The What? The Sex Surge!
The Sex Surge (TM*) is a significant increase in libido and sexual desire, and accompanying sexual thoughts and actions, that some women experience during their mid-30s to mid-50s. Women generally report wanting sex and/or orgasm – or even needing it – much more often than usual.
Typically, the Sex Surge happens to women:
- Whose youngest child is over the age of 3, or who have no children (there are exceptions, but they have been rare)
- Who is between the ages of 33 and 53, give or take (yes, libido changes happen at other times, but the Sex Surge is unique in how and why it happens to women in this age range.)
The Sex Surge does not happen to all women, nor to all women who meet these guidelines. Many women experience hormonal shifts during this time of their life, but it does not always result in a libido change.
If you’re going through the Sex Surge you might notice that:
You want to have sex (and some serious pleasure and orgasm) waaaay more than you used to.
Your sexual attention, energy, and desire may be focused on one person (who might be real or imaginary, and who might be available or not; we sometimes call this the “FF”- the Forbidden Fruit or the Friend I’d Like to F_ck).
You may fantasize about giving your man (or your Forbidden Fruit – of any gender) some sexual pleasure in places you’ve never thought about before (the beach, the woods, a dark parking lot). Or locking that person in a hotel room for three days so you can Get It On. And on. And on.
You wake up and have between 3 seconds and 3 minutes before you start thinking about sex.
And you think about it pretty much all day, including drawn-out and/or repetitive fantasies.
You may find yourself willing to experiment sexually, which you were less likely to do before the libido increase.
You may be considering asking for an open relationship or permission for a ‘weekend pass,’ so you can have sex with new or multiple partners (or the Forbidden Fruit).
(If you’re a man reading this, my husband says the Sex Surge is analogous to what you likely felt as a 23-24 year-old dude; you wanted to ‘tap the herd.’)
The Sex Surge is its own hormonal phase.
If you’re experiencing any of these things:
- dramatically increased libido
- increased desire for touching and sensuality
- thinking about sex a good portion of the time
- drawn out or repetitive fantasizing
- experimenting with sexual expression (sexting, new positions, more/different partners)
you might be going through the Sex Surge.
The Sex Surge is its own hormonal phase. The purpose of the Sex Surge is hormonal in nature: it is about getting you to pass on your genetic material before your ability to do so decreases (whether you are capable of being pregnant or not, whether you want children or not).
The Sex Surge can last between 6 months – 10 years. When it ends, most women find themselves at the tail end of their usual hormonal cycle or at the gateway to peri-menopause.
Sounds great, right? But what if it’s…not?
Wanting sex all the time, getting a little more excitement in your sex life, feeling turned on regularly – it sounds awesome. And it can be, if you have a great partner, open communication, and support.
But what if all this is frustrating, frightening, or confusing?
Sister, I have been there.
Having a boat load of sexual energy running through you with not enough outlets is frustrating, to say the least.
Trying not to think about sex when your brain is hormonally geared to is depleting.
Being attracted to someone who is not your partner and not knowing what to do (stay? leave? have an affair? tough it out?) can bring on boatloads of confusion, guilt, and shame.
From what I can tell, no one talks about this.
Partly because by the time this happens we are told, as women, we should know better.
We’re the sexual gatekeepers.
We should be able to handle it. (This is baloney, by the way.)
If you’re like me, you may also have tried to talk to someone about it, who promptly looked at you like you were crazy. Or told you were crazy. (You’re not. This is a real thing.)
Because we don’t talk about this, and because not every woman experiences it, and because there is only one cultural archetype for this behavior (The Cougar), and -damn!- because this is overwhelming we can easily get stuck.
Think we’re alone.
Feel stupid for not handling it better.
Make choices we later question.
Not use this phase, this energy, to its fullest potential – for good in our own and others lives.
It doesn’t have to be like that.
I help because I’ve been there.
