Sex, Chronic Illness, and Mental Health: The Series!

So recently Renza of Diabetogenic posted a call to really talk about sex and (women) with diabetes which got me moving- I’ve started drafts- but tend to add to it and leave it behind- pursuing other posts instead. It’s also nice to get a call to action/motivation- I tend to think this relates to the ADHD for me, I do better with deadlines and assignments, etc. (Even if I set them myself- butttt they are even more powerful if they come from somewhere else!)

As I’ve ranted before, the focus of research and information for women’s health and diabetes is pregnancy- there’s a lot of things missing. For one, that thing that helps make pregnancy possible… sex!

So here I am- putting it all out there. This will be a series- I don’t want to try to talk about just one thing but also recognize it shouldn’t all be in one place. Because there’s a lot of things going on with me! So here’s the series- Sex, Chronic Illness, and Mental Health.

Possible Disclaimer? Adult Content ahead! (Well maybe more the sitcoms where you aren’t sure about it? I’ll say it’s around TV-14 and PG-13- but hey- I don’t make the calls on how things go into this boxes).

I also want to note that I identify as a straight, white, cis-woman. So this is a limited perspective because it’s just my perspective. 

 

For most of my life, I never considered myself as a sexual person or embraced my sexuality. I was also pretty darn sheltered even for a band/theatre kid (cue inappropriate joke flashbacks- see you former band and theatre kids). For a long time, it was a topic I avoided, plus I didn’t feel attractive at all. So I’m feeling a little out there right now sharing this part of my life, but I am glad to be in a place where I feel comfortable doing this!

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But here we are!

My goal is to be candid and honest in what I write. Not just about how to prepare because a lot of others have already covered that well. I’m just going to write what comes to mind- another plus that this is a series? I can revisit this topic. HOWEVER. If there is anything specific, I’d love to know! Contact me. Leave a comment. All of the above!

So to be perfectly honest- I’ve gotten the “sex, insulin, and rock & roll” talk a lot- I’ve also sat in it since being a teenager and have even facilitated these discussions. Because of all of this…

I felt pretty prepared for sex with diabetes overall- okay- but let’s back up- it was purely just SOME of the logistics there was still much to be desired in terms of preparation. But the parts I had no idea about and was a whirlwind to navigate? The PCOS and endometriosis as well as the mental health. YUP. It’s a thing. Also in general… is anyone really prepared for sex? There’s some awkwardness and lessons learned, end of story.

So here are some of my thoughts in general- and I’ll get more specific in following posts.

“Not tonight” or “can we reschedule?” are common sentiments in my life-

  • I’m too damn tired is a thing- and maybe it’s not about the chronic illness or mental health but maybe I had a night of lows or highs or insomnia. I might just be too damn tired.
  • I’m not feeling myself.
  • I’m not in the mood- for whatever reason. BG, period, anxiety, who knows. Well maybe I sometimes know.

There’s some stuff to navigate literally and figuratively-

  • PLEASEEE be careful of my sites…
  • Don’t be the food or sex police.
  • And to be clear- no means no.
  • I’m also in charge my sexuality.
  • It takes two to tango.
  • Find out what you like.
  • Communication
  • SAFE SEX!
  • Are you registered to vote?
  • Do you like cats? 
  • Have a problem with those things or my diagnoses, well then… I don’t wanna have sex with you anyways.

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I feel very comfortable whipping out my pump, CGM, or meter. But then my other conditions… that’s just a topic I feel shaky with when it comes to sex. I’ll also whip out my inhaler if needed without blinking an eye. But talking about everything else- I struggle with that- that’s the hardest part for me when it comes to sex- not necessarily the diabetes- but the PCOS and endometriosis- that’s where I struggle that’s what can really hit me.

Frank conversations with my doctor have been helpful too. And yes. I know people say stay away from Dr. Google, but sometimes I have a question I’m not sure how to ask or ready to ask a HCP or peer, or it’s right in the moment… so and it has actually been helpful- more for the sentiment of not feeling alone or helping me to prepare.

With my diagnoses, preparation, an “elevator pitch” to my possible partner, and being in tune with my body- that’s key. Like if I had to pick three things I go by. Or four- I’ll add- I’m in charge of my sexuality and set my rules. But it’s what I go by when it comes to sex-

  1. preparation
  2. elevator pitch for a possible partner
  3. being in tune with my body.

And everyone is at different places in their lives. Sex might not be on the horizon yet or it could be something new someone is exploring and figuring out what they like. It might be a committed relationship, a more casual thing, or even a one a night stand. All of these things factor into chronic illness and mental health. Maybe the approach is the same. Maybe it’s not. Can also depend on the partner and even what stage you are in life.

You do you, boo!

This is a judgement free zone. 

I am going to repeat this part:

My goal is to be candid and honest in what I write. Not just about how to prepare because a lot of others have already covered that well. I’m just going to write what comes to mind- another plus that this is a series? I can revisit this topic. HOWEVER. If there is anything specific, I’d love to know! Contact me. Leave a comment. All of the above!

Stay Tuned for:

  • Diabetes
  • PCOS and Endometriosis
  • Mental Health: Anxiety, OCD, and ADHD
  • (and any future possible posts).

 

Sex, Chronic Illness, and Mental Health: The Series!

 

 

Hey you! Yes, you!

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We’ll both be glad you did! -Mindy

One thought on “Sex, Chronic Illness, and Mental Health: The Series!

  1. I look forward especially to the ADHD. I’ve thought about writing that one once or twice. I’d say I could still do one on Ehlers-Danlos, but that would boil down to “party tricks have some adult uses when you are younger, but eventually it’s less ‘legs over your head’ crazy and more ‘wait, I think I subluxed that. Too far!’ That can be a confusing transition for all involved” So, umm, yeah…

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