Most people over 40 are established in their lives, with steady careers and families.
When seeking a new mate, you have way more responsibilities and things that demand your attention at this stage than when you were in college or just graduating.
But a changing body is still a sexual body, says Dr. Hot flashes and fatigue associated with perimenopause can wreak havoc on your energy levels, says Mc Grath, so talk to your doctor about possible hormonal remedies.
And look on the bright side: This can be a time of experimentation and freedom with sex that you didn't have when young kids were underfoot.
Myth 7: Things that once turned you on no longer work because of your age.
Truth: "This is more a fact of a long relationship than aging," says Mc Grath. Have a whole range of moves in your sexual arsenal because different things turn you on not just in different stages of life but on different days! Did you recently get a promotion at work and are feeling good about yourself? It's never too late to explore what turns you on, says Mc Grath.
Truth: Tell that to the legion of late-life moms toting their beloved "oops" babies!
"It's hard to know exactly when you'll stop ovulating, even if you're in the middle of perimenopause," says Dr. "To check when you can skip protection, your doctor can do a blood test." The level of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in your blood canreveal whether you're still fertile, but levels fluctuate during perimenopause, so even a low FSH level may be misleading. Menopause isn't official until you've gone a full year without a period, says Mc Grath. You still have to protect against sexually transmitted diseases, so use condoms until you're sure about your partner's past.
"We silently believe that only young people have sex," says Maureen Mc Grath, RN, a sex-health educator and radio host. But that doesn't mean you need it any less than other things that bring joy, satisfaction and better emotional and physical health."Your lumps, bumps and wrinkles mean nothing to 99% of men over 40," says Bobbi Palmer, founder and CEO of Date Like a Grownup."What you lack in firmness you more than make up in humor, compassion and experience.Myth 3: Your body isn't sexual once you enter perimenopause.Truth: The changes that occur in the (sometimes) years before menopause, such as irregular periods, mood changes and lack of vaginal lubrication will affect your sex life. Take dryness: Using a lubricant such as KY Jelly helps, but so does the act of having sex: "When blood goes to the genitals, the tissues remain healthy," encouraging natural lubrication.Being chronically out of energy can trigger a sex drive dip, so ask your doctor to check your thyroid levels and test you for anemia, says Mc Grath.And look at your lifestyle: Maybe you need to pare down your commitments and get better sleep by regulating your bedtime and removing un-sexy (and rest-interfering) TVs and computers from your bedroom.Most "adults" I knew, like my older brother and cousins, were hitched by 27, so my theory made sense.By the age of 27, you are several years removed from college, likely already installed in a solid job, all those obligatory one-night-stands are out of the way, and you've had enough time to settle down and find "the one." The idea of dating after 40 simply didn't exist."Introduce a vibrator, experiment with self-stimulation, try new positions," suggests Mc Grath. Truth: This one persists for good reason—it makes sense that you'd be more worn-out now than you were 20 years ago.But it's more likely that "I'm too tired" is an excuse to avoid sex.