As I previously said my experience started a while ago. How did I first know something was amiss? Well aside from the fact I had started to cry too ‘Come dine with me‘ other noticeable changes were coming to the surface. After confirming with my partner that a vital part of our relationship was lacking I booked an appointment at our doctors.
Ian my partner does actually have the patience of saint, he put up with me sans menopause which at times is no mean feat. However this rebellious addition to the menopause clan did have the potential to ‘rock the boat’ or not; as the case may be.
Speaking of ‘rocking the boat’ I will give you some background. I /We didn’t just come to this conclusion (see what I did there) it was after much soul searching, some squabbling and mulling over the options that eventually led to acceptance.
Soul searching – this involves looking at yourself and delving into the deepest darkest parts of your sexual psyche. Am I too fat, too thin (fat chance), too old, too moody (not sure any of these would have put him off ) too frigid, unattractive. These are some of the endless possibilities of why the carnal desire is no longer there. Ladies try looking at yourself first before your partner on these ones – it cuts out the waste. I’m joking. Once all vows confirmed, yes I do still love you, no I don’t want anyone else, no you’re not too fat, of course I don’t prefer the women in porn videos (we have all asked right) then it can only mean one thing, Houston we do have a problem.
Squabbling – I would like to say that my Ian and I don’t do this, no need, we can talk about all our issues like the adults we are. Forget it ladies all rationale is going to go out of the window. If I had a fiver for every time I have threated to leave. Which is ironic because it is normally me being the TWAT. (sorry there is no non swear word equivalent). Anyway we did and it got nowhere, well I say nowhere it did cause what was sometimes a welcome distraction to the silence.
Mulling over the options – this has included the consideration of the following in no particular order: Chinese herbal remedy – booked an appointment, chickened out at the thought of snorting tigers tail or inhaling elephants husks. Discussion with the friends. All my friends are either too young or are not perimenopausal, yet. And some of them (not naming names) are quite happy to give up on a sex life all together. Sorry not for me. I am not dead yet.
I remember discussing sex life in your forties with my mum. I have a very open relationship with my mum, much to her dismay. She doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, has only had one sexual partner her whole life and her main relationship is with Jesus. So the expression “ you’re just like your mum” doesn’t leave many of her church going friends lips.
Anyway I once asked her A. Did she and my dad still have sex. B. Why did they give up. C. Had she heard of the ‘ Rabbit’. I have a funny story that will give you some insight to the prompting of such intimate questions.
My dad was diagnosed with diabetes, type two, many years ago. He and mum were probably my age now at the time of this story. Anyway let’s just say this interfered with certain aspects of my dad’s anatomy that impacted both of them. I was at the time of this story living at home and would have been in my early twenties. As a family we were used to seeing all sorts of meds and syringes in the fridge due to my dad’s illness and normally I wouldn’t have taken any particular notice. However on this occasion I noticed a weird looking contraption, a bit like a needle with liquid in; I assumed it was a new type of hypodermic for dad’s daily injection. The same weekend I came home from a night out earlier than planned to find my dad lying on the sofa with cold, wet towels wrapped around his ankles. Was he ok, did he need medical attention I was genially concerned, anyway he waved me away telling me he was fine and to bugger off. RUDE.
The next day I noticed that the weird looking medicine was in the bin; all of it. Concerned and being a nosy bint, I asked them both why? Sheepishly they said not to worry. I pressed on, worried dad was abstaining from a vital med, but he wouldn’t give an inch. Later on with dad out the room I asked mum again (she’s a terrible liar). Turns out it was a new sort of male enhancer aimed at men with diabetes. Did it work? No she said. The only bloody thing to swell up had been my dad’s ankles! And he was never trying again. Poor mum. If only she knew about the Rabbit.
Ok where was I, oh yeah, Chinese medicine – tick. All of the obvious; new underwear, nights away, new clothes for Ian, role-play, diet, no alcohol, loads of alcohol – tick, tick , tick. The problem was it wasn’t the want; it was the will, the desire had gone. Trust me Tom Hardy could’ve offered up his services and there would’ve been no point. (Tom if you’re reading this, I would, for research purposes be willing to test out this theory now). In the pursuit of ruling out all options I tried to see if I was able to turn on my own lamp, so to speak. Nothing! not even an industrial sized generator could ignite a spark. Trust me I know, I’m still banned from all building sites in Gateshead and the surrounding areas! Recently I was trying to describe it to some friends and the only way I can is this. It’s like switching on a light switch but the bulb has gone and you can’t replace it.
Ok acceptance – off to the doctors I went. Took a while to get here didn’t it. In the interest of DPA (remember my profile, I work in a contact centre) I will call him Dr Beat. For those of you similar age to me, you’ll get why. If you’re too young to understand the connection, file this away for a few years. This doesn’t concern you.
Dr Beat was/is; he’s not dead, a Jewish, grey haired man in his mid-50s. Nothing wrong with any of this unless you are a mid-40s, dark haired woman, wanting to discuss why you feel dead from the hips down. I say hips as the urge to dance has diminished due to the constant tiredness. Buts that another story….
“What seems to be the problem Mrs De-Camp”
“ MISS it’s MISS!.” Off to a good start, “I don’t think I am well” .
“Good, good he said you’re in the right place.” Pause for laughter.
“I seem to have lost my sex drive, I am constantly crying for no reason and am very irritable for no apparent reason.”
“ Mmmm let me see, how old are you”
“ Perfectly normal at your age; and you’re probably depressed”
“Sorry, you are saying it’s perfectly normal to not want to have sex at 43, and for the record I have never suffered from depression, have no reason to be depressed and have no worries.”
“ Yes, yes, we just have to accept some things will change once we hit a certain age”
“ So do you not have sex anymore?” I always ask doctors if they have or had suffered symptoms the same as me, I’m not sure why. But sometimes you get some interesting answers. Dr Beat didn’t miss one.
“ Irrelevant he said, do you want anti-depressants?”
“Why, so the fact I don’t feel anything downstairs will counter act the fact that upstairs won’t know or care”
Was what I should’ve have said. I didn’t; I skulked out and booked the next available appointment with a female doctor.