Sex After Menopause – What All Women Need to Know

Posted on December 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

Sex after menopause is a concern for many women who are getting older. The word “menopause” can conjure up images of a celibate life forevermore (even if you don’t want to pursue a celibate life), but that doesn’t have to be true. It is true that menopause can affect sex drive negatively, but it doesn’t have to, necessarily. Let’s take a look at menopause and how to manage it so you can still have a satisfying sex life even after menopause.

When menopause happens, a woman’s estrogen levels naturally drop, which can lead to alterations in sex drive and in the ability itself to have sex. For example, if you are in menopause, you might notice that you aren’t as interested in sex or that you are less sensitive to sexual cues that you would normally have found stimulating. This can lead to a decrease in interest, as well.

In addition, when estrogen drops, vaginal blood supply can also drop, which can cause a decrease in vaginal lubrication. This can make intercourse painful and difficult, because the vagina can be too dry to have intercourse comfortably.

Fortunately, if you are one of the women who has experienced a drop in libido or other symptoms of menopause, like vaginal dryness, there are things that can help.

Using water-soluble lubricants like K-Y Jelly or Astroglide can treat simple vaginal dryness. (Make sure you don’t use lubricants that aren’t water-soluble, like petroleum jelly, because they can make latex condoms weaker and can encourage unfriendly bacterial growth, which can result in infection.)

Sex after Menopause – Treating Low Sex Drive

For some women, menopause can lead to a lower sex drive because of the drop in estrogen; treating this is tricky, because estrogen replacement may work but has its own contraindications. Currently, male hormones called androgens, and estrogen are being studied in combination to see if they’ll increase women’s sex drive.

It’s also important to check with your doctor and make sure you are having a low sex drive (if you’re in menopause) because of low estrogen. In some cases, your low sex drive may be as a result of other problems, like impaired thyroid function, iron deficiency anemia, or low-level depression. Treating these non-estrogen related problems may increase sex drive naturally without further intervention.

Estrogen creams, too, can be placed directly into the vagina to alleviate dryness and boost estrogen levels temporarily. Unlike oral estrogen supplementation, this method of estrogen delivery is generally considered safe, such that it won’t lead to problems normally associated with estrogen supplementation.

For some women, menopause brings a sense of freedom that actually increases sex drive, rather than dampening it. If that’s you, congratulations. Sex after menopause for women like you remains a joy.

The Joy And Horror Of Sex – Deep Secrets Of Sexuality

Posted on December 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

Nagging deep within us is an incessant craving to find completion by becoming one flesh with another human. Sexual intimacy is a significant part of this, but there is more. We would sell ourselves short – frighteningly so – if we did not realize that the cry from our innermost being extends far beyond craving orgasms. And yet our world is so disturbingly superficial that millions slip into the quicksand of supposing they can reduce the height of human intimacy almost to an animal act without damaging their very humanity. Once we fall for this mentality, the more desperately we struggle to satisfy ourselves, the quicker we sink.

So astonishingly powerful is sex that it is divinely designed to superglue you to one person for the rest of your life. God entrusted this treasure to you to empower you to maintain exclusive intimacy with the one person you are selflessly committed to for life. To use sex for any other purpose is to take the road to ever-increasing frustration and gnawing emptiness. Whether it be in thought or action, to fritter away your sexuality on someone you are not committed to for life is to become like someone who enjoys burning hundred dollar notes and can’t figure why he is continually impoverished.

It is common for us to dangerously misinterpret our own cravings. Sexually, we tend to be like children who suppose all they need is an endless supply of candy, when the real nourishment their bodies are crying out for is much more complex. Anyone is sentencing himself to long-term problems who thinks he can satisfy his bodily needs with candy alone. Slowly he would begin experiencing numerous unpleasant and ultimately life-threatening illnesses, few of which would feel as if they are related to his food intake. Likewise, we have a whole range of complex needs that we tend to naively suppose can be met by raw sex alone. And the consequences of this mistake can be catastrophic.

Before focusing on our God-given desires for human closeness, let’s lift our eyes for a moment. Many of our needs that feel like a craving for human companionship are actually yearnings that can only be satisfied by intimacy with God. This surprising, vitally important, rarely understood subject is explored in a link at the end of this page. The height of intimacy between two humans, as deep and fulfilling as it is, is superficial, relative to our desperate need to become one spirit with the most astounding Person in the universe.

Even within the human realm, however, we frequently get things horribly confused. Many of us rob ourselves by trying to reduce to shallow sensations our yearning for an experience so profound that it is truly best thought of as becoming one flesh with another human being. To be one flesh means that if your head feels fine but another part of your body hurts, your head reels in pain and does everything it can to comfort the hurting part. It means that if your head is neutral but another part of your body feels pleasure, your head is neither jealous nor disinterested, but it delights in that pleasure. Selfishness is incompatible with oneness. To be one flesh is to experience a union in which one’s greatest joy is found in the happiness of the other. You have fulfilled your craving to be one flesh with a person to the extent that you would as soon consider breaking the union (divorce) as you would consider ripping off your own head.

