Pain and intimacy

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

Cookie122
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 4/30/2008 3:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Lately I have been having problems with intimacy. I don't know if it is the pain causing me not to be able to really get aroused or I'm just not feeling it anymore. And when we are being intimate I can't really enjoy it and get comfortable if you understand what I mean by that. Forplay does nothing and I'd just prefer to be massaged than anything else, but of course that doesn't satisfy my significant other.
 
Anyone have any tips that could help?  

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/30/2008 4:16 PM (GMT -7)   
cookie,
I think you raise a very important, although sensitive, topic. Since I don't have a spouse or significant other, I sometimes wonder how I would "operate" in the area of intimacy with another person. There are many things that can easily affect sexual arousal and behavior. The first is always to rule out physical causes - for example, are there any nerves that could be blocked (sometimes this can happen with nerves in the lower spine) that could be involved? What about side effects of medications? So I'd first discuss this with your doctor.

If you're in pain there's no question you'll have difficulty getting aroused. So somehow the pain would need to be treated. Comfortable positions and activities need to be explored. The likelihood is that just as with other areas of our lives, pain interferes with intimacy, too. That doesn't mean you'll never have feelings, but it means you've got to sort out physical and emotional components, and look at alternatives. Obviously this involves your spouse/S.O., too. If medical issues are ruled out (in other words, the nerves are operating ok), and pain can be adequately managed, I'd suggest finding a good therapist who's got some training in the area of sexuality (someone certified as a sex therapist would be best - this is a licensed therapist who's gone for additional, specialized training). Such a therapist could help you and your spouse/S.O. communicate openly about this area, and it usually isn't an area we're comfortable talking about.

Hope this helps.

PaLady

BigLucy
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 413
   Posted 4/30/2008 6:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Aroused? What's that.  I've posted about this issue a couple of times and have gotten some interesting responses, my favorite is, don't worry when you start to feel better, you'll start to get your drive back--feel better??  I have several chronic conditions, no cures, many years now of problems, when will I feel better?  I do have a partner, so it's been challenging to say the least--I try to compensate by doing what I can, providing more attention, support, and we talk about it; he has told me that he likes to hear that it's not him, even though we've been together for many years now, he can still take all of this very personally.  But, I'm feeling your situation--or not feeling it, LOL.

TDoern
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 4/30/2008 7:18 PM (GMT -7)   
cookie -

(okay first I'm going to apologize this may be way TMI for some, but I'm not good at saying things in the "polite" way).

Next - bravo to you for asking the question, it takes guts.

As far as being in the mood it really depends on what type of pain day I'm having, and a million other factors that all throw themselves in.

On a really bad pain day sex isn't going to happen. On a great day I might even initiate it. Hubby has learned that there are just days when I'm in flat out too much pain to even try to find the time to enjoy sex. On days where I'm not against it, I'm just not in the mood, I let hubby take the lead, he takes the cue from me whether or not he needs to worry about me "getting mine". There have been a few times when hubby starts trying to start things and I tell him point blank it's not going to happen no matter how much he tries. The awesome thing is - he gets it, he knows it's nothing against him. I also remember that just because I haven't been "in the mood" for a few weeks doesn't mean that he hasn't. There are times when even though I'm not in the mood for myself and I know he is, if I have the energy I may find ways to take care of him so he still gets to enjoy himself and I know that I've made him feel good. Also - we've found that there are certain positions that I just can't do my back won't do it, and I end up in major pain from them. But there are also positions that are easy on my back, yet allow me to enjoy things.

This was one area that surprised me when hubby and I were filling out the forms for my disability application - hubby admitted that he had a hard time initiating sex because of the fact that he worried about hurting me, or causing me pain, or making my pain worse. It had never even occured to me that he would be affected by things, or that he even took that into consideration.

Some other things you might want to take into consideration are the medications that you are taking. There are quite a few medications that if I've taken them recently it's just not going to happen on my end. I know that when I take my pain medication all the "sensors" are numbed up as much as they can be and nothing is going to feel great and get things going on my end. When I take my nerve pain medication not matter how good things feel - I'm not going to get mine - it can't be done. There are also medications that will take away your libido as well. I don't think any of my meds list "lack of sex drive" or anything similar as a side effect, but it's there none the less.

Not knowing exactly what your pain problems are, there could also be issues directly linked to your pain areas that cause the lack of drive and/or feeling. I'm sure that there are areas of the spine that make our intimate area's less able to feel any stimulation.

So since for the life of me I can't remember whether you are male or female cookie I'm going to delve myself even deeper in this hole I've dug and go a little more into the TMI area. If you are a guy (or for any guy reading this) and you still want to be able to please your partner remember there are toys and such out there. As a guy if you aren't able to preform for whatever reason there are other the things and toys that if you are willing to try them might be helpful, you might not get anything out of it physically for yourself, but it might help you mentally to know that you are allowing your partner to enjoy themselves. The same goes for a woman - there other forms of, and things that can be used in conjuction with sex that will make things more pleasing for your partner if you are willing to try them.

