For those of you that follow me on twitter or catch up with me on guest blogs, or have even read my full catalogue you may be aware that I am going through a bit of a personal health crisis right now. I have badly injured my lower back. You all know I write about sex but none have you been brave enough to ask. What has the impact of your lower back injury been on your sex life? But I’m going to answer the question anyway. I’m not gonna sugar coat it kids it’s been a major fucking bummer bummer. For weeks on end my back has been so sensitive to pressure and movement that arousal, pleasure and orgasms have been very difficult to achieve.
But my partner and I are still managing to stay sexually active and we have not given up on pleasuring each-other or enjoying our intimacy. Our pornographic and hollywood culture would have us think that the only sexy bodies are fit, young, athletic and hairless. In the scheme of things - unless death takes us suddenly and at a young age, we will all experience disability and or injury at some-point in our lives. I have set it as a personal goal to someday get busted in the community room of the old folks home. But can you imagine what would happen to the world if everyone with a backache gave up on sex entirely? What would our relationship look like if we treated each other like sexual tools to be discarded at the first sign of dysfunction? This is my second encounter with a back injury, I have also experienced being nine-months-pregnant, post partum, and a slew of other injuries that have left one part or another not working at its prime. Sex while your hurting or less mobile can be a challenge and I have fumbled through more than a few of them. But we live we learn and we adapt. Here are my tips for adaptive sex:
Be Flexible: I don’t mean make yourself a contortionist. The last thing a person experiencing a mobility problem wants to be told is to make their body more flexible for sex. I mean about your patterns, methods likes and dislikes. Consider your injury as an opportunity/excuse to try new things you might not normally try and perhaps get past some old hang-ups. You may want to re-negotiate some of your sexual and relationship boundaries with your partner. Maybe now is the time to give voyeurism or some other low contact fantasy a try. You may need to change up the time of day that you have sex. You might have to give up on having orgasms with your partner as often as you are used to and focus on intimacy, connection or excitement during the time you are together; with the understanding that you’ll both be having more solo sessions on the in-between.
Chart the patterns: If you are dealing with injury, mood issues, hormone fluctuations, pain or fatigue, try to identify which times of day are your best times. Communicate with your partner about these best times. Give yourself the opportunity to enjoy pleasure during the the times it works for you. My mobility is at its best during mid-day. This is a bit of a bummer because my partner and I can almost never see eachother mid-day. But I find ways of making my mid-day solo sessions into an interactive experience, through phone calls, sexting and documentation.
Start with no-contact foreplay. If your body is experiencing challenges your sessions might need to be shorter to minimize the risk of aggravating an injury. You can get ready for your next in person encounter by engaging in no-contact to light contact foreplay. This means lots of flirting, fantasy talk, maybe role play, this could also mean sharing erotica together or pornography. You may find a few ideas in my cyberslut back catalogue. My partner and I are big sexters. I will get ready for a session by sending him messages about the last one, telling him what I am fantasizing about, maybe sending him little hints or leaving things for him to find that I know will turn him on and get me going in the process. By the time our clothes come off our bodies are super-responsive because we’ve been practicing in our head all day.
Become a gear-head: I have a confession to make. For a self-proclaimed slut, I’m not very big on toys but they are coming out of the drawer more and more often lately. I have a few but I don’t use them very often and I am considering investing in a few more. Toys can extend your reach, give you new appendages, and make up for mobility and energy you or your partner may not have. In addition to toys, consider using furniture pillows, slings and whatever other tools help you get into positions that work for you.
Enjoy touch in other ways. Kiss, cuddle and enjoy your body and your partner’s body(s) in the ways that bring you both comfort and intimacy. I’m spending an awful lot of time lately with my head in my partners lap, having my hair stroked, because that’s what I want and it makes me feel better. If he happens to get a hard on while I’m there I may decide to get it out and play with it. My blog jobs are getting better and better lately.
I know you’ve been waiting for it so here it is….Communicate! Tell your partner where you are how you are feeling and what is and is not working for you from day to day and moment to moment. Be specific, share details about how vigorous or firmly you can be touched or held. During the first few weeks of my most recent injury one of our biggest hurdles was my partner’s fear of doing something that would hurt me. Since he shared his fears I have been more specific with him about which positions are working for me at any given time, I tell him where he should put his hands, where my leg or knee can go and what my limits are. This has built his trust and we are starting to find a new groove.
Above all be gentle and forgiving present with yourself and your partner. Sometimes things aren’t going to work and that doesn’t have to be someone’s fault. I hope you give these methods a shot even/or especially if you aren’t experiencing a significant physical challenge or illness. Sex belongs to all of us! Being injured disabled or ill doesn’t mean that your sexual self goes away. And for many of us sexual connection is an important part of our intimate relationships to make it last over time we must adapt.