When I went through this phase I had *one* friend I could talk to. She was going through the exact same thing. She didn’t think I was crazy. She understood completely, because she was in it, too. We laughed, cried, and supported each other when we felt weak or ridiculous or made a stupid mistake.
It made the difference for each of us.
Having guidance during this time is invaluable, because when the hormones are gone, the consequences of the decisions you make during this time remain.
In my own life, and the lives of other women I’ve worked with, wrong steps have lead to lost friendships, reduced self-belief, divorces that didn’t need to happen, and years of frustration (sexual and otherwise) that could have been avoided.
On the other hand, attentive listening, guidance, and personally-attuned tools for this phase also helped move women towards the goals they most wanted based on their new sexual needs and desires:
- enjoying better sex and more of it
- satisfying sensual encounters that filled women up
- greater self-understanding and acceptance
- discovering who the right partner is (maybe a divorce or affair is in order)
- and having fun with all the sexual energy instead of feeling overwhelmed by it.
That’s just some of what is possible.
Get the Guidebook
I wrote a guidebook for the questions I get most about The Sex Surge- it’s called “You’re Not Crazy. You’re Not a Slut. You’re Not Alone. What You Need to Know about The Sex Surge.” You can get a copy of it, for free, by signing up for my newsletter.
If you grab the guidebook and join the newsletter, you will get information about general hormone balancing and also specific tools and insight into The Sex Surge on a (mostly) weekly basis. And you can always opt out at any time.
Who I Help
If you find yourself in the Sex Surge and you need help navigating it, I am here to aid you in doing just that.
I help women who typically fall into two groups:
Too much sexual energy and not enough outlets.
When you think about sex all day, it’s tough to get your work done. Amiright?
I help women in this situation to explore options for letting their sexual energy out in healthy and pleasurable ways that work for their personality type and life situation.
Using a holistic model for sexual exploration and expression, we find what works for you so you can get that energy o-u-t and make it work for you.
Partnered women focused on someone else.
You’re turned on. You want to Get It On. And your partner is not your top choice anymore.
You’ve got your eye on Someone Else.
The Forbidden Fruit. The Friend you’d like to F_ck.
You don’t know whether this means you should end your partnership.
Or have an affair.
Or talk about it with your partner.
Or suffer in silence.
Or have a little fun…because you’d never let it get that far.
For women in this group we use many tools from Group 1- learning to get your sexual energy out in healthy and pleasurable ways. Because the need for sex and orgasm are clouding your decision-making capabilities.
Once your sexual energy is playing a supportive role, we dig into the deeper questions:
- what do you need from your sex life now?
- what will you need later?
- which part of you is in the driver’s seat?
- which part of you needs to be in the driver’s seat?
- what lessons do you need to learn from this phase of life?
We find out the answers to these questions and more. As part of the process, you will also come to understand and decide what you most desire for this phase of your life. We then use a coaching framework to put those things into place in your life.
If you are in an extra-marital affair, or contemplating one: please email me. I can help you figure out what to do – which part of you should be calling the shots and how to make the best decision for you.
There is no judgement here- I’ve been exactly where you are. Let’s talk so you can feel less stressed (and guilty).
If you want to learn more or work together…
If you’re going through the Sex Surge and you want to learn more you can do so by signing up for my newsletter, called Mid-Life Satisfaction, where I share about mid-life hormonal issues *and* offer insight and tools about The Sex Surge. It will show up in your inbox about every week.
When you sign up you’ll also get a copy of my guidebook “You’re Not Crazy. You’re Not a Slut. You’re Not Alone. What You Need to Know About The Sex Surge.”
You can sign up here.
If you have a simple question, please use the contact form located here.
With the right set of tools and support, The Sex Surge could just be the best thing that has happened to you.
*The phrase “The Sex Surge” is currently trademark-pending. If you wish to use this phrase, please include proper reference and use the trademark (TM) sign. We also appreciate back links to the site when referencing it.
The Sex Surge will also have its own book and website later this year. I will post about it when that happens.