#Fibromyalgia, Fatigue and some (naughty) Fun

I know that some of you cannot even think of having sex without bringing on a flare – Me? I’d put up with a flare at the moment for a little loving!

With Valentine’s Day approaching, imagine this:

It’s 9pm. You’ve just put the kids to bed. It’s been a long, exhausting day. It feels like 4 in the morning and you’re ready to fall over. Suddenly your other half looks at you in that way, smiles and strokes your arm, and you know he/she wants to ‘make lurve.’

So, what’s your reaction?

Decreased sexual interest is not considered a common characteristic of FM. Nonetheless, a 2005 Turkish study demonstrates that female patients with FM have distinct sexual dysfunction compared with healthy controls.292.FM Lovesong

What is Normal Sexual Function?

For women, sex is a complex issue because it involves both physical and emotional reactions. Normal sexual functioning, however, may be divided into specific stages that include:

  • Desire
  • Arousal
  • Orgasm
  • Relaxation

They are all tied together with feelings of fulfillment, satisfaction and pleasure. For a woman, this is achieved not simply through physical touching. It involves psychological and emotional engagement. It may be difficult at times to remain sexually engaged when your body is in pain or fatigued or you are experiencing low self-esteem.

Types of Sexual Dysfunction in Women with Fibromyalgia

Sexual dysfunction refers to the inability to either engage in or enjoy the sexual act. It occurs for a number of different reasons that include illness, the impact of medications on the body, or emotional distress.

Women with fibromyalgia may suffer from one or more types of sexual dysfunction. The more common types include:

  1. Decreased sexual desire or drive
  2. Less arousal but maybe adequate sex drive
  3. Difficulty in achieving orgasm
  4. Increased pain with sexual intercourse or vaginal contact
  5. Failure of the body to co-operate with the desired position or movement

I am not even pretending that I know how to help with the first three types. I feel I can offer some suggestion on the last two.

We already know that FM is more foe than friend.  While many of us are too tired for sex, it is the muscle pain that leads to pressure and a squeezing of the pelvic area and lower back that ultimately result in muscle cramping during sexual intercourse. This naturally causes a great deal of discomfort, making it difficult to engage in certain sexual behaviours.

Sex may eventually become something that is no longer pleasurable (I can’t believe I said that!), but a negative experience. One’s natural tendency is to avoid such physically intimate situations, especially given that one is too tired or sore for sex.

sexSo, who can be bothered? (Pick me! Pick me!)

Further, taking a toll on one’s sex life are FM medications that decrease libido and a man’s ability to attain or maintain erection. Anti-depressants can also take a toll on a person’s sexual functioning. A person living with FM may react negatively to bodily changes, like weight changes and the loss of muscle mass.

As lovers feel less connected in the boudoir, their sexual relationship takes a hit (ie: unless you take steps to stay mentally and spiritually connected while attempting to be physically intimate). It’s important to realise that the release of hormones and endorphins, natural opioids, during sex can help to relieve FM symptoms, like pain and depression, and boost well-being. This double-sided sword is that while sex can relieve symptoms of FM, FM itself may result in a decreased libido, and, definitely, fatigue and pain that hinder a person’s desire and ability to engage in sexual intercourse.

Maintaining your sex life is vital to your health and well-being. Consider adopting this plan on Tuesday:

  • Plan ahead to make this the night for sexual relations. Practice acceptance. Adapt. Make peace with the fact that you need to deal with this condition, and then allow yourself to reclaim your life in every way. This means ensuring you do not wear yourself out earlier during the day. You need to be well-rested so pace yourself.
  • If you have stiffness of your muscles or joints, consider ways to reduce the stiffness. Do some stretching to relax the muscles and make them limber.
  • Practice reducing stress. You can do breathing exercises. You can also combine exercise with stress reduction by playing soothing music while you do yoga. For some, a guided meditation or visualization will produce the desired result.
  • Take a warm bath or shower. A bath is excellent because it means you can pamper yourself. Play soft, romantic or sensual music and indulge in an sumptuous bubble bath
  • Prepare the room so it is relaxing, comfortable and reignites your passion. Clean, fresh, fragrant sheets can help. Pillows you can place to make positions easier are good tools to have handy. Soft lights and even softer music can also be effective in setting the right mood.
  • When it comes to the actual sex act, talk to your partner. Consider some positions that do not cause any discomfort but result in pleasure for both of you. Allow your partner to be more active during sex if possible (Absolutely nothing bad about THAT!) Talk it through.
  • Experiment with different sexual positions. There are plenty of activities and positions that are ideal for fatigue; and many ways to avoid painful sex. And have fun trying them ALL out! (see the attachment)
  • Enjoy each other despite flare ups. Part of this is not being so goal-oriented during a love-making session. Allow things to happen as they can.
  • Stay physically connected by just cuddling (unless such is not made possible by allondynia, where the brain misinterprets neutral or pleasant stimuli for pain).

