Greetings from sunny San Diego. I’m Inez. I grew up here in Southern California and came back once I got married.
But I’m not much of a surfer girl. I am a book pusher. Literally. I have handed them out from a satchel to strangers on the street on World Book Day and put a little free library in front of our house. I also talk a lot about politics, especially as it relates to race and gender, health, education, and income inequality. I also delight in scandalizing teenagers and grossing out twelve-year-olds, which is a bit of a challenge, but really worth the effort.
Recently, I’ve been watching my periods get longer and my cycles get shorter, so I started doing research on perimenopause. I found out that lots of things going on in my life could easily be connected with the wide fluctuations of estrogen and other hormones that are part of early menopause. Not just the menstrual flooding and increased cramps, or the occasional night sweats, but a whole list that no one had ever mentioned to me.
Depression? Yup, probably.
Slow arousal and difficulty reaching orgasm? Seems likely.
Bouts of highly elevated sex drive? That, too.
Insomnia, short-term memory problems, difficulty concentrating – a whole list of life-altering symptoms. And, of course, vaginal dryness.
Buying lube for the vaginal dryness was the easy part. The rest shook me. Why didn’t anyone tell me these things? Did everyone else already know this?
I listened to friends my age discuss issues in their lives and quietly asked them if they knew what they were describing could be a symptom of perimenopause. They didn’t know either. So I started talking. And realized how many questions people have. And how scary many adults still find it to ask questions about sex. Throw in aging and people are terrified to admit they have any issues, but they still want to know.
As a perimenopausal mother of teens, I spend huge amounts of time talking and thinking about sex. Aside from some brief stints temping, a summer working at a restaurant in an amusement park, and a nightmarish holiday season working in a Hello Kitty shop, my day job has always involved teaching, which is sort of a performance art version of blogging, so I am very used to telling people what I think and answering all sorts of questions.
So here I am. Ready to talk about living healthy, sexual lives in the bodies we have now, even if that means getting to know ourselves all over again.
When I’m not thinking or talking about sex, I am generally reading or watching something very nerdy – I’m a big fan of science fiction and fantasy, especially by women of color, or convincing my boys to get some work done. And drinking a ridiculous amount of tea.
I went to school for far too long, so if you want someone to research something for you, I am super-prepared for the job.