Chronic Pain vs Sex Life
Last year, I began to struggle with chronic pain for which I’m currently working with a rheumatologist to get a definitive diagnosis. It’s been difficult to cope, but I’ve been coping for the most part, and coming to terms with my “new normal”. Upon doing lots of research, I found that not a ton of people talk about sex as it relates to chronic pain. I can say, as someone who has a partner who is completely understanding and empathetic to the issues she faces, it can still be hard to shake the guilt and feelings of inadequacy. I yearn to go back to the times where my body didn’t dictate what I want to do and when I want to do it.
It’s a catch-22 because sex is totally natural, it’s fun, and in some instances it can help with the pain. But it can be so impossible to even get to the point of intercourse when your body aches, your muscles burn, and your energy is shot. Sometimes I feel so entirely unattractive despite the reassurance of my fiancée. It’s one of those things that you can’t really prepare for, but you have to make it work. Communication is major, of course. No matter how much you don’t want to “kill the vibe”, you have to be honest about how you’re feeling before, during, and after sex. If you’re not feeling it at all, say that. The person you’re with should be understanding.
The other side of it is finding what works for you – different positions, lots of pillows, other methods of intimacy. The notion that sex has to be intercourse, totally spontaneous, and always lead to an orgasm is false. Do what makes you feel good. If you need ideas or guidance, enlist the help of sex-positive doctors/therapists.
Keep working at it and stay positive. No matter what degree of discomfort your body is in, there are many ways (conventional and non-conventional) to give and receive pleasure. You deserve to have an awesome sex life.
Written by: Juliana Edelen