Last month I had the pleasure of co-hosting the #BatteriesForSexChat on Twitter. You can join #BatteriesForSexChat on Twitter on the 1st and 15th of every month. In this session, we talked about communication with partners and communication with doctors, as well as medical treatments and surgeries. Below are the questions we discussed and my personal answers. Feel free to comment/ask questions. Make sure to follow #BatteriesforSexChat on Twitter!
1. What is your personal definition of sex? (For example. Would it include oral, fingering….)
For me it would be touching of any genitals with fingers, mouth, or your genitals. Intimacy can, of course, include much more.
2. How has your disability or illness affected your ability to have sex?
I have had a prolapsed uterus for the past three years which has gotten progressively worse. I also have bladder and bowel problems due to Spina Bifida, so it can be hard have sex. I am sometimes afraid to get naked. My anxiety makes it even worse.
3. What other things can you so do increase intimacy with your partner(s) when you are unable to have sex?
Cuddling, fingering, oral sex. I love even just how he walks up behind me as I am doing the dishes and plays with my hair, or snacks my butt. BDSM play. I can’t do any heavy impact play anymore but I love flogging and fire play.
4. How comfortable are you talking with your partner(s) about your disability or illness? What symptoms in particular are you uncomfortable talking about which affect your sex life?
I used to be really uncomfortable talking about my bladder and bowel problems with partners. Over the years, I have learned to understand and eventually accept this part of my disability and that acceptance has made it easier to talk about.
5. When is the best time to talk to your partner about your symptoms? Online before you meet? First date? Just before sex? Longer?
I tell people right away online that I have Spina Bifida. Some information (specifically bladder and bowel issues) I wait and share before we get intimate. More long term issues such as my declining health, I share more about as a relationship develops with a partner.
6. Are you comfortable talking with your doctors about sex?
I haven’t always been open with doctors (about being Bi, poly, kinky), but I decided I needed to be. It was important for me to get regular STI testing when I was poly. I also tell doctors about BDSM play to make sure I don’t I cause any serious injuries.
7. If a doctor doesn’t answer your questions, what other resources do you have to answer your questions related to your disability and sex?
I go to a different doctor. I talk to my Spina Bifida team. I talk to others adults with disabilities. Facebook groups for adults with disabilities (including your specific disability or illness) are great resources. There is my group SEXUAL HEALTH FOR WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES.
8. What treatments have you considered to improve your condition? Meds? Surgery?
I tried a pessary for the prolapsed uterus, but it didn’t work. I just had a hysterectomy in July and I am looking forward to having PIV sex again, and using toys! Yay! Bladder and Bowel issues are another story. Still trying to find something that works to avoid incontinence.
9. What concerns do you have about different types of treatment?
Medications for my bladder and bowel issues haven’t always worked long term. I also worry about side effects. I have tried probiotics, apple cider vinegar, laxatives, prescription meds. etc. I now get botox injections in my bladder and I am considering a surgery for my bowels.
10. If you have had surgery, how has that impacted your sex life?
I just had a hysterectomy. I am looking forward to having sex again. I may need another surgery for my bowels though. It is hard to be intimate when you are always sick in the stomach, feeling gassy, and unsexy. So I need to find a better solution for my bowels. I am looking into an M.A.C.E procedure.