This May Make You Uncomfortable

Why? Because I am going to talk about sex. Specifically, I am going to talk about sex drive–or the lack of one. JT, if you don’t want to read your mother’s discussion on sex, exit now!

I have never heard a discussion regarding female sex drives. Now days I can go online and get scores of information, none of it very helpful at this stage in my life. I wonder if women actually discuss it, especially those woman who have little or no sex drive, especially young women. A low libido is probably not something they would want to share with their peers.

I was one of those women. Yes, I did have an unpleasant sexual experience with a prick of a boyfriend in my youth, so my confidence was lacking, but I really didn’t have what one would call much a sex drive before or after that. I never looked across the bar or the classroom or the workplace at some guy and felt the insatiable urge to tear his clothes off and have wild and crazy sex. Dinner or perhaps a movie, but never sex. I never looked at movie stars and imagined myself in the back seat of their cars or in their beds. If I did go on a date, or spend an evening with a guy, or experience the rare occurrence of a date turning into a couple of dates, I never felt any urges.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t encourage myself to have sex. For a short time I thought I just needed to get better at it and wanted to prove that my ex boyfriend was wrong and that someone would find me desirable. So I did test the waters in my twenties but not with any males I wanted to leave a good impression on. The problem was that even though I appeared attractive and desirable from a distance, I was cold and unresponsive in person.  

So was it my allusive hormone imbalance? Allusive because the gynecologist who so casually mentioned it after my first surgery in my twenties, never really spelled it out. Had he done a test to discover this or was he just assuming it given my crazy abnormal periods and the surgery he had just performed? That was the same day he told be that I wouldn’t be able to have kids. Yet JT happened and a couple of other pregnancies before that (stories for another day). 

If I had had run-of-the-mill female hormones, would I have had more desire? Would all the things that I had hoped would come naturally during the process of sex have come naturally? Or was I (pardon the term) just frigid? How abnormal was my level of abnormal? I would have loved to ask my peers and roommates from my youth, who were much more sexually active than I was, whether they had an insatiable urge or whether things just progressed to that point or whether they just did it because it was expected. And more importantly, how did they get so comfortable doing it with someone they had just met hours earlier? That would take a level of relaxation that I had never experienced.  

It was The Doc who eventually enabled me to have a better sexual experience. He patiently focused on making me feel good. It took months to get to the point where I had a natural orgasm with him inside me and even then there were specifics involved. It only worked when I was on top and could arch my back and push my pelvis towards him, but it worked. Did this have something to do with my hormone imbalance, my previous surgery, my tilted uterus? Who knew? I certainly didn’t. I was just happy that we found something that worked. And even though it worked, it did not increase my sex drive. If given the choice between sex and sleep, I would often choose sleep. 

The Doc and I got used to each other, or should I say he got used to me because I am not a necker (Oh look, I invented a word). Necking makes me feel claustrophobic, like I am suffocating, which causes me to yawn and look bored when I am actually attempting to fill my lungs with oxygen. Foreplay to me is a good conversation sometimes served with a glass of wine around dinnertime, which was a pretty limited window, especially after we had JT.

By the time I was in my early forties, sex between The Doc and I had become comfortable and easy. Not a daily occurrence but enjoyable; and although there were many times when I would still choose sleep, we made love often enough to satisfy the both of us. Woooo! I had reached what I believed was that allusive sexual peak that women are supposed to hit when they are in their forties. You know the one. The one men are said to hit in their early twenties. 

I had developed a little more desire, nothing off the charts, and a few fantasies to help fuel this desire. Somehow I had moved a little closer to normal on the libido spectrum. I didn’t bother to question it. I was still suffering from all the other undesirable effects of my so-called imbalanced hormones, the PMS, depression and migraines; but I felt that reaching this point in my sexual growth had been a very long journey, and that I had earned the rewards.

Then we discovered that I, once again, had a large abdominal cyst and required major surgery. On the day they removed the ovary that had grown into an eight-inch-diameter cyst, they also removed an additional smaller cyst and everything else including my other ovary, my fallopian tubes and my uterus. All things that I was happy to say goodbye to because of all the symptoms created by my monthly cycle. 

