Low Libido At Midlife? What You Can Do To Increase It

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Reviewed March 2016

I had a patient say to me once, I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I’m not so much turned on by my husband anymore, but worse than that, I’m not even turned on by Tom Cruise.  And I remember thinking that was quite funny. 

One of the biggest reasons for low libido in your 40s and during perimenopause has nothing to do with hormones and everything to do with your life.  You’ve been running on empty usually by that time for 10 years or so and you’re ferrying kids around and you’ve got a full-time job and you’re trying to take care of your husband and on and on and on and on, and the batteries are kind of on empty, which is why if you go for a pleasurable romantic weekend where you get to sleep for 12 hours and lie in the Sun, you’ll find your libido is there, oh, my gosh.

            What’s happening during midlife is your sap is running deep into the roots of your life and into your body and you’re reinventing yourself.  So for many women, they feel like they’d be fine if they could just go into a cave and not have anybody asking them to do something.  So that’s usually what’s happening with low libido.

            But I would say to you, do not let this tendency stop you from enjoying physical pleasure with your spouse.  It’s really, it’s a bad thing to do because sex and health go hand in hand.  And if you don’t have a partner, sex and health still go hand in hand and you can work with yourself.  I call that self-cultivation.

            But here’s what you need to know.  All the anger, all the stuff in the relationship that you’ve put under the rug is now coming back.  Many women have been taught, for instance, that their job sexually is to get their man up and off.  That’s it.  Get him up, get him off.  And your body will not let you do that anymore.  You know why?  Because you are capable of unlimited pleasure.  But you’ve probably been doing it in a way where it’s just let’s get this over with and get to sleep because what you really need is sleep.

            Instead, I want you to plant this in your subconscious, please.  Your body has the ability to experience better sex and more pleasure than you ever believed possible.  But to do that and to experience that, you have to know that it’s possible, number one, and then you have to commit to setting aside regular time for sexual pleasure.  And you will find that your libido will increase.  But you have to be the one who gets it going.  Most men will not have the ability to do this, but you as the woman set the tone.

            Have fun with this.  This is where you want to have some women-only time where women egg each other on with belly-dancing classes, pole-dancing classes, anything, you know, the art of striptease, there’s a lovely DVD, The Sacred Art of Striptease, have fun with this and get in touch with that erotic creature within.  She has not gone anywhere.  She’s just not going to do it the way she’s been doing it, and that’s what’s going on with your libido.


Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.

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