Is Chronic Pain Affecting Your Sex Life?

by Krissy Ward

     As someone who battles chronic pain daily, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed or even ashamed when it comes to your sex life. Maybe there are certain restrictions you have to think about or maybe you just haven't been in the mood lately, because let’s face it, chronic pain can be a real party pooper.

     The topic of sex can bring up so many feelings when one or both people in the relationship have chronic pain or suffer from a chronic illness. When you are chronically ill, you aren't just dealing with symptoms from your illness, you may have to deal with side effects from your medications and being in pain 24/7 brings psychological changes as well.

   Chronic pain can make your favorite sexual positions uncomfortable, but this does not mean you have to completely give up on being intimate with your partner or keep you from having a fulfilling sex life. The key to being happy in your sex life is to have open communication and choosing the right position for the both of you. Also, adding a sex toy to the mix can provide new opportunities to experiment in your sex life, making things more exciting.

     Let's look at some of the options that will make your sex life a lot healthier and help you and your partner continue to be intimate.

Sex Positions, Toys & Aids for Chronic Pain

   So, the key to finding the position, toy or aid that is best for you is to just simply try different ones; some may feel better than others. Here is where the open communications comes in... "I would like this position...", "I prefer it slower than last time...", "How do you feel about introducing...", etc. Don't be afraid to have these conversations in advance so both parties can enjoy the experience when the time/moment comes.

 - Pillow Wedge

     The pillow wedge is by far my favorite option. When you are having sex, you can put your entire weight on the wedge, which allows you to fully relax into the position of your choice. You can use regular pillows instead, but you might find yourself stacking multiple pillows on top of each other, trying to find the right support, but that can get awkward. A sex wedge is more firm than a regular pillow because it's specifically designed for sexual activity and taking pressure off of those achy joints.

- Missionary

     Missionary can be great for anyone with aches and pain, but this position is also great with a wedge. When using a sex wedge during missionary sex, lie on the edge of the bed with the wedge under your lower back to lift your pelvis while your partner can stand at the front.

- Suction Handle Bar

     A Suction Handle Bar is intended for shower sex, but the handle can lock to any smooth surface, which makes this a great tool to use for help with stability during sex.

 - Doggy Style

     Just like missionary sex, Doggy style can be done both lying down or standing up. If you have back pain and are on the receiving end, lie down with a sex wedge underneath your stomach, providing the arch without providing pressure on your lower back. 

- Doggy Style Strap

     If you have difficulty leaning forward or bending over, a doggy style strap may be for you. Using a doggy style strap helps pull your partner into you with less bending and eases the pressure on your back.  

- Sex Swing

     Having a sex swing helps take a lot of the pressure off of your joints and muscles and lower back. More positions are possible in a sex swing than in a bed. Let the sex swing do the work for you!

     Entering with an open mind, lots of open communication and a positive attitude is crucial. 

     Has your relationship with your partner changed as a result of your chronic illness? If so, do you have any advice for the couples currently going through this?