Never an easy topic – MS or not – it’s time to talk about intimacy issues.
Why now? For many of us there’s no good time to speak the unspeakables about MS and sexual difficulties.
Talking about the good things
Often the conversation about sexual intimacy and chronic illness (or even just plain old aging) deals with what we can’t do (or can no longer do easily).
Difficult as it may be, it’s also worth discussing what we can enjoy and how we can work on our sexual health.
When it comes to this very personal topic, it’s important that we actually think about sex as a whole and not just the physical act of inserting Tab A into Slot B like assembling some piece of Scandinavian furniture.
I’ve always said that sex begins with your clothes on and that foreplay for an evening encounter can start with a smile and good morning peck on the cheek.
Enjoying the ride
What are we really looking for in the sexual part of our relationships? Is it simply an orgasm? I’d have to think not.
I mean, don’t get me wrong: they're nice! But a ‘Big O’ is not the Full Monty.
A fulfilling sex life with your partner is about different things to different people. Closeness, tenderness, giving, receiving, fun, playfulness, passion, thrills - the list of what we get from a healthy sexual relationship goes on and on. By focusing on the destination alone, we miss the journey – many would say the best part.
Issues can, of course, arise on that journey. Many can be caused by MS, but it’s important to remember that people who don’t have MS can have bumps along their path. But just like a detour through unfamiliar areas of town, you can often make it to your destination… and maybe even take in some new scenery along the way.
Let’s talk about sex
Share what workarounds you and your partner may have found to help. We talk about so many aspects of life that people without MS don’t because we find it helpful to ourselves and to one another. Why wouldn’t we talk about sex as well?
Wishing you and your family the best of health.
About Trevis: Born in Michigan, Trevis now lives in County Kerry, Ireland, with his wife Caryn. He’s written an award-winning memoir 'Chef Interrupted' and has just published a compilation cookery book. He blogs for a number of sites about life with MS.