The Midlife Sex Conundrum

In case you missed my article last month, I am reprinting it here. Article originally printed in Resilientista Magazine: Autumn 2017.

Somewhere on my journey into midlife, I lost my libido. I don’t know where or when or how or why. But one day, it was just gone. I had my children in my late thirties. So perhaps that was part of the reason. I was just plain old tired. Exhausted, in fact. And momming made me feel less sexual and much less desirable. Although my husband never lost his flair for compliments and adoration for me, I just couldn’t seem to see it for myself.

For the first 6 years after having children, my husband heard every possible excuse I could muster. I’m too tired. I can’t get out of mom mode. There’s too much on my brain to redirect my attention. I’m too tired. I have my period. I have a yeast infection. I’m too tired. I don’t feel well. There are too many other things I need to be doing right now. I feel disgusting. I’m too tired. I’m sure there are more reasons I have used. But you get the idea.

Seriously, I could go months without sex. And it wasn’t good. It really wasn’t. It was not good for my mental state. It was not good for my husband’s mental state either. Resulting in a little bit of tension within our marriage around the issue of sex. I don’t want you to be mistaken, though. My marriage was and is very healthy and happy…outside of the bedroom.

During this lull in my sex drive, we found ways to artificially ignite my flame. Oftentimes, pornography is the answer. For real. My biggest issue has always been getting in the mood. Turning off the brain. Redirecting my attentions from the chaos of the day to sex. Just redirect to sex. While I love a gentle caress, a good long snuggle, or a intense massage, those things only make me relax to the point of just wanting to go to sleep. I need an artificial and immediate way of putting sex on my brain. And pornography does just that.

I have to admit that I have learned a lot from pornography. I have learned how to talk dirty. I have learned to think outside the box. I have learned that sometimes clothing is the sexiest thing I can wear in the bedroom. I have also learned that sometimes the sexiest thing I can wear in the bedroom is nothing at all. I have learned to role play. And I have learned that role playing is one of the best ways to get outside of my own head. Most importantly, I have learned that there is absolutely nothing wrong with what we do in our bedroom. Whatever it takes to get us there…as long as we get there.

And this is how we survived a 6-year sexual drought. This drought continued until just before my 43rd birthday. I recall my sister telling me when she was 43 years old that she suddenly experienced that increased libido that middle aged women often talk about. I thought it was a myth as I patiently waited for it to happen to me. And then it happened. To say it caught me off guard is an understatement. It has literally taken me by storm. I’m not complaining, I am just enjoying the ride.

I don’t have any explanation for this phenomenon. I really don’t understand the midlife sex conundrum. I’m sure hormones are mostly responsible. I also have no idea how long this insatiable desire for sex is going to last, but I sure do hope my found libido sticks around for awhile.

So if you are in the same type of rut that I was in, just be patient. Both you and your partner. Because this midlife change is nothing short of amazing and exhilarating! When you hear women talk about the Fabulous 40’s, it is not a lie! This is by far the best decade of my life on so many levels.

So I encourage you all to open the discussion on this topic. I know it may seem taboo, but for me the best solutions have come from talking about the issue. Too often, we remain alone inside our heads thinking there is something wrong with us. By opening the discussion, I have discovered that I am not alone. And neither are you!

Stay tuned for more of my insights and inspirations on midlife and issues of mental health as I am now a member of the Contributor Tribe for Resilientista Magazine. If you don’t want to miss an issue, you can subscribe right here and new editions will be sent directly to your inbox.

I owe a huge thank you to Celia of Resilientista for such an amazing opportunity to share my message. And also to Melissa of Sarissa Melissa Photography for the images you see here.

Keeping it on the edge,


Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.


I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

16 Responses

  1. So many women experience loss of sex drive, yet way too many think it’s only them. Your article opened up the conversation! and inspired many. It is a real honour to have women like yourself who are passionate about helping other women thrive be part of the Resilientista Content Team! so happy to have you part of the tribe <3

    • Celia, thank you so much! I appreciate the opportunity to have a new forum to share my story and my voice. I will do my best to help others through this crazy midlife journey!


  2. Great article. It really a nice to keep your thinking in such a beautiful way. You look so pretty. Happy Monday honey <3

  3. You are amazing!!

  4. Very interesting and informative and if I may say you look nice.

  5. Thank you for being brave enough to post about this issue! I am feeling in the same boat about now!!

  6. Thank you for sharing your experience Shelbee. It’s good to know it happens to a lot of women and that it won’t last.

    Emma xxx

  7. Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style.

  8. Interesting read Shelbee! i know I blame hormones for alot of things! That is because they do affect you in so many ways. i know its certainly different how i felt/was in my 30s to now. Love the long shirt with pearls and thigh highs.. sexy look my friend! xx
    thanks for linking!
    jess xx

    • Jess, thanks so much for reading! Hormones are a really crazy thing, indeed. And they just keep getting crazier. There is so much more I could share on this topic..but considering that this post is right on the edge…I don’t really want to go off the edge with my forthrightness and TMI!


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