I've always felt too much guilt to enjoy sex – and now I've got no libido either

At last, I’ve met someone I would like to enjoy life with. But, thanks to my Catholic upbringing, I’ve always had problems with sex, and now I’m perimenopausal

I have always had problems with sex due to my Catholic upbringing and have never been able to relax with a man. For the first time in my life I have finally met someone who I would really like to enjoy it with, but now I have no libido due to being perimenopausal. I feel really disappointed. I still have my emotional barriers, but I now also have physical dysfunction. Can anything be done?

Being perimenopausal is not a dysfunction. It is a normal transition period, and does not necessarily curtail sexual enjoyment – although it is commonly a time when hormonal changes can affect sexual desire, arousal and/or orgasm to some degree. Let go of your expectations that sex should be a certain way, or follow a certain pattern, and try to allow yourself to accept pleasure. Just the fact that you say you would like to have enjoyment with him means that it is entirely possible. Try not to be anxious and focus, instead, on simply having fun; this will relax you and very likely lead to mounting desire. If physical touching begins between you, try not to second guess the next step, but simply try to enjoy each caress in the moment. If your mind is constantly questioning “What if …?”, that will sabotage your chance to experience pleasure. This psychological impediment to sex is far more of a problem than perimenopause. Invite pleasure into your life and allow yourself to have a satisfying sexual relationship for the first time.

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