that is. Taking a little time perhaps to get to know your new self, this woman that you are now, and consider how different you might be, and how you wants and needs may have changed over the years will be a good exercise for you.

This accounting. This assessment of the three S’s and all that’s involved there, and understanding who you are now and what’s important to you will certainly be the first step to being confident in letting your partner know exactly what you need and want—in the bedroom or otherwise. And don’t be surprised if the formula has completely changed, after all you’re probably not that same girl you used to be. Chances are good you’re probably a more daring, bolder version of yourself, and you’ve learned that you’re not afraid to let your light shine. After all, this is modern midlife at its best, so enjoy the heck out of it, and that includes making sure that midlife sex is, without question, more tantalizing now than ever before. After all, we’ve earned that!

photo credit: d_t_vos Journey of Love(rs) via photopin (license)