Sex & Menopause

During transition through the menopause sex can sometimes be the last thing on some women’s minds. For others they say that menopause has in fact raised their libido, especially for those who are happy to be free of the worry of using contraception.
Vaginal dryness, tiredness, hot flushes, lowered self esteem and low libido are just some of the reasons why women lose interest in sex. As one women told us “Why would I want someone else’s hot body on top of me when I can’t cope with my own heat!’

Through the peer support groups and educational workshops we run, sex comes up again and again. On our educational workshops we are happy to have Cabby Laffy, (Director of The Centre for Psychosexual Health & author of Love Sex), as part of our team. We also partner up with SH! Women’s Sex Emporium to give women the opportunity to explore being in a sex shop and to get the chance to ask some of those questions that might otherwise be left unanswered. SH! were the first women’s sex shop to be established in the UK in 1992 and their mission is to inspire every woman to embrace her true sexual self. They really are a female positive space, welcoming of all women and have recently been doing sex education sessions in schools. Renee and her team have a great way of putting women at ease.

So, if you have missed the opportunity to join us on one of our trips to SH! Or want to come again here is the info below. We will be exploring women’s sexuality and arousal in the context of menopause :

Visit to SH! Women’s Sex Emporium

Sh_wDate: 22.6.17
Time 6.30pm
Address: 57 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6PB.
Nearest Tube Old St or Liverpool St
Bus Routes: 26, 35, 55, 67, 149, 242, 243

If you would rather come along as part of a group meet us outside the Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT, between 6-6.15pm.

Please let us know if you will be joining us by emailing menopause@handsinc.co.uk

Great Wall Of Vagina Exhibition

The menopause can have an impact on women’s sexual lives in many ways including loss of libido or vaginal dryness. But often times overriding this is how women feel about themselves sexually or what they think they should look like. The mass media and porn project images of women that doesn’t really reflect what the majority of women look like. Even more so when it comes to women’s genitalia and the current fashion of removing any visible sign of hair.

Well here is an opportunity to shatter the myths of what women’s vagina’s look like. Sh! Erotic Emporium, the award winning female focused sex shop is collaborating with Jamie McCartney, the creator of the Great Wall of Vagina Art Project.

I would personally like to say a big thanks to all those brave women having a Brazilian wax to so you could get a better look!

ARTIST TALK AND BOOK SIGNING – Saturday April 2nd at 12.30

WIN YOUR OWN VAGINA CASTING by JAMIE MCCARTNEY

Sh! cordially invites you to an afternoon about art, body image and the wonderful range of shapes, and sizes of the female vulva. Concerned about the rise in procedures such as labiaplasty and the torrent of unrealistic expectations about how the female body should look,

While his work is on display in the shop during the whole month, from 12.30 on the 2nd of April Sh! will be hosting an in store book signing and talk with Jamie McCartney about art, vaginas and his motivations. And those of you who might want to keep a lasting memory, can enter a draw for a place on The Great Wall of Vagina, a casting session with the artist himself.

Sh! recently conducted our own survey of over 100 women to find out how they felt about their labia’s. The results were startling 17% of the women we asked said they either had considered or would consider getting surgery to shorten or shape their labia. 23% felt judged or were concerned about being judged by a partner on the appearance of their labia. Interestingly only 12.5% of lesbian identifying women felt judged or worried about their labia’s compared with 20% of straight women and a worrying 30% of bisexual women. Bisexual women were also the most likely to have considered surgery.

Sh! are really interested in why that might be. It seems like judgement or the fear of judgement might be more common in women with male sex partners. This might be because women with male partners have seen a less diverse range of vulva’s or because women feel men are more likely to be comparing them to porn. Straight identifying women were also the least likely to love their lips (43%). Whereas bisexual women were the most likely (54%) so it does seem like taking some time to appreciate the beauty of all vulva’s is good for your body image.

Sh! think it’s important for more women to see more images of real vulva’s, at any age it’s an education. Labiaplasty is becoming increasingly common among very young women and we’d like to see more efforts to let young people know that vaginas come in all shapes and sizes and that they are all beautiful. So they would really like you to come along to the event or write about the project.

When :Exhibition runs 2nd April – 2nd May 2016

Where: Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium, 57 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PB

Phone: 020 7613 5458           Contact: Renee Denyer for more info

For more information about Jamie and his Great Wall of China Project visit www.graetwallofvagina.co.uk

Our Trip to Sh! Womens Sex Shop

 

My name is Asha, I am a student from America studying abroad and I intern at Hands Inc. About a week ago, Hands Inc. embarked on a trip to Sh!, a female-focused sex shop, based in Hackney. We took a group of women to Sh! As a part of their Menopause Project. This project includes activities like exercise courses, awareness courses, and support groups, all focused around the menopause. I recently attended an exercise class and saw how the different cardio, balance exercises, and pelvic floor movements really helped get the women moving around and really listening to their body’s. While it is great to see women moving around discovering their physical strengths through the menopause, it is not the only area that it can affect. A few of our service users expressed their interest in going to a sex shop, to learn more about their own sexuality and discuss the ways that menopause has affected them. As a 20 year old, I had never really thought about the menopause in a sexual context. What I have learnt from my time on the Menopause Project is that menopause is a mystical topic that no woman ever talks about until it is too late and they are going through it themselves. I learnt all about periods and sex but never talked about menopause in school or even with my own mother. Our service users have talked about the hot flashes, sleepless nights, cramping, and flushing but sometimes they have a difficult time discussing their low sex drive in front of others. Our trip to Sh!really helped clear up some of the more taboo subjects.

Cropped Table

We had all of the women who were interested, meet up at the Shoreditch Town Hall and so we could walk together to Sh!. When I arrived and met some of the women, there was a certain feeling of excitement and curiosity in the air. For a few of the women, this was the first time they had ever gone to a sex shop in their lives. Others said that they would never go into a sex shop alone, without a formal group, because they were either too embarrassed or scared. Everyone was very eager to arrive at Sh!, they were even leading the group! As we arrived in the shop, we saw a few of the vibrators, toys, and lubricants. Naturally, the excitement increased as we were led into a closed curtain room with chairs set up around two tables filled with different toys, diagrams, and even plush three-dimensional vaginas. The class began and we were offered refreshments and snacks, and a nice ice-breaker to get everyone in the mood for the night. Continue reading Our Trip to Sh! Womens Sex Shop