We live in a society which is obsessed with youth and beauty, and hence it is no surprise that when some women hit 40, they think their best days are behind them. Not so! Many women find that they have more confidence, power and sexual enjoyment in their 40s and beyond, and this is likely because they know what they want and they know exactly how to get it.
Of course, women over 40 do have some unique concerns when it comes to health and sexual wellbeing, but thankfully, these issues are often easily treated. Consider the following:
Turn down the heat. With menopause comes those dreaded hot flashes, but there are many ways to help turn down the heat. First, make sure to layer, layer, layer so that you can peel off items without flashing anyone when those flashes strike, and second, invest in lightweight sleepwear like that wicks away sweat from the body to keep you cool and dry during the night. Avoid heat-increasing food like spicy foods, and decrease your caffeine and alcohol intake, as these beverages can increase your internal temperature. Instead, drink plenty of ice cold water. Lastly, avoid cigarettes, as smoking has been linked with increased hot flashes (as if you needed one more reason not to smoke!).
Monitor your diet. Sadly, aging makes it more difficult for women to stay fit and trim. Many women find that menopause brings on the so-called “Buddha belly,” in which weight starts to accumulate around the midsection. While a few extra pounds can add to your curve appeal, most women want to keep their tummy as flat as possible. To this end, it’s important to cut back on foods like white bread, rice and pasta, which don’t offer much nutritional value and pack on the bulge. Instead, reach for whole grains, lean proteins, and fresh fruits and veggies. Beware of prepackaged diet fare which can be high in sodium (sodium can lead to belly bulge), and avoid processed foods when possible. Eat whole and real, and stop eating when you are full. Cut back on the wine and alcohol – those empty calories will hit you where it hurts!
Exercise with sexuality in mind. Running on the treadmill hardly sounds sexy or enjoyable, but a sexy burlesque class might be just the thing to trim your middle and get you back in touch with your sensual side. Round up your girlfriends and plan a weekly dance class, whether it’s burlesque, hip-hop or even pole-dancing. Looking good and feeling good go hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to movements that get you back in touch with your inner vixen.
Get your hormones on track. Menopause and perimenopause can cause shifting hormones, as can hormonal contraceptives. (Ironically, hormonal contraceptives can actually lead to a decrease in libido in some women.) You might consider switching to a contraceptive with a lower dose of estrogen, or you could check out the non-hormonal IUD (an intrauterine device that is implanted by a doctor and lasts for years). Talk to your doctor to find out what your options are, and get your hormone levels tested if you think something might be out of whack.
Invest in the right sex aids. As women age, they tend to experience some sexual side effects such as dryness or difficulty reaching orgasm. If you want more intensity, you can use over-the-counter sex aids such as a female arousal gel that enhances sexual pleasure. Sex toys can also be a wonderful way to increase your pleasure and heighten your sexual arousal. There are plenty of options to choose from, whether you are looking for a small clitoral vibrator or a G-spot massager with all the bells and whistles. Look for a toy that can bring you that extra stimulation and help take you over the top, whatever style that might be.
Remember, there is no expiration date on sexuality and confidence. With a few adjustments, you can keep working it long into the future!