In This Post You’ll Learn:
- How to communicate openly and calmly with your partner.
- To get in tune with yourself and your needs.
- How your physiological needs affect your libido.
- To combine all these tips and reignite your sexual spark!
Here we are at part two of my two-part series on sex, menopause and busting the myth of the sexless marriage. In part one I shared Kathy Weibel’s journey to reignite her passion within herself and with her partner.
However, I focused more on the physical by sharing 3 tips to help your body heal and open up to feeling sexy and playful again. I explained why our libido wanes as we age and how hormones affect our passion. You can read the full article here.
But sex isn’t just about the physical. Sex is also emotional and mental. Or another way to put this would be, sex is both sexual and sensual. In fact, the largest sex organ is the brain! So I would argue that sex is more mental than physical!
"In order to keep the fire burning — no matter your age and especially in a long-term relationship — you need to really know yourself, and your needs, and you need to be able to communicate this to your partner."
Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby!
The intimacy of sex is about a lot more than the physical, this is why in this article, I feel it is important to focus on the intimate side of sex; communication and connection, self-awareness, and self-care.
Again I’d like to remind you that just because your libido is gone doesn’t mean you don’t love each other. The fact that you are here, reading my article, wanting to reignite the fire, shows your commitment and care to yourself and to each other. So, kudos for taking these crucial steps.
For years I’ve been helping women heal their bodies, balance their hormones, and recapture that feeling of full aliveness – which leads to quite a “zesty” time in the bedroom! I want to help revitalize your sexy feminine body. Intimacy is an essential need and fuel for the body, and it should be entirely without guilt or shame. Your mate, I imagine, will wholeheartedly agree and support you!
As I said before, in my experience those who persist in looking for a solution, find one. So here are three ways to ignite passion, create a connection, and start feeling sexy again.
"We need to communicate with our partners. We need to express how we feel. We must be clearer about our needs."
#1 Communicate And Connect
One of the biggest complaints I hear from my past patients and clients is that they feel disconnected from their partners. Proper communication and connection to one another is so underrated, especially since we live in a world that focuses so much on the physical and the shallow.
Movies and TV shows rely on a very black and white narrative of sexuality when in reality sexuality exists in the shades of grey. Women are either “sluts” or “prudes”. Men are always horny. These are blanket (and untrue) statements that prevent you from exploring your needs.
On top of that, we live in the world of smartphones, text messaging, quick swipes to the left or right, and instant images that disappear after a day, that give the illusion of connection but really just makes us feel even more disconnected.
Now add all this to the hormonal imbalance your body is going through possibly because of menopause, stress, or hormone disruption, it’s no wonder you might feel unheard, disconnected, and shut down. You want to spice up your romance and strengthen the bonds of intimacy with your partner, but… how?
"Deep level communication takes time, commitment, and patience."
Communication is Key
I’m sure we’ve all heard this before — we need to communicate with our partners. We need to express how we feel. We must be more assertive with our needs. This is all well and good, but it is also scary. Especially if we don’t come from a background of open communication.
In part 1 of this article I explained how decreasing levels of hormones in our body during menopause cause our libido to wane and makes us feel as if the “sexual spark” is gone!
I’ve had past patients and clients tell me,
- “What used to work doesn’t quite work anymore.”
- "I love my partner, but I just don't feel like having sex! What is wrong with me?"
- “Once I get started I’m ok, but I don’t have the desire like I used to.”
These are all valid and natural feelings that come up as our body goes through menopausal changes. In fact, these things can happen at any age! So there is no reason to feel ashamed or guilty for having them.
The first step in this process is being willing to acknowledge what you’re going through. Step two is opening a conversation about your needs and your partner’s needs.
What might seem obvious to you about all the things that you’re going through, might not be obvious to your partner. I encourage you to listen to the two secrets that men and women need to know about each other in my webinar Help Doctor, My Sex Drive Has No Pulse!
