The Queen of My Self

By Roseanne Barr

Sure, menopause is hell. It saps your sex drive and puffs your ankles. But when it’s over, you’re calmer and more connected. Embrace it, sisters!

After menopause, I discovered the joy of drinking wine, and of sinking deeply into writing and time alone. These things replaced the sex drive I had thoroughly cruised down as a youth, exploring one dead end, detour, and unpaved dirty road after another. I have refused to take the libido-restoring male hormones constantly proffered me by this culture and Suzanne Somers and her hordes of apologists and postmenopausal cougars. Being 53 and having sex with folks in their early 20s is just so Norma Desmond. There, I said it. I can dig the dead writer in the pool thing, though.

I am more of a badger. The sex drive is that dark continent that I see now receding in the distance, behind me and the ship that has sailed with me at its helm—and I am no longer feeling mixed about seeing it go; I am actually relieved. It produced so much pain, really, so much wear, tear, and worry, not to mention the work, and sweat of raising the kids that come from it, who roll their eyes at you when you say things like these things I am saying in this article. My three daughters are approaching middle age themselves, the age when the libido of a woman speeds up for a time, just before it has a stroke, goes blind, and dies.

I am old now: gray, wrinkled, tired, and bloated, and my joints ache, too. But I am ready to come into my full destiny—as my childhood dreams predicted—as a Neo-Amazonian Pirate Queen of my own vessel: firing cannonballs at the worldwide culture of patriarchy in the name of all that does not suck. I no longer fear moving on to a better existence than this one, which is, of course, no existence at all. Oblivion will be fucking sweet after a lifetime at the mercy of my hormones and my biological clock and the twisted logic that produced the craving for a dominant male sex partner. I’m quite thrilled to say that at this late hour, in my autumn years, I have at last found a man who is more savant than idiot, and with whom the sparse occasions of physical enjoining of souls is quite sublime.

Ahoy, matey! Hail, hail, all ye who enter here! You have arrived! Congratulations, sister!

You have made it through the grip of Nature, and the attack on your intellect that began at your first breath as a female on this spinning sphere of waters, and you are still here to tell the tale—the tale of the Queen of Swords alive in each of us who navigated her way through those most dangerous Matriarchal Waters and Emotional High Tides. Sailing through the dictatorship of the body, the pulsing, plodding meat machine of it all, from that first shock at puberty, through birthing, nursing, raising, and letting go of grown children, you have reached uncharted territory, dangerous and mysterious. Brain space seems more liberated now. Time to kick back a little, to observe more, to feel less fear and more connection.

…..To Be Continued on Friday

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to

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