What I was totally unaware of at the time was that I was also saying goodbye to my hard-earned sexual pleasure. I had heard, not from any official sources, that women had diminished sexual desire after they had a hysterectomy. It was a grapevine piece of information, something I thought of as an old wives’ tale. The young gynecologist in the sunny office with the pink door certainly didn’t mention anything about it. The thing is, that even if he had spelled it out, I still would have had the complete procedure. The opportunity to rid myself of all the hormonal garbage that had been dragging me down for years was too powerful to ignore.

For the first while, while my body was benefiting from man-made estrogen but was also slowly using up the last of it’s own hormone reserves, things were ok. Diminished but ok. As time passed, diminished became depleted, exhausted, decimated. In hindsight, diminished looked good. Why my prescription for what was a supposedly normal level of estrogen for a woman of my age didn’t allow me to at least enjoy a little of my previous pleasure I don’t know. 

At fifty-one, I chose to go off estrogen because it was linked with breast cancer and I happen to like my boobs. Unfortunately, all the good things that estrogen had provided quickly disappeared, and I dove head first into menopause becoming a cranky, bitchy, tired women who hot flashed every fifteen minutes for the next nine years. One who, even now, still runs hot and flashes every time she needs to pee.

Making love became work. My body was unresponsive, without a hint of desire or final reward. The Doc kept trying, trying so hard that I felt guilty and guilt is not an aphrodisiac. Yet for years we kept trying until I just couldn’t try anymore. 

I don’t remember the last time I had an orgasm. If I had only known my last time was going to be the last time, I think I would have tried to savor it a little longer, possibly invested some time to remember the date and circumstances of the moment. Perhaps proposed a toast: Goodbye Woooo, You will be missed.  

Thank you for reading.

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Photo:  Sydney Sims, Unsplash

40 thoughts on “This May Make You Uncomfortable

  1. I have a lot to say about this. I will have more time this weekend to dig deeper and give a more elaborate response.

    So happy to see this post!

    More later.

    PS your “issues” or “observations” are more normal than abnormal. I have done a LOT of research and some personal experiences which I will divulge in a variety of projects still in progress. But hang on to your hat. I’m on a mission. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such an important post. Unfortunately certain outlets (music videos, movies) make the concept of sex shameful, therefore people aren’t comfortable talking about it. I see it as a beautiful art. Many women of all ages have and still come to me with questions because they haven’t gotten to know their own bodies. This is definitely a topic that should be openly discussed for various reason, but from a careful perspective.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree. Things were not discussed when I was younger. I learned how to pleasure myself but struggled with partners. A lot of men didn’t think about a woman’s pleasure back then. These days I know my body all to well. We have been through a lot together.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I get it completely. I was fortunate enough when I was younger to meet some older women. We read books together & learned things, lol. As well I’ve always spoke openly w/ my children so they’ll feel comfortable coming to me with concerns or questions.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing. I have had the same type experiences that you have. Then I had surgery on my spine with complications resulting in nerve damage which causes pain, numbness an absolutely no feeling on the left side of my genitals, buttock and leg. No desire whatsoever now. Though this makes me happy to be single it does sometimes bring with it a bit of loneliness. Oh well…I guess it could always be worse.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I only ever had desire for the person I was with fairly long-term – I never had random desire to other men no matter how gorgeous I thought they were. I think many women don’t ‘get off’ on the physical act very much but many will get off on fantasies – I had to fantasise hard most of the time to have orgasms, either alone or with my current boyfriend of the time.

    Post menopause, I was terrible while I was on HRT (I had plant-based oestrogen so it wasn’t dangerous) – I went off the scale the other way and started several very ill-advised relationships which went very badly wrong (men who were much too young for me etc.)

    Post HRT, my sex drive just shut off for good. I don’t get pleasure (not even on my own and, obviously, I know what to do on my own to orgasm) – I eventually orgasm on my own but it’s a very, very weak affair – hardly noticeable really. Certainly doesn’t really raise my heartbeat or my breathing. I find that quite sad.

    There has been an awful lot written by medical folk about post-menopausal lack of libido. A lot of it is believed to be as much a lack of testosterone (females are meant to have it and it has the same result as in men) as a lack of oestrogen.

    I wonder myself though, whether it is just “nature’s way” as, no matter what, your vagina will never be supple or properly moist again post-menopause – there’s a lot of atrophying so I’m not sure we’re really designed to have sex into old age (I know people do).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There is certainly a lot of information available now. I used to be able to pleasure myself but not anymore. I have come to terms with this. There are so many other things that I enjoy.


