Mid Life Mojo – Low Lying Libido
There are times in a mother’s life when she rightly feels that she has lost her ‘mojo’. And the reason is pretty obvious; exhaustion!
But I also think that it has something to do with lack of time alone. In order to feel good in your body, and connected to your body, you need time to be on your own.
It is easy for young people to be all centered within their naturally egotistical world. It is natural and healthy. Once you become a parent you learn how to repress many urges, your very strong desire to sleep, for example, is the first to be disciplined.
You become separated from the Id of you, and become someone who exists for others.
The more time I spend alone, the more centered I am, the more likely I am to have that particular drive. That’s why mothers who are surrounded by children and nursing babies are low on libido; they have not had enough time by themselves to restore that energy.
To be quite honest about my sexuality, if I am feeling sexy, and those days are not as frequent as when I was younger, I just feel really strong and grounded. It is a good energy that could be mistaken for just feeling dam good.
I certainly cannot speak for all women, only for myself, when I say that sexual desire is at best a whole mood that swings in and out, and can easily pass away and be replaced by a need to sleep, dance or be by myself.
I can’t help but think that our bodies are more driven by biology than we think. The sexual desire of my teen years was somewhat detached and curious, while in my thirties I really feel that the primitive biological urge to get pregnant was in my blood.
I am quite sure that men feel the sexual drive very differently. All I can surmise from my life as a woman is that men seem to experience an actual desire that is like hunger. Also, unlike women, they have incredible endurance in maintaining that appetite even if they are tired or distracted!
As a young woman I was very flirtations, I felt good about myself and my sexuality; strong, safe and unafraid to expose myself physically or emotionally.
This is a very good state to be in when dating. You can be very discerning picking out ‘sponge worthy’ men when you feel good about yourself.
Ultimately, I found myself a very good husband and father to my kids. And even though I wasn’t looking for a life partner at the time, only 20 years old after all, I think I had an unconscious internal check list which covered long term viability!
Defining men and women by their biological functions is unpopular, and puts me in mind of the radical feminists who have always argued that our biological differences make equality impossible.
But I wonder whether women and men would not benefit from an attitude in which we accept whatever our body is telling us. So many people wonder if they are ‘normal, but what is normal?
Libido is partly hormones surging through our bodies. The first definition in my worn out Webster’s’ dictionary defines libido as an ‘Emotional or psychic energy that in psychoanalytic theory is derived from primitive biological urges and that is usually goal-directed’.
Well, that is what it feels like to me. It is an energy that is centered in the core of the body and spreads out from there, to be transformed into an awareness of other people’s bodies.
I don’t want more children, and yet, quite unfairly, I am perfectly capable of bearing a child or two more. Not surprisingly, I can feel my sexual energy altering. I am looking forward to menopause, somewhat in the same way you look forward to giving birth when you are sick of being pregnant.
My mind is on other things. The closer I get to fifty the more I feel like a ten year old; a busy little school girl and poet, content doing my thing.
I was struck by what Gloria Steinem said in an interview in the program Game Changer on CBC Radio the other day.
Steinem was talking about women being freed of their biological function ‘and looking after children for no money’ when they are past fifty years old.
In paraphrasing some of the interview, Steinem says that as women get closer to fifty years old we leave behind the years of reproduction and return to our child self who “knew what she wanted, and said it’s not fair … but now she has her own apartment and can reach the light switch”.
Steinem made the post-menopausal age sound really productive and fun, and my body and mind agree.
I have loved having children, indulged in caring for my babies, but I gave everything to that particular job. It took all of me.
Now I can see a future in which I am free of procreation, and I can feel a new energy dawning.