Q: "I think I’m going through some perimenopausal stages as I’m starting to have symptoms like hot flashes and moodiness. How will this affect my sex life, and how can I prepare for it?"
— Dorian, studio audience member
A: "The fun thing about what you're about to experience is that you really can't prepare — it's going to be an adventure," certified sex educator, Shan Boodram, says. "Your body is going through some changes, just like you did in puberty, and you may come out having no symptoms and no effects to your sex drive, or you may have a ton."
Her advice? Focus on what you can control — and realize what's out of your control, too. As a starting point, Shan suggests trying to think about desire as a three-part system:
Your biological sex drive is controlled by what your body's doing — your hormones are spiking, slowing down, etcetera. "You're not really in control for this one, so you just have to be patient with your body and be accepting," Shan says.
2. Belief System
"Do you believe that you're sexy, you are fierce, you are worthy of all of that desire?" Shan asks. Your belief system is crucial because it fuels your sex drive.
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Your partner also plays a crucial role: How are they making you feel? Shan notes that open and loving communication is key. Your partner needs to understand that you might be a little more sensitive, that you might need a little encouragement or reinforcement.
Shan also recommends external motivations — aka that lingerie look that helps you to feel your sexiest, or even some boudoir devices to help get you in the mood. Two of her favorites are "The Womanizer" — what Shan calls "a good entry point sex toy" — and the Crave necklace, a discreet necklace pendant that does double duty in the bedroom that Shan herself helped to design.
And why not? There's no harm in having a little fun in the bedroom!