Q1: What are some ways to handle low staminal and exercise intolerance when trying to have sex? Often my own fatigue gets in the way of me doing the things I'd like to do. Do you have any tips on how to combat this?
Q2 I have chronic pain, limited flexibility and I am easily exhausted! Do you have any tips for how to talk about AND have sex when I get tired so easily?? (Ps thank you for creating this space and sharing your expertise! )
A: Thank you for both of your questions, I have opted to put both in the same post since they are very similar! In terms of low stamina, I would suggest viewing sex as a journey not a race to orgasm. Sex (if you have the time) can even be an all-day activity with breaks and naps, etc. These might be the most intimate times as you and your partner can relax and enjoy each other’s company and bodies. If you don’t have all day, you could just focus on one thing at a time. That way, you can really enjoy that one activity and not have to worry about the next as much. Sex can be at whatever pace you want, you do not need to wear yourself out doing one thing. Be open to sex looking a lot of different ways, you can take a passive role but still be involved in sex. Whether that’s instructing your partner on what to do to themselves or you, or mutual masturbation, etc.
As for your limited flexibility and chronic pain, definitely look into wedges and toys to help alleviate some of what you are feeling. The Liberator is an excellent example of a toy mount/wedge to help make different sex positions easier. As for talking to your partner, just have a frank and open dialogue about what you can and can not do in the bedroom, let your partner ask questions, and brainstorm together how you two can make it work.
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Q: Have you ever considered consensual nonmonogamy? I know there are ways to be intimate when disabled, but I feel bad making sex so much work and have considered opening it up for him to sleep with other people (with a set of rules of course)
A: I am all for whatever kind of relationship works for all people involved. However, if you are ONLY considering nonmonogamy because you feel sex is too much work for your partner, I have some tips. Many people think sex is a race to orgasm and that there are only a few ways to have sex, this is so not true! Sex can be cuddling, mutual masturbation, telling your partner exactly how to get themselves off, and so so so much more. Sex is simply about experiencing pleasure. If you truly want to be nonmonogamous and think you and your partner would enjoy it, then by all means. But if you are doing this to fix some sense of being a burden or any other problems, then that’s not going to work out well in the end. Talking to your partner about how you are feeling is the only way to relieve yourself of these feelings and figure out what is best for both of you.
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Q: how do I bring up pain I’m in without making my partner feel bad or guilty even when it’s not their fault? usually, it’s fine just to mention it and try something different, but I feel like I’m ruining the vibe and end up downplaying the pain I’m experiencing.
A: I totally understand where you’re coming from and I do have a few suggestions! First, if you have not done this already, have a conversation with your partner in a non-sexual setting about your pain in general. Like what triggers pain, what you do to cope/help with your pain, what can your partner do to help (if there even is anything they can do) etc. Let your partner ask questions, so they can learn how best to support you. In terms of when you are having sex - a safe word is an excellent way to quickly inform your partner you need to stop or take a break. It is some times easier to just say one word/gesture than explain exactly what you are feeling in the moment. You don’t have to even explain what happened after you have stopped- you and your partner can just shift into aftercare mode or just take a break. You can also have something similar to a safe word/gesture that will quickly communicate that you need to try something else or that you are in pain without feeling like you are overexplaining/ruining the mood. If you do all these things, you will probably feel less hesitant to express when you are in pain and less likely to downplay your own pain. Remember that sex is all about pleasure - I am sure you’re partner wouldn’t want you to secretly be miserable during sex just because you don’t feel like you can communicate what your feeling.
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Q: How do I let my partner know that I have CP and am a virgin? How do I help him help me?
A: I would recommend good open communication! I know it is hard at first to be that vulnerable with a new partner, but it is critical to not only your pleasure but your safety as well! Tell him how your CP affects your body and what you can and can not do in general. Brainstorm about the fun sexy stuff you can enjoy together. This could be a form of foreplay in and of itself. As for the virgin aspect, it is just as important to communicate this so if you decide to have sex with him, so he can be extra sure to not accidentally push anything too far or hurt you. And during sex is an equally important time to continue the communication of what feels good and what doesn’t, and letting your partner know what you need/or think you might need to make it a pleasurable experience for both of you. I know it can be scary talking about important things such as this, but remember if your partner is not okay or open to any of this, you really shouldn’t be with him in the first place, because there are plenty of people who will accept you for who you are.
