Firstly, let me qualify what I mean when I say sex. I will use the official medical language since whenever I say sex my doctor says “intercourse”. So, yes I mean intercourse.
I’m 38 and I have in many ways just discovered my vagina. I always knew where it was and what it did. I pushed two children through it and obviously would have been having sex for years. What I mean though is I have finally come into my own and am comfortable with the body I have; scars, fat areas, soft areas etc.
I can give myself freely without reservation and inhibition, without hiding any aspect of me. I can have intercourse with all the lights on and no covers and be uninhibited. In lots of ways this is liberating. Many of us women struggle to be here. I’m happy that I have arrived.
My reality of sex though is in many ways directly opposing the above.
For many years sex has been a delicate dance between levels of pain, hormonal stage, energy levels, positioning, interest, fears, doctor’s instructions and desires. So much for spontaneity!
Sometimes, in my mind its “why bother”. Other times its “am I prepared to deal with the pain” Reality is that every-time I have intercourse I risk having pain. Pain that will knock me off my feet and “cripple” me for a few hours at least. At most I could have pain for days.
So there’s no quickie before work and out the door or lunchtime and back to work in my life. I accept that I must ensure there are a few hours at least between the time it’s over and when I am required to do anything else.
Doc says “preparation is key”; so just as I have meds within arms reach when in bed in the event that I awake in pain, I have to prepare for sex. In theory this is possible, I can pre-medicate ( take some pain meds about half hour before I plan to have sex so that by the time we’re through the levels of meds in my system are high). This as I said is theory because arousal is not dependent on plans.
Yes I have little people in my house so there is some measure of planning or rather waiting till they are asleep, downstairs, occupied, away etc. but still all can’t be scheduled.
It is what it is yes!
Let me separate the pain into two categories. Firstly, is the pain as a result of the Pelvic Congestion Syndrome. This is for the most part pain that I experience after intercourse. It correlates with the level of the pleasure I derive i.e more pleasure….more intense pain. I don’t know if this is a researched and scientific finding (probably not since research on PCS is greatly lacking) but it’s been my finding.
This is akin to the pain I experience after exercise or other physical activity. After the endorphin and adrenaline levels drop I feel the pain intensely. Added to this though is pain as a result of vaginal penetration, I can’t quite quantify this pain but I have found that anything inside leads to pain after e.g after the internal ultrasound there was pain for days. Obviously, an internal exam or ultrasound does not compare to the penetration, movement etc. of intercourse.
So it’s those two combined.
The second category of pain is recent and as a result of the cysts and adhesions I believe. This is pain during intercourse. This is instantly sharp and potentially “crippling”. Just as with an internal examination the doctor applies pressure to feel ovaries etc. and it hurts………..same thing. With some care and positioning adjustments this can be minimized.
So two categories of pain.
Did I mention that I do love sex?
A friend told me once “hands are for release, mouths are for pleasure, inside is spiritual”.
These 11 words ring true to my experience as well. I do believe that there is a spiritual and psychological component to intercourse that many overlook and at times deny. So yes, the physical need can be met otherwise but there’s more to it than physical release or pleasure.
My marriage is not made or broken by the amount or frequency of intercourse. However, intercourse is an integral part. There is the physical need to be met but there is a much deeper connection that I find lacking the longer we go without.
Side bar: My husband is an amazingly patient and understanding man. I praise God for him each day. I know that some of my sisters are not so blessed and I pray for them because many men do not handle this situation with grace.
So in spite and despite the knowledge and expectation of pain. Even outside the pleasure I have learnt to derive and give through intercourse. I seek that deep, spiritual connection. I continue in the midst of the pain believing that one day things will improve.
I will be able to say:
Sex………………..Love to Love It!