Saturday, 25 June 2011

Libido after menopause - will you get the sex/intimacy you want?

A fairly common concern among my male friends who are thinking of remarrying is that of possible frequency of quality sexual interaction with a prospective girlfriend or wife.  They have often come from marriages that were sexual wastelands and are cognisant that post menopausal women may have a reduced libido or other physical or mental barriers to sexual interaction.

I believe the situation varies across women, so I cannot provide and an overview based on my own experience, I can just say how I feel.  I'm well past menopause and I will never have another normal cycle.  However, I do seem to have some sort of very flat cyclical change in desire for sex. Sometimes I am more interested, but I miss the hormonal highs in desire that occur with ovulation. I also miss the heightened sexual response that comes with ovulation. 

Physical changes associated with menopause may also make one want to engage in sex less - just one painful experience of intercourse can be pretty off putting and make one apprehensive about trying again. Couple that with attenuated desire and inhibitions and its easy to cry off sex and have a cup of tea instead!

Painful intercourse can arise from lack of lubrication, thinned vaginal walls or an infection/inflammation arising from changes in the vaginal microflora. More frequent sex does help maintain the function of the vagina and you might need to use lubricant. I use natural yogurt during sex as it is a mild  lubricant and also helps maintain my microflora.

So will you end up having the great sex you missed and which you hope you will have? Perhaps, but you do need to take into account the above, recruit a lady that is sex/intimacy positive and who has a matching libido and consciously develop your intimate relationship.  You might also need medical intervention to overcome physical issues.

As a man you will need to be considerate of your partner and avoid causintg her pain during intercourse. You'll also need to work on providing "added value" so that there is more than just her decreased libido driving her motivation to take part in intimacy.  

That all said, from my point of view its very possible for a man to be delighted by the frequency and quality of intimacy and sex with a 50+ lady - you just need to take more care to ensure everyone gets what they need and want.

A profusion of opportunity


  1. I just read this article posted by John the Marriage Coach it argues that it is the man rather than the woman that usually determines how long a couple’s sex life lasts:
    "He says that 1/3 of men quit having sex at age 65. Another 1/3 at 75. He didn’t talk about that last 1/3 but I imagine we can just call them “men who die happy.”"
    This article is based on research and experience of an expert in sexuality, so it is something to seriously consider. I'm considering that I focused on the wrong party in my analysis. Perhaps I should post on how to have sex if you have issues with erections or something else of particular relevance to male sexuality!

  2. I wonder about the ability of a woman past the menopause to bond EMOTIONALLY with a man, ie to really fall in love and have a relationship that goes beyond practicality & maybe friendship. Women in this age band often seem emotionally flat; I've read that hormone changes frequently make them less interested even in their children.

    1. i get this. as someone who was an emotional rollercoaster I quite like this new me. And as for sex orgasms are cultured multispectacular creations if you have a good lover that gets you and now mine are different and go on for however long I can quieten my brain from writing shopping lists.....which is a function of whether the man has wow factor. My lover is dead now but we still make love. Hope he doesn't mind !

  3. mm….a very good observation and comment. I joyfully received the comment as it really fulfils my primary aim for this site which is to analyse pertinent issues using the experience and knowledge of diverse people. I also started questioning my own interpretations of my emotional attachments.

    Of course I have noted the absence of hormonal highs and of course being less “desperate” for sex and to be loved. Also, I’ve found myself to be more fatigued and more often overwhelmed by stimuli. Often my brain really needs to rest before it can think creatively. Also, that some people are using their close relationship to exploit me has come sharply into focus. I believe I am less blinded by a need to mother whatever comes my way, so can be more aware of exploitation etc. All these factors have contributed to being more withdrawn and introspective. This could be interpreted as lack of emotional attachment.

    I am certainly less desperate to spend time with children – but that could also be overcoming grief about not having any to care for and moving on. Neverthelss, I have noted that I can slip back into the kid-doting mode when a little one comes over for a rare visit. However, I am not sure that this would last. Overall, hard to make a definitive observation here because of lack of data!

    Both pre-menopause and post-menopause I have had issues with emotional commitment – I had attributed this to meeting and falling deeply in love with my soul mate, but not being able to marry and make a life together. It’s almost like there is a switch inside, and when it is thrown one way, it’s impossible to shift it. I therefore wonder how the overlain issue of hormone reduction has affected me.

    Certainly the statistics are that some 50% of single older women have no aspirations to start a new relationship and I do know some older women who seem to have fallen out of love with their partners and moved away after menopause. On the other hand, menopause really seems to bring into focus any troubling issues in a relationship and an ability to move on when these are untenable.

    Thank you for your thought provoking comment!