The important thing is to learn what has produced your sexual dysfunction and to make an effort to maintain interest in sex. You can discuss any concerns you have with your doctor and your partner or spouse. Being honest with your intimate partner will help you maintain an active sex life.

Finally?

Don’t give up. It might feel like you’re never going to want to have sex ever again – but that’s the fibro talking, not you. Lust strikes at the oddest moment, and people can have sex in a myriad of ways. So have fun exploring what works best for you. and you’ll feel IT again.

And when you do, take advantage of it, and enjoy it!

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For those grown-ups among us (and those NOT easily offended), please check out these recommended sexual positions that require less physical exertion. This is adult content –  By clicking “I Agree” below, you are agreeing to the following:

  1. You are an adult, at least 18 years of age, you are familiar with and understand the standards and laws of your local community regarding sexually oriented media. You represent that, based on your familiarity with the standards and laws of your local community, you will not be violating any applicable standards or laws by requesting, receiving, downloading or possessing any of the video, audio, graphics, images or text (“Adult Material”) available on this Website.
  2. You hereby acknowledge that any use of this Website is at your sole risk. You understand that by accepting the terms of this Agreement, you are agreeing to hold the Publisher of this Web Site harmless from any responsibilities or liabilities related to your use of this Web Site and the Adult Material contained herein.
  3. You will not permit any person(s) under 18 years of age to have access to any of the Adult Materials contained in this Web Site.
  4. You are voluntarily choosing to access this Web Site, because you want to view, read or hear the various Adult Materials that are available. You agree to immediately exit from this Web Site if you are in any way offended by the sexual nature of any Adult Material.
  5. If you use this Web Site in violation of these Terms, or use this Web Site where such use is illegal, you may be in violation of local and/or federal laws. You agree that you are solely responsible for your use of this Web Site and agree to indemnify Publisher against any claims arising out of such use.

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Valentines’ Day Special

Valentines dayPersonally, in my (now) 42 years, I don’t think I have EVER had sex on Valentine’s Day – whether I was healthy or not. I may not have been in a relationship or I may have been and it just didn’t happen that day. But I know that, given the opportunity, I would love to ‘make lurve’ on Valentine’s Day (and, of course, decorate accordingly!)

I know that some of you cannot even think of having sex without bringing on a flare – Me? I’d put up with a flare at the moment for a little loving!

Imagine this:

It’s 9pm tonight. You’ve just put the kids to bed. It’s been a long, exhausting day. It feels like 4 in the morning and you’re ready to fall over. Suddenly your other half looks at you in that way, smiles and strokes your arm, and you know he/she wants to ‘make lurve.’

So, what’s your reaction?

Decreased sexual interest is not considered a common characteristic of FM. Nonetheless, a 2003 Brazilian study, involving women in their 40s and 50s, half of whom had FM and half of whom did not, found that the healthy group was likelier to have had a regular sexual relationship in the last six months than those with FM. The FM group members were less satisfied with their sex life, had more pain during intercourse, experienced more fatigue during sexual intimacy, and were less likely to initiate sexual intimacy than healthy women.

We already know that FM is more foe than friend.  While many of us are too tired for sex, it is the muscle pain that leads to pressure and a squeezing of the pelvic area and lower back that ultimately result in muscle cramping during sexual intercourse. This naturally causes a great deal of discomfort, making it difficult to engage in certain sexual behaviours.

Sex may eventually become something that is no longer pleasurable (I can’t believe I said that!), but a negative experience. One’s natural tendency is to avoid such physically intimate situations, especially given that one is too tired or sore for sex.

sex 1

So, who can be bothered? (Pick me! Pick me!)

