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The reality about sex and mature women

We seem to know plenty about men and their desires, but surprisingly little research has been done on female sexuality. Here’s what we know…

What’s a normal sex drive for women?

senior women sex

There’s no normal, even after menopause, according to Iris Krasnow, the American author of Sex After… who interviewed women aged 20-90 about how sex and intimacy change throughout life.

She spoke to women in satisfied, committed relationships who weren’t having sex, and that was normal for them, and to women in their seventies and eighties who were “as giddy as teenagers”.

Is desire the first step?

Apparently not. Research suggests that women’s sexual desire may not be that spontaneous after all but come after the encounter begins.

That doesn’t mean they have lacklustre libido, just that it takes the right context or trigger—wanting to be close, for example—for them to connect with their bodies.

What causes low libido after menopause?

mature woman low sex drive after menopause

There are times when sexual desire refuses to kick in at all. That’s normal too. But contrary to popular belief, it’s not necessarily something we can pin on our hormones. Relationships, psychological or emotional factors are more likely to predict women’s desire for sex.

Sometimes physical issues linked to menopause—such as discomfort or dryness—play a bigger part. However, a number of studies confirm that menopause doesn’t affect sexual desire, though pretty much everything else does, including medication (especially antidepressants, heart pills, and anti-seizure drugs), low mood, long working hours, resentment towards your partner.

Tiredness and stress come top of the list.

So what’s a girl to do?

what to do low sex drive

Lifestyle changes can help. First, get more sleep. Research in the Journal of Sexual Medicine shows that women with sleep apnoea—when breathing repeatedly stops and starts—have higher rates of sexual dysfunction, while a US study found that women who have an extra hour of sleep are 14 percent more likely to have sex the next day.

And why not try mindfulness meditation? Research has found that mindfulness-based group therapy (non-judgemental present-moment awareness) significantly improved sexual desire in women. Keep things fresh—go to a hotel for a change—and make sure you make time for intimacy.

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