Desire and menopause. Interview with sexologist Roberta Rossi

Her latest book is making people talk about herself and is telling many Italian women what sexuality is, what is normal, how we are made and what really happens between the sheets. But it is not a scientific invention: it is the result of the words of over 16 thousand women who told themselves in a questionnaire.

Anatomy, auto-eroticism, orgasm, clitoris, sex, fantasies, sex toys: these are just some of the contents of this sometimes surprising book. “ I’ll come first. Guide to pleasure and female orgasm “(is the title) was released last September 24 for Fabbri editori and has already become a kind of best seller, chatted (certainly) above all by the media who are curious about it and who tell it through interviews and questions to Dr. Roberta Rossi , before being author, sexologist and president of FISS (Italian Federation of Scientific Sexology).

An authoritative voice, capable however of addressing issues considered by the most spicy or embarrassing but which in reality are (or should be) an integral part of the active life of every woman (and every man).

Menopause and sexual desire: but… can it really exist?

The question about sexual desire in menopause is one of the most frequently asked questions that women ask on social networks and on the internet: every month over 1600 women search for information on the net about the decrease in desire . A theme, therefore, deeply felt: ” Menopause certainly has a physiological importance in the birth of desire – specifies Roberta Rossi – desire is in fact also a hormonal issue and therefore there is also a biological concomitance in the fact that many women feel, in this period of life, of not having the same desire as always “.

There can really be a few moments of impasse when menopause arrives and it’s not just the brainchild. Perhaps this is why so many people – reassured by the secrecy of their personal monitors – seek information on why from a certain point in life you no longer feel that urge to contact your partner .

Many women tend to worry about it, others justify it with a shrug, blaming age and making up for it. But that’s not how we go further, that we return to love. Because in menopause not only can you still love, but you must because intimacy is a nourishment for body and mind and can even reduce some discomfort due to the stiffening of the vaginal walls .

There are those who, in menopause, continue to love. And it’s not a question of luck

Yet … yet it is not always the case. “ The psyche and enthusiasm can do a lot – continues the sexologist – as happens for example when and if there is a new love story . When mind and good humor put theirs into it, physiological deficiencies can also be brilliantly overcome .

There are menopausal women who ask for help because they want to make love with their partner – continues Roberta Rossi – but they cannot because of a strong vaginal dryness , or because they know they have a problem of Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy . The message that must pass is that menopause is not blocking , it is not a factor that prevents love or a complete relationship so you must consult a specialist to help overcome these difficulties. It is certainly an important and extremely personal event: there is no media that can be done, every woman is different ”, specifies the sexologist.

In the book there is an entire chapter dedicated to this topic in which exactly this is stated: “The presence or absence of sexual desire must always refer to the context: it is an important signal that allows you to understand if the situation you are experiencing [… ] If you are serene and feel gratified and loved , whether you are in a couple or not, you will probably be able to get involved from a sexual point of view even in the absence of spontaneous desire, which maybe will show up later “.

When the mind is rowing against sexual desire

So feeling that push, that impulse that brings us closer to our partner is possible even after menopause . But the mind has to work with us and for us.

When menopause arrives, many women can go through a difficult time from a psychological point of view: anxiety , a tendency to throw themselves off , the appearance of a few extra pounds or a few more wrinkles, the irritability that can be so strong as to even generate crisis of a couple or tension with children and relatives. Situations that generate other tensions, such as a vicious circle that brings with it other anxiety and other problems. A condition that can represent a contingent situation of decreased desire because it has a strong impact on the sexual response , or the ability to let go and take in the moment.

But what to do in these cases? “Don’t be a heroine, don’t try to solve the problem yourself: ask for help”. First of all to a gynecologist who can examine your biological situation and understand if the decrease in desire can be linked – for example – to a problem of dyspareunia and then to a sexologist or a psychotherapist who can help to understand what is happening and to find a way to overcome the block.

Orgasm is not a goal to be achieved

A fundamental part of women ‘s questions concerns the pleasure issue. First of all let’s say it clearly and loudly: even in menopause you feel pleasure , the end of fertile life has nothing to do with the ability to let go and reach the apex during a moment of passion. There are physical conditions that can weaken pleasure, but menopause itself is certainly not one of them.

But to reach this moment, alone or in the company of your partner, you need to know yourself, your body, your tastes and even your ability to let go . And then … love and passion are not aimed at the final goal. If this were the case, sexuality would be mere exercise. What is important is the enjoyment of the “journey”, of the moment of intimacy, with or without penetration, of cuddling and the pleasure of being together, simply. Seen in this light, love is much more delicate, much more normal and practicable at any age.

Pleasure is a topic that is of great interest to postmenopausal women also because in a few years (from 1990 to today) we have gone from a taboo vision of menopausal sexuality to a decidedly clearer, uninhibited and informed look, a panorama in which (finally!) we can talk about love even after the “door” without fear of inappropriate judgments.

Don’t you think so? Well, this fear of judgment is one of the factors that could most hinder the pleasure of continuing to find the partner intimately, after the age of 50.

Complicity: the secret to finding pleasure and maintaining the relationship

“Couples who have built a strong intimate complicity during their life together have all the credentials to continue to have satisfying sexuality , indeed: being released from the dynamics of procreation could help you focus even more on knowing your desires. of the other and on mutual listening “. It reads in the book.

“ Sexuality, in short, has no expiration date . It accompanies you throughout your life, if you want it, but it changes, matures, changes through the ages. It is in your power to keep it alive if you wish, but learn to listen to your needs and be willing to evolve with them. Free yourself from stereotypes that risk immobilizing you: do not believe those who tell you that mature age must be “asexual”, do not listen to those who claim that the only “sexual” bodies are thin, toned and performing ones. The beauty of human sexuality, in fact, is that it is not made up of actions and performances : it is made of abandonment, perceptions and intimacy. And in abandonment, in perceptions and intimacythere is room for all bodies, for all ages ”.


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