Yet another thing to remember is that sex can release chemicals in the brain that supposedly lessen pain or something like that. Also if you are able to get into the mood I swear I've read articles that you may experience less pain during the act while the chemicals are being pushed through your system. One of the questions actually on my paperwork for my new pain doctor was whether or not sex relieved any of your pain even mildly. For me there are some times when I think it actually does.

Also - don't be afraid to ask your doctor about the intimacy problems. No matter what some people say sex is an important part of a relationship to some degree. For many people it's where they get and retain the confidence that their partner finds them attractive, and allows the partner to feel that the other finds them attractive. It also is a way to show your feelings to a small degree. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor or visit a therapist if you start noticing a problem. There might be other medications that might not affect your libido as much, or medications that can help get you in the mood or combat some of the medications that are making it harder to do so.

I guess thats all.
(Forum Moderators I don't THINK I broke any rules being upfront about these things, if I have I apologize now.)

Tammy
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

"Cause when push comes to shove You taste what you're made of, You might bend, till you break Cause its all you can take; On your knees you look up Decide you've had enough, You get mad you get strong Wipe your hands shake it off, Then you Stand" From "Stand" by Rascal Flatts
_____________________________________________________________________________
Dx.: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Ulcerlative Colitis, Chronic Inflammation of the Colon, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1 w/pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease, Chronic Costochondritis, Back Muscle Spasms, Asthma, Benign Tremmors (hands)


Muzz
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 5/1/2008 7:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Very well said, TD. Fortunatley for me( I guess..LOL) I'm at an age where sex isn't the most important part of our marriage. I do find that on the occasions that we are both "in the mood" that it does make me feel better pyhsically, as it releases those all-important endorphins, but only temp. I agree with the other posters who mentioned toys and such, as long as both are in agreement, go for it.
I am not my pain, it does not own me.


Cookie122
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 5/1/2008 9:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks to everyone who responded! I appreciate it considering the TMI of this subject.

TD, I am a female so its a little harder to find toys to please him, plus he isn't a toy guy. He prefers the real thing. LOL I know TMI. As far as pleasing him, my arms hurt too much to really do anything long enough, so he's usually on his own and not too happy about that. It upsets him and he loses his ability (if you know what I mean) when I tell him something he likes hurts and to try something else constantly. That also prolongs him getting off which prolongs the foreplay and sex which prolongs my pain and you see the circle right? Plus once I have gotten off once, I'm done and usually not interested in helping him finish (selfish huh? LOL) We talk about the problems I'm having, but like you said its difficult for him to not take it personally. I'm not on any prescriptions currently except vitamins (I really try to avoid prescriptions if I can) although they may be enivitable. The insight into it possibly being from a pinched nerve or something in my back is an interesting thought, but I think the worst of my pain and injuries is in my neck, shoulders, and upper to mid back so I don't know if that could be it.

I'm going to make an app. with my stupid GP to see if his little brain can wrap around the fact that something is really wrong with me and to refer me to specialists that will not only address this problem but all my other problems as well. I've tried in the past, but he called me a hypocondriac and sent me home. I'm older and wiser now and not going to take that. I'd switch GP's but its difficult for me as it is not my insurance I am under (so yes I have been suffering pretty much in silence with no treatments or diagnosises). I also need his stupid signature on a referal so my insurance will cover the specialist visits. Stupid GP and insurance!

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/1/2008 2:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Maybe you've reached the point where you do need some meds. for your pain, at least on a prn basis. Like I said earlier, if you have pain you're not going to feel pleasure at the same time, so you need some way of minimizing the pain for you to feel aroused. Course some of the meds can then interere with arousal! The best way to tell if the nerves are all working properly is perhaps self-stimulation, or any other way of stimulating the "area" while you're in a comfortable position. If you're able to feel some sensation, then you're probably ok re: your nerves in that region. Hope i'm not being too graphic!

Freya
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 5/1/2008 6:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I have really wanted to talk about this with someone, but really who am I going to admit this problem of intamacy too? I have to look people in the face the next day and I couldnt stand for anyone to know. Of course my husband is aware of it, but when it comes to finding comfort for my feelings about it, I'm SOOL(excuse the eluded langauge)
I have hidden it from my Dr's until lately when I couldnt avoid it anymore because there is defenitly something else going on. But its such a defeating feeling to lose your intamacy as a woman. This is when chronic pain starts to truely reak havoc on a persons confidence and self-esteem
I wish there was a way to make it alot easier for all of us to show our signifigant others how we feel about them...I have never had to put so much emphaces on only words in replace of physical intamacy.

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/1/2008 7:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree, Freya, it's great to have the topic raised (thanks, cookie!). Even though I don't have a partner right now, I have to admit it's one thing I wonder about that I think keeps me from looking for a relationship. I have no idea how the sexual aspects would be, but I do know there are lots of positions just plain sitting or sleeping that cause pain, nevermind anything more adventurous!

It's got to be a very special partner, too, who would understand all of our limitations, and be willing to work with them. Sounds like some of you have that, but I know just having someone doesn't solve all the problems.

