Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sex And The Fibro Girl

Sorry Helen Gurley Brown, I just could not resist. This is a topic I have been getting requests to address from day one of penning this blog. I have 500 some odd published blogs and finally, I am going to address it. I am not here to talk about what it is, why we need it or who should be having it. That is either something you should already know or none of my business, respectively. I simply am going to say sex and Fibromyalgia are vicious enemies. Or more directly, Fibromyalgia is a heat seeking missile out to destroy both the physical ability and chemical desire to participate in activities that require contorted muscles and repetitive motion, no matter the endorphin rush it may bring. When a body is wracked by pain so great wearing clothing or jewelry is often painful, close intimate contact with another human being is the absolute last thing on a person's mind. At least it was on mine. When it's a flu or cold, surgery or procedure a person will heal from, a temporary hiatus is not the end of the world. But when that illness is chronic...meaning it does not go away...that can indeed become the end of a sex life.

It is a very frustrating position to be in. The last thing in the world my husband wanted to do was hurt me, add to my physical pain. The last thing I wanted to do was have a repressed and miserable husband not getting his needs met. The guilt of this whole thing was already torturing me! We talked a lot about it. Once we discovered I was lacking any testosterone he felt better. Another side-effect of Fibromyalgia; it caused doubt in his mind of my attraction to him. And his ambivalence in approaching me, to be respectful of my state of pain or mind, caused me to doubt his attraction to me. Especially since I started gaining weight after I got sick. I looked puffy under the eyes and grew a  generous double chin. My middle, the most popular spot on my body to gain weight, thickened noticeably. I don't know how he saw sexy, for the mirror undoubtedly told me I was anything but. There were plenty of times we would not talk about it and one or the other would work themselves in to a tizzy of frustration until it burst out into a tangle of hurt feelings. That was counter productive and damaging to both of us. But that only really happened when our communication lagged.

Luckily we discovered early on the power of intimacy. And being who we are, set out to make it a game. It was called "20 Minute Time", and when one of us hollered those words we had to high tail it to the bedroom. We would just lay on the bed and talk and hold each other. Reverse pillow talk, if you will. No TV or computers, no expectation or pressure, just 20 undistracted minutes of each others company. If it led to something else, hey, that worked too! Either way we bonded and strengthened the love and passion so hard to keep alive even in a marriage between healthy people. Eventually we figured out ways to "modify" the deed itself so I was not in pain, or it was very minimal and entirely worth it. Creativity in this arena is not a bad thing. And like a lot of things in life we Fibrates love to do, energy had to be stored up in advance. And rest was required after. So no, I don't believe a Fibromyalgia diagnosis comes with a sex life death sentence. I do believe it is hindered, hampered and complicated. It changes, as Fibromyalgia does to every other aspect of our lives. It requires flexibility  (no pun intended) and an openness to new ideas. But there are ways, if determined enough, to accomplish pretty much anything in life. For many of us this is a pretty important anything.

Thanks for joining,


  1. I sat here reading your article and nodding all the way through - you have also told my story - exactly. As a result, I now find sex to be one of my least painful activities. But it does take two to tango (and a very special husband) :-)

  2. Thank you... this explains alot, and I hope that upon reading this, my husband will understand a little better what is going on as I have a hard time expressing it. The pain is sometimes unbearable, and now to add menopause on as well.... it seems that we are doomed..... LOL. He IS very understanding, though and I know he loves me or he would not still be there with what I put him through when I am in a flare up.

  3. Thank you... this explains why my wife was not interested having sex with me, i thought it was me or something im doing wrong ....anyway my point of view is there are other ways you can satisfy your husband without having sex like four play or something i dont know....or buy him a blowup doll ...LOL. but not to cut him totally off so he does not have to look for sex outside...thanks

    1. I sort of agree with you on this. My wife has fybro and a little over a year ago she mad an arrangement with me so that I would work twice as hard and take on all the debt of the family and she could quit her job(because it hurt and was hard on her, which I understand) and be a stay at home mom. When this arrangement was made I she said she would handle the all the housework and cook for the family every night to save money. I told her I would also expect our sex life to improve from the once a week to at least every other night, to which she said she was thinking more like every night if I could handle it(I was very happy with the notion). She quit her job and I currently walk through hell 6 days a week to keep our finances out of the red, and that daily glass of water she alluded to turned out to range from 1-6 weeks depending on her mood. She does cook at least 5 days a week although our house is a wreck even though she claims she works hard at it. I know this just sounds like me randomly complaining but I really feel like I have been sold a used car that died as soon as it was off the lot.
      To make it worse this Fibro seems to really have screwed with her mind to (I am told depression is a major side effect) and it has caused her to have focused anger issues towards my family(which I can kinda understand since it is a symptom of some kinds of depression). The problem I have with this is the things she accuses my family of such as saying they will do something and then not doing it I just want to scream at her for being a hypocrite because she does the same thing to me on a daily basis as mentioned above. Sorry for the rant my life just sucks.

    2. Hang in there bub. I'm 57 and my wife is also. Shes's had fibro for 20 or so years now. We have been thru alot of up and downs, like we havent had sex in nearly 7 years now. We've been in marriage counseling now for 6 months, and have made a dr. appt. for next week to see if he can help us to have sex, because the problem is, I can barely touch her any more, and sex hurts. Our faith in God has pretty much been the only thing holding us together. Still have Hope!

