SPICE OR MORE BAKEWELL SLICE? WHAT HAS MIDLIFE DONE TO YOUR SEX LIFE?
It's seven o'clock on a weekend morning and it's not only the birds that are 'up'. Look. It's medical. Men get erections in the morning when they wake up. It's not like my husband of 26 years has turned over, seen my squashed-been-in-bed-for-nine-hours face, whiffed my morning breath coupled with the faint niff of body odour as I've been sweating my knockers off in the night (peri-menopausal night sweats are pants), then gazes at my hair that has had a fire cracker gone off in it and thought 'Phoarrrr I'd like to give her one'. Jennifer Anniston I ain't.
I'm laying there in my jersey vest (FYI I prefer black from Top Shop) with mis-matched jersey harems (I can't sleep if I'm naked) and sometimes a pair of socks depending on the season - oh yeah, I'm screaming sexy. This outfit isn't akin to raising extra morning bonking interest - and it isn't meant to - in fact if only I could quickly throw on my chastity belt I'd be far happier. The hubby, ever patient, every happy to retrieve whatever sexual bone he's been thrown (excuse the pun), is happy to ignore my 'Stig of the Dump does yoga' look in favour of a quick shag.
The problem for the 48 year old peri-menopausal me, is that my libido is currently 'out of office'. She's not returning emails or calls, although she did once Whatsapp me on a Saturday night whilst I was trying to find the dirty bits in 'Fifty Shades of Grey' that a friend had lent me (I'd heard the story was crap so was just looking for the good bits) saying that if I carried on like that, she might come back for a short break.... maybe she was 'there' after all - lurking like some forgotten outfit in the back of your wardrobe.
I was trying to remember when I did have a libido. Take out the crying babies, the tiredness, the job juggling, the stresses of running a house, a business, remembering to do all that life admin - I couldn't remember when last I'd felt sexy (by the way, it was June 1992).
Bed was a joy to be in but for one reason only - SLEEP - and my bloody good mattress. Sleep was my lover, that wondrous beast that whispers in your ear when you're two glasses of wine down on a Monday night and tells you it's time to hit the sack... Oh the joy of slumber.
So is it the crazy business of mid-life or is it my hormones that are making me feel flat? During peri-menopause and menopause, it's normal for women to lose interest in sex - some women even finding it painful due to dryness - and whilst I wasn't at that stage yet, I even wondered if being with the same partner for so long was maybe the issue.
I wasn't planning on binning my husband just to prove my theory, but after chatting with a few girlfriends who are still having regular rumpy-pumpy, I decided that I'd try and make a bit more of an effort to see if Mrs Libido would return on her own. Rather like forcing yourself to smile and eventually you feel happier, I figured if I ditched the old t-shirts and whipped out a lacy bed combo instead, it just might help me along with feeling a bit more shag-tastic.
And it has. But it hasn't stopped there. After a heated discussion (argument) with him indoors, we promised to be nicer to each other, have time alone without our phones nagging for attention, compliment each other and be kinder in general.
Maybe it wasn't my hormones after all....