The Reward for Perimenopause? Menopause!

Menopause may sound like a booby prize, but it can be the best time of your life.

By Meredith Maran
woman office hot flash menopause picture
Photograph: istock

You can prove that by my friend Jane Juska. Born in 1933, this mother of one and grandmother of two birthed two wildly successful books celebrating geriatric sexuality (hers) — A Round-Heeled Woman and its sequel, Unaccompanied Women — long after her reproductive system had called it quits.

The books sprang from the personal ad Jane placed in the New York Review of Books in 1999 when she was single, 66, and sexually deprived. "Before I turn 67," the ad read, "I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works."

Now 75, Jane is still reading Trollope and still having lots of sex with men she likes. She’s also writing her first novel. When I ask Jane about the source of her late-life sexual and literary awakenings, she answers: "Menopause."

She goes on, "When the Curse stopped, my late-life elation kicked in. Men like me better now too."

"I never heard a woman say that men liked her better at 75 than 30," I say.

"I’m a danger-free zone," she says. "No fuss, no muss, no pregnancy to worry about." She grins mischievously: "Contrary to popular opinion, menopause is a gift to women."

Read more from the Perimenopause Handbook

Originally published in MORE magazine, October 2008.

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