Talking to young children about sex and Intimacy after menopause

Welcome to the forum for issues about women’s sexuality, provided by Las Vegas Woman magazine. I will serve as the moderator and expert for topics you ask about, as well as some discussion of ideas I want to bring to your attention. I want to thank the readers for sending in questions.

My first question: “When do I talk about sex with my 7-year-old son and my 2-year-old daughter?”

The Clark County School District tried to address this issue by modernizing the sex education curriculum, using the SIECUS (Sex Information and Education Council of the United States) guidelines. Those guidelines turned out to have all kinds of material in them that many parents in the community found objectionable. My position is that guidelines are meant to be considered and adopted according to what works for the population in question. The SIECUS guidelines cover it all, on a basis of age appropriateness. Different people will find different levels of the SIECUS information to be useful or not, depending on their own sensibilities. If you look at, you will find many useful resources to suggest various topics appropriate to young children. There are words to teach kids about sex in a way that takes the titillation and mystery out of sex, and normalizes all the challenges all of us face as we grow up with questions about our own bodies. At the same time, the guidelines can give parents a way to talk to their children about inappropriate touching from others and the dangers of engaging in sex before they are ready for it; sex is an adult choice with adult consequences. If young people are going to engage in sex, I would hope they have the information to make good choices about what behaviors they engage in, knowing all the risks and how to minimize those risks in advance.

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My next question: “I am post menopause and am experiencing indifference to sex; how do I regain my youthful drive without drugs?”

I am happy this question is being asked. If vaginal dryness is an issue, lubricants can make all the difference. If desire is the issue, and it often is after menopause, I cannot recommend strongly enough the value of physical exercise. Testosterone is the hormone that regulates sexual desire in both men and women. Physical exercise brings about a testosterone spike in human beings just about an hour after exercise. If you make exercise a regular habit (at least three times a week), your natural levels will rise and you will find yourself more interested in sex.

Thanks for your questions. Please send in your questions about any aspect of sex and relationships, and I will get to them as they come in. If you want your question answered privately and not to be a part of this column, let me know that when you send it in.

Dr. Tiger Devore, known as Dr. Tiger, is a clinical psychologist, AASECT Certified Sex Therapist and media expert on sex and relationships. But most important, he is a person who cares with over 25 years of practice and expertise working with women and their specific issues.