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Fifty Shades of Menopause

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We all have fantasies. Normally, we keep them quiet, which lead men to believe that the majority of women do not fantasize. E L James has disproved that theory (and by disproved, I mean she's beaten it to death) with her best seller, Fifty Shades of Grey. In reading E L's so-called "mommy porn" this spring, I was immediately hooked.

Trust me; I am not the type that wants to be told what to do -- anytime, anywhere -- so why did I find myself squirming with excitement on the airplane while I was reading about the "Red Room of Pain"? Yes, I was openly reading the second book, Fifty Shades Darker, on the airplane! The woman across from me was reading the first book, Fifty Shades. Immediately, we engaged in a lively conversation, only to be interrupted by the flight attendant as she walked by us taking drink orders, excitedly interjecting that she told her husband she wants all three books for her birthday. At one point, my inner Anastasia was exploding as I found myself wondering if my 6'2" husband and I could fit into the absurdly tiny Alaskan Air bathroom. My inner libido was ignited -- sparks were flying -- my, oh my, this book is HOT!

I was thrilled that I found hormone happiness prior to reading this book, because it would have been wasted on me. WOW...Fifty Shades of Grey turned me Fifty Shades of RED! While menopause can take the boom out of the baby boomers, there are ways we can channel our inner Anastasia more often. Women encounter several problems when they enter perimenopause and menopause, including vaginal dryness, depression, night sweats, hot flashes and weight gain.

Even if you have a dashing Christian Grey of your own, all of these can contribute to yet another symptom of perimenopause and menopause: a crashing libido. Whether your shmirshky is in the desert or not, you can bet your mind will be under the covers in a silk nighty when you read this page-turner. If it is possible for your mind and your shmirshky to disagree on the desire for sex, there are steps you can take to get them on the same page again, working together for a common goal.

Track your symptoms in the Menopause Symptoms Chart on pages 168-9 of Shmirshkyhttp://www.amazon.com/Shmirshky-pursuit-hormone-happiness-E/dp/1401341683 and be completely honest with yourself. Find a perimenopause and menopause specialist (click here if you don't have one!) and get the help you need and deserve. If your problem is vaginal dryness, consider using lubrication for a quick relief, a vaginal moisturizer for a relief regimen or bioidentical hormones for an even more long-term solution. Discuss your options with your specialist and go over your health history to find the path that works best for you.

Whether your fantasy is to just feel "normal" again in dealing with your perimenopause and menopause symptoms or be lassoed with a tie and spanked, prioritize your own needs and get what you need and deserve.

Tell me: Have you buckled up to get down with Fifty Shades of Grey the way these women did? Will you see the movie?

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Ellen Dolgen is the author of Shmirshky: The Pursuit of Hormone Happiness -- a cut-to-the-chase book on perimenopause and menopause that's filled with crucial information, helpful guides, and hilarious and heartfelt stories. Known for her humor, compassion, and sassy personality, Ellen has appeared on numerous television and radio broadcasts, including: the Rachael Ray Show, The Doctors, Oprah Radio, Playboy Radio, "Tell Me More" on NPR, Doctor Radio, and dozens of other regional and national media outlets. Ellen is a regular guest on the popular radio show, "Broadminded," on Sirius XM Radio (Stars XM 107) and KSWB Fox 5 Morning News San Diego. When Ellen isn't promoting women's health and wellness, she's busy trying her best not to eat all the ice cream in the freezer.

For more from Ellen, visit EllenDolgen.com.