I often hear from people, “I could never talk to my mom about sex.” And believe me, I get that. My mom never gave me the green light to use tampons or shave my thighs. We could talk about everything in this world except sex. But, all that changed last year when my eyes were opened to how menopause affects our sexual health – the toll it takes both emotionally and physically – and I wanted to know my mom was okay.
This Mother’s Day, I challenge you to get over the weirdness. For her sake, and yours. To help, I went ahead and wrote a little letter for all the daughters looking out for their mamas out there with the hope that you can share it along with a sexual wellness gift. Maybe she’s recently single, maybe she’s been married 30+ years, maybe you have no idea if she’s experiencing menopausal symptoms. Whatever the case, her sexual health matters. And chances are she’s writing it off too soon.
Dear (Mom, Momma, Mama, Mommy, Ma),
This may come as a surprise but hear me out.
This Mother’s Day, I want to talk to you about sex.
I don’t want any details (about you and dad / your partner). Really. Ever. But, recently I’ve learned how prevalent, serious, and isolating the sexual health side effects of menopause can be and that far too many women give up on this important part of their lives too soon (nearly 50% of women in their 50s to be exact). I know that if there was something this important to my physical and emotional well-being you would talk to me about it. No matter how uncomfortable it may be. So, here we go…
Here’s what I’ve learned:
- YOUR HEALTH. From reduced stress and better sleep to lower blood pressure and a decreased risk of heart disease – sexual wellness is an important part of our overall health. And, it turns out, the benefits can get even better with age. From peri-to post-menopause, regular sexual activity – with or without a partner – can strengthen your vaginal muscles, improve natural lubrication, reduce incontinence, and more. (I also recently learned what ‘incontinence’ means…why don’t people talk about this more?!)
- YOUR HAPPINESS. Self-care means your whole self. Women who honor and nurture their sexuality later in life report improved overall happiness in their personal and romantic relationships.
- YOUR CONFIDENCE: Due to shame or embarrassment, 75% of women don’t seek help for the sexual health side effects of menopause even though up to 90% of us will experience symptoms. Whatever you’re feeling, you’re not alone, and you have a whole lot of life left to live (with as much s-e-x as you wish).
I think you know where this is going, but try not to freak out when you open the box. This gift is intended to help you prioritize your sexual wellness. At the end of the day, shouldn’t this feel as natural and healthy as our skin and exercise routines?
I can only imagine what you’re thinking right now (maybe time for that glass of wine?). But after learning about all this recently, I realized I couldn’t let a little legacy taboo get in the way of looking out for your health and well-being.
All my love,
PS – we tend to hit menopause at about the same age as our mamas. So, if you’re willing, I’d love to know what I’m in for (minus the nitty gritty details of your sex life, of course).
Coffee date next week?