Further, taking a toll on one’s sex life are FM medications that decrease libido and a man’s ability to attain or maintain erection. Anti-depressants can also take a toll on a person’s sexual functioning. A person living with FM may react negatively to bodily changes, like weight changes and the loss of muscle mass.

As lovers feel less connected in the boudoir, their sexual relationship takes a hit (ie: unless you take steps to stay mentally and spiritually connected while attempting to be physically intimate). It’s important to realise that the release of hormones and endorphins, natural opioids, during sex can help to relieve FM symptoms, like pain and depression, and boost well-being. This double-sided sword is that while sex can relieve symptoms of FM, FM itself may result in a decreased libido, and, definitely, fatigue and pain that hinder a person’s desire and ability to engage in sexual intercourse.

Maintaining your sex life is vital to your health and well-being. In order to have a healthy sex life, why not try some of these pointers:

  • Practice acceptance. Adapt. Make peace with the fact that you need to deal with this condition, and then allow yourself to reclaim your life in every way.
  • Maintain a routine that helps you to feel good about yourself – not necessarily just grooming. Sometimes you need to treat yourself to feel good. Take yourself off for a hot oil massage or a manicure.
  • Stay physically active, preferably with your partner, as much as possible, as another way to feel better about yourself, possibly boosting your sex drive.
  • Manage stress with relaxation techniques like meditation.
  • Talk to your doctor about how your condition is affecting your sex life, including any medications that may be at play.
  • Arm yourself with information. Become educated about your condition and how FM impacts your sexuality and sexual expression. This is a must in talking to your partner about everything that’s taking place. Being informed can also help to alleviate your lover’s concerns, helping both of you to stay emotionally connected.
  • Allow your partner to be more active during sex if possible (Absolutely nothing bad about THAT!)
  • Plan for sex after luxuriating in a warm bath or using a moist heat application, both of which ease FM pain, inflammation, muscle spasms, and stiffness.
  • Experiment with different sexual positions. There are plenty of activities and positions that are ideal for fatigue; and many ways to avoid painful sex. And have fun trying them ALL out! (see the attachment)
  • Enjoy each other despite flare ups. Part of this is not being so goal-oriented during a love-making session. Allow things to happen as they can.
  • Stay physically connected by just cuddling (unless such is not made possible by allondynia, where the brain misinterprets neutral or pleasant stimuli for pain).

Finally?

Don’t give up. It might feel like you’re never going to want to have sex ever again – but that’s the fibro talking, not you. Lust strikes at the oddest moment, and people can have sex in a myriad of ways. So have fun exploring what works best for you. and you’ll feel IT again.

And when you do, take advantage of it, and enjoy it! Happy Valentine’s Day!

For those grown-ups among us (and those NOT easily offended), please check out these recommended sexual positions that require less physical exertion. This is adult content –  By clicking “I Agree” below, you are agreeing to the following:

  1. You are an adult, at least 18 years of age, you are familiar with and understand the standards and laws of your local community regarding sexually oriented media. You represent that, based on your familiarity with the standards and laws of your local community, you will not be violating any applicable standards or laws by requesting, receiving, downloading or possessing any of the video, audio, graphics, images or text (“Adult Material”) available on this Website.
  2. You hereby acknowledge that any use of this Website is at your sole risk. You understand that by accepting the terms of this Agreement, you are agreeing to hold the Publisher of this Web Site harmless from any responsibilities or liabilities related to your use of this Web Site and the Adult Material contained herein.
  3. You will not permit any person(s) under 18 years of age to have access to any of the Adult Materials contained in this Web Site.
  4. You are voluntarily choosing to access this Web Site, because you want to view, read or hear the various Adult Materials that are available. You agree to immediately exit from this Web Site if you are in any way offended by the sexual nature of any Adult Material.
  5. If you use this Web Site in violation of these Terms, or use this Web Site where such use is illegal, you may be in violation of local and/or federal laws. You agree that you are solely responsible for your use of this Web Site and agree to indemnify Publisher against any claims arising out of such use.

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He Loves Me…NOT!

So tomorrow is Valentine’s Day…I will not put a downer, for all of those who celebrate the day, on the actual day – you WILL get a sexy, sassy Valentine’s Day post.

