Naomi Watts Says Sex After Menopause Has Only Gotten Better
Naomi Watts isn't one to shy away from conversations about menopause. In June, the actor opened up about being diagnosed with early menopause at age 36 and shared how the mental and physical effects like mood swings, hot flashes, and migraines took a toll on her body.
"Going through menopause at such a young age was not easy, especially during a time when there was so little information available about it," she said in an interview with Hello! Magazine. "I was feeling like I was spiraling out of control."
But the actor, 54, isn't only opening up about the negative experiences associated with menopause. During a speech at a wellness event called "Unlocking Intimacy: Navigating Passion in Midlife" on Aug. 31 in the Hamptons, Watts revealed that she believes sex with husband Billy Crudup has only gotten better since menopause, according to the Daily Mail.
"I personally think sex becomes more pleasurable when you take out the fear of making babies," she said. "It feels more, 'I'm going to do this for myself.' You're more confident with yourself, you've had experience, you're wiser, you're not going to be all like, 'Oh I want to turn the lights down,'" Watts further clarified.
Although many women report experiencing "decreases in libido, orgasm, and frequency of coitus," according to research published in the National Library of Medicine, Watts said she's had the opposite experience. "We've heard tonight that there are complications, keeping the sex and the libido alive and everything, but sometimes people have the complete reverse effect," she noted.
As for what Watts credits her active libido and "better sex" to? Healthy communication with her partner.
"I personally think sex becomes more pleasurable when you take out the fear of making babies," she said. "It feels more, 'I'm going to do this for myself.'"
"If you can talk to your partner, if you can be honest and have a really authentic conversation and take away the awkwardness, and most of the time, if they're good people, they will be empathetic. And that's hot — that's really hot when you can be honest and the conversation lands really well," she said at the event.
Watts shared more about her own experience dating during menopause, including feeling nervous about wearing estrogen patches on her skin at the beginning of her relationship with Crudup. "I was wearing my patch and I was nervous that my new lover was going to see it," she explained.
But once she decided to be honest with Crudup about the patches and her hormone changes, this openness changed her sex life for the better.
"The minute I brought honesty into the room, despite how awkward and hard that was for me — I've had so much shame about it — he knew how to behave, he knew what cues to follow, he was 100 percent empathetic and I can safely say we went on to have, you know, pretty great sex that night," she said, according to the Daily Mail.
After experiencing the highs and lows of menopause, Watts has since taken it upon herself to be a much-needed advocate for ending the shame and stigma associated with menopause — even partnering with Menopause Mandate to provide women with increased perimenopause and menopause support.
"I truly believe that if menopause hadn't been such an off-limits topic when I first started experiencing symptoms, I would've had an easier transition," she said in the Hello! Magazine interview. "I was part of a cycle that desperately needed to be broken. There was a lack of open conversation and resources to help women navigate the changes we go through. That's why I'm now so passionate about raising awareness and encouraging more honest conversations."
For more information on menopause, reach out to your doctor or a medical professional to explore the best treatment options for you.