Monday, April 25, 2016

Sex and Salt

Sex with a chronic illness can be beautiful and fun and powerful. Sex with a chronic illness can also be embarrassing, painful, and/or nonexistent. This is true no matter the gender.

The intrepid and incomparable Kirsten Shultz runs the #ChronicSex chat on Twitter, Thursday nights from 7-9 EST. She writes the chronic sex blog, too. There’s not much I can do other than direct you to her site because she says it all way better than I would!

I also found this article from Shameless Magazine that addresses many of the issues disabled women face.

" is our beautifully complex bodies and minds which offer a glimmer of how conventional bodily pleasures, only ever physical and bodily, can be cripped and queered, in order to expand “sex” to include our minds, senses, imagination and spirituality."

While that article strictly addresses women, this article from Mosaic Science discusses the history of how disability is perceived and the challenges faced by the disabled in society as it relates to sexuality. It also engages the reader in both sides of the argument over soliciting sex and talks about how sex is more than just penetration:

“I know that sex is so much more than penetration,” he says. “Lots of disabled people have sex like everybody else, but for some of us our sex is not like everybody else – but that doesn’t mean it’s less. You can make somewhere else your erogenous zone, for instance, if you don’t have sensation in your genitals any more.”
“There is so much ignorance,” says Diane. “People assumed our sex life was over because Mik was disabled. But there was a raw sexuality about Mik; he was so easy and confident.”

Having comfortable intimacy is a quality of life issue. I had to choose to go off one of my most effective medications because the side effect was interfering with sex. It wasn't an easy decision, but for me, it was the right one. Kirsten's Twitter chat helped me know that I wasn't alone, that it's okay to choose a positive sex life, and that self-care and self-esteem are part of that.

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The alliterative salt portion of today’s entry will help those with dysautonomia have the blood pressure to handle some of the sexual positions that Kristin discusses on her blog.

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A higher blood volume can be improved by elevated salt and water intake. Do talk with your doctor for the prescribed amount! Don’t try to do it alone because salt can be dangerous in high amounts. I am speaking from experience. I made the mistake of trying to do it alone early in my diagnosis, and was lucky to only give myself diarrhea and nausea.

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Adding salt to foods and eating a higher salt intake is something that I consider a positive. I can eat a bag of chips and count it as medicine!

Image result for funny picture dysautonomia salt


  1. This is definitely a topic that I've experienced first hand, though mostly surrounding the realm of depression. In regards to that chronic illness I'd have to say that "nonexistent" is marked off on the docket.

    This is a tough subject for me, because I feel like a jackass. During these periods, there is always stress and it's never helped by what I feel is just my inherent desire for intimacy (granted sex isn't the only way to have/share intimacy). This would cause some discourse in both. Them being they wanted to but just felt unable, ashamed, embarrassed. Me being I felt like a jerk for even finding issue with it in the first place (they get the shorter end of the stick for sure). It can be a mess.

    Like you said, when it's not necessarily the Chronic Illness or specific disability playing the direct role, medications are always there to back up the situation. Then it's hard to find a certain balance, because those meds are important to their health (I'm actually surprised you shifted meds because of its effects in that area).

    Without getting into the whole spiritual hubdrub of sex and physical aspects, I still always feel like a jerk when intimacy becomes an issue within a relationship.

    BUT if Ryan Gosling doesn't get your engines revving nothing will! :p

  2. If my own, admittedly limited, experience is any indicator - you are not alone in that feeling. I think it's easy to miscommunicate on this subject.
    I really appreciate you sharing your perspectives on this post.

  3. If my own, admittedly limited, experience is any indicator - you are not alone in that feeling. I think it's easy to miscommunicate on this subject.
    I really appreciate you sharing your perspectives on this post.


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