Using sex for something less than no-holds-barred selfless permanence might seem to offer the mirage of satisfaction but in reality it is a tragic loss. You can try to cheat yourself out of the fulfillment you were born for, through selfish or superficial sex. To do so, however, is to keep tormenting the craving within you, teasing it to infuriating levels.

Of course, many people, through no fault of their own, miss out on sexual fulfillment. Whether these people are to be pitied, depends on the spiritual dimension to their lives. Pitying anyone without considering this dimension could be like pitying soaring eagles because they cannot run as fast as ostriches. There is incomprehensibly more to everlasting life than we can currently see. Feeling sorry for someone who is celibate or has a poor sexual partner, could therefore be like feeling sorry for the athlete pounding the track or a student toiling at his books. They are currently missing out on fun that others enjoy but their present hardship could end up achieving for them glory that others can only envy.

Singles can stir up their frustration, letting it rage to soul-destroying levels. They can turn to porn or fantasy or solo sex or one-night stands or other shadows that offer a high as pathetic as a drug. Soon the craving for a fix returns with even greater fury. Or singles can turn their back on that futility and use a different tack. They can stop inflaming the desire; allowing it to gradually subside, and so find both a measure of contentment and divine approval. It is the promiscuous, not these, who are to be pitied.

Whenever we enter into sexual intercourse with selfish motives, we are even more alone than we were before. The loneliness increases our appetite for the union, which is usually translated into a need for more sexual intercourse. Lust is a self-perpetuating cycle that becomes more intense as it continues. (Source)

That quote is from a man I deeply admire for his ability to receive from God profound, Bible-based truth. The instant I read his words, I recognized them as finding staggering and unexpected confirmation from a secular source. In their book, Lonely all the time: Recognizing, Understanding and Overcoming Sex Addiction, (New York, 1989, page 23) psychologists Dr. R. Earle and Dr G. Crow write, “Believe it or not, the driving force behind most sex addicts’ compulsion is a desperate need for love.”

We cannot rid ourselves of aloneness and isolation by cheapening ourselves. Reducing sex to a biological act reduces us. Our one hope is a permanent union in which our highest happiness is found in the pleasure of the other partner. When sex is perverted from the expression of a sacred, lifelong fusion of a man and woman into a temporary, self-centered convenience, our clawing for fulfillment will die in bitter frustration. Ultimately, degrading oneself this way will merely aggravate one’s craving for the oneness that can only be achieved in a unique, exclusive and loving union.

In God’s eyes, sex is the sealing of a lifelong contract. You are bound, not by the giving of your word, but by the giving of your very body. The consequences of casual sex cannot be undone. To suppose that it is harmless is like sexually violating someone and then thinking if you say you didn’t mean it, it will cease to be a crime.

Infinitely better than the world’s best parent, Father God has our best interests at heart. When it comes to relationships, we too often respond to his loving guidance like spoiled brats asked to eat their vegetables. We are sure we know better than our Maker about what will ultimately fulfill us. Like a lazy tennis player constantly blaming his racket instead of his lack of practice, we blame our partner rather than our failure to keep practicing selfless love until we finally master the art.

We haven’t begun to live until discovering that it is more blessed to give than to receive; more blessed to serve than to be served; more blessed to love than be loved; more blessed to lay down our lives as an offering, to turn the other cheek, to love our enemies.

We were made to be lovers. Lovers are givers not takers. Takers eventually end up supposing they need to change partners. They are parasites who take all they can and then have to move to another victim. They are worse than a zero. They are an empty space sucking the life out of everything around them. The sole value that takers have is that they still have the potential to be transformed into givers, if they let God have his beautiful way in their lives.

Givers are people of honor. They are godlike, because God alone keeps giving and giving, and never runs dry. Most of us shrink from giving because we are acutely conscious that unlike God, we are not a bottomless source. The only value that takers have is that they can let God change into givers.

Takers are stagnant water. Sentenced to getting only what is natural, they can only grasp after things that are limited and dying. In glorious contrast, givers are living rivers. Their source is supernatural. Flowing through them is that which is boundless and eternal. Givers find astounding fulfillment because the more they muster the courage to give, the more God keeps pumping new life and love and joy into them. Givers are people of faith. They know that under God they can give away what they desperately need because their God delights in continually giving them even more than they had before. They can thrive in the midst of rejection and persecution because their Source is divine. Like Jesus expressing his love on the cross, givers endure tough times because they know that through their union with the divine they are destined for greatness and eternal fulfillment.

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LGBT, Same-Sex Marriage, and Christianity’s Collision Course With Itself

Posted on December 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

Before you deplore the title, let me say from the outset, I don’t view this as any definitive prophecy. It’s just what I feel God’s Spirit has shown me as I look on, in this day, regarding the same-sex marriage debate and LGBT issues in general, and the insidious agenda to destroy Christianity’s influence and effect on society once and for all.