I’m going to quote a past client of mine, Kathy Weibel (whose story we heard in Part 1):
“The one thing that husbands want to do is they want to please their wife.”And I agree with this. Your partner wants to help. Let them.
Here are some tips for clearer, calmer communication:
- First and perhaps the most importantly, banish “mind-reading”. Mind-reading is when you expect your partner to “just know” your needs. This only fuels resentment when they don’t magically know what you want and can lead to repressed or chronic anger which hurts your relationship.
- Keep your tone calm and level.
- Know what you want to say beforehand. It’s ok to write notes.
- Be sure to schedule a time that you have your partner’s full attention and will not be disturbed. In my experience, this talk always goes longer than expected, so I wouldn’t schedule anything after.
- Don’t feel that having to ask for something diminishes its value. So often we believe that our partners should magically know what we need and if we have to ask for it, then it is less sincere or valuable. Don’t look at their inability to anticipate your needs as a flaw, instead appreciate their willingness to meet you in the middle.
- Return the favor by listening to their needs.
- Use the “Needs Script” from authors of Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work, Matthew McKay, Patrick Fanning, and Kim Paleg:
- Situation: Offer a straightforward observation of the situation you want to address without any analysis, interpretation, and inflammatory or accusatory language — "We haven’t had much sex in the past few months."
- Feelings: Use, non-blaming “I” statements to avoid their defenses going up. “I’m going through menopause, and a lot of things are changing for me. Especially my libido. I feel disconnected and my mood is all over the place.”
- Request: Ask for a change in behavior only. This is a very important rule. Don’t expect your partner to change his or her values, attitudes, desires, motivations, or feelings,” — excerpt from the book, Couple Skills. “It would mean a lot to me if we could find new ways to connect and get intimate, I would love it if we gave each other sensual massages.”
Deep level communication takes time, commitment, and patience. But when you both get to a space where you feel heard, seen and understood, it feels amazing! It really builds deep bonds and softens your heart. So I really urge you to find a communication style that works for both of you.
#2 Practice Self Awareness
In order to communicate your needs to your partner, you must first know what your needs are. And for that to happen, you must know yourself. I’ve come to realize after working with thousands of women over the years, that some women have never thought of their own needs!
“I’ve spent so much time taking care of other people that I don’t even know myself!”
Doesn’t that sound crazy? Not so much. We have just been socialized to put other people’s needs ahead of our own. Some of us have been shamed for daring to think of what might bring us pleasure.
We have just been socialized to put other people’s needs ahead of our own. Some of us have been shamed for daring to think of what might bring us pleasure.
Well I say, it’s time to stop all that, now!
What turns you on? What brings you pleasure? What unwinds, and relaxes you? What excites you? What makes you feel safe? If you can’t answer these questions with assurance, now is a great time to get to know yourself.
A lot of times when tiny resentments build up, our body shuts down and that too contributes to the lack of libido. So ask yourself, “What do I need in order to feel loved?”
A great book to read on this is called, The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.
Here are a few ways you can practice self-awareness:
- Mindfulness meditation. This will help you get into your body and sit with your moment to moment feedback. So many times we are disconnected from our bodies and we never really face what we feel. This is our self-defense mechanism, it helps us cope. But disconnecting for an extended period of time causes feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Mindfulness meditation helps with all these feelings as well as an array of other conditions both physical and mental.
- Keep a journal. Many of my clients have found it helpful to jot down their thoughts, stating that it helps clear their mind.
- Talk it out. Read my point above about communication. I’d like to also add, you can also choose to talk things out with a trusted friend and/or therapist as well as your partner. There is no limit to this. Just remember to find a friend who you can trust with your feelings.
- Expand your emotional vocabulary. “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein. People with high emotional intelligence also possess an expanded vocabulary of feelings. Those who don’t might describe themselves as feeling, “Sad” but those with high EQ, might specify they feel “lonely,” or “disconnected”. The more specific you are with how you are feeling, the better your chances are to find out what caused that feeling and what you should do about it.
