Some chronic illness benefits of sex

Please excuse my absence.  First I was busy feeling sick, then I was busy having sex.  Guess which was better?

Sex is a very controversial topic in some parts of our culture.  At the moment, some politicians are saying that women should only have sex for purposes of procreation.  They say that women who use birth control are sluts and that women who have abortions are murderers.  Since I plan to never have children, I suppose that means that according to them I should not have sex until after menopause.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, pick up just about any American newspaper.  The stories are hard to miss.

Luckily I don’t believe in any of that.  I’m a fan of sex, and I use birth control.  If that bothers you, you should stop reading now.

I have heard, read, and been told that sex can help many of my symptoms.*  More than that, I’ve experienced it.  A few years back I
was seeing someone, and I would sometimes call him up, tell him I felt lousy, and say I wanted to come over for sex.  It was fantastic.  And it worked.  Sex is a great form of exercise.  Muscles are used in ways that we might not normally use them.  It’s a great cardio workout.  It’s a stress reliever.  It can lead to better sleep.  And who doesn’t love a rush of endorphins?*

Now, this doesn’t work for everyone.  And of course there are limitations.  We must be careful of STDs and pregnancy (or just STDs, if you’re having same sex sex, one partner is a woman past menopause, you’re having oral sex, you’re having anal sex, at least one partner is infertile, etc.)  It’s always important to be with someone you trust, but I think that’s the case even more so when health issues are involved.  If pain is a problem, then it’s important to not exacerbate the pain.  And of course it’s crucial to listen to our bodies and to stop or make adjustments if necessary so that we don’t injure ourselves or cause other problems.

Sex is a rarity for me these days.  I do not enter into sexual relationships casually, and so I sometimes go for many months without sex.  In fact, it had been so long that I had forgotten just how helpful sex can be for me.  Of course there are the obvious reasons why I enjoy sex.  It’s just that there are also additional benefits.  For me, the timing was especially fortuitous since I was having a bad flare last week.  In fact, I didn’t think I would feel well enough to have sex.  Thankfully, I just barely felt up to it, and my partner understands my health conditions well and was willing to stop at any point, do most of the work, and be careful of my painful joints.  Having a partner like that makes all the difference.

Now I’m well rested (I slept great after each time!), less depressed, and in less pain.  I can feel that I got a great workout.  And as an additional benefit, I feel great about my body.  (Personally, I always feel especially sexy after sex.)

I’m not about to go off my meds or give up my new diet, but it’s great to know that I have the option of a fun additional treatment: SEX!

*I am not a doctor or a medical professional.  I am writing about my own experiences and about those of people I know or have read about.  If you think that this may help you, please seek advice from a medical professional.

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If you can relate to this, please pass it along!  Thanks!

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