    2. So well said. And yes, the fantasies… I looked for erotica that was well written that served some of my ideas of what is a turn-on and realized most erotica in written form is NOT to my liking. Too crude or crass, not stimulating or arousing, characters are flat, too many stupid labels for, um, appendages.. lol. So I wrote my own. I found I had a knack for it and this jumps off on a whole other topic which I will expand on later. 🙂


    3. I think I understand how you feel. After the unfortunate loss of my testes, I went into early “manopause” and libido plummeted. Unfortunately, due to some complications, HRT is not an option so I’m effectively, and by definition, a Eunuch. It took some time to get used to idea, but used to it, I got — a Eunuch’s life is hard, if nothing else is. The first part’s not true, but it’s a funny line.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We can get used to anything, especially if there is no option. We can still enjoy life. Personally I am happy to be alive at a time when such medical things are not an automatic death sentence.


      2. I must admit I don’t miss any of it – I don’t bother with relationships any more anyway as they were interfering with all the things I really wanted to do in life so I dropped them in favour of more exciting stuff! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I would be blushing if I was telling you all this face to face, but thinking things through and writing things down is a well-used process for me. Some of this was written a few years ago. It would be nice if my words offered guidance to younger women. It’s always nice to realize you are not the only one; but first they would have to read it.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Should I be commenting? Ah, why not. I think a lot of men probably need to read this post. It’s not about us. Our bodies and hormones determine our moods. As a young man, I thought a lot about sex because my body told me to think about it. It was probably because I wasn’t doing it and was curious if others were as much as they talked like they were. Men have friends they can be totally honest with, but we also have those friends whose BS meter is off the charts. As my wife and I have aged, things are different with a lesser libido. I don’t think we love each other any less. I’m not sitting around fantasizing about other women. I think where it gets tricky is when one partner wants it all the time, and the other would rather roll over and go to sleep.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. So glad you did comment. We, both women and men, are all so different yet our expectations are shaped by so many different things. Some of them things we have no control over like movies and those good at BS. Even things happening with our crazy bodies are out of our control. As we mature, hopefully we realize that a good relationship is about more than sex. It does take time though.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I admire your willingness to address this issue, and I agree with Pete in that I think one of the keys is finding a level of sexual compatibility with your partner. and yes, a relationship is much more than sex…

        Liked by 4 people

  6. There is a lot of expectation we learn from media. As a teen and young adult, I often wondered why I wasn’t feeling this passion they exposed us to in movies or even soap operas. It made me question, is it me? Am I doing something wrong? It screwed up my whole perception of what sex is, or should be, but wasn’t.

    Then a string of men who were impatient made me reflect negatively on my own sexuality. Clearly, if they complain about me, there is something wrong with me?

    It took years, and a lot or reading and writing, for me to “wake up” and understand about things like self-love or mutual satisfaction in sex.

    It’s a long journey.

    I now write stories about this topic, some of it as erotica, some of it as “dialogue between women who talk about sexual disfunction” and I’m finally ready to publish those.

    There is a need to remove the stigma that sex is bad, that female sexuality us misunderstood by women and men, and that you are not alone when you think you have a problem (because you really don’t).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know what you mean. It took a long time to feel good about myself when it came to intimacy. These days I worry about my grand daughters because with social media and all the crap out there and the bullying and nasty ness, they are going to be so confused. I, at least, was independent enough to not do most things I didn’t want to do. And I wasn’t constantly bombarded with poor stereotypes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a concern. I’m raising a 13yo girl glued to her screens, especially now thanks to covid…

        It takes a lot of dialogue, something I wasn’t given as a teen because they were uncomfortable about the topic.

        Hindsight is a wonderful thing… (I’m writing an anthology by that name and will address some of this in it).

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m sure it won’t surprise you to learn that this excellent sharing didn’t make me feel uncomfortable at all. (Not that my opinion matters: it’s your story and you should tell it.) I firmly believe that the more we talk about EVERYTHING the better everyone is in the long run. And judging by the responses in the comments, there are lots of folks who are very pleased that you covered this topic. Good on ya.

    Obviously, I can’t quite relate to some elements of your story, mostly due to biology. But I can certainly identify with other elements. In my younger decades, I was randy as hell, and my “dating” life was rather sordid. But something was always off, and it took me a while to realize that I was often seeking validation and not satisfaction. (There’s a huge story behind all that, naturally. Perhaps someday the tale will be told.)

