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Doesn't this sound exciting?

…many women enjoy wonderful sex lives after they’ve passed the menopause.

…a minority of women complain that after the menopause they simply lose their desire for sex.


Many women report feeling an uptick in desire after menopause.


Doesn't that just make you feel that a head of gray hair should be the sexiest look around? Doesn't it make you look forward to menopause (yours or your partner's)?

Unfortunately it's bullshit of the lowest kind. Take a look at some actual, you know, numbers:

In a survey of 580 menopausal women conducted by Siecus, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, 45 percent reported a decrease in sexual desire after menopause, 37 percent reported no change and 10 percent reported an increase.


Now, I'm not a trained statistician but I don't know in what universe "10%" is reasonably called "many." And, while in the narrowest sense "45%" is a "minority," it is nonetheless the modal experience - it is grossly misrepresenting it to call it a "minority" response.

Still not convinced that age might make a difference to women's experience of sex? Try the fascinating dynamic graph about two-thirds of the way down the page at okcupid, chart number 7. Sobering, is all I'm going to say.

Well, so what? In the past, depending on the era, the expectation was that women would lose interest in sex as they aged; a woman who didn't was considered aberrant, even nymphomaniac. It's a good thing that now we don't shame women who continue to like sex as they age. It's horrible that sustaining the interest of a thirty year old has apparently become an expectation. Women whose interest in sex has faded are left to wonder if something is wrong with them. The brave may mention it to their doctors. In some cases there are practical things that can be done. If a woman is experiencing pain (usually a turnoff) because of thin skin or lack of lubrication, there are effective treatments for that.

But isn't it about time that we face the bracing fact that sex changing for women as they age is as usual as presbyopia is for most people, as cataracts are for many? We happily have good ways to deal with presbyopia, and decent ways to deal with most cataracts. We don't yet have a good answer for women who miss their sex drive. Time and research may rectify that. In the meantime can we stop shaming women for not being a hot patootie when they are sixty?

Take the poll!

Or not. It's up to you.

Originally posted to Wee Thoughts on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 05:47 PM PST.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism.


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