Ask Scary Mommy: I'm Not Feeling The 40-Year-Old 'Sexual Peak' Everyone Talks About

by Gloria Marks
Originally Published: 

Ask Scary Mommy is Scary Mommy’s new advice column, where our team of “experts” answers all the questions you have about life, love, body image, friends, parenting, and anything else that’s confusing you.

Let’s talk about sex, bay-bee. Let’s talk about you and – ahem, sorry. When give the chance to bust out Salt-N-Pepa lyrics, you take it. But in all seriousness – not that Salt-N-Pepa aren’t serious – we’re talking about sex in today’s Ask Scary Mommy. Specifically, what to do when you don’t want it as a much as you think you should. Have your own questions? Email

Dear Scary Mommy,

I just turned 40 and all keep hearing about is how your 40s is when women reach their sexual peak. My friends talk about it. I read about it. I see it in just about every TV show and movie. But at the end of the day, all I want to do is curl up with a good book and a cup of chamomile tea. I don’t want to be touched, let alone have sex. I love my husband and still find him attractive, but I just do not want to have sex that often. What’s wrong with me?


Nothing is “wrong” with you.

As far as what you think everyone else is doing and feeling, I call bullshit. People like to talk a good game about what life is like in your 40s – which is usually that it is some kind of blissful stage of life when you give zero fucks, strut around in your sassy pants, and crave sex like some kind of hormonal teenage boy.

Not true. Your 40s are confusing. And scary. And emotionally exhausting. Especially now. Let’s face it, between homeschooling – er, remote learning – while working from home, making dinner, doing the laundry, buying washable face masks and nagging your kids to wear them, worrying about whether your elderly parents are taking appropriate pandemic precautions, and raging about the utter failure of our country to do what it takes to get the pandemic under control, just making it through the day can zap what little sex drive you might have.

It happens and it’s normal. Self-care is more important than ever, and if your sleepy time tea and a novel are what you need, go for it. Life is strange now, and I’m guess that once your a bit less frazzled, you might feel your loins jumping again.

That said, there are sometimes medical reasons for a decreased sex drive and if you do want to get your mojo back a bit, you should definitely give your doctor a call. Changes are they might even be able to have a telehealth convo with you over the phone about it.

And sometimes a little “friend” can help. Maybe you need to bust out your favorite vibe, or read a romance novel. Give it a shot, maybe it’s just what you need to turn that tepid water boiling hot.

But whatever the reason – whether it’s stress, exhaustion, or something else — let me be very clear: there is no “should” when it comes to sex.

Not based on what your partner wants. Not based on what the books and blog posts say. Not even based what your friends are telling you (spoiler alert: they are probably embellishing).

You want it when you want it; you don’t when you don’t. Period.

There is nothing “wrong” with you at all.

This article was originally published on