Books I’m in this autumn

This autumn I’ve been published in two anthologies: What is Normal? Psychotherapists Explore the Question and Still Hot! 42 Brilliantly Honest Menopause Stories.

What is Normal? Psychotherapists Explore the Question

Confer is a psychotherapy training and CPD organisation that also publishes books. In 2018 their 20th anniversary conference explored the meaning of ‘Normal’. And now there is a book. A number of well-known psychotherapists are published here, including Isha McKenzie-Mavinga, Foluke Taylor and Bret Kahr, exploring what ‘normal’ means for them as practitioners.

It’s fair to say that in life, as well as in psychotherapy, much is normalised that should not be. There is an overwhelming societal drive to blame the individual for systemic failings. Individuals therefore feel that they have ‘failed’ because they are struggling against forces that are bigger than all of us. Hence, for example, the rise of the wellness industry and what is known as ‘McMindfulness’.

Closer to home, psychotherapy trainings in the main still treat diversity and inclusion as bolt-ons rather than systemic ground-up necessities. Whether someone is LGBTQIA+, brown or black, disabled, working class, kinky, a sex worker, consensually non-monogamous, traumatised or neurodivergent (to name only a selection), it is seemingly up to those of us in those groups to adapt to the system. The system finds it very hard to adapt to us, preferring to reframe in terms of pathology.

There is so much to think about here, and so much important that needs saying.

Still Hot! 42 Brilliantly Honest Menopause Stories

Still Hot! was put together by Kaye Adams of Loose Women and journalist and author Vicky Allan. They interviewed 42 people about their experiences of menopause. A number of the participants are well known, such as Susie Orbach and Lorraine Kelly. There is an interview with the non-binary actor Bunny Cook, who took part in the Holland & Barratt Me-No-Pause campaign.

Still Hot! has a mainstream focus. I took part because I wanted to raise the profile of queer approaches to menopause, and because we always, always need more testimony! And the truth is, no one, LGBTQIA+ or not, is well-served at the moment. The more we normalise public awareness, the more menopause will be understood. One of the barriers to understanding is ageism – systemic and internalised. The more people learn that perimenopause (the initial phase of menopause) can start in your 30s, for example, the more we may start to dismantle the idea that it only happens to ‘older folks’.

Books like this are a very welcome addition to the public conversation.

Contact me

If you are interested in having therapy with me, or commissioning writing, you can contact me here.

For more about queer approaches to menopause, go here. There is also a Queer Menopause Instagram.

Queer Menopause now has its own website!

Blogging silence

First off, I’m aware that I haven’t been posting on here much during lockdown. I keep starting things, and then experiencing a sense of extreme pointlessness. Each time I decide to write about opening up relationships, or peak experiences, or sexual and non-sexual BDSM from a therapists’s perspective – (or for that matter, the urgency of queer haircuts in a time of Covid) – I remember that we have an incurable virus at large at the beginning of winter, people dying, fascism everywhere, and the earth going up in flames.

Menopause takeover?

A Martian dropping by might think this site was really all about the subject of menopause, or that menopause had somehow taken over. Perhaps, along with the murder hornets, walking sharks, and some nervously awaited geese, a further horror come true of 2020 will be the entire population being forced into menopause until a vaccine is found. This would be most interesting. unveiled

Menopause has not taken over, but, while my research goes through the peer review system, I’ve been working on a project that I hope will be helpful in the future. The project is a new website which I am delighted to reveal:

Menopause happens to people. Trans men, non-binary people, and intersex people are excluded when menopause information is restricted only to cisgender women. The site has an LGBTQIA+ focus, but I also want to offer resources that apply to anyone whose experience of menopause is excluded from, or not sufficiently acknowleged by, the mainstream. There is a lot of work to do. First blog post here: Welcome to You can also find this project on Instagram @queermenopause.

I am also seeking to inform practitioners of all kinds about the LGBTQIA+ experience of menopause, and about menopause itself.

Queer Menopause in the media

I have been seeing my clients online all the way through lockdown, and I’ve also contributed to a couple of books. One is an interview for Still Hot!, a collection of 42 interviews about menopause experience. I’m also happy to say that Diva’s queer menopause feature from December 2019, which I took part in, is now available online: This is the end… of your period.

Moving forward…

I’m very glad to have this project off the ground, and I will be adding to it as time goes on. Please get in touch if your work is relevant to this project. I welcome suggestions of practitioners, trainers and researchers who are working in this area.

I hope to return to non-menopause blogging soon.

Queer Menopause at the Pink Therapy Queer Desire conference

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Pink Therapy Queer Desire Conference 2020

This year’s Pink Therapy Queer Desire conference was, as always, excellent and full of good things. This year, 2020, was a particular triumph as, due to Covid-19 and the necessity for social distancing, it was held entirely online. What we lost in terms of face-to-face networking we gained by the fact of the conference happening at all. I felt very proud to be involved in it.

My talk – ‘Queer Menopause – Where Gender, Sexuality and Age Collide – was the first outing of some of my research from last year (‘How can therapists best support their Queer Menopausal clients?’). While that piece of work was focused mainly on LGBTQ+ menopausal clients’ experiences in therapy and the healthcare system, as you can probably imagine, sex and relationships came into it fairly often.

Menopause isn’t going to go away

So much is happening in the world right now that, totally understandably,  it’s hard to look at anything else but our own survival, that of our communities, and the future of society. However, like all other health-related issues of the body and mind, menopause isn’t going to go away. The issues I have discussed in my talk, and the unacceptable lack of information and support I have underlined here, are going to remain – until we collectively do something about them.

Whoever you are, wherever you go

Whoever you are, whatever age you are, whether you have ovaries or not, menopause is going to affect either you or someone close to you. Remember, oestrogen can start to fluctuate (in other words Perimenopause) in your 30s, so it’s not just a ‘middle aged thing.’  And if you have your ovaries removed surgically, menopause can start almost immediately, however young you are.

To be informed about this is to care for yourself, and others too.


The US sex educator and activist Heather Corinna is doing a LGBTQ+ Menopause survey for queer folks. Please fill it out and help bring all this much needed research into the spotlight.


If you’re a LGBTQ+ identified researcher, or are thinking about doing research, and something in my talk inspires you, go for it. The more folks work on this, the less it can be ignored and sidelined and the more visible it can be. (And of course the same goes for cisgender heterosexual menopause research too – that is still very needed.)

Further Queer Desire conference videos

Everyone is experiencing Covid-19 differently, but if you do have some spare time for watching videos, and are interested in sex and sex therapy, here are the four other conference talks. They are great and I learned something from all of them:

Contact me

If you’re struggling with any aspect of menopause, or someone close to you is, therapy can help. if you would like to work with me, please contact me on the link below. And if you work with menopause yourself and would like to make your offering more gender, sex and relationship diversity inclusive, I also offer consultancy.

You can contact me here.