  4. I wish my husband was understanding about this, but we always sseemed to butt heads when it came to this subject - him only seeing his needs and me only wanting a way to do it painlessly. In the end, we separated and he sought intimacy somewhere else. I'm glad it's working for others.

  5. Anonymous husband,

    No husband or partner should ever look for sex outside -- unless that's your thing. I'm kind of astonished you even suggested that in passing.

    Yes, men and women do it, but a real husband/wife/partner never would out of respect for their significant other and their love together.

    There are many different ways to work out many different problems, but running away from the problem of a hindered sex life and sleeping with someone else just tells your significant other that you're selfish, and that you don't honestly care what they're going through or how long they have to go through it, you want what you want and you'll hurt anyone to get it.

    Take note, husbands/wives/partners -- even if the possibility crosses your mind, please don't do this and further damage your Fibromite. Talk about it. Do as Leah suggested. Take 20 minutes and just be with one another.

    Just my two cents.

  6. My husband of 19 yrs also did not understand, and decided to end the marriage. We both found new loves!!!

  7. Leah I cannot thank you enough for this post!!!! My husband and I have had some really rough patches in this area. Some days I wondered if we would survive but Im happy to report that we have!! I need to say that I have a wonderful husband but as in any marriage when it comes to intimacy when it stops it is bound to cause tension. I read your post last night to my husband while laying in bed and it was awesome for him to hear your words!!!
    I cannot tell you enough what a good writer I think you are.....:) i am new to your blog and am looking forward to many more good reads....no pressure, haha

  8. i love the '20 minute time' game! if i'm ever well enough and blessed to be in a beautiful relationship again i'm trying that one (actually, i think everyone should adopt it - healthy or not).

  9. Thank you for putting into words what I feel. Sometimes when everything hurts even my skin & hair hurt and I think I look like a cow with all of this weight I have recently gained and my husband wants sex - I am humbled by that fact that through all of this he still loves me and wants me. I agree finding out what works for each couple is very important. We've modified it a bit but I'm happy to say that the spark is still there for us after 25 years and we are going strong. He is so patient and understanding about my good days and bad days that I am grateful. I love your idea of the game and we might have to try that too! Thank you for your excellent way of writing about this topic.
    Laura G from MSP

  10. I thank you for your ability to write so well what most of us fibromites feel. My husband and I have already gon through these problems but had them in a totally different way. He also has many health problems that affect his libido also. So there was guilt on both sides for not "wanting" this natural marital act of love. But yes intimacy can be gained in a lot more ways than just intercourse. Luck to all and the power to talk it thru.

  11. I would like to honour you with the Fibro Fighter Award (http://fibromodem.wordpress.com/the-fibro-fighter-award/).

    Congratulations! Please feel free to recommend other bloggers whom you think worthy of this tribute.

  12. Thanks for sharing this with us, and yes it does make sense to me too. I have Firbo, and some times any more I want it and some times I dont. I used to never be that way, but I am blessed now to have a man that under stands the pain. His mom and I are thinking that he has Fibro too, his mom has it. We have been talking about it off and on with us three. I am glad that he doesnt try to hide his pain from me, and says he is ok. He is also tired all the times, and yes it is frustrating in both sides. Especially when you both have this illness, and one isnt for sure yet. One the guys part, is there any one that can reply on this. To let us know how guys feel,how they feel. How they coupe with it, even the sex part. The guys that have Fibro them selfs, this would help under stand his side. I do try to talk with about it, but that subject. He isnt to comfortable about talking about it. So if there are any guys that have Fibro, your input would be very helpful.

  13. Great post, Thank you!
    Im sharing on my Pinterest Board. If this isnt ok, please let me know and I'll delete it.

  14. At only 19 im with my first proper boyfriend happily together for 2 years now and i couldnt ask for a better boyfriend. As he was only 18 when we got together and i only 17 it was hard for him and me to realise sex was going to be painful and not wjat he jad experienced with previous girlfriends. He always waots until i say my pain isnt to bad today or if i say that im in the mood. It can be hard sometimes though as just as were getting intimate my hip or knee sometimes dislocates or i fall asleep on him because of my CFS. Weve got things sorted so that unless i say otherwise we keep sex for once a week that way i can rest before and after and it makes it that bit more special. Me now 19 and him going on 21 we are very happy together and he is very understanding in my pain. Ive had fibromyalgia since i was 11 and had to adjust to lofe accordingly as im deteriating at a fast rate and doctors are concerned at the speed of my deteriation so make the most of the health i have now before its too late x

  15. I'm a 21 year old female and have been diagnosed for roughly 9months (this doesn't include the years of "unexplained" symptoms.)
    I have always had a high sex drive, but I do get very sore after words. Or during my legs and hips will lock up which leaves me feeling foolish for having to take breaks. Its usually right around the time my partner is ready to finish too. I also find, that even if my partner is gentle, my womb area and lower back may hurts for days. Im also able to easily have very intense orgasms. I can orgasm from the right touch. Is this the hyper sensitivity? Any opinions?

  16. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia around 6 years ago although I'm certain I have had it much longer than that. I have suffered from sleeplessness, joint stiffness, severe pains, depression and fatigue. My neurologist prescribed duloxetin 40mg daily (Given as 20mg twice daily), although it did relieve some of the pain, I still suffered from joint stiffness and extreme fatigue. Finally, i started on Fibromyalgia herbal formula i ordered from NewLife Herbal Clinic, this herbal formