I can vividly remember a conversation with a girlfriend of mine when I lived in California. Back then, she was approaching 40, while I was 35 and a stay-at-home mum with two small children under two years old.
This friend told me that she and her husband were trying to have sex 100 days in a row. My first thought: That’s not possible! My second thought: No freakin’ way! Then, all of a sudden, all I felt was self-conscious and inept about my dead libido.
I was perpetually exhausted, and my libido was shot. There is nothing sexy about being home with your kids all day, every day; changing diapers, whipping out your boobs on a regular basis for feeding small, dependent humans.
The day is filled with cleaning, feeding, micromanaging and, let’s be honest, most of those early years are spent trying to make sure your children don’t ‘off themselves’ by accident. Sweat pants and dirty hoodies made up my wardrobe. When my husband would get home from work, all I wanted was some alone time, free from children, calm and quiet, in my bedroom. Alone.
Those years were some of the toughest I have ever experienced. I wanted to do better, but I literally had nothing left to give at the end of every day, least of all sex.
Fast forward to 40
Five nearly sexless years passed. I’m not proud of it.
In fact, it’s a time I still harbour guilt and confusion around. Then, all of a sudden, my sex drive was back – with a vengeance. No more sex once a month or every six weeks. We had sex three times a day for weeks at a time.
We got adventurous and began to experiment with bondage, anal sex and sex toys! It was freeing, fun, satisfying, and no longer a struggle to get in the mood. I was much happier, as was my husband; we were a much happier couple.
Sure, there were phases where we didn’t have sex all that often. Being 40 comes with its own brand of tired that isn’t prevalent in your 20s. But those lapses didn’t last that long anymore and we began to trust that they were simply little blips in an otherwise sexually healthy marriage.
LISTEN: Rebecca Sparrow and Robin Bailey deep dive on all the brilliant things that happen once you turn 40. Post continues after.
It’s a biological drive
So why the sudden shift from the sexual doldrums to rock star status? Well, I can’t say for sure, but researchers at the University of Texas believe it may have to do with how we evolved. In the past, women tended to lose many of their children in childbirth or, later, to disease, starvation or warfare. As a result, couples tried to have as many children as possible.