Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sex and Pain

So, here it is. The obligatory sex post. Every blog has its moment, whether it's a watery allusion to making love or an ode to kink, at some point every blogger has to consider what sex means, in the context of their lives and blog. Not everyone actually writes about it, of course, but I like to think everyone wants to.

My boyfriend and I don't have as much sex as I'd like. My chronic migraines and probable interstitial cystitis (IC) and his long-term, chronic, serious back pain don't lend themselves to the sexytimes. We cuddle. We hold hands in bed. We talk about everything, say I love you, hug and kiss freely, and I would consider our intimacy to be better than it's ever been. But, when we have sex, our combined pain and disabilities can make it awkward or frustrating and sometimes one of us has to stop and cry because something has gone painfully wrong. But we continue to try anyway because when it works, it's still pretty fantastic.

The benefits of sex are fairly obvious to most of us in pain, some really nice endorphins start pumping (heh), which lessen pain and improve mood. Then, there's the distraction element of physical intimacy; concentrating on feeling pleasure, and other sensations in general, can dull or even obliterate pain, at least temporarily.

But, the risk for both of us is high. If he angers his back, he could be flat for a week, or worse, he could require surgery again. If I anger my head, I could be flat for a week, and if I wake up the monster that is IC, it might trigger a fiery flare that could last months.

Still, I would like more sex. Everything hurts my head anyway, so why not have a trigger that's awesome? As for the IC, if I'm very, very careful during sex and don't EVER eat or drink anything caffeinated, acidic or high in refined sugars, I'll be fine! Probably!

My boyfriend, though, his back is a bigger issue. We can get creative with pillows and positions, but it's a huge risk for him every time. Degenerative back issues run in his family, so there's no easy fix here.

It's funny that I used to think sex was all about passion, fire, lust and spontaneity. Now, it's more a matter of patience, caution and calculated risk-taking.

Still hot, though.


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

At least this is something worth the risk!!

:) If I had to write an obligatory sex entry, I wouldn't ever be able to write!!! Ha!!! To be young again!

Sue said...

Thank you for posting this. Most of us (ok, me) are too shy to say much about it. For us, the problems are myriad. Put together me, with only rare days of tolerant pain, and hubby with the double-whammy of multiple sclerosis and diabetes (both of which cause impotence) and you've got:

- complete lack of spontaneity.
- medication (by injection only) necessary for any "action" on hubby's part.....and that's only if it works.
- potential for glucose ups or downs, depending on situation. (hey, that's one sexy glucose monitor!)
- worsening of headache pain due to excess activity (classic migraine response) .

Let's just say, we really have to both want it to make it worth the risk. Thanks be to God that we've loved each other for so long that we can even laugh at how absurd it all is at times.

Myth said...

Yes, sex is awesome, when I get it, but yes more difficult when it comes to disabilities. I heard once that sex can abort a migraines... and occasionally it does, but more often makes it way worse. Pity. I could be a nimpho if it worked.

Theresadz said...

Thank you SO much for writing this post. I'm a 25 year old newlywed with chronic migraines and it seems like my doctors and friends don't really ever want to discuss this with me. Thankfully my husband is fit as a fiddle but that also lends itself towards more frustration than either of us would like. I may be willing but my body may not be able.

I'm surprised there isn't more talk of sex with chronic/pain illness. If there are so many people out there suffering from a myriad of ills why don't more people talk about it?! Come on Cosmo, write an article for the rest of us, lol.