sex

"It's gifted me with rampant sexual energy." What no one told me about turning 40.

It’s Tuesday night. Day 8 of my cycle. And you know what that means. I’ve been slowly clawing at the walls for the past week and am about to plunge into the darkest, most violent depths of horniness.

It’s just a little something that my forties have gifted me with — rampant sexual energy that is even more fierce than what I experienced in my youth (which is saying a lot). I’m fairly certain that at this point in my life and this point in my cycle, I could summon dick from a mile away with a force that would send me flying. You know…like Magneto flattening someone with a streetlight.

Bam! F*cked.

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I didn’t go into my forties with any kind of grace. Honestly, it was terrifying. I’d just been left by the man I thought I would marry — and not just left, but left for another woman. A much younger woman.

I was always smiling on the outside — because that’s what I do — but on the inside, I was trembling. I only saw flaws in the mirror. I felt so old and useless. I genuinely didn’t believe that anyone, especially a man, would ever be able to look at me as a sexual being again.

It seemed like I should just lie down on the floor, curl up into a ball, and wither away like the old crone I was becoming.

And don’t even get me started on how I felt about not having had the child I had always dreamed of. There was a time when I envisioned my uterus as a dried up husk that was left behind after the beautiful, juicy, tender tomatillo inside it had rotted away. (Yes, even my imagination is melodramatic and filled with poetic metaphors.)

What was I going to do with myself? I wondered, as I’d stare into the mirror, counting my wrinkles and wondering if my ex was pounding away at his new, young lover in that very moment. Who was I as a woman? Where was I headed?

Was it all over?

Let me tell you a little secret if you are creeping toward 40 and pretending not to freak out about it: The forties are f*cking glorious. Granted, I’m only three years in, but it’s been a pretty sweet ride so far.

It’s true, I’m still single and not getting much — okay any — action with an actual person. But you know…I can take care of myself. And I do. Often.

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So why is it so great? Let me enlighten you.

Mamamia’s award-winning podcast The Split discusses navigating separation and dating again. Post continues after audio.

I’m more confident

I know exactly how my body gets to orgasm. I know every little thing it likes. I know what it needs to feel loved, I know what it needs to feel aroused, and I know what it needs to get off. And I’m no longer too shy to clearly communicate this.

And though I struggle deeply to this day with body image issues, I’m healthier and more willing to be vulnerable than I’ve ever been.

Let me put it this way: I’m not going to let my stretch marks or my chubby ass keep me from having an orgasm.

My mind is wide open

Though I’ve always been very sexually open-minded about other people’s sex lives, I’ve been pretty traditional and conservative in my own sexual expression.

But being single and childless in middle age has one distinct advantage: I don’t have to worry about upholding an institution within my life that I created in my youth.

In other words, nothing is holding me back. I can consider being in an open relationship, having a threesome, or being full-on polyamorous because I have no marriage that would be threatened. I have no child whose worldview revolves around having two monogamous parents.

It feels like everything is possible and my response to things that used to feel too daring for me are now often met with the question: Why not?

My libido is deliciously high

This isn’t really anything new for me. I’ve always had a high sex drive. But when I hit those hormonal peaks…damn.

That’s not ideal being single in a conservative town where everyone has been married since they were 20, but again, I can take care of myself for now and channel some of this energy into my work.

The best part about this, however, is that at a time in a woman’s life when she’s entering middle age and doubting her sexual viability, feeling this intense sexual energy reminds me that I’m still me. I’m still here. I’m still a goddess.

Everyone is attractive

Who knew there would be a point in my life where I would find so many age groups attractive? I love a young man in his twenties with that plump, delicious skin that looks like a ripe fruit. I also love a man with grey hair and thick knuckles that would look so hot against my smooth (okay, stretch-marked) skin. Yum.

I always felt an attraction to women, even in my youth, but now my tongue falls out of my mouth every time I see a little cleavage on social media or a woman with a bouncy ass at the grocery store.

Yes, I will take everything on the menu. Thanks.

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My ex got divorced from his young bride recently and had to move back in with his parents. Though I’m still processing a lot, I mostly have little anger left, and perhaps even less pain. I’m even starting to feel compassion for him and I occasionally send him loving thoughts.

I think about him as I write this, probably sitting on the brown and yellow couch in his parents’ living room. He’s 34 now. Like me, he’s probably not having sex, unless he’s changed his MO since his divorce.

I think about how much his departure made me doubt myself and my sexuality. How much of myself I almost lost because I let him dictate my worth as a woman and as a human being.

Now I have a totally different perspective. I feel a little bit sorry for him. Because he hopped off this train way too soon.

These past few years, he might have been enjoying sex two or three times a day on a pretty regular basis. He’s missing some steamy naked photos and countless filthy text messages. And maybe I wouldn’t decide to suggest opening our relationship, but damn, I have no doubt he would enjoy hearing all the smutty details of the fantasies I’ve been having since I turned 40 — all the things I let myself think about that I hadn’t considered before.

He would’ve come in his pants to see me bring sex toys into the bedroom, to suggest we read erotic literature together, or to watch porn more often.

He’s missing the person who’s now willing to shove her ass in the air to wordlessly ask for the spankings he used to love to give me, the person who is just confident enough to suggest a few sexual experiences we never got around to trying because I was too shy.

I really do feel sad for him because I am just hitting my sexual peak and he’s missing the whole damn thing while sleeping across the hall from his parents and signing alimony checks to send to his beautiful, sexy, young ex-wife.

This is one of the miracles of womanhood, I am discovering. We are blessed with this magical, mysterious gift of contradiction. We enter middle age only to have our bodies turn us into horny teenagers. We have the wisdom of our experience and the libido of an 18-year-old boy.

And I wouldn’t trade any of it — not even for a more youthful face.

I’d rather have the orgasms, thank you.

This post originally appeared on Medium and has been republished with full permission. 

Yael Wolfe is a writer, artist, and photographer whose work explores relationships, gender equality, and spirituality. She is passionate about female sexual empowerment and won’t stop howling until all women have achieved it. FInd more from her on her Twitter and Instagram

Feature Image: Getty.

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