Irina Pino

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HAVANA TIMES — When I used to work in TV, I heard a colleague say: now that I’ve reached 50, my whole world has turned upside down. I have hot flashes in the early morning, a dry mouth and vagina, and I haven’t had a period in about a year…

These changes are normal, although they’re hard to bear, which happens to women who no longer ovulate. The body stops creating certain hormones which transform a woman on the inside and outside, while old age creeps up on them.

It’s not at all pleasant, I’ve met women who no longer like sex, as their sexual appetite has just disappeared. They don´t go looking for it, however, it’ll spontaneously come up, but they don’t pay much attention and they channel their energies in a different way, dedicating themselves to activities that are more satisfying and less painful. They forget about it.

It’s important to understand them, a lot of the time male partners get desperate and pressure them into having sex by selfish means, they only think about their urgent needs. When this happens, they choose to isolate themselves, some find refuge in religion, others give up sex entirely and, a lot of the time, they end up in the arms of other women and begin a lesbian relationship.

This happened to Olga, an old friend of mine. After almost twenty years, I ran into her at a nightclub with a woman. They were sitting down at a table, they were talking and laughing, and they kept holding each other´s hands the entire time and looking at each other with affection. They kissed each other on the cheek, very near the mouth.

I watched her from afar, I didn’t know whether I should approach her and say hello. Then I found her in the bathroom. She seemed a little tipsy to me and she confessed, naturally, that she had fallen in love with a woman for several months now and that she would soon move in with her. She suddenly told me about her horrific menopause experience and the fits her husband had, who even threatened her with bringing another woman home. In the end, they got divorced.

She shares everything with her current partner, they have many similarities and their conversations are transparent, without violence.

I’ve read that there are some hormonal treatments to improve your health, homeopathy, antioxidants, physical exercise and thousands of alternatives which women who don’t conform with aging choose, such as cosmetic surgery, botox… But you can’t go back in time and it doesn’t take pity on anyone.

You have to learn to live with this ghost. Nevertheless, there are a great deal of serious situations and aggressive contexts where women who find themselves going through this stage of life suffer it twice over, with the responsibility of having to look after sick parents, along with uncertain family finances, which make them age prematurely, while others who live in greater spiritual and material conditions, can appear young for years to come.

Irina Pino

Irina Pino: I was born in the middle of shortages in those sixties that marked so many patterns in the world. Although I currently live in Miramar, I miss the city center with its cinemas and theaters, and the bohemian atmosphere of Old Havana, where I often go. Writing is the essential thing in my life, be it poetry, fiction or articles, a communion of ideas that identifies me. With my family and my friends, I get my share of happiness.

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