Using sex as a treatment method

Every week WegoHealth hosts a Twitter chat for health activists, and today’s chat was about sex and sexuality. Then a couple hours after that I actually had sex, a rare occurrence. So with sex on the mind, how could I write about anything else?

I don’t have sex as much as I’d like. I haven’t been dating much, and I only sleep with people with whom I feel a connection, so sexconvothat really limits me. Then a couple months ago, I got a text from D. D and I dated many years ago. Then after we dated, we slept together on an off for a couple of years. Then we lost touch for several years. We’d known from the start we’d never work out as a couple – he didn’t believe in monogamous relationships and I wasn’t interested in anything else. Still, he’s an excellent lover, and he thinks that same of me, so we kept having sex. I’d thought about him often in the years that we’d lost touch, so I was pleased when he texted me. We’ve been together several times since, and it’s been great. I have to be on guard that I don’t get emotionally involved, but aside from that, it’s all good. We get along great, we trust and respect each other, and we each think the other is fantastic in bed. Since I’m not dating anyway right now, this is just about perfect. (It would only be more perfect if we could sleep together more often.)

There’s another thing about D: he’s ok with the health stuff. When I first told him, he didn’t bat an eye. He’s always been Feelin' Satisfiedsupportive, without trying to “rescue” me. A lot of us know how rare that is. I once wrote that three different times I have crapped on a guy during sex. He was one of those guys, and he just shrugged it off and suggested we take a shower. Fantastic, right? Even tonight, in the middle of things, he kept starting to grab my arm, then stopping. Then I realized why – I told him he could grab it and it wouldn’t hurt me, and he immediately did. When we were together years ago, that would have hurt, and he remembered and was trying to be careful.

The point is, I can trust D around the health stuff. And that’s why I didn’t cancel on him tonight, even though the past 24 hours had been lousy. The fatigue hit hard last night, for the first time in a month or two. That was physically horrible and mentally discouraging. Then I woke up during the night to a lot of gas, cramping, constipation, and diarrhea. It was a terrible night. It took me several hours to get back to sleep. I woke up in the morning feeling lousy. I got out of bed late. I had no appetite most of the day. I spent most of the afternoon (I spent the morning in bed) watching tv, which I never do anymore. Usually when I have nothing to do I read, but I didn’t have the energy for that today. And to add insult to injury, the hormone mess meant that my sex drive was almost gone. I hadn’t been having sex fantasies, masturbating, or even feeling an urge for sex lately.

So why didn’t I cancel? Several weeks ago I was having a bad day when D was supposed to come over. I was in a lot of pain, and had been for days. I figured it was worth adding to the pain with sex. I’ve written before that sex can help with pain (this is true for me, but I’m not a doctor and am not giving you medical advice,) and that time a couple weeks ago it really did the trick. I felt much better afterwards, with the pain almost completely gone. I figured it was worth seeing if sex might help again today.

And help it did. It helped on many levels. Physically, I think it gave me needed exercise, and will contribute to better sleep tonight. He also gave me back my sex drive, which felt (and still feels) fantastic. Emotionally, it felt great to be close to someone and to cuddle for a while afterwards, having him hold me. Plus, I always feel wonderful about my body after sex. I feel sexy and desirable. Usually I dislike my body. I’ve always been comfortable with my appearance (except during Prednisone-fueled weight gain) but I don’t like the illness parts. This leads to a lot of negative thoughts about my body (such as I hate that I feel like crap! and Why does my body suck so much?). But it’s hard to have negative thoughts about my body after a half dozen orgasms, and after watching D’s reactions to my touch. Besides, how broken could my body be if I’m still capable of making someone scream like that?

Sex won’t solve all my health problems, even in the short term. And sex with the wrong partner won’t help at all. But when it helps, oh boy does it help! I’m not about to miss out on that.

10 Responses to Using sex as a treatment method

  1. chronicrants says:

    See, this is what I’m talking about:

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  5. Karen J says:

    I realized a while ago that “exercising the plastic boyfriend” 😉
    usually helps me gather my scattered grey-matter, but hadn’t really considered intimacy, sex and orgasm’s effects on pain.

    The MiML (“Man in My Life” – a relationship sorta like yours with D) has chronic back pain, and often tells me, after, that he feels much better. I had a hard time quite believing him.
    You, on the other hand, have no investment in even vaguely stroking my ego {wink} …
    Thanks for this!

  6. Karen J says:

    So glad I stumbled on this post again yesterday, CR 🙂
    Re-reading it shifted my head-space about 180 degrees – from glum and dispirited to upbeat and far more positive about my situation, even without the sex part!
    Maybe it was also watching the exercize vid?

    • chronicrants says:

      Seeing your comment made me reread it myself – wow! That feels like forever ago. I’m so glad it helped you to feel better! Whether it was my post or the video, at least you’re feeling more positive and that’s the important part 🙂

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