Gone are the days when the stigma of older women meant less sex drive. We can say goodbye to the dodgy aphrodisiacs like oysters, chocolate, ginseng because new research has found that there is something much more empowering than food choices – and it gets better with age.
Professor Beth Montemurro from Pennsylvania State University interviewed 95 women between the ages of 20 and 68 as part of a study into sexual evolution. She was able to find that as women matured, their attitudes on sex, relationships and self-worth altered in a surprising way. She believes that sexuality is a prime source of identification and several milestone events can change the way we feel about ourselves leading to heightened libidos.
She found that women’s experiences in life, particularly motherhood, employment promotions, marriage, giving birth, menopause and even getting divorced all empower women during sex. This is because they all improve the feelings of self worth.
She found that before the women were married, most had little sexual experience and gave little thought to their sexual desires. But as they aged and these milestones were reached or these events occurred, their attitude to sex changed.
Professor Montemurro has said, “Studying sexuality and women’s sexual agency is important because sexuality has been linked to physical health and mental well-being”.
We can understand how giving birth, getting a promotion or getting married boost self confidence and self worth, but how about getting divorced and going through menopause?
She said, “Some women, especially older women, felt divorce bolstered their self confidence. In many cases they looked at divorce not as an ending, but as a second chance to seek out something they wanted, rather than following their partner’s lead”. Many of the women that participated in the study said it inspired an attitude of self discovery and gave them a chance to seek sexual relationships on their own terms. She added, “They may be less sexually active right now than before they were married, but feel better about sex because they felt like they were doing it for the right reasons”.
As for menopause, even though it signifies the end of our days as a reproductive being, it gives us a new sense of womanhood and with it, an element of freedom. It gives us a level of acceptance towards ageing that we haven’t had before and with it comes a newfound confidence in our body and our self.
So if the secret to a good libido lies in renewing our self confidence, how can we make sure we hold onto it on a daily basis?
There are some small things that we can do everyday to help improve our own self worth. They are small but with regular practice they will help to make you feel confident, proud and happy every day. Our five favourite things are: