Ep 111: Is Perimenopause Getting in Your Way of an Amazing Sex Life? with Jacq Jones

Jacq Jones and Dr. Deb talk about maintaining or reigniting passion in a long-term relationship. Listen as they discuss the impact that menopause and perimenopause have on sex and sexuality and don’t miss what their favorite lubricant is.

Do not miss these highlights:

[4:26] Raised by two feminists, Jacq found her interest in sex and sexuality as a teenager and was interested in how it relates to access our power

[8:28] Understanding that changes in intimate relationships and how they have sex can be factors from perimenopause and menopause

[10:36] That no matter the age sex should be pleasurable and it is good for your brain and has health benefits for women and men

[11:54] The difference in orgasmic response and arousal patterns between women and men and overcoming the stigma of using sex toys

[15:52] Learning to balance vulnerability and feeling secure to make long term relationships work

[17:44] Utilizing toys that are app compatible for long distance intimacy

[20:07] Steps to take when there is a breakdown or boredom on behalf of one or both parties when it comes to meeting her/his needs

[24:14] The impact of pelvic floor damage and the strategies you can use in order improve function when it comes to sex and intimacy

[37:45] Not all pelvic surgeries are the same and can come down to leading a healthy sex life or not

[40:40] Preventing and reducing the impact of vaginal atrophy

[43:36] The best type of lubricants to use for sex or vaginal dryness

Resources Mentioned:

www.we-vibe.com

https://www.elvie.com/en-us/shop/elvie-trainer

About Our Guest:

Jacq Jones is a sex educator and the owner of Sugar, an award-winning, multi-gender operated, for-profit, mission driven sex toy store.  She has taught classes on sex, sexual techniques and relationships around the country at colleges, universities, medical schools, community based organizations and health departments.  She has provided countless people, both single and in relationships, with individualized instruction and coaching.

Jacq has a degree in Women’s Studies and has worked in Reproductive Healthcare and Sexuality Education as an administrator, educator and educational counselor since 1994.  She is certified in both HIV Counseling, Testing and Referral (MD, CT and MN) and Sexual Assault Advocacy (Ramsey County, MN). She is currently seeking a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at Towson University.

Jacq is known for creating a teaching environment in which people feel comfortable discussing taboo topics. Her humor, matter of fact presentation and her passion for positive and healthy sexuality color every part of her presentation. Because of the depth of her experience in reproductive health care, she is able to blend hot tips and techniques with balanced, accurate and up to date information about anatomy, and safer sex

Social Media & Website:

https://www.sugartheshop.com/

Instagram and Twitter @sugartheshop
Individual Insta and Twitter @sugarjacq

Transcription for episode #111:

Debra Muth 0:02
Welcome to Let’s Talk Wellness Now, I’m your host, Dr. Deb. This is where we talk about everything wellness, and learn to defy aging and live our lives on our own terms. We are going to interview Jacq Jones today this is going to be a great conversation. Jacq is a sex educator and the owner of sugar and award winning multi gender gender operated for profit, mission driven sex toy store. I am so excited to have this conversation you guys know, I love to talk about sex and relationships and how we have the best sex life we possibly can. So Jacq has taught classes on sex, sexual techniques and relationships around the country at colleges, universities, medical schools, and community based organizations and even health departments. I’m so glad she’s on this mission. She has provided countless people both single and in relationships with individualized instruction and coaching. She has a degree in women’s studies and has worked in reproductive health care and sexuality education as an administrator, educator and educational counselor since 1994. So this is going to be a great conversation. Our topic today is maintaining or reigniting passion in a long time relationship, including the impact of menopause and perimenopause on sex and sexuality. Now you guys know I have talked on this topic for a long time. And I’m really grateful to have somebody with Jack’s knowledge base to join us today. So this is going to be maybe an R rated conversation if your kiddos are around, you know, just be in a place put some earbuds on or be in a place where if we talk about things that they don’t want your you don’t want them to hear they can’t hear. So let’s get started with this conversation.

Debra Muth 2:15
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Debra Muth 3:31
So I’m your host, Dr. Deb and I have this amazing guest Jacq with me today. And like I said in the intro, you guys know I love to have this conversation about sex and midlife. And that is one of my passions. So I’m super stoked to be having this conversation with Jacq today. Her background is amazing. She’s been in this industry a very long time. And I’m sure she has some great tips and tricks for us as we age, how to keep our sex life exciting and fresh and new, especially in long term relationships. So Jacq, welcome to the show.

Jacq Jones 4:07
Thank you so much. I’m so honored to be here.

Debra Muth 4:10
Thank you. So tell us a little bit about your background. How did you get started in in advocating for women and women’s studies, and you have this amazing sex toy store that you do? Tell us a little bit about how you got started and all that?

