I want to start this blog with some thoughts about what has inspired me to start researching and writing about sex, meaning and the menopause.
I was lucky with my own menopause. Apart from a few headaches and dark looks at my husband, I sailed through. But things did change for me on the sexual front, and I found little solace in menopausal self-help guides that prescribed what the menopause should or ought to be. And if it isn’t, here’s how to fix it.
The message seems to be, if you don’t want sex there’s something wrong with you. I have to say, this leaves me feeling shamed, inadequate, and rebellious.
I love the idea of the menopause being a spiritual experience, but it doesn’t help when you are faced with a frustrated husband and your previously happy relationship begins to heave-to because of a lack of sex. Nor indeed does it help when you trudge off to the GP to be told about vaginal atrophy while he or she scribbles a prescription for HRT, and rushes you out because you’re not a priority.
I began talking to other postmenopausal friends to see what was happening to them, only to find that their husbands and partners were keen to talk to me as well. I was overwhelmed by their encouragement, and their need for me to write about a subject that could be even more of a taboo than talking about death.
Luckily my twenty-nine year-old male editor agrees!
I would love to hear about your own experiences, and, separately, from your husband/partner about how the menopause has affected your relationship.