It is not unusual for middle aged women to think of great sex as a distant memory.  If your once fiery sex life has reduced to burning embers, there are things you can do to bring the passion back.  Hot sex and hot flashes don’t have to be incompatible.

  1. Lubricate, Lubricate, Lubricate:  One of the number one complaints of middle aged women is vaginal dryness, which can cause painful sex.  Use a lubricating agent like Astroglide or Replens to feel more youthful and sexy.  Having lots of sex also helps improve blood flow, which in turn increases lubrication, and self-stimulation counts here ladies.
  2. Build Your Muscles:  At midlife we can visibly see a change in our muscles, but what about the muscles we can’t see?  Pelvic floor muscles need to be toned like other muscles to support vaginal strength and prevent problems like uterine prolapse.  Doing Kegel exercises several times daily helps to keep pelvic floor muscles strong, decreasing the likelihood of prolapse and painful intercourse.
  3. Approach Sex Like Your Younger Self:  When you were younger and sex was more plentiful, chances are you approached it differently.  If you had a date and were hopeful that it would culminate in sex (and yes, you spent time thinking about having sex), you made yourself feel sexy by tending to your hair, makeup and clothing.  Fast forward and thoughts of sex are nowhere to be found.   It might be time for some self care and to start anticipating having sex.
  4. Develop a Ritual of Dating:  After the kids come along, dates with our partner disappear along with getting enough sleep.  We forget how to be a couple and that kills the passion in a relationship.  Making time for our partner and remembering how to have fun on dates is one of the best aphrodisiacs.  Along with the dating ritual  there should be a foreplay ritual.  You may no longer turn on as quickly as a light bulb, so be sure to include some good old fashioned making out on your dates.
  5. Better Living Through Chemistry:  As we age our hormones shift, affecting our genital sensation and libido.  Testosterone and estrogen/progesterone play important roles in our sex lives and we may need to give them a boost at midlife.  While not right for all women, hormone replacement or creams have helped improve many a sex lives.  All hormone therapies, even bio-identical, come with some risks, so be sure to discuss the pros and cons with your health care provider.
  6. Be Daring in the Bedroom:  If you haven’t kept up with sexual trends as you grew older, take a lesson from the younger cohort. Sex toys can add different levels of stimulation and whimsy to a dull sex life.  Used alone or with your partner, sex toys can spice things up.  Afraid to be seen in public purchasing these items?  Try safe internet orders at sites such as Good Vibrations.  In addition to your expanding toy collection, try different positions and locations so as not to fall into a routine.  Allow yourself to fantasize and ask for what you want.
  7. Keep Your Relationship Healthy:  Having deep emotional intimacy with our partner improves sexual intimacy.  If bad relationship habits like criticism/defensiveness, avoidance tactics and lack of appreciation have worked their way into your relationship, it may be time for a tune up.  Working on your sex life without working on the overall health of your relationship is like trying to diet without changing your eating habits.

Don’t accept that lack of libido is the norm for your age.  Find what works for you and enjoy a healthy sex life at any age.

 

Mary Beth George
Mary Beth George is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Gottman Therapist, Master Trainer for the Gottman Institute and co-owner of Couples Counseling & Psychotherapy Associates. She is an empty nester with a passion for rescue dogs, traveling and spending time with people that make her laugh.