The s/ex problem that almost every older woman faces

As natural as it is, sex can still be quite a taboo topic. We don’t want to tell others about our sex lives because what if what we perceive as normal is off-the-Richter strange? Fear of judgement leads us to suffer in silence, wondering all the while whether there’s something really wrong with us.

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But one thing’s for sure: if you’re experiencing a loss of libido as you age, that’s perfectly normal for women. According to the Journal of Sex Medicine (yes, that’s a real thing), almost 70 per cent of Australian women between the ages of 40 and 65 reported a lack of sexual desire.

For some women, it can be a result of changing hormones. While we often associate testosterone with men, women do have it in lower levels. And when those levels drop, sexual desire decreases along with it.

Stress, everyday distractions and certain medications (such as antidepressants) can also be big factors in the change of sexual appetite.

In an ABC News article, sex therapist and relationship counsellor Cyndi Darnell says that a change in scenery could help spark those feelings again. And no, she doesn’t mean heading out into the woods or getting intimate on a beach. A night in a hotel with your partner could provide enough “neutral territory” to make things feel romantic again. Or at least more romantic than being in the same bed night after night, and remembering that you have to pop on a load of washing in the next half-hour.

Darnell also recommends just going through the motions to get in the right headspace.

“You might decide to have a shower, shave your legs, put on sexy lingerie … you just do it and get underway. It can be fabulous,” Darnell said in the article.

Some people are far more comfortable with their declining libido, and are content to see sex as an infrequent thing rather than a necessity in their relationship. However, if you’re still not feeling the love and it’s becoming a source of frustration, it could be something to chat about with your health professional in order to get some confidential advice tailored to your specific situation.

Have you noticed a decrease in libido as you’ve gotten older?