I’ve written about a wide array of personal topics on this blog that are often considered taboo, but I’ve yet to broach the topic of my sex life. It occurred to me tonight that it’s time for me to get on that, figuratively speaking of course.
I’d like to say that I haven’t allowed my health problems to alter my sex life, but that would be an out right lie. The extreme stress in my life, the constant doctors’ appointments, managing my meds, fighting with insurance companies and various healthcare providers all while feeling horrible hasn’t left me with a great deal of energy, or desire, to make the magic happen. My first problem being “where am I going to meet someone?” Perhaps I can flirt with my Gastroenterologist as we’re discussing the ongoing battle with gastrointestinal system. I don’t know about you, but nothing gets me hotter than talk of the side effects of a slow digesting stomach. I suppose I could always make the circuit through the patient waiting rooms. “Why hello there. I see you have a cane. Just what sort of naughty fun did you get up to need that?” That’s one way to kill the time while waiting for the doctor.
Now let’s assume that through some miracle I’ve found someone attractive that doesn’t make me want to gag them half-way through a first date cocktail. Now I need to find the mental, emotional, physical energy, and ability to trust and relate to this person enough to share myself with them. HA! These days I feel so skittish I’m afraid to look the grocery store checkout clerk in the eyes. Maybe I’m over doing it a tad, but I’m finding it more difficult to truly connect with people with every passing year. I seem to be unique and I have multiple identities that make conformity (not that I care to conform) impossible. I don’t fit in with most people unless I fake it. I can fake it well when necessary, but I refuse to spend my precious last bits of energy that I reserve for my personal life on people I can’t truly cherish and embrace, let alone with someone that spends their days supporting the imperialistic systems of oppression that make my life harder. As one can imagine I don’t go on a lot of second dates.
We’ll jump ahead and say that I found this great person that I can trust, blah, blah, blah. This then leads to other issues that have sprung up over the last several years. My body hurts everywhere! I can’t move like I used to. I have migraines all the time now. The miserable bag of bones I’m forced to exist in refuses to meet all of my desires!
Pull my hair too hard and BAM I have a migraine in 10 seconds or less.
Twist my neck to the left just to meet my shoulder and I’ll have horrible pain shooting through my neck, shoulder, and arm.
If I don’t have pillows positioned under my neck just so then laying on my back is hell.
Oh you want me on top you say? I love that! Too bad I have the knees of a 70-year-old and can’t last for very long.
You get the drift. I’ve managed to find ways to make it all work and still have an active and incredibly pleasurable sex life, but it just hasn’t felt free. Going beyond all of the issues of abuse, societal stigma, possible pregnancy and STI/STDs, and the difficulty finding the right connection I think it all comes down to me simply hating my body.
I came to terms with my looks long ago and eventually even found myself sexy, but that’s all changed with the worsening of my health issues. I gained a lot of weight due to the steroids and other treatments the doctors’ had placed me on. I was no longer able to stay active so I couldn’t counteract the weight gain. I went from having flawless skin to having painful and ugly rosacea that I still constantly fight to keep under control. My nails became like paper, always splitting and tearing despite my efforts. My hair began to thin. After three knee surgeries I was left with several scars on both knees. You have to have one hell of an ego on you to feel beautiful when you’re watching your body fall apart before your eyes. It’s one thing to feel awful, but it’s an entirely different situation to look as awful as you feel.
Like many things in (my) life, finding the way towards a healthy and amazing sex life that wakes the entire block up has been a battle. I have moments of hope though. Like the incredible date that I had a few months back where he was so desirous of me that he picked up and put me on my kitchen counter. Now THAT was hot! I’m not a size 2 nor do I feel as beautiful as in the past, but I am still wanted and I can still have mind altering sex.
Another moment of hope came today when I had some quality me time. After I had fulfilled my needs I was left feeling completely relaxed and free of pain. A few tears escaped my eyes when I realized how good my body felt. I’ve become so accustomed to feeling wretched that I couldn’t remember-if I ever knew to begin with-what it was like to feel light, to feel free, to feel good. It was an incredible reminder/lesson that despite all of the litany of pain, stress, anxiety, and depression that I carry with me every day my body is still capable of feeling joy.