- Schedule some bedroom “Me” time. Time for some exploration! Make sure are alone and won’t be disturbed. Get comfortable and explore yourself in safety. There is no shame in knowing what turns you on, and what excites you.
Practicing self-awareness is an ongoing process. Here’s the truth about awareness, it won’t always be easy but it will be worth it.
#3 Bolster Your Physiological Side
And finally, to tie all this together, we must practice self-care. We should know how our hormones work and how its affecting our body (I covered this in part 1, read about it here and how we can keep it balanced so we don’t go through wild mood swings.
At this point in our lives, we really need to get assertive with our own care.
- Sleep well! If you suffer from night sweats from hot flashes, be sure you keep your room a cool 65 degrees °F (18 °C) and completely dark, or as dark as you can get it
- Eat a healthy keto-green™ diet that will keep your mood elevated, your hormones balanced and your body in top shape
- Add some relevant supplements to your diet, like Vitamin E, C, and B
- Find time to meditate, sit still and breathe
- Take walks or hikes out in nature
- Find time for your hobbies or pick up a hobby!
- If you find yourself stretched thin, practice to say “No” sometimes. Stress can also do weird things to your libido
- Keep your lady bits moisturized with my feminine cream Julva® with DHEA. Julva is estrogen-free, non-GMO, paraben-free, phthalate-free, gluten-free and made using only natural, lush ingredients your body loves. It also contains coconut oil, emu oil and shea butter among other restorative ingredients. Try it for yourself and see if it helps you.
“I really feel like I'm doing something really positive for myself. I love the ingredients are. I know that I’m not leaving any part unattended. I'm caring for myself in a really personal and private way. Julva made me feel feminine and brand new again. It’s a real treat for myself. Such a treat!” — Susan Marie
Outside of self-care, we should also practice couple care — as in putting effort into our relationship to ensure that both parties feel heard, seen and loved. Here are some tips I’ve gotten from my past patients and my clients.
Couple care tips:
- Back rubs! “Sometimes there’s nothing like a great back rub” — Kathy Weibel
- Find time to cuddle and be close. Cuddling in front of a fire, watching a good movie, reading together — helps to release oxytocin, the love hormone
- Go on small dates (a walk), or big dates (a weekend exploring)
- Go on “sexy dates” together. Schedule time to explore each other
- Hold hands
- Workout together
Couple time is as important as “me” time, so don’t neglect either.
What NOT To Do
I talked about this in my last article but I thought it bears repeating what NOT to do if you find you’ve lost your sexual passion:
- Don’t succumb to watching porn. Porn has been found to boost sexual dysfunction in men. In fact, this study claims that porn watching can even increase your probability of a divorce.
- Just accepting your situation is NOT OK. There are solutions out there. In fact, there are many solutions in this very article (and the last one).
- Un petit amor (an affair) is NOT the answer.
Bringing It Together
I am certain if you combine my tips from Part 1 and the tips from this article, with patience and commitment, your passion and spark will come roaring back. Don’t look at this time of your life as a sign that you can no longer do certain things or that your zest and sensuality are now things of the past. You absolutely can bring back the spark, reignite the fire and live a full, sexy, playful life.
Here is a quick summary of what I’ve written:
- Find time to openly and calmly communicate your needs to your partner.
- Don’t rely on “mind-reading” to solve problems. Just because you have to express your needs, it doesn’t make it any less valuable.
- Spend time getting to know yourself and your needs.
- Practicing mindfulness will really get you in tuned with your body and what turns it on.
- Do not be afraid to spend time exploring your own body.
- Make sure you take care of your physiological side too!
- Sleep well and eat well. These are the cornerstones for hormonal balance.
- Make sure you use the right moisturizer for your lady bits. I recommend my feminine cream Julva with DHEA.
- Spend time doing couple care with your partner. Back rubs are great!