Jacq Jones 4:26
Um, well, I’ve been interested and sex and sexuality is how that relates to women and how that relates to our ability to access our power into an equity. Since I was a teenager, I was raised by two feminists and I’m sure that had a lot to do with that. Absolutely. And one of the things that I was really interested in early in my career was the intersection between access to reproductive healthcare and information about birth control and being able to plan, plan families and eall of those things and how much that has an impact on people who have an ability to get pregnant and our ability to participate in life in ways that we choose. And I think that that is crucially important. And through that, I also got interested in how that plays out in terms of sex and sexuality. And part of the way that that works for me was in working, I worked for many years in reproductive health care. And so that resulted a lot in me spending time with people helping them heal and address things that happened. And but it was all often after the fact, right, like, Hi, you have chlamydia. Yes, drink this. And then let’s talk about who else you need to tell. Let’s talk about how you can have that conversation in ways that are safe. And at some point, I realized that instead, I could come at it from a pleasure based perspective. And one of the things that we know is that coming at things from a pleasure based perspective, actually creates behavior change, that is more durable. And that is that you can greet with joy, right? Like being able to say, I’m going to do this, rather than I’m going to not allow myself to do this are two really different things. Now, obviously, not allowing yourself to do certain things is often really useful, like not allowing yourself to leave your driveway without your seatbelt on good choices. But also, like, if there’s a way for it to be, okay, I can do this thing sexually, and there’s no risk, and it’s going to bring me pleasure, or if it’s something that I can do with my partner, that’s going to bring us both pleasure, and reduce risk. And in the process, I also learned all of the ways that we can use sex toys and information about sex, that aren’t necessarily about risk reduction, but are just about bringing more joy and more fun and more pleasure and more passion into our sex lives.

Debra Muth 7:26
Yeah, I love that. That is so awesome. And I have a very similar background, I started in reproductive health as well, and spent many years helping women make those choices for them. And like you having to have conversations after the fact because unfortunately, we’re not really teaching things in our young people the way we should, everything has gotten very taboo. And so instead of preparing them, they’re finding themselves on the backside of that. And I think that’s such a disservice to our young people. But then that also means that’s a disservice to those of us who are aging. And now we’re finding ourselves with partners that have passed away, or we’ve decided that after 25 years, we don’t want to be in the same relationship. So now we have this huge population of midlife women back in the dating field that have no idea what STDs are all about, because they never, you know, it’s been 25 years, they haven’t had to think about it. But before that, nobody taught them about it. Anyway, the big problem that we have here, huge problem.

Jacq Jones 8:28
And the other thing that is happening is we don’t talk enough about perimenopause and menopause. Like it’s just it’s not there, I’m seeing a small change, as Gen Xers are starting to go through it. Where, which is me and, and my generation is, you know, nobody thinks about us. But we’re also the kind that, you know, we’re also not likely to sit back and just be like, what is this weird thing that is happening to me without starting to have conversations? I think the Gen X level of shame is fairly low in general. Yeah. Um, and so I think that that’s helpful. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had conversations with women who have come into the store or even just like friends who think that something is wrong in their relationship, when it’s really that their body is changing. And that’s having an impact on the on how they have sex. And having that information is so crucial. And it’s a big deal what’s happening to us and perimenopause and it often takes a long time.

Debra Muth 9:48
Absolutely, absolutely. And you know what, we forget that we’re going to live almost just as many years and after menopause that maybe lived with our hormones. So you know, with With living to be 90. And it’s sad, because I hear a lot of women say, Well, I hope I don’t have to have sex in my nineties, you know. And that’s a sad thing. Because I get the whole idea of its work and you’re tired and all of that. But the reality is, too, when we allow ourselves to just enjoy the moment, we forget how much pleasure it brings us to. And we don’t have to have that mindset like, oh, at 90, he’s gonna want to still have sex God, what am I going to do? It should be pleasurable for us as well.

Jacq Jones 10:36
Yeah, and lots of people are having sex in their 90s. Like, and it’s good for your brain, too.

Debra Muth 10:43
So good for your brain. And, and ladies, you’re gonna hate me for saying this. But men need to have sex regularly for prostate health. If they don’t ejaculate regularly, they’re going to have a higher risk of prostate cancer and prostate issues. So you know, we’ve got a, we’ve got a look at this from a health standpoint as well. And that’s important.

Jacq Jones 11:04
100%. And keeping your pelvic floor in good shape helps keep your uterus where you want it to be. It helps keep you from peeing on yourself, or reducing the amount that you’re paying on yourself. Like, there’s there’s absolutely basic physical reasons that can be helpful.

Debra Muth 11:23
Yeah, for sure. You know, it’s so hard. I know, there’s a lot of stigma, it probably more so well, I’ll say this, but I’m probably going to regret it. I said this, probably more so in previous generations to us that the whole sex toy thing and and utilizing things to help us orgasm is a negative or that means there’s something wrong with us or something wrong with our partner. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I mean, we can utilize these things so that it is easier for us to get so frustrated.

Jacq Jones 11:54
Absolutely. There’s a book called Come as you are by Dr. Emily Nagurski. It’s one of my favorite books. And it’s a book about sis women’s orgasmic response and arousal patterns. And it’s super, super useful. Because one of the most important things that you can learn from that book is that average right, like, time it takes from arousal to orgasm for most women is 45 minutes.

Debra Muth 12:27
Oh, my gosh.

Jacq Jones 12:29
That is a long time. And that adds time for most sis men is four to nine minutes. So there’s a lot of discordance there. And I think that there’s also a lot of because most of what we’re taught about arousal patterns, is based on men, that then we think when somebody with a clitoris and a vagina is taking longer that there’s something wrong, when in fact, there’s something super normal about that. Obviously, that’s average. So that means there’s plenty of people who are faster than that, and plenty of people who are slower than that, or it takes longer than that. So there’s nothing wrong with that time. And you’re 100%, right, like one of the things that a vibrator can do is help help with that. Right, like, so it’s just using a tool.

Debra Muth 13:23
Yeah, absolutely.

Jacq Jones 13:24
One of the things I talked about, like I’m somebody who, you know, I grew up using power tools, right? And and I’ll say sometimes I’ll like ask people, especially people who might have had experience with that, and I’ll be like, so you have a big sheet of plywood? Are you gonna saucer it with a hacksaw? Are you gonna use a circular saw? One of them is going to take you all day. And one of them is going to take you about a minute. Which one? Which one do you want, right? And that’s really often with sex toys are about, like that analogy. And so you know, like a part of what a vibrator does is it’s able to stimulate the nerve endings in a way that is more intense and deeper than a body part can. That’s just it, it’s simple. It doesn’t mean that you’re using hands or tongues or penises or anything else wrong. It means that you’re just delivering the stimulation at a different level of intensity. And it’s an intensity that many many people need to have in order to achieve orgasm. And that gets more likely as we age that you’ll need that.

Debra Muth 14:43
And so I have two thoughts on this. So one of my thoughts is the idea of stimulation, right? Like the idea of arousal and stimulation doesn’t happen just when you get to the bedroom. Like prep, you know, we have to think about this your arousal and stimulation could start when you’re cooking dinner. You know, I’ve created a program called success. And we talked about this, like, what are you doing all day long to stimulate yourself, right? We forget when we were courting, we’d send little love messages or put things in the lunch box. And now we have great tools like the internet and email and text messages. And we can do this all day long to get ourselves aroused before we make it to the bedroom. But we don’t think about that anymore. We think about arousal has to start with the minute we touch the vagina. Right women, let’s talk about where it starts in our head, right before it starts in the pelvis. And we forget about all of that

Jacq Jones 15:46
we do. And I think that’s one of the things that’s really easy to let slack and a long term relationship. Especially when you know, early in a relationship, a lot of times your focus is on it. Esther parral does a really good job talking about this and mating in captivity, and one of the things she talks about is how being a little off balance is often part of what we experience as sexy, that vulnerability that like little bit of a question. That is, but and so that’s something that feels sexy, to make a long term relationship work, you need to be able to be vulnerable and to feel secure. So being able to balance those two things and being able to find a way to bring in that little bit of mystery. And that little bit of question into a long term relationship is really crucial. And part of what that means is that maybe you do things not together sometimes, right. And in that time, when you’re not together, maybe you’re sending flirty texts, or if you’re worried This is one of the things that I think is really helpful if you’re worried about your kid, seeing your phone, right or your boss. And I mean, I will when I like when I’m with some of my younger family members, like they will just grab my phone and neck. Somehow I’ll look over and if it wasn’t locked, like they’re going through it and I’m like,

Jacq Jones 17:20
What are you doing?

Debra Muth 17:24
This is my privacy. Yeah,

Jacq Jones 17:28
back, or even if I let them have it, so that one of them is like loves taking pictures. So I’m like, Okay, go ahead, take your pictures. And but what if I get a text, right? Like, while she’s taking pictures that is inappropriate for her. So that’s there’s a company called we vibe. And we vibe makes products that have app compatibility. And within the app, you can make your own vibrations, you can control the sex toy, and they have a variety of toys. You can control the sex toy from the app from anywhere, which is super great if you’re in a long term relationship or I don’t know,quarantining.

Jacq Jones 18:14
Like that’s helpful. But also within the app, you can video chat, you can sext. So it can be a really great way where you keep that in a place on your phone that’s not accessible. Like somebody has to go to that app and open it. Which is less likely.

Debra Muth 18:33
Yeah. And you could put it inside a file on your phone? Well, it’s something like business that nobody wants to look. Yeah. I don’t have to go into that to find it. That’s a great idea. I love that idea. Yeah, that keeps it a little bit more private for people for sure.

Jacq Jones 18:48
Exactly. And if you’re not worried about that, by all means, just, you know, send flirty, sexy texts all the way. But you can also do that in like WhatsApp as well. If you wanted to.

Debra Muth 19:04
Yeah, you know, I think it’s important. And I’d love to hear your thoughts on this is, you know, nobody teaches us how to be great lovers. They teach us everything else. But somehow we’re just supposed to innately know how to make love. And that is the farthest thing from the truth. You know, we all stumble and learn if you remember when you were young, and the first time you were doing this, you were like, Oh my god, it’s a penis. Oh my god, what am I supposed to do with this? You know? And so we go to porn to learn that there are so many better ways to learn how to be a better lover on both sides. And I really believe it’s like anything else that we learn it is a lifelong education. But if we don’t have a mentor, like we have a coach for something else. Yeah, never become the best lover that we can become. And then that’s when boredom sets in and frustration because one of the parties isn’t getting their needs met the way they want. They get afraid to tell the other one that maybe they’re not turned on the way they used to or the way they want to be.

Jacq Jones 20:07
Well, and one of the things that I think can help with that, well, there’s two things that even if you don’t have a coach, right, and help, and the first one is in the sounds boring, but it works is communication. You’ll see all kinds of people like develop your signature sex move, or the one thing that’s designed to get somebody off, which is crap. Like there is no one thing that is going to get every person off that one thing somebody else is going to be like, literally, what are you doing, please stop. So you need to just listen. But the other beautiful thing about how our bodies change as we age is, although it is super easy to fall into a pattern, you know, like lick here, push there. And that’s what how we do it. If you’re paying attention, you’ll learn that this is different. And so that’s not just, Oh, no, this is different, which is 100% how it can feel. But it’s also a, this is different, I get to try something new. I gotta like really like, step back and pretend that I’m learning this body all over again, because guess what you are. And so it can be a really great opportunity to like, kind of like shake the dust off and do some new things.

Debra Muth 21:31
Yeah, so true. So a lot of my listeners have heard me talk over the last couple of years, I went to a women’s retreat, to get re engaged with my body and who I am. And we spent 10 days exploring all kinds of women’s issues. But I remember texting my husband, and he’s like, what are you doing? And I’m like, well, we’re doing this thing called Yoni, and he’s like, what the hell is Yoni and I’m like, look it up. And I was shocked. I came back. And he’s like, I got this thing down. I learned about all this Yoni massage, and this and that I youtubed it all. He’s like, let’s try this. This is exciting. And then I’m looking at him going, like, What are you talking about? That’s what we were talking about. But it was like he was super excited. And then he started finding other men that were teaching men how to address the Yoni. And for those of you who don’t know the word, Yoni, we’re talking about the vagina. But he started learning about, like, how do you turn out a woman? How do you do this? And he’s like, I kind of knew this about you. But I wasn’t exactly sure. And now he has all kinds of new techniques and tools that he feels comfortable using. And he’s excited to see my response. And I’m certainly loving it, because it’s way better than what we were doing before. And I never quite know that that secrecy, I never quite know what to expect from him or what he learned during the week or something like that. But, I mean, this is the kind of thing that we need to all keep learning if we want to have that amazing sex life. And for me, it was really important to rekindle our sex life and have an amazing sex life. If you want that. It’s going to be a little work, but it can be worth it.

Unknown Speaker 23:14
And how long had you two been together at that point?

Debra Muth 23:17
So my husband and I will be married 31 years next year? And we just did this three years ago.

Jacq Jones 23:24
See? Yeah, beautiful, like, look at the way that you’re able to, like, reinvigorate that. And to really see each other as evolving humans. Yeah. And knowing that there is always something to learn about the person that you’re with, because you will never know all about them, no matter how much you think you do.

Debra Muth 23:46
Yeah. Can you speak a little bit to the effects? So a lot of our ladies listening? Well, not a lot, but some of them may have had some pelvic floor damage, either to surgery, or, you know, a PCR tummy scars, things like that. That nerve damage really impacts the way we feel and have sensations. Can you talk a little bit about how different vibrators and tools can kind of help with that and make this sensation different?

Jacq Jones 24:14
Yes. The first thing though, that I will say is that so pelvic floor physical therapy is a brilliant, magical thing. And one of my favorite pelvic floor physical therapist is at indigo, physical therapy and Baltimore. Dr. Sam, she is of the belief that every person who’s had a baby should have pelvic floor physical therapy, and I completely agree with her layout. And the good news is it’s often covered by insurance. And have you talked too much about pelvic floor physical therapy?

Debra Muth 24:57
Yeah, we’ve had a couple of shows about it. Yeah. That’s great.

Jacq Jones 25:01
That’s great. Um, so that’s the first thing that I would suggest, if somebody is dealing with changes in nerve function after having given birth, after radiation, after hysterectomy. Any of those things, please, please seek out a pelvic floor physical therapist. And just know that even though it might seem strange to go to a physical therapist to have somebody, like, literally, they’re going to touch they’re going to touch you. And but part of what that’s going to they have all kinds of extra training, like they didn’t just get a PhD and then start get thrown out into the world. But yeah, and also not getting a PhD is not a just thing. Yeah.

Debra Muth 25:52
Yeah, a lot of work. But those women that do that, I mean, they are like gifted, and they truly are, they believe in that pelvic floor help so much. I mean,

Jacq Jones 26:06
I mean, it’s so necessary, like, and one of the things that Dr. Sam is often talking about is she sees a lot of runners too. And because running you, you end up using your pelvic floor a lot. And if you’re not using it the right way, you can end up causing yourself damage. Yeah, so one of the first things that I do suggest is if somebody is having any pelvic floor dysfunction at all, is first of all, super common super normal, I would hazard a guess the probably most women at some point in their life have dealt with some pelvic floor issues. Second of all, seek a professional and have and have a pelvic floor physical therapist sort of walk you through an exercise routine, go through some therapy to really help you regain that. Once you’ve done that, and have some answers around there, then you come to us for sex toys and whatnot. The reason I’m saying that is because sometimes people you know will use like Cagle balls to really work on developing their pelvic strength, when Actually the problem is that their muscles are too strong, and are in like, sort of like stuck in constant rigor. And that’s causing problems, where and you actually need to learn to relax your pelvic floor muscles. Whereas other people, it’s definitely the opposite, they need to learn more about to how to like restore that muscle, that muscle.

Debra Muth 27:43
That integrity of that, thank you yeah.

Jacq Jones 27:48
Um, and so but the other thing too and normal part of aging is we develop muscle laxity sort of in our entire body, and our muscles are definitely a use it or lose it kind of thing throughout our lives. So it is important as we age to really start paying a lot of attention to our pelvic floor. And using keggle balls, or dilators, or anything that you can contract your pec muscles or your vaginal muscles around, contract and release, contract and release is really helpful. There’s also this amazing product, called the EV, which is a it’s like a keggle egg. So you insert it but it has an app associated with it. And you’re able to track on the app, the intensity of your contractions, that’s also of the release, because the release is one of the things that is often the hardest. It’s real. And if you think about it, like we do, sort of like walk through the world being like, I’m really tense. And like that kind of relaxation, or breathing out. The calming is a really important part. I’ll often talk about it, like if you’re doing bicep curls at the gym, and you’re only like bringing the barbell like up to your shoulder and you’re not doing a full extension, you’re not working the whole muscle. And that’s what happens if you’re not doing a full release when you’re working on your pelvic floor. So part of what the E v is able to do is it’s able to track like you can literally see it on the screen in front of you how well you’re letting that go about awesome. And then it even you can even set it up to like remind you to work out three times a week and it’s literally less than 10 minutes like it’s super easy, but super helpful.

Debra Muth 29:47
Can you repeat the name of that product?

Jacq Jones 29:50
It’s called the Eevee elite IE. They also the same company makes some really killer breast pumps by the way.

Debra Muth 29:58
Oh nice. Well We’ll put that in our show notes. If you guys are listening, and you want to catch that, don’t worry, we’ll put that in our show notes because that is a great tool. I love that

Jacq Jones 30:07
it is it is. And by the way their breast pumps are like, they don’t have as many parts, as most breast pumps do, and they don’t. You can literally like stick them on and go about your business. Like you don’t have to sit there.

Debra Muth 30:22
Oh, I’m laughing because one of my girls in my office was nursing and the opposite. She had those it, I think that’s the same company. She had some like that in while she was sitting at her desk, and I turned around and I said, I haven’t seen her in a while since she’s bent back. I’m like, Oh my God, your boobs are so huge from pregnancy. And she’s like, I’m nursing. And I’m like, Oh my gosh, what happened to those pumps we used to have, this is great. And we were laughing about it. Because she’s like, this is so great. They’re under my shirt. I don’t have to go in a room. I can do it right at my desk. Nobody knows I’m doing it. And she’s like this wonderful. And I’m like, gosh, we come a long way with breast pumps, holy cow.

Jacq Jones 31:01
And they’re, they’re like, they used to be so loud.

Debra Muth 31:04
I’m paying for all.

Jacq Jones 31:06
Yeah, all of it. But yeah, so that’s good. The other thing that can be really helpful is vibration. And the reason vibration can be really useful on scar tissue. Yeah, and it can help to like sort of break up that scar tissue. And the other thing too, that I think that people need to remember when you’ve had surgery or trauma, which you know, radiations trauma in the pelvic area, it’s going to disrupt the the nerves, those nerves can regenerate, but it takes some time. And it’s going to sort of take and as they regenerate, you’re going to have to sort of rebuild those neural pathways, right? Our brains are constantly pruning. And so like, if you don’t constantly pay attention to that, you can always rebuild it. But it’ll take longer. Yeah, so one thing once you’re able to start using those pathways, again, use them. And I’ll talk about masturbation as something that is not just fun, right? But it’s actually good for your health, it helps to bring blood flow to the area, blood flow feeds nerves, it feeds muscles, it keeps your body in shape. And I’ll often encourage people especially as we get a little bit older to make it a conscious practice, right? Like, even if you’re not masturbating to orgasm, if you are doing something to connect with pleasure, and also to like, help your body set aside 10 minutes a day, like, you know, are you going to hop on the peloton for half an hour, right, do that too. And before you hop on the bike, or after you hop on the bike, spend 10 minutes doing this as well.

Debra Muth 33:04
That is such a great recommendation and, and we use a lot of different compounded creams to help break up scar tissue and regenerate nerves. So it can be done, ladies, you just need a little work. But as you’re talking about making this a regular practice, I’m thinking of the slow sex book. And that is such a great thing, because that’s how we get back in touch with ourselves and our partners. But there’s no expectation. So if you guys haven’t read slow sex, I would really recommend it because it’s a way to learn how to obtain pleasure without having to be forced to orgasm or pleasure your partner or actually turn it into a sexual act. You get to choose, you know what you want to do. And that’s a great way to just reconnect with what is it that I do, like, you know, and spend that time.

Jacq Jones 33:55
And the other thing that I think is really important about that part is if there is something that has happened in your life that has affected your pelvic floor, it’s often associated with trauma. Yeah. And so if and, you know, even if it’s like you had to have a hysterectomy because you didn’t have to have a hysterectomy because everything was fine, right? Like, you had to have a hysterectomy because something wasn’t going quite right. And sometimes it’s a really scary thing like cancer. And so having your body fighting against you in that way can feel really scary. And it can really cause the person to feel very disconnected from their body and finding ways to get back in. Take some time. But more than time it takes intentionality and it takes some grace and giving grace to yourself to know like this is going to be something that might be a little bit challenging and It also requires your partner to have some grace with you. Because there are going to be times when as you’re healing, and I don’t just mean healing physically, I mean healing emotionally, that there’s going to be times when you’re like, you know what, I’m not ready for sex today. And maybe you were like all about it yesterday. But emotions don’t heal in a linear fashion. And trauma lives in the body. So, sometimes it will surprise you to where all of a sudden you’re touched in a certain way, and you’re like, Whoa, a big emotion comes out. And that’s okay. But you also need to be able to when you’re not in the bedroom, spend some time with your partner, get them a book, have them learn about it, so that they’re able to be present for you in a really positive way. And also spend some time with your partner, because maybe there’s a time when you’re like, I don’t want you touching me. But that doesn’t mean I can’t touch you. And so it’s great. And how do we give you pleasure in a way that is not about involving my stuff.

Debra Muth 36:14
I love that because I think we have to find a way to be honest and share and talk about what it is that we’re feeling. Or we just say I don’t want to talk about it. And I’m happy to pleasure you. I just don’t want to be involved in it with you pleasuring me right now. And and for some people, that’s a challenge to hear. But it’s an okay thing to do, for sure. It is. And I think so often we get into a place where and this can be come from such a good generous space, that sex is about pleasuring our partner. And when you don’t have the opportunity to do that, you’re doing something wrong. Yeah. And sometimes it’s not about you, right, like, sometimes it’s okay to just be the receptive one. And sometimes it’s okay to just be be the giving one. And that also doesn’t have to be about like something big, like you’re healing from cancer, it could be that like, I don’t know, you’re tired. Or you’re grumpy.

Debra Muth 37:23
The kids made me angry, and I can’t get out of my head right now. So. Exactly, exactly.

Jacq Jones 37:29
You’re having a depression flare, or you know, any of those things like that can have a significant impact, or you’re having an intense hot flash, and you don’t want anybody touching you. Just so true, right?

Jacq Jones 37:44
Oh, my gosh. You know, I want to touch a little bit too on the some of the myths of menopause and sexuality. You know, I’ve shared a lot on the show that I had pelvic floor surgery twice in my life. And a few years ago, I had very intense pelvic floor repair says to seal Rector seal the whole thing and, and I was 51, when that happened, and my ob gyn who I love my year of college, I absolutely love her. But one of the questions she asked me was, do you want to still be sexually active after the surgery because how I performed the surgery will be different, if you want that or not. And I’m thinking, I’m 51 years old. Of course, I want that still. But but it made me realize like, that’s what we think about in medicine, like I can repair it one way, or I can repair it the other way. And regardless of how she repaired it, let me tell you ladies, it is not a fun process to become sexually active again afterwards. Like there was a point after surgery that I couldn’t even get one finger in the vagina. So the thought of having sex was like, Oh my god, how are we going to do this? And even my husband said, Deb, I’m not sure how we’re going to do this. Like, I can’t get my finger in there. And we had to really work at it to have a good sex life afterwards. But that’s some of the myths that after 50 Well, you just don’t care about it anymore. That could be the farthest thing from the truth.

Jacq Jones 39:11
100%. And I also want to point out, I mean, there are people who are asexual, right, like, who they’re like nothing going in there anyway. So get what not to do, which is fine. Yeah. And then there’s all kinds of people who are like super sexual, but don’t like penetration. And so there’s all kinds of ways that they engage in sex that aren’t about a penis and a vagina.

Debra Muth 39:34
And that’s a great point.

Jacq Jones 39:36
And so I’m super impressed that your doctor asked that question, because it’s a rare question. Yeah. To ask. And a lot of physicians will just go in there and do it the way that they think is, quote unquote, best without considering the impact that that’s going to have on somebody’s sex life.

Debra Muth 39:58
You bet. And unfortunately, I see some of those women that have had those surgeries. And now they don’t have the option of vaginal penetration, because of how things were done to them. And they didn’t have a say so in it, and that’s a really sad time. And some things we can work to repair. But some things are, are only limited, and we can’t I mean, the vagina is very forgiving, you know, it can stretch after the back, still don’t worry about that. It’s very forgiving. But if it’s really short, because they’ve taken all that tissue and tied it up, well, that’s, that’s going to make sex different for you than it was before. And you just need to know that.

Jacq Jones 40:40
And I think that one of the words that you just used is really important is different, right? And so different doesn’t mean not, Rob’s different means different. And you know, it’s a new normal, and there are ways to celebrate your body within that. And one of the things that we often talk about is that vaginal atrophy is a thing, right, so as we get older, our body stops making estrogen, and that affects blood flow to your entire like to your vagina. And so the skin is gonna get more tender, more subset more susceptible to being to like tiny tears, that can be really uncomfortable. And there’s lots of things you can do to help prevent or reduce the impact of vaginal atrophy. There is also a limit to the things that can be done. And while in most cases, people can still and who wants to have penetration can still find ways to have penetration. So it’s super helpful. But also, there are some times where that ends up not being something you want to do. Yeah, for sure. And so one of the things that I that I talk to people about when they’re in their 20s and 30s is make your sexual repertoire wide, right? Like, don’t make it only about penis and vagina intercourse, penises and vaginas, great. But there’s so many more things that you can and should do. So that you are ready for like, a day a week or yours, that that’s not happening.

Debra Muth 42:32
Right, right.

Jacq Jones 42:33
Also, sometimes penises don’t stand up when you want them to that is true. And so there might not be a penis available. And it’s gonna do that. That also doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to provide that penis pleasure. And so it’s important that we find ways to celebrate our bodies that aren’t dependent on just one thing.

Debra Muth 42:55
Yeah, absolutely. And, and, you know, we talk a lot about using estrogen in postmenopausal women to repair that tissue, so you don’t get those recurrent UTI is after sex and all of that. But for those women who can’t use estrogen, hyaluronic acid is a beautiful batch, no cream that you can use to help lubricate the vaginal tissue so you don’t end up in so much pain with tears and all of those things. So ladies, if you’re listening to this, you know, talk to your gynecologist, talk to a functional medicine practitioner, talk to somebody like Jacq because she can give you those options of things to ask for. And even some of the best lubricants to use. There are some great lubricants on the market these days that don’t have a taste. They’re not sticky. I mean, back in the day, there was not such great ones. You know, there are some really great lubricants these days that can help and even non hormonal lubricants that can moisturize that vaginal tissue so that it can be comfortable for you during sex and even not during sex because that vagina is going to get dry and going to get irritated and you might want to use a lubricant. Even when you’re not having sex just for comfort.

Jacq Jones 44:07
Yeah, absolutely. One of my favorites for sex, um, when dealing with any kind of vaginal dryness issues. And folks don’t forget this is also an issue when somebody is breastfeeding. And that is it’s called Uber lube by Cambridge. I love it so much. And plus, this matters to me. The folks who own Uber lube are lovely. Like really lovely. I like being able to like spend money with companies that are also people.

Debra Muth 44:50
They are great my husband always says Can’t you get this stuff by the gallon? When I came across lube It has been my Favorite lubricant ever since I found it too, I just love it. It’s great and overlooked can be used for so many other things as well.

Jacq Jones 45:10
Like if I, I don’t know if is this just is this only audio,

Debra Muth 45:18
we will have segments of video as well.

Jacq Jones 45:21
So for folks who aren’t seeing the video, I’m white, and I have really fine hair. And so if I want to put some, like extra sheen on my hair, I can use Uber lube. My coworker who’s Black has used it on her twist outs. I am also a runner, and I use it to prevent chafing. And I’m also a slow runner and I run distance. So it has seen me through some really long sweaty runs without any chafing. I mean, it’s magic. And then the other day, my wife used it on the we’re putting the hoses out. She’s like, she, she put it inside the little like hose connections. Oh, yeah. That we would be able to like unscrew them again later.

