Menopause and m***********

A few weeks ago when talking with a good friend she told me that women in their forties and fifties really want to discuss The Two Ms. She said I should write about them.

Closeup of M&M's milk chocolate candies made by Mars Inc.Wood background.I was totally in the dark. The Two Ms? What was she talking about? With laughter frothing from her mouth and knowing how embarrassed I would be, she couldn’t have enlightened me more gleefully. M number 1 is Menopause and M number 2 is Masturbation.

I quickly assured her that both these subjects are totally out of my comfort zone and with true English bashfulness, I shuddered and tried to shut the conversation down. Ever noticed that some people don’t know when to stop?

My friend has a lively disposition and once on a roll, she seldom yields. She was very insistent that these two great unspoken subjects should be talked about and said how very helpful it would be if I put the topics up on the table. Well, in mentioning them, I have done that and on the table they will stay, as I tell you all the reasons that I don’t want to talk about them.

M number 1

Firstly, Menopause. You have read before that I loathe being defined by a number:I do not tick the age box and so to even concede that I am heading towards a point where M number 1 is going to occur, just ain’t happenin’. I do slightly feel, whilst knowing that I shouldn’t, that M number 1 will be a toll bell on my youth and thus force me to face my mortality and place me into an age related stereotype (cue further shuddering!).

Not only that, but all the side effects sound deeply unpleasant and furthermore, some will potentially put me uncomfortably on show. What if I start to experience hot flushes whilst out at the supermarket or trapped in a meeting? Non, non, non! Denial has to be the way forward. Perhaps by refusing to acknowledge this basic physiological development in my body, I can just pretend it’s never going to take place at all. Instead I think I will just keep the button of life on pause for a while.

M number 2

Let’s move on to errrr, M number 2. Well yes, this is something that I cannot bring myself to even say out loud and so I am most certainly not able to write about it. Who on earth wants to know about the intimate sexual manoeuvrings of anyone else? Call me prudish if you like, but I am just not interested in the shenanigans of others and whilst I am happy that people are enjoying themselves (even writing this is uncomfortable!) I don’t want to talk about it. Aren’t some things private and should remain so?

Prudish?

So this non-discussion of The Two Ms has rather alarmingly highlighted the reserve that seems to be deeply ingrained within me. I am not sure how it got there, but I do believe it has been ever thus. I imagine it is due to my upbringing and so a case of nurture not nature. Although there was general discussion chez nous when I was a child, I am quite sure we never discussed gender identification or anything to do with sex. I have an uneasy relationship with my mother now and so talking to her about her own M number 1 would not cross my mind. I think we would be sucking lemons in doing so and would both be deeply embarrassed and discomforted by the conversation.

Within my own household, I feel that we have a very open forum and although too many conversations relate to sport, no topic is sacred and just about anything goes.

That said, can you imagine discussing masturbation with your teenage children? Quite.

Is it just me?

I do wonder why I don’t discuss these two subjects with my close friends, but the thought of it just makes my toes curl and consequently I can’t do a straw poll amongst my circle of acquaintance to discover who is open about these things and who isn’t. Am I in the minority or are most people like me? I just don’t know. What do you think? I shall take a lack of response as affirmation that everyone finds these topics as awkward as I do!

What are your thoughts? Please let me know!

 

 

Imogen Jamieson

About Imogen Jamieson

I live in rural Surrey with my family and when not attending to their every whim or holding down my part time job, I enjoy writing. The seemingly insignificant highs and lows of every day are what interest me and I observe small successes with pleasure, empathise with the bad moments and seek subtle humour wherever possible. I also love a good chat over a cup of tea.

  • Elissa

    Hello Imogen

    I had to chuckle at the opening of your article – I am a mutual good friend of your friend who encouraged you to write about these subjects (who has posted this on her Facebook page), and I can just imagine how the conversation must have gone!! She is a hoot, love her, and while I do admire her candidness (which I do not possess!) – I have lines that just can’t be crossed.

    I can talk about M number 1 to other friends who want to talk about it, as well as my Mum (who I am very close to), purely because I have been going through it myself and there’s no point in being in denial about it. Talking about it to friends who are mutual sufferers can be helpful in comparing symptoms and how to deal with them. It isn’t pleasant, it makes one feel old, but it is a fact of life and, although I only ever initiate a conversation about it with my Mum, I do have a few friends going through it who have brought up the subject with me, which I don’t mind at all.

    However, M number 2 is a completely different kettle of fish – I would not be comfortable discussing that with anyone. So I am totally with you on that one, Imogen, right down to the curly toes. Perhaps we had similar upbringings, my parents were very prudish (though my Mum is more open now in her older age) and we just weren’t the kind of family to walk around the house naked, and when I hit puberty was the first time I had any kind of conversation with my Mum about the ‘birds and the bees’. So talking about anything to do with sex I find extremely embarrassing.

    Hope this helps!

  • I love love love your writing , your honesty and how you articulate things in such an honest way. Can’t wait for the next candid article – Get back on the phone with your friend!!