One woman shares her story of sexual liberation, self-discovery, and new beginnings after divorce and despite menopause.
At 53, Vikki was more curious, liberated, and satisfied than ever before.
I was your stereotypical stay-at-home mom. My days were spent largely running errands, and my evenings were devoted to chauffeuring my kids around. Every now and then my husband and I had dinner with another couple. It wasn’t a bad life; it just wasn’t particularly exciting.
Then the world ended — or at least, that’s what it felt like when my husband and I got a divorce. I was 46 years old. Right before our marriage ended, I went through menopause, a stressful event in itself given all the crazy hormone changes I was experiencing.
The following year was a haze. I spent the bulk of it zonked out on the couch watching Netflix.
Over many months I began to feel like myself again. But, to be honest, I wasn’t quite sure who that was anymore. For so long, being a wife and mother were the core aspects of my identity. Now I was single, and my kids were teens who didn’t need me as much. Who was Vikki, if not the wife/mom/friend/volunteer who never made herself a priority?
I had no idea. But I was determined to find out. This meant going on a journey of self-discovery.
A life-altering transformation
I took big, beautiful chances, like taking a spontaneous trip to Prague where I did everything I wanted to do without having to accommodate anyone else. For the first time in decades, I wore dresses and heels and skimpy lingerie — and I was doing it just for myself. I exercised on a regular basis, getting my body to a place that felt healthy and strong.
There were times when I felt silly and self-conscious and relied on a friend for wardrobe pep talks. But I did it — and today I’m wearing fishnet stockings and a miniskirt, and I feel awesome. Suffice to say, the awkward vulnerability I experienced was well worth it.
Transforming physically was one thing, but transforming sexually was quite another. I understood myself as a sexually open and curious being, but I had only ever played the part of an overtly modest girl-woman who shied away from sex shops and giggled nervously at the mention of a vibrator. I didn’t want to be that sheepish, embarrassed person anymore. I wanted to be fierce.
I dove headfirst into a sexual reawakening by attending educational/exploratory workshops at a local lingerie shop. I took a class on oral sex — not because it was a mystery to me, but because I wanted to learn more about what was possible to explore there. I went to a strip club and was wowed by the confident women of all shapes and sizes. I experimented with different sex toys and discovered what I liked and how and where.
Eventually, I found a partner who was on the same page as me sexually. We go to sex workshops together, try out new toys, and frequent burlesque shows. In all, we have a wonderful — and incredibly hot — time together.
Sometimes I wonder what my life would look like if I’d done this all sooner, but I don’t tend to linger on the “what ifs” because I have such a vibrant future ahead. I’m 53, and feel more confident and alive than I did at 33 — and I’m having better sex now than I did in my 20s and 30s. I’m in a new career, a new relationship, and, yes, a new set of bra and panties.
For me, menopause wasn’t the end of womanhood, it was one of many new beginnings.