    These days? A completely different story. The randy thoughts and the mental desires are still there, but the equipment, so to speak, has a different agenda. The combination of meds I take, especially those treating my severe anxiety issues, have almost completely eradicated my physical capability. In fact, at those times when I AM able to raise the flag, I’m rather startled, especially since it usually happens at very inopportune and potentially-embarrassing moments. (That thing STILL has a mind of its own.)

    Bottom line, sex is no longer a main feature in my life with Partner. And I’m fine with it. There are many other aspects of our our relationship that are much more satisfying. And so it goes…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nope not surprised at all that I didn’t make you uncomfortable. I agree that it is good to talk about these things. Good for everyone even if uncomfortable.
      And there was a past post of yours that humorously hinted at the fact that sex was no longer an agenda item in your relationship. I don’t recall which one. Possibly the driving in the storm. Anyway, I remember admiring the way you slipped that piece of info in there along with your ocean deep and mountain high love description. I am actually quite fine without sex in my life. Now going without sleep on the other hand is a whole different story.
      Thanks so much for your comments Brian. I always appreciate and enjoy your honest insight on my thoughts.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I love this post my friend! Brava! I am all for openly discussing sex. I will say I avoid men physicians because, in my earlier experience, they are dismissive of women’s sexual needs when considering treatment, and too many don’t take women’s complaints seriously. My best friend is dead from ovarian cancer after complaining for 8 months to the man who was supposed to be her doctor. He told her the protruding lump she felt was midlife “fatty tissue.” Shameful.
    Anyway, my libido has always been all over the place, and sex became painful at one point. I also have crazy imbalanced hormones, which led to migraines, suicidal derpression, and fertility issues. My prolapsed uterus and incompetent (wtf?) cervix didn’t play nice, either. I have been on high-dose HRT for 10 years. Not good, I know, but it’s a disaster each time I even try stopping gradually. I will say I seem to have hit a second wind in my 60s, and am enjoying sex with the right partner — plus HRT, lube, toys, and midlife-modified positions. The freedom and relief of being out of a long-term toxic relationship that spanned my 50s could also have something to do with it.
    Sorry for rambling. Thank you for another great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your comments. We women need to let each other know that there really isn’t any normal. We are all so different, with issues that are not understood in the medical community. And male doctors, like you said are useless. Some female doctors can be as well. A couple of years ago I wrote a post about the gender bias in healthcare because I was so frustrated. As far as sex goes. I say that if you get to enjoy sex again in your sixties, go for it. Enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Goodbye Woooo indeed.
    My libido and I have always had fun. Through my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s? I’d say we had riotous fun. At 50… I was misdiagnosed and by 52 had to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy. It threw me into menopause and wrecked utter havoc on my body. I gained lots of weight, was tired all the time, and flashed like I was sitting on the surface on the sun. My good friend Sex? Pfft. Gone. No desire, no arousal. I wept. I ranted. I tried hormone therapy. Nada. Now at 57… it’s a lovely but distant memory. Oh, I give it the good old college try, but my heart… not to mention other parts of my anatomy… isn’t in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m so glad I found this blog via Writer of Words. I’m 55 now, & have definitely noticed a slowing of the libido… but there are many ways to be sensual/affectionate/intimate, which don’t involve penis-in-vagina sex, or even the outcome of an orgasm (for either or both parties).

    I’m lucky: I’m comfortable having sex with men or women (mostly men till my late forties, now certainly women are more interesting), and there are many varieties of sexual expression out there, including none (hello to any Asexual folks)!

    Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to be doing it ‘right’? Who decides what is right? The Patriarchy? Capitalism? Social Media? We must take back our personal power, deal with our ageing bodies, communicate with our lovers and friends to share information and experiences, and seek as much joy as possible in as many ways as possible, some of which obviously don’t involve the bedroom.

    How lucky we have come so far that we can openly discuss such personal matters without retribution, unlike so many women around the world in less-educated societies…

    Blessings from Australia, G 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and following. I agree. We are very lucky to have the freedom we have for our personal intimate expression. Being Canadian, and in your case Australian, makes us doubly lucky. I can’t help but think of the women in Afghanistan this week with the Taliban once again taking over all the major cities. Just having the right to say no to sex is such a privilege.

      Liked by 1 person

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