Can Women in Menopause Relate to Emma Thompson's character (Nancy) in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande?
What if women in midlife didn’t need more HRT, but rather a dose of excitement, pleasure, and learning to love who they have become? When I sat down to watch Good Luck to you, Leo Grande, I was expecting a version of Fifty Shades of Grey. At the end of the film, I was awe-struck. There was a lot more to the story than sex.
You are the master of your menopause
There is power in pleasure. Not just sexual pleasure. But, knowing what makes you happy. In an interview with Vogue, Emma Thompson, who plays Nancy in the film, said, “Before making Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, I had no idea how much I would learn about my attitude to my own body, to pleasure, and to shame – how much I would laugh about the genuine silliness of so many of our responses to sexual pleasure, and how much I would cry about what is lost in life when it is repressed, ignored, and punished.”
For decades, women have given everything to family, partners, and work, without stopping to ask, “What do I need?” It’s time to reframe our minds so that we don’t think that we are being selfish if we do something for ourselves, stop having to fake pleasure, and figure out what actually makes us tick.
Show your body some love
Your body might be changing, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel less sexy. Some women don’t feel comfortable looking at themselves in the mirror naked. Take the time to appreciate how your body has changed. Find parts of your body that you love. Before you can feel appreciated by someone else, you have to see the beauty in yourself.
Take your power back
Every woman is different and will have different concerns with her sexual experience during peri/menopause. As we always share, it’s very important to take note of your symptoms. It is the same with your sexual experience during peri/menopause. Take note of the changes and discuss them with your partner and your doctor to figure out what might work best for you. As with all things in life, YOU are your best advocate. The same goes for making sure that your sexual experience is enjoyable for you. You deserve a healthy, fulfilling sex life!
Divorce at midlife
In a 2004 study by AARP Magazine, it was found that women during midlife are usually the ones to ask for a divorce. They find that their needs have changed at this point in their life and they are no longer willing to stay in an “unfulfilling marriage.” That doesn’t always have to be the solution. Sometimes it just takes time and effort to sit down and figure out how people can change together.
Communicate with your partner
Maybe you have never felt comfortable talking to your partner about what brings you pleasure. As your body changes in midlife, what you need may change, too. Take time to sit down with your partner and discuss what you need to feel pleasure. This can be a scary task to undertake at first. But, once you get comfortable, it might end up being a bit of a thrill.
Make life your adventure
Many women go back to school, start a new career, or take on a new hobby. It’s time to explore who you are and test your limits. You’ve got nothing holding you back! Menopause can open the door to who you’ve always wanted to be.
Take some time to reflect on your identity – old and new. Talk with a friend, see a counselor, or work through your thoughts in other forms of expression, such as through art or writing.
Consider how your identity has changed over the years. Think about what you’ve lost, but also what you’ve gained. Maybe you’ve built new relationships, learned new skills, or experienced some other form of personal or professional growth.
Then, figure out what parts of your former self no longer work for you. Go ahead and let them go. This will make room for new ways of doing and new ways of being.
And then ask yourself, “What’s most meaningful in my life right now?” What new strategies do you need to create, or what new things do you need to learn to put what’s meaningful front and center?
This self-reflection can often lead to increased self-awareness and positive changes in your perspective.
It is easy to focus on everything we’ve lost during menopause. But, by being aware of these changes, and everything we’ve gained, we can slowly rebuild our identity. We can become who we’ve always wanted to be and who we were meant to be.
Women have been taught that sex is bad to do before marriage and it’s only meant for producing children. There is no education on pleasure, and we don’t really know how to talk about the topic of pleasure with our children as they grow into young adults. This all may lead to adults that don’t know how to enjoy pleasure or even recognize it.
We have to change the narrative that women who enjoy sex are as the film referred to them, “sluts”. Instead, we need to empower women to own their individual sexuality. Maybe we all need our own Sasha Fierce that allows us to step out of our everyday lives and enjoy a little excitement that is outside of our norm.
At the end of the film, I felt empowered. Nancy was able to get exactly what she needed and had a new focus in life. I hope that you are able to reframe your experience with sex and beyond during this part of your journey so that you can live your best life.