There is a splintering occurring, and I see this more internationally than nationally, though nationally the transition is occurring at light speed. The splinter factions are from within the church itself – mainly the visible church. This is why I feel Christianity is on a collision course with itself. Every person believing upon Christ will, in the final days, be asked to take a side. And in taking a side we will side against Christ. In taking a side we will side against love. And having said that, we will find it almost impossible not to take a side. These are heady days!

My question is, are these the last days of Christianity? Not the church, nor Christians, nor faith… but of Christianity – as we have come to know and refer to it. Are we now not tearing ourselves apart because of the divisive methods we engage in that take us far from love – its own wisdom?

TALKING SIN

There seems to be so much debate these days as to gender, sexuality, among a range of other things ethically, and sin – as if issues we may have come to feel definitely wedded to in our identities couldn’t or shouldn’t be called sin, even if they are wrong. We feel we’re beyond sin or sinning; that it’s an offence to call something that people feel strongly about, or entitled to, “sinful.”

Sin is an ugly word these days. It should have always been, but since the grace of God’s gospel rained down on us from heaven through the cross and resurrection, sin and the devil no longer have a sovereign word; God does. Sin merely highlights God’s goodness; His grace, ours! But what is the gospel to us if we do not believe we’re sinners? Then we have no need of Christ and the good news of God. We choose our own salvation and become, of choose, our own saviours.

If we hope to go on in our relationship with God our sin will always be central and others’ more peripheral. Yet as soon as our own sin becomes less apparent, so does our relationship with God become less apparent, and where His grace in our lives is less apparent, what becomes more noticeable are other people’s sins. Then we begin to take sides…

And depart from God and His will for our lives, which is that we would relate with Him.

TAKING SIDES

The very point of this most urgent time is not to take a side. When we take sides we have chosen to love an allegiance. We have forgotten that it is for people that we love. It may seem we choose His Word or Christ Himself when we take a side, but side-taking is, of itself, a betrayal of Christ and His Word.

We venture forth a view, that, because truth is unambiguous, we must be unambiguous, but truth is God’s, not ours, and much truth (that we don’t and can’t see) will only be revealed when we meet God. This is not a matter of siding with postmodernity – that monstrosity of the abstract – either. We opt not to commit to having a view, because that view might be a deceived view; a view that, in its portrayal, betrays love when we, in fact, have endeavoured to love. Just because we advocate for truth doesn’t mean we always hit love’s mark – most of the time we advocate for truth we miss love’s mark! So much relational damage has been inflicted because we advocated for the truth. We’re in territory where love and wisdom merge and fuse in God.

The taking of sides and the holding of views is tenuous, because we don’t know when those views skew into sin. Even a good thing, done for a good reason, can turn sinful.

Transcending side-taking, love holds out for a higher purpose, seeking to see as God sees.

And yet we cannot afford to miss the truth by venturing naively into tall stories.

TALL STORIES

The greatness of God is how He compels us to look honestly at ourselves. We’re naked in the garden, and, knowing He’s there, we pretend, “There’s nothing to see here! All is as You would have it, just as You designed it, Lord!” He watches on and simply says, “Really?” We cannot and will never fool God, and more fool us if we are so self-deceived to let our lies be. We cannot reverse the events of the fall, but thankfully God has reversed its consequences.

We have the conscience implicit of being bearers of His image, yet, to the very same intrinsic extent, we cannot go close to living up to the expectations such an image would hold us to.

We’re all tellers of tall stories.

We’re all sinners, not a single one better than the worst of us.

LGBT people are merely poignant examples of all of us who are all equally poignant sinners.

The fact that many pious people rail against these truths shoots home the point; we’re all too easily offended these days.

***

Quick offence is the end of our Christianity.

Christians who cannot own their own sin will be the first to take offence and, therefore, to take a side, believing so quickly their own, and others’, tall stories – if they attend only to their own biases. Sides will cancel themselves out. And there will be similar numbers on both sides. And tall stories vanish into the ether as if they never were, because they never were. All this side-taking may end Christianity as we know it; our human hope of seeing Christ’s Kingdom come through us. But it won’t be the end of the Church. The Church transcends humanity’s Christianity. The Church is God’s. This is a testing time. God watches on and His Church is alive and well as it’s always been. God is absolutely Sovereign.

Those who take offence cannot love, and those who cannot love are not truly of God. Those who take a side miss the point. Loving people happens independent of the biases we have. The biases hold us open to sin. Whether we’re pro-LGBT or anti-LGBT is irrelevant. If we straddle the fence is also irrelevant. If we’re vocal about either we miss the point. If we’re ‘pro’ we attempt to dispel God’s concern for sin. If we’re ‘anti’ we miss the opportunity to see as God sees.

And love is a most confused concept. Love is tougher than we think, yet it never misses a compassionate beat. Love is truth in action, for love never advocates for a lie. But love is a rebuke that sheets home a message with respectful meekness – “a bruised reed he will not break” (Isaiah 42:3).

Will we own our own sin, seeing God’s more interested in that than our taking of sides?

If we can relate with God, and allow His Spirit to speak very personally to us, side-taking won’t find a place on our agenda. And God will be pleased.

© 2016 S.J. Wickham.

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