No one prepared me for how horny I would be in my late 30s. All the elders in my life prepared me for random chin hairs, weight gain, and menopause but no one said a mumbling word about my sex drive. Something happens the closer you get to forty. I went from wanting sex here and there to wanting it all the damn time. Is there a support group for this? I can’t be the only one who has the sex drive of the Energizer Bunny. Upon my research to figure out why I felt like a cat in heat, I discovered several theories surrounding women and our sex drives–including one that says the concept of having a sex drive is a myth altogether.
Scientifically, the word ‘drive’ is used to describe the motivational system we have that helps us navigate life or death situations. For example, our drive to find food, warmth or shelter are all things that we need to stay alive. Technically, we won’t die if we don’t have sex–the lack of sex might feel like death but we won’t stop living. Biologists suggest that if sex was fundamentally a “drive” more humans would experience the urge for sex spontaneously like we do hunger. They claim that instead of a “drive,” humans experience and express a desire for sexual intimacy.
I honestly don’t know if libido is a sex drive or desire and to be quite honest I don’t really care. What I do know is that I am not alone in my sudden urge to want more sex. In fact, most women will experience periods of high and low sexual desire throughout their lives. Many believe that our desire for sex is impacted by a range of things such as our lifestyle, healthy habits, like eating a balanced diet, working out regularly, getting enough rest, and our feelings about our partners and relationships. There’s probably some validity to these factors because in my own life, the more comfortable and familiar I was with my body and partner, the more I craved intimacy.
However, despite the many elements that contribute to our libido, I also found that there are certain commonalities that women within certain age categories shared. Women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond experience similar desires (or lack thereof) for sex. Regardless of how healthy your habits are, changes in hormonal shifts seem to be inevitable for women. Are these commonalities psychological, social, and physical or a combination of all three?
To take a closer look, here are some sexual changes women can expect to take place throughout their lifespan.
Your Libido in Your 20s
Our 20s are the young, experimental, and most fertile years. My 20s were filled with Hot Girls Summers and Thot Girl Falls! Based on stats women are more likely to have lots of sex from the ages of 18 to 26. Women are also most fertile during the younger years which can contribute to horniness during ovulation. However, women in their early 20s are sexually unsure of themselves, still figuring out their desires, and how to talk about sex, which could lead to anxiety and low desire.
Your Libido in Your 30s
Many people consider the 30s to be women's sexual prime. According to sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, women have more orgasms in their 30s than at any other time in their lifespan. Oh, Alfred may be on to something because my thirties have been a decade of heightened libido, increased sexual enjoyment, and stronger and better orgasms. Your 30s are the period in most women’s lives that we tend to become less insecure about our bodies. We are more aware of what we need sexually–we know how to get the job done ourselves and how to coach our partners.
We also tend to be more eager to explore and try new things. Research also suggests that the increase in sex drive in the 30s is caused largely by the body’s biological clock. A lot of women have children in their 30s. Wanting to get pregnant means sex and typically lots of it.
Your Libido in Your 40s
Most of the women I know in their 40s say that their sex drive is the strongest it’s ever been. Apparently, the increase in sex drive that begins in our 30s continues until our mid-40s. One study showed that women between 27 and 45 had more frequent and more intense sexual fantasies than younger or older women. As you start going through perimenopause, your body's testosterone remains unchanged, while estrogen decreases, creating a high testosterone to estrogen level in your blood. Testosterone can perk up the sex drive, creating a desire for sex more often. So basically my horniness won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, got it!
Your Libido in Your 50s
Your 50s are the menopause years and we all have heard the stories about menopause. Most women experience a significant decline in sex drive, along with weaker orgasms, reduced sexual function, and vaginal dryness, because of menopause. During menopause, estrogen levels begin to decline. As a result, hormone shifts can lead to menopause symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, and mood swings—all of which can shrink sexual desire. These hormonal changes often lead to vaginal dryness, which can cause pain with sex and lower libido. In conclusion, keep a fan handy and try to make it through the best way you can.
Your Libido in Your 60s and 70s
The best surprise I’ve ever received is when I realized that older women still had active sex lives. I pretty much assumed that menopause was where great sex went to die. It wasn’t until I began having conversations with women in their 60s and 70s that I began to realize they still pussy pop—albeit not on a headstand but their pussy is still popped. Many women in their silver years feel like they know their bodies better than they ever have, allowing for more gratifying sexual experiences. However, other factors start to impact overall health during this decade that can lead to a decline in sex.
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
In the crazy world of dating, so much attention is placed on the behavior during actual dates. Whether it is choosing the right outfit or making a good first impression, the focus tends to center on the in-person time spent together. But something that often gets overlooked is the significance of "between date behavior (BDB)." BDB is not just generic good morning text messages (that can be sent to 10 women in one minute), but rather text check-ins during the day and even nightly phone calls. This is the time when two people are apart but still find time for connection.
It is during these in-between moments that the foundation of a truly meaningful relationship is often built. A glaring example of what happens when there isn’t BDB is the early relationship between Carrie and Big from Sex and the City. At the beginning of the series, she was so hyper-focused on the time she spent together that she ignored that Big wasn’t calling or texting her often between dates. Instead, he would reach out and send cars based on his convenience… and not hers.
When it comes to dating, don’t be Carrie!
BDB in Dating
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Please realize that 80-90% of your time will NOT be with your partner while seriously dating, so the BDB will also be a significant part of your relationship. Here are some other reasons why what happens when you're not together is just as, if not more, significant than the hours spent face-to-face…
One of the key factors that makes BDB so crucial is authenticity. When we are with someone on a date, it is easy to put on a front (show one’s representative), showcasing our best qualities and concealing our flaws. But it is in our day-to-day interactions, the text messages and phone calls, that our true selves shine through.
Consistency in behavior is an indicator of authenticity. And authenticity builds trust. And trust is the cornerstone of any meaningful relationship.
Speaking of trust, it is one of the foundations of a successful relationship. Building it doesn't happen in a single evening. It's the consistency in behavior between dates that solidifies trust. When your person consistently communicates, shows interest, and keeps it respectful in the moments between your dates, it is reassuring that your potential partner is seriously interested and invested in the relationship.
Also, in between dates, the channels of communication become lifelines that connect two people and nurture emotional intimacy. How you communicate and what you choose to communicate about can significantly impact a growing relationship. Consistent, thoughtful messages and meaningful conversations like sharing your thoughts, dreams, and vulnerabilities can help create a strong emotional bond. Being supportive and understanding during difficult moments can bring you closer together.
While the time spent on a date is super important, the BDB, I would argue, should not be slept on. It's the glue that holds the connection together, builds trust, and sets the stage for a healthy, long-lasting relationship. So, the next time you find yourself waiting for that next date, remember that the journey between those dates is just as significant, if not more so, in the grand scheme of building a meaningful connection.
Hope this helps!
Coach Anwar is a certified dating and relationship coach who has 13 years of experience helping Black and brown women date with strategy, meet relationship-ready men, and get into the best relationship of their lives.
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