But for those of us (me included) who don’t celebrate the day because we have no-one to celebrate with (not those who just believe it is just another way for Hallmark to make money!), here are some wonderful cards that you might think about sending:

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I had ordered something, for some-one I was hoping would be my valentine, but that went out the window…the only problem was that the gift could only apply to him, so I am sending it anyway with this card:

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So, Happy Wednesday to everybody. I hope I was able to put a smile on some of your faces.

 

Today, I Let my ‘Friend’ Go.

He didn’t die. I didn’t have to unplug him or anything as sad as that…

Having been inspired by another person’s blog, I have decided that I need to allow a ‘friend’ of mine to leave.

He (let’s call him Sam) has been trying to ditch me for a while but I have kept chasing him. Let’s start at the beginning:

Six years ago, Sam used to work where I used to work. He was (and is) 12 years younger than me. (Did anyone say Cougar?) We had a friends-with-benefits kind of relationship. We didn’t have very much in common but I really enjoyed the sex (can I say that on this page?). It fizzled out. He got engaged; but we would send each other a text every now and then.

Fast forward to 6 months ago. I sent a friendly text and it continued into a full-blown texting conversation which continued over a couple of days. He was no longer engaged (alarm bells should have gone off then!) We met up. We had sex – still pretty good, not exceptional and, I hadn’t had any sex in over 4 years (since before depression invaded my life).

Well, that was it. I had been fine for 4 years but, now that I’d had some physical contact, I wanted more! So, texting every night (no phone calls – just texting), trying to work out a time that would fit, and Sam being too busy (more alarm bells, right?).

Almost exactly a month later, sex again. This time he let me know that it was his fiancé who called off the wedding (can you hear anything above the noise of those bloody bells?). This was my friend and he was hurting. I knew how that felt. I wanted to help. I scheduled inspirational quotes to his phone every morning. I checked up on how he was doing. I made sure he was surviving.

Guess what? A month later (is there a pattern happening here?), we had sex again! THEN he told him that he thought he wasn’t prepared to continue our ‘relationship.’ Ok, fine – end of sex. I deleted his name from my contact list so I could restrain myself from texting (addictive behaviour, do you think?)

Then he sent me a text – he was back on my phone. Yes, we had sex.

Yes, it happened. Yes, afterwards he suggested we put a brake on our ‘relationship’ again. And yes, a month after that, we had sex (again)! Then we had dinner together – we still had absolutely nothing in common, I noticed.

Some more texting, some more trying to work out a time that would fit, and some more of Sam being too busy (is anyone getting bored here?). Then all of a sudden, I got a phone call! This never happens – what the hell? He needed my professional help. I gave it to him and, after it was all over, we had sex!

After my Valentine’s Day surprise went awry (he doesn’t like surprises it seems), he only replied to my texts with passive aggression (I never knew what that meant until now) and then he stopped answering all together.

WOW! that was a lot longer than it should have been.

But there it is – my friendship with Sam! Now I bet you’re saying ‘What are you talking about? That wasn’t a friendship!’ and, after I read it back to myself, I agree and think how very needy I am. But I think I was confused – I thought, as I had known this person for 6 years, that he was a friend.

I was wrong (it’s taken me this long to reach this conclusion – it probably took you about 5 seconds). During this time, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia – did you notice that there was no reference to that in the above story? And no mention that I had to stop working? And no hint that, during this time, I was unable to sleep, suffered debilitating headaches (did you know that, despite the myth, sex actually helps headaches?) and was house-bound? That would be because there was no support forthcoming from Sam.

Now, I don’t have a lot of friends (that is NOT a not-so-subtle request for people to ‘friend’ me on Facebook – it’s just a fact). They seem to disappear from my life. Unlike my brother, I don’t have any friends that I’ve known since kindergarten. I know I try – perhaps I try too hard?

But I still don’t know why I was so intent on maintaining Sam’s ‘friendship’? I wouldn’t have laboured so hard if he was female (a very woeful thing to say, I know). The sex wasn’t THAT great, there were no common interests and we didn’t share any friends; but I couldn’t just let it die a natural death. I persisted in texting – I knew that I could wear down his resolve; but why should I? Why was I willing to allow him to treat me this way? And why was I prepared to degrade myself so much that I was almost begging him to visit me? Is it something to do with needing a man to be complete?

Anyway, the point of this very rambling post – I no longer text Sam, Sam is not in my phone anymore; and we, obviously, have no sort of relationship. It’s time to let this toxic friendship go.