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When your heart was open wide and you love things just because

30 Sep

I am not generally one to post long quotes of other people’s content, nor am I one to post profanity since I know that some people find it alienating or off-putting.

But. This is ringing loud in my ears lately, and I thought that it might resonate for other ladies with chronic pelvic pain.

So many women with pelvic pain conditions are living in discomfort that is exhausting. I am lucky that my condition usually only causes me pain during intercourse, but I will be honest and say that my treatments (which I am totally grateful for and happy with) have caused me to experience a lot of ongoing pain during day-to-day activities, particularly in trying to sit through classes where my movement is restricted. I have some days where I am supposed to be sitting for close to eight hours in unpadded chairs with very little opportunity to stretch properly (as you can guess, the kinds of stretches that I would need in order to relieve the pain are not exactly ones you can do in public…!), so I have been getting a small taste of what some pelvic pain sufferers go through every day for many, many years.

This ongoing pain, along with the relationship strain and impact on self-image that comes with malfunctioning sexy bits, makes it just so, so likely that we will experience challenges in maintaining good mental health. So many of us are depressed or anxious or have panic attacks or just plain feel bad about ourselves. Some of us are lonely or have been abandoned because of our conditions.

This text speaks to the layers of this experience and to the pure, raw, angry and hopeful determination it takes to push back and push through the problems our bodies are facing again and again and again. So, enjoy. I’ll be singing this as I walk the hour home from physio tomorrow, feeling the ache of battered and unhappy muscles kicking in but refusing the take the bus because damn the pain. It’s a beautiful day and I’m walking home.

excerpt from “A Better Son/Daughter” by Rilo Kiley

And sometimes when you’re on,
You’re really fucking on
And your friends they sing along
And they love you
But the lows are so extreme
That the good seems fucking cheap
And it teases you for weeks in its absence

But you’ll fight and you’ll make it through
You’ll fake it if you have to
And you’ll show up for work with a smile
You’ll be better
And you’ll be smarter
And more grown up and a better daughter or son
And a real good friend
And you’ll be awake
You’ll be alert
You’ll be positive though it hurts
And you’ll laugh and embrace all your friends
And you’ll be a real good listener
You’ll be honest
You’ll be brave
You’ll be handsome and you’ll be beautiful
You’ll be happy

Your ship may be coming in
You’re weak but not giving in
To the cries and the wails of the valley below
And your ship may be coming in
You’re weak but not giving in
And you’ll fight it; you’ll go out fighting all of ’em.

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25 Aug

My husband just walked out the door, feeling frustrated and upset because our sex life sucks.

I feel it too.

I know he’s coming back. I’m just angry that this is even happening.

So, I’m not pregnant.

15 Aug

Back to the gyno today.  Got some answers.  And some new questions.

As far as the vestibulitis goes, doc didn’t have much to say.  Basically she thinks the lidocaine and dilation is working, I should keep doing it, blah blah blah.  Okay, thanks for making me wait 4.5 months to hear THAT.  The gist of it is that she doesn’t have any ideas to further my progress other than to keep doing what I’m doing.  She gave me a referral to a physiotherapist who might be able to help with some stretching and muscle exercises.  Unfortunately, I have only the teeniest tiniest health coverage right now, and no money for physio treatments.  So.  That sucks.

I’m going to do some research and figure out exactly what (if anything) will be covered by my health plan.  I’m not holding out too much hope, but you never know, right?  Spouse and I have decided to book at least an initial appointment, and see what the physiotherapist says.  After that we can gauge whether it will be helpful and whether we can somehow make it work financially.  It’s hard for me to see how that would be possible, but miracles happen.  In the mean time… I don’t know.  Things have been better in the sense that we have been able to ACTUALLY DO THE SEX THING once in a while, but “sexy” it is not.  At least not for me.  Because all those orgasmic moans are actually just coping mechanisms to increase my pain tolerance.  Hot, right?

As far as PCOS goes, I got my test results, a new prescription, etc., etc., but THAT’s a post in itself!

 

Keep on rocking your sexual dysfunction, honeys.

and no, I will not use the term “doggie style”

25 May

So, there was all kinds of build-up to our anniversary a while back because we were finally able to have some kind of penile penetration happening and I was really crossing my fingers for an actual ‘wedding night’ experience.  Or something.  And when that didn’t happen (due to pain, not due to lack of trying!) something inside me sortof shut down.  I was all sexed-out, I guess, and I had absolutely no energy or desire for intimacy.  I forced myself to buy and try my new dilator, but it hurt and I was sick of it.  Something obviously had to change, since my sex life was non-existent and my attempts at dilation were not getting me anywhere.  I decided that I would try masturbating with the dilator in to loosen up my vagina.  I’m not really into masturbation on principle (that’s another post altogether), but this is business.  The dilator causes some definite discomfort going in, but I find if I keep stimulating my clitoris while it is inside, the pain lessens and I can actually have a fairly powerful orgasm.  So that was all well and good (though I have to admit I find it pretty embarrassing to be masturbating alone, spread-eagled, with a sparkly silver object sticking out of my vagina… especially when my dear husband pokes his head in the door to see how things are going or to dig around for a fresh pair of socks), but I hadn’t had much luck actually moving the dilator once it was inside.  Even with a ton of lube, the motion was quite painful and I didn’t feel like I was making progess.

Fast forward a few days, and I’m FINALLY feeling like I might be ‘in the mood,’ so I figure, what the heck – let’s give intercourse a try.  You never know, right?  So I lathered on the lidocaine and lube, but alas, no luck.  Now, I should mention that in the past we have tried a few different positions for penetration, and have had the most success with him-on-top, with a pillow supporting my pelvis.  So we tried that out, and my awesome vulva was having none of it.  I was going to give up, but my partner suggested entering me from behind, us both on our knees.  Um, WHA?  WE CAN’T EVEN DO IT THE ‘REGULAR’ WAY.  Are you insane?  Do you want me to break?  A few deep sighs later, I agree to give it a shot and… it kindof worked.  I mean, it hurt.  It hurt to the point that I couldn’t last long enough for him to reach orgasm.  But there was definite (if gentle) thrusting motion going on.  And it lasted in the minutes, not the seconds.  The only way that I could keep from being totally distracted by the pain was to continue stimulating my clitoris with one hand; if I stopped for even a few seconds, the pain would start to take over.  We didn’t come.  I don’t know if it really counts as “real” intercourse.  But it was the closest we’ve ever gotten.  Who would have guessed that I’d lose my virginity from behind?

my sparkly silver dilator

14 May

The original dilator that I got from my GYN is not providing enough of a stretch these days, so I’ve moved up in the world.  As of yesterday, I am dilating with a ridiculous sparkly silver vibrator.  I have never owned a dildo or vibrator of any kind, and I can’t say that these are the circumstances under which I envisioned making my first purchase.  I am not too excited about this item, and once it has served its purpose, it will be going in the trash.  I thought it might be helpful, however, to provide my selection criteria for anyone in the market for a vibrator for the purposes of dilation.

Considerations:

1) Size – Obviously.  I went for something that seemed to be right in between the medium-sized dilator I already own and my partner’s size. So far it is really uncomfortable to insert, and can only go in a few inches.  I figure that in a week or two it should start to improve.

2) Price – I wanted something cheap.  I am considering this a disposable item, not a long-term investment.  If all goes well, this dilator will be useless to me very soon, as I will be having lots of hot sex with my husband.  Yup.  This particular item was only $19.99, which doesn’t give me much confidence in its vibrations, but it is reasonable to pay for a dilator.

3) Shape – I chose this vibrator because of its tapered end.  I figured that would make penetration easier.

The one major downside of this vibe is the texture.  It has kindof an odd grainy surface, somewhat like brushed metal.  It’s not super rough, but I would prefer having something totally smooth.  However, I’m not planning on using this item for pleasure – the main thing that matters is its girth so that my body can adjust to something that size.  I am obviously using lube with it, but if I find the texture still irritates my skin, I can always use it with a condom.  In the future, I plan on owning a velvety-smooth Lelo vibrator, but am holding off on that purchase as a reward for achieving comfortable intercourse!

I Try (and not like Macy Gray)

6 May

Me:

Trying to celebrate the progress I’ve made.

Trying not to feel bad that there is still pain.

Trying not to feel bad that penis-in-vagina doesn’t always happen.

Trying not to feel bad that even when it does happen, it doesn’t feel good for either of us.

Trying to remember that this is a process, that I can heal, that we are playing the long game.

It’s Easter and I’m getting better.

24 Apr

I honestly can’t believe how much I have healed over the past year.

When we got married, just about a year ago, I felt what a lot of people in pelvic pain circles have described as “the wall.”  Every time we tried to have intercourse, the pain was so sharp and quick.  My partner literally could not get inside me at all, and I felt as though my vagina was totally shut up, shut off, shut down.  I didn’t understand what was wrong with my body.  I thought I must have been deformed.  I must have cancer.  I must have a disease.  I googled like a crazy person.  I read the terrifying anecdotes and became frustrated at the pile of websites talking about “unconsummated marriages” and all the forums saying that my body must be doing this because of a traumatic sexual history (which I don’t have) or because I was not emotionally ready for sex (um, hello???  I was a horny newlywed.  I waited YEARS to be able to have sex with my husband and I felt ready in every which way).

And now, after a diagnosis, four months of lidocaine treatment and one month of dilation…

If I am aroused, I can easily insert three fingers into my vagina.  My partner can (gently) put his penis inside me.  It hurts, a little.  But it’s bearable.  We can’t do much in terms of movement.  It’s not comfortable.  It’s not anywhere near being free enough to give either of us pleasure (and not being on birth control pills means condoms are part of the picture – boo).  But compared to where we were a year ago – confused, in pain, unable to even really attempt penetration – this feels like a miracle.  A few days ago, my husband was able to put his penis about halfway inside my body and I was so happy I cried.  Last night, he was all the way in.  I don’t know when the spontaneous, orgasmic, really-feels-like-sex stuff starts, but I’m starting to think it could really happen.

It’s strange.  It’s like I’m losing my virginity in slow motion.

Happy anniversary to me.