By Alana Kirk, author of Midlife Redefined

When a group of middle-aged women congregate, traditional opinion might expect us to start swapping knitting patterns. In fact, I was asked what name I give my vagina.  The session, Perfecting Your Orgasm, about great midlife sex, which would get many a knitting in a twist, was part of a broader conference on celebrating Magnificence in Midlife, hosted by this magazine, The Mutton Club.

What was interesting was not just the array of cute to crude names (pussy being the most common), but also the number of women who didn’t have one (a name that is, not a vagina). The woman who struck me the most said, rather sadly, “I’ve never had any cause to address it.”

midlife sex

For many women, exploring, discovering, and pursuing their own sexual pleasure was not something we were ever taught or encouraged to do. That seems to be changing, and the good news is apparently, it’s never too late to learn!

As a mother of three young girls, I have already written in newspapers about woeful sex education for our children, but what I’m realising is that many adults are also in the dark about playing in the dark. Like me, many middle-aged women are either embarking on the dating scene again or want to revamp their existing relationships now that the breeding years are done.  But many are either talking themselves celibate or like me, haven’t dated since the last century. 

Sex education was non-existent, and most of us had to learn as we went. So I was eager to hear what Renée Denyer from Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium had to say at the last session of the Mutton Club’s inaugural conference.  She didn’t disappoint.

When I learned something interesting in the talk – like the exact location of the G-spot – I was shocked. I was brought up to believe that the G-spot was a mystical thing, something akin to pot luck for those of us lucky enough to ‘find’ it.

But at the age of 46, I was told that it is in exactly the same place for ALL women. It’s as real and as tangible as our arms.  Why are we (and men) not being taught this?   

midlife sex

Why are girls and boys not taught this in school? We all know where the penis is located. Why is this information akin to the Top Secret nuclear codes?  They are the nuclear codes – for a woman’s exploding libido!  And the codes need to be common knowledge.

A varied array of websites aimed at teaching women how to find their sexual mojo whatever their age, show a growing awareness for women that after children, we can claim back our vaginas for ourselves.

The Mutton Club has produced several articles on the topic including this one.  It seems we are searching for our sexual mojo in middle age – we might just need an instruction manual.  

Recently I met Sasha Cagen, a writer and coach who works with mid-aged women on finding or reclaiming their sexuality.   “Many women are coming out of divorce and looking for a better understanding of their sexuality, or maybe they are still in a relationship but need to revive it.

Whether they are single or married, have kids or not, the ones who are bold and courageous are the ones who will get the best from their own bodies.”

Although she sees a minority of women who want to reclaim or discover their sexuality in their 40s and 50s, she sees more who are resigned and think it’s all over.  They fear rejection because they believe in the strong storyline, often reinforced in the media, that only young women are attractive.

Thankfully the media are finally starting to highlight strong sexual mid-aged women proving that we are not desexualised after a certain age.  As a mid-ager embarking on the second half of life, I’m discovering I not only need to be mentally, emotionally, and physically fit, but sensually fit as well.

“It’s a virtual cycle,” says Calgen. “Getting in touch with your sexuality affects every aspect of your life. I meet women who want to learn about their sexuality to find the power and confidence to animate their whole life.”

So how do we become bold and courageous? The first way is to let go of the conditioning that we are sluts if we pursue our own pleasure, or that we are not attractive in our 40s and beyond. Secondly we need to invest in our connection with our sexuality, which can include a partner but not necessarily.

The emphasis is on feeling good rather than looking good, the latter often a consequence of the former.  It can be as simple as mentally connecting to that part of your body and realising it’s not just for babies but for you, your whole life.  

midlife sex
The clitoris.

Did you know the clitoris is bigger than the penis? Nope, I didn’t either until recently. ‘Use it or lose it’ we were told at the Magnificence in Midlife conference. As Calgen put it, “We are in bodies and we should enjoy them.”  I think it’s time to be bold and courageous ladies.

How to have great midlife sex checklist (for women)

As noted, our sex lives are important at any age. We go through a lot of hormonal changes, as well as physical changes in midlife. We may experience sexual problems and a decrease in sexual activity. But we’re all entitled to a good sex life so here are some things to help with any sexual issues you may encounter. 

Remember that women’s sex drives can fluctuate at any age and stage of life. If you’re suffering from low libido, remember this could be temporary and impacted by the menopause transition, relationship issues, a general lack of desire, lack of sleep or too much stress, or even boredom! There’s plenty you can do to rebuild a healthy sex life so try not to worry too much – that will only make things worse.

Low desire is not at all unusual in long-term relationships, so be patient with yourself, stay open to new things and give yourself time to rediscover your sexual energy. Women in a new relationship in midlife often find their low sexual desire disappears!

Vaginal dryness, sometimes also known by the horrible term, vaginal atrophy, can be a real issue for women in midlife especially as hormone levels change. This can be caused by declining estrogen levels or even by lack of sexual activity itself.

It’s important to maintain blood flow to the vaginal area so even if you don’t have a partner, still prioritize sexual satisfaction with a little self play. That will keep your vaginal area active and blood flowing to the area. Sex toys can be great fun to play with.

Never force penetrative intercourse because that’s only going to make things worse, if you add anxiety to the mix. There are many different ways to have sex. Sexual intimacy doesn’t have to always include penis in vagina. There are lots of other sexual activities to include in your love making. Mutual masturbation, for example, can be very pleasurable.

If intercourse is important to you, and it’s not as comfortable as it used to be, try a good lube. We like Pure for Women which is excellent. Localized hormone replacement therapy in the form of estrogen cream or pessaries can also make a huge difference. This can also help with any menopause-related urinary incontinence issues.

Sex toys can be great for speeding up sexual response times and making orgasm easier, especially for postmenopausal women who may be experiencing difficulties.  If you’re experiencing a loss of libido, toys may help revamp your sexual interest by reminding you of sexual pleasure without any pressure. 

If you’re in a heterosexual relationship, spare a thought for your partner and his sexual concerns. Changing testosterone levels and erectile dysfunction can lead to difficulties for our menfolk too. Not to mention they often feel under pressure to perform.

All in all, take things gently – your love life is as much about emotional connection as it is sexual experiences. Stay connected to your lover and work out together what kind of sex life you both want going forward. Get more ideas and inspiration at: Midlife Sex – Let’s All Have More Fun! and Sex And The Menopause – Keeping You Sexy.

Alana Kirk is a writer and journalist. She has travelled the world, working for charities and writing their stories. Her first non-fiction book, the bestselling Daughter, Mother, Me: a memoir of love, loss and dirty dishes has been re-released as The Sandwich Years. She still works for the non-profit sector as well as being a writer and raising her three girls.  She’s the author of Midlife Redefined: Better, Bolder, Brighter.

Why not explore more…

Great sex in midlife

Great Sex In Midlife? Hell Yeah!

Samantha Evans tells us why and how she’s having great sex in midlife and how she intends to continue doing so into her dotage!

Midlife sex with Dr Sonia Wright

Meet Dr Sonia Wright, the Midlife Sex Coach. She’s here to tell us exactly how to get the very best sex in midlife and beyond.

Sex And Menopause – Keeping You Sexy

Sex and menopause may call for some extra creativity. Here are our tips to help you feel great and maintain your satisfaction and pleasure.

midlife sex

Last Updated on August 28, 2023 by Editorial Staff

If you liked this post, please share it!

Similar Posts