Are you Sexually Active.......

It’s funny I can always count on two things when I ask people in my clinical practice if they are sexually active;  men will usually say yes and may even boast a bit, whereas women on the other hand will never give me a yes or no. Rather, they will say something like, “yes, no, maybe, no, I don’t know” or some variation thereof.

 Today I asked Margaret, a a senior patient of mine if she was sexually active and true to form her answer was not yes or no, it was, “I suppose you could say that I am,” she said with a chuckle.  She then burst out laughing! She explained that although she engaged in sex with her husband of sixty years, it was none too frequent any more and half the time she said she did not enjoy it. 

 In her infinite wisdom,  Margaret said most women never talk about whether or not they enjoy sex and I think they are ashamed to say it if they do.  By the same token, women don’t want to say they do enjoy it because there is a societal shame associated with that as well.  Margaret said there are times when she enjoys having sex but for the most part, she is thinking, “you woke me up for that?”

Now this little Irish lady has got me laughing! But she is right and she has probably provided me the wisdom (as the Irish tend to) as to why I never get a straight answer from women about whether or not they are sexually active. A paradigm shift needs to take place when it comes to female sexuality and women need to proclaim their place in the bedroom and find comfort in the knowledge that being sexually active is healthy and pleasurable.

 We can learn a lot from the women who came before us. (Pun intended, of course). We as women need to feel comfortable with our sexuality and ditch any shame.  Margaret could not have agreed with me more and said “after all, look at me, I am eighty years old and still having sex, even if I don’t always enjoy it. But that is OK too.

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