Monday, September 30, 2019
Q: "I have vulvodynia and other chronic pain conditions and I don't spend a lot of time with my bits because pain, and effort, and it's just... not very fun, or appealing? But I'm dating someone who's very sexual, and I like doing things with them and the way my body feels when things get steamy, and it's clear that they're up for doing more but are letting me set the pace.
I don't really know how to... introduce them to my genitals? I can tell them the things that will definitely feel *bad*, but I can't really tell them what feels *good* because I genuinely don't know, and I get really self-conscious in the moment. The last few partners I've had have either been super anxious about inadvertently hurting me (which then made me super anxious), or I've felt like I needed to push through the pain because it was probably inevitable and I didn't want it to stop us from having a good time. My pain levels have also gotten worse since the last time I negotiated intimacy like this, so I'm extra nervous about trying again two years later.
I'd appreciate any advice you can offer!"
A: Thanks for your question. I have some ideas for your situation. In terms of how to talk about your genitals, I would suggest having this discussion in a relaxed non-sexual setting. That way, you both can have a good discussion and your partner can ask questions and you can brainstorm together and talk about your wants, desires, do’s, and don't’s. Having a safeword or gesture helps during sex. Safewords can be anything and when either of you needs to pause or stop. You can just say it instead of worrying about explaining what you are feeling at the moment. Reassure your partner that they are not hurting you rather this is just how your body works. You have every right to say stop when you need to, you shouldn’t force yourself through the pain for your partner's sake, because I guarantee your partner wouldn’t want you to either, sex is all about the journey of mutual pleasure. Also if this is appealing for you, experiment with masturbation. See what feels good/neutral and what doesn't, and take it slow, don’t try to force anything. Then when you are with a person you can tell them what you’ve experienced as pleasurable. Also, note there are SO many different ways to have sex that aren’t centered on genitalia or penetration. The body has so many ergonous zones for you to experience pleasure and even orgasms for some people!
Thursday, September 26, 2019
Q: “ (cw childhood sexual assault mention)
Hi, I have CFS/ME and fibromyalgia, but I also have chronic vaginal neuropathic pain following a not so successful genital upcycling surgery five years ago (I'm trans). I also have a csa history and consequent C-PTSD. I definitely have a sexuality but I'm afraid to express it in company, because I don't know how to work with fear of physical pain from being touched. Do you have any suggestions/recommendations for how to work with stuff like this? It's ruined a number of relationships over the years, and made me functionally asexual with others.”
A: Thanks for your question. I would suggest playing with sex that does not involve your genitals. That could mean making out, exploring the many other erogenous zones of your body, massage (which is also great for your fibromyalgia), using toys on your partner or your self (in areas that feel pleasurable -which could be anything from your nipples, neck, back of your knees, feet, etc! Everyones different).
In terms of your fatigue, telling your partner exactly how to get themselves off is a great way to be intimately involved without physically exerting yourself. You still have the control and can lie next to your partner while they are having fun. Also talking to your partners about how you need to take it slow is a good idea. You don’t have to go into why you need time to become comfortable, or why you might need to stop sometimes, but just explain that this is a part of being with you. There are many different ways one can have sex and feel intimate with their partner, so just keep an open mind, have patience, and communicate!
Thursday, August 22, 2019
Q: “My partner and I haven’t had sex for a long time - months, maybe even 6 months to a year because of all of my recent surgeries and chronic fatigue. How can I make sure we are meeting each other’s needs, even when I feel horrible?”
A: Thanks for the question. I have a few ideas. Mutual masturbation is a good way to get off but you don’t have to exert a lot of energy. If you don’t have the energy or ability to get off yourself, you can instruct your partner exactly how you want them to get themselves off. This way you are exerting less energy but are still involved. Talking dirty is also a great low energy way to still connect with your partner and make them feel sexy. You don’t even need to act on what you say to them. Lastly, talk to your partner and explain how you feel. Ask them what they need to feel fulfilled and maybe brainstorm together more creative ways to create sexual intimacy.
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