To Recover Sex Drive, First Rediscover Joy


Dear J,

I’m a menopausal woman. My sex drive is in the toilet, which means my sex life is practically non-existent, which doesn’t seem fair to my terrific guy, but I’m not into obligatory sex. I want to feel horny again. What can I do?

Aren’t there whole books written about this? The ultimate affront to our liberated generation!

I’ve heard it said that our most powerful sex organ is our brain, so let’s think about this. As we adapt to changes, it is normal to have pleasant memories of the past, and feel fearful or repelled by the new and unusual things that are happening to us.

In the case of menopause, this frequently centers on our bodies and emotions. Trusting that you are conferring with a health professional and are able-bodied (though this will work in modified ways for those who are handicapped), you need to learn to inhabit your body again. This is a different process for each of us, but think of what you like to do with regards to physical activity. If that means lying on the couch finishing a box of chocolates, I think we’ve identified your problem. One of the most surprising and wonderful aspects of menopause (or any major life change) is finding what you love to do, discovering something that you love about life. In this case, it involves learning to love and appreciate your body as it is. This is a quest, and the grail is the return to life, lived more fully. It usually involves gratitude for what you can do, for what you do have (like a terrific partner) or how you feel. What does that for you? Is it yoga, dance, hiking? Whatever makes you glow.

I recommend doing this alone at first (be safe, of course), because you will be able to experience and appreciate the endorphin high more fully, but it could lead to long walks in all kinds of weather (my favorite) or swimming laps, or intense yoga or exercise, dance classes or rock climbing, but it must be something you can repeat as needed.

It works! Enjoy! You will be horny again!

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