PaLady

Toritoo
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 5/1/2008 7:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Sex? Hmmmm give me a minute... no thats not it. oh yea SEX. I remember now- 2 people - naked and enjoying each other. it's been so long since I even thought about it and I have a man. I did bring it up to him a while back (could be year or more) because he was always much more sexualy inclined than I was and he was and always has been considerate of me and my pain. We have come to a place in our relationship of 22 years that just holding each other can be satisfying and as long as he is ok with that than so am I. Honestly though the thought of how painful it would be is just too much to bear. I am a very lucky woman to have this man of mine and what makes it even better is he feels like he is the lucky one. What more could a woman ask for? Toritoo

Freya
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 5/1/2008 9:16 PM (GMT -7)   
PAlady-
I can so understand not jumping in head first when it comes to dating and chronic pain. I love my husband like nothing else but had I had the chronic pain before I met him, I would absolutly back away from relationships. I believe with all my heart in fate and destiny. And when your ready I know you'll meet a wonderful person who wont care what you cant do but only about being by your side.

Feya

painKILLER
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 5/1/2008 10:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi ladies; thats really good info and I appreciate it that you have shared. I would like to mention something for the guys. I don't know if pain medications affect women the same in this regard, but for guys, its been clinically proven that long term pain medications reduce the testosterone levels in men significantly. The testosterone in men controls a lot of things. Low testosterone levels can cause men to gain weight in areas where they normally would not. Also, and more to the point, the low testosterone levels caused by long term pain medications in men cause a lack of sex drive, and even a complete loss of interest in sex and his partner. So, for the guys out here in the forum that are on pain meds, its so very important that you ask your doctor about testosterone replacement therapy in conjunction with opioid therapy. Because men naturally lose testosterone as they get older, it is even more important to replace the testosterone that is naturally produced. Getting on this therapy will balance out your biochemistry, and replace the sex drive that you may have lost. Also, there are other beneficial side effects to increased sex drive and stamina. Men taking hormone replacement also see muscle gain that is much leaner muscle and low in fat. Mood improves, and so does all around energy. So, guys, ask your doctors about Testosterone Replacement Therapy, and gals, suggest this to your hubbies if they are taking opioids. I'm sure this will definitely rejuvenate some marriages.

crps
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 174
   Posted 5/1/2008 11:09 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello H.W,

This topic is just as important than as all the others. I am married 14 years now and always had a very healthy intimate relationship. The past 3 and a half years with debilitating chronic pain, has like everyone else ruined my life. In every way. My med list is long and on more than one bottle, it says may lower testosterone or errections. The sex is a big part of feeling together, a special feeling that no one shares but you and your spouce. But what I have noticed also is the being the husband of pre-injury is imposible. I know she is looking for more than the sex part, it's also the time before and after without having to rush or only take care of her because it's just not worth it for me to continue because I'm at a number 9 pain and begging for my pain meds and she will just get sore.(frustration is the last thing anyone wants) mad

   I feel it is definatly worth trying to help out your spouce and it does help them. There's nothing wrong with it, and if it makes thier day a little brighter, Who knows maybe instead of the sandwich for dinner, you might get a steak!!! It's not always easy but, I still want her to have as normal of a life as possible.
 
I Hope Everyone Has A Pain Free Day!!
 
   P.S. Besides once someone falls out of love, there's not much chance they can love again the way they did before. I dont want her having to look around. She would'nt, but you hear about stories like that all the time.I guess just give no excuse........ sad
 
                   anyway, thats just me....
 
                               thanks for listening,
                                          mike

Cookie122
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 5/2/2008 11:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Once again thanks to everyone one for their input. Its so good to hear I'm not alone (althoughI know this is common).

I finally decided to swallow my pride and call my GP to make an appointment. I was surprised to found out that the receptionist gave me 2 names of drs I could see. My dr. and another one. Of course I choose the other dr. so we'll see if he/she is better or worse that my regular stupid dr. My app. is May 21st my graduation day. I hope the new dr. has a compfy chair to sit in while I go over everything with them because it is going to take a long time.

I also started taking vitamins on Wednesday. I have to say they seem to be helping a little with my sex drive as weird as it sounds (or it could be because my time of the month is coming soon. Sorry TMI). I think another one of the problems is that since we don't live together, I'm always concious of the time since we both have to get up early for work the next day and I want to make sure we get enough sleep and I don't want to listen to my family commenting on why I was out so late. (I'm a youngen, 22, still living with my parents. Been with bf for almost 6yrs though).

Anyway thanks again to everyone for their support and input on this sensitive and often TMI of a subject. Its good to know that I can get support on even the most taboo of subjects.
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Sunday, December 04, 2016 5:46 PM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,732,780 posts in 301,056 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151206 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, KrazyKorean5.
344 Guest(s), 10 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
Psilociraptor, dacarte3, mtm3461, ChickNorris, lymedriven, Fairwind, ks1905, trumpet123, NotQuiteAntonio, julymorning


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer