Hmmph! You learn something new every day!
Last night, I was texting with my friend Jen. She is an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) like I am and she sees patients in private practice. She recently completed a program and received her certification as a Sex Therapist. Yes, like, Sex Therapist. Whoa.
The program was very rigorous. She had to travel back and forth to Detroit for classes and seminars (she is also a working mom with 3 kids but unlike me she has a helpful husband who was supportive), write papers, study, and then had 300 case hours and 50 hours of supervision to get her certification. This has been a labor of love. Or lust since we are talking about sex. I’m really proud of her! Last week I started my couples therapy training and it is hard to do that plus my regular job in addition to kids. Kuddos to my friend Jen!
She is not a bitch.
She is just a super cool, busy woman that gets stuff done.
So, we were texting/talking about her program and the one I started and she told me of some difficulties she is having in the deep South getting patient referrals. People just aren’t comfortable talking about sex! We all do it, or should do it, some people have issues that could be helped, but they are hesitant to seek treatment. She told me of some misconceptions she is encountering about sexuality during and after menopause, like for instance that older women have less interest during that time, more painful sex, etc. and that you don’t necessarily have to have those things.
I said, “Well, I can be a case study because I can say without a doubt that I am having the best sex ever at this point in my life.”
I got it goin on.
Then I told her even more of my private business.
Like the fact that I was having tons of hot flashes a month ago and then Al came and I had complete and total love immersion, including sex immersion (no lube needed) and haven’t have a hot flash since. I had just chalked it up to the fact that Al must be in fact the antidote to menopause. Then Jen informed me of this, via text:
I’m just going to type our conversation.
J: Yes, increased orgasms whether they come from masturbation or with a partner increase the estrogen circulating through your body and this helps with all of the secondary issues for menopause. So you should have increased blood flow and lubrication if you are having more orgasms.
J:That’s the science. 🙂
Well howdy: CM
J: They tell us to use it or lose it.
Haha. Maybe my hot 2nd marriage at 50 will make menopause less difficult. CM
J: Yes. There are things women can do about decreased ability for arousal (which they do have due to problems with lubrication and blood flow) to help them have good experiences and sexual satisfaction.
Well, I’m all for that! CM
J: Yes, you have to Moisturize and lubricate and stretch.
Moisturize what exactly? I use Lube if I need it. CM
J: You need to be moisturizing not just lubricating.
My lady bits? CM
J:Yes, 3 things. Moisturize, Lubricate and Stretch. Moisturize is with something called Luvena or Replens. You do it every third night if you are perimenopausal or menopausal.
You do realize I don’t even use moisturizer consistently on my FACE. CM
J:The moisturizer is sort of like a yeast infection treatment consistency in that the applicator is the same.
Oh Law, I had no idea.CM
J:Moisturizer just keeps the tissue healthy with a good pH and moisturizes. As you get older the vaginal barrel thins and gets dry and becomes irritated so when people have sex this causes issues with pain and discomfort.
Okay, now I, who read a lot and am not uninformed about most things, had NO idea about this stuff. So I imagine that most women have no clue that this needs moisturizing. And Stretching? OMG. CM.
J:The jury is still out as to whether estrogen causes low desire but we know it makes the situation less conducive to sex and causes pain if you have not lubricated and moisturized.
Oh my Heavens, we will see how often I can remember to do this! As if women weren’t busy enough, now we have to moisturize our privates! CM
J: I’m going to put you some samples in my bag! Will try not to let the kids see what I’m handing off to you!
Thank you!! The Gyno’s really need to be telling us this! Who Knew? CM
End of text.
Why yes, I think I will choose a healthy vagina, please Sir!
Now we have one more thing to add to our ‘To Do’ lists. But it sounds pretty important. We didn’t get to talk about stretching, and that whole concept frightens me, but I will let you know when I get the drill. (Not a real drill, they don’t stretch, but the information.)
Sorry any male readers, especially Al, who is a consistent male reader. and probably wants to go and bleach his eyeballs right now.