Baby Boomer Women Have Lost the Urge

Baby Boomer Women Have Lost the Urge

by Dr. Michael B. Finkelstein, M.D., F.A.C.P., A.B.H.M.
posted on November 30th 2010

As millions of women enter perimenopause and then transition into menopause and beyond, many female baby boomers say they have lost the urge to have sex. Clinically known as HSDD (hypoactive sexual desire disorder) more and more of these women are coming forward, at least in part, by the success of male potency drugs like Viagra. 

While male sex drive is easy to define, and relatively easy to restore, that is often not the case for women. Because the female sex drive is multifactorial, the desire to make love is not only influenced by physical issues but emotional ones as well. 

Although part of the desire to make love is clearly physical, it is multidimensional. It has an emotional component that can be influenced by depression and other personal issues present in a woman’s life. 

What is going on here?

If sex is the principle vehicle for intimacy between a couple, than the importance placed on sex becomes so over inflated it will be hard to sustain. The fact is intimacy must be cultivated after the initial fire dies down. By “mid−life,” especially when we go through transitional periods, whether they be physical, such as menopause, emotional, when we become empty nesters, or professional, such as retirement or job loss, it is critical that we have something in place that fulfills our wider need for intimacy. 

Even in cases where medical or physical conditions are a factor, the importance of non−physical intimacy cannot be ignored. This is why I recommend that couples regularly engage in other activities that breed togetherness. This can include playing a game, whether it is on a board or a court, hiking, painting, or gardening. There are a myriad of exciting activities that bring people together, that will create balance in the relationship, and that are not so dependent on “performance”, particularly when expectations are unrealistically raised through the media and other images that abound. Furthermore, as we age, we must come to grips with our changing appearance. If we are limiting our self−esteem to what we see in the mirror, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. By mid−life, we need to take notice and turn on our “wisdom genes” and embrace the life we have. It is time to shift our thinking to what is inside. Indeed, we can feel sexy and our body will be sexy if we can hold that feeling within. 

Attractiveness can become a common issue between couples at this stage in life. However, remembering that love can evolve and that beauty is something that is mostly inside, I would strongly urge couples to get outdoors and pursue a mutual passion, or find one! Nature is a powerful force and in the presence of such beauty we will feel more alive and healthier. Similarly, appreciating or creating art in one of its many variations can bring passion, love, and beauty into the relationship. I would recommend that you consider these concepts and try them on. Look in the mirror less and immerse yourself in beauty. Ultimately, the antidote to this “problem” is to bring that beauty inside.

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