Debra Muth 46:16
Like I have a really hard for MacBook as I used to remove after my pelvic floor surgery. And I tell you it was a lifesaver. Just because you don’t want that irritation and that dryness and you need that oysters and it lasts so long. I mean, it lasts hours. But it’s not sticky. And it’s not leaking. A lot of you like some of the things. It’s just nice and gliding and slippery. And oh, it’s wonderful. Yeah, no, it’s amazing.

Jacq Jones 46:46
I’ll often tell people so I’m, I’ve run the New York Marathon a couple times. And when you run New York, you have to go and sit at Staten Island for hours before you can run. And the slower you are, the longer you have to stay. So I’m in the last group. And then you run. And so I’m sitting there for hours, like I left my hotel room at 430 in the morning covered an Uber lube, go to Staten Island is set, run for five and a half hours. And then so by the time I get there, it’s getting dark, right? So I have had Uber lube on my body for like over 12 hours. And it’s still working. Which if it can do that.

Debra Muth 47:35
Yes, it can. Anything? Yes, it lasts a really long time. I just love it. Yeah. Right. And there’s no taste to it either, which not wonderful, you know, because if you apply lubricant, many are afraid of having oral sex afterwards. You don’t have to worry about that with this at all.

Jacq Jones 47:52
Yeah, fine. It’s fine.

Debra Muth 47:54
Perfect. Jacq, this has been such a great conversation. My gosh, we could talk for hours. And I want to be so respectful of your time. If people want to learn more about what we’re talking about, how can they get in touch with you, so that you can help educate them on some of these topics?

Jacq Jones 48:11
Sure, you can find my store at sugartheshop.com. And also, we have some really great library of workshops on there as well, including a workshop that I teach on sex and menopause. And, and they’re recorded, so you can buy them and we’ll send you a link to be able to watch them. You can also get over live there. And you can also find me on Instagram at @sugarjacq (J A C Q) and then you can find me on Twitter @sugarjacq as well. Full disclosure, my Twitter is a lot about Baltimore and criminal justice stuff. So it’s not as sex based. But my Instagram is much more like focused on like coaching and all of that kind of stuff.

Debra Muth 49:10
Awesome. I love that. For those of you who are driving and or exercising during this, listening to this recording, we will have all Jacq’s information on our show notes with her links to getting to reach her, we will also link her store for you. So if you’re interested in that ebeid egg or the Uber lube or any of our classes will give you a direct link to her stores so that you can reach out to her and consume some of this information because it really needs to be an ongoing educational process and and I love how respectful you are of everyone’s gender, everyone’s sexuality. It’s not just one way. So I love that and I think you guys are gonna really enjoy learning from her. This has been great.

Jacq Jones 49:56
Thank you so much. I really appreciate you including me.

Debra Muth 50:00
Thank you any last tips or tricks you want to leave for our listeners?

Jacq Jones 50:05
I think one of the most important things, especially as we’re going through perimenopause, and menopause, that I think can be most difficult to deal with is, and I mentioned it a little bit is, if you’re somebody who’s experiencing hot flashes, it can feel like you don’t want to be touched. And when you’re in when you’re in the midst of a hot flash, which can then lead your partner to sort of start to feel like I don’t know what’s happening with her. I don’t know if I should touch her right now. Yeah. So if that leads to the point where you need to continue to be really intentional about touch, and really intentional about eye contact, to make that kind of to sort of bridge that gap until you get to the other side, because there’s going to be a point where the hot flashes will reduce, and in most cases completely go away. And then you’ll be over there.

Debra Muth 51:02
Yeah. And here’s a really nice tip. Ladies, if you are having those hot flashes like that, during intimacy, get creative, like ice cubes are like the most essential thing. And you can play with ice cubes, and it will be a huge turn on and distract your mind from the hot flash. And then that way, you don’t necessarily have to completely stop your act. You’re changing it a little bit. But really get creative with some of those cooling things that that you that you could use. You know, it’s great.

Jacq Jones 51:40
Absolutely. Golden Egg wraps.

Debra Muth 51:43
Yes, yes. And they may even make ice cubes that don’t melt. But trust me, the melted ones are more exciting than the non melting. But you can have a couple of little ice cube bombs that you could put behind your neck or under your arms and then get an ice cube that can melt on your hot skin. And that is really going to be fun.

Jacq Jones 52:05
Okay, that’s brilliant.

Debra Muth 52:06
I had forgotten that existed. Thank you. Yeah, so much fun. Well, this has been such an awesome conversation to have. You’re just so lovely. I definitely have to have you back. Because Gosh, we can have so many amazing conversations here.

Jacq Jones 52:22
Deb it’s been such a joy speaking with you.

Debra Muth 52:24
Thank you. You’re welcome. Thank you. Hey, it has been really great sharing this time with you guys on the let’s talk wellness now podcast. If this episode has helped you or you feel as though this episode would help someone else we’d love for you to leave us a review, share this podcast. And if you don’t want to miss the most exciting episodes we have coming. We’d love for you to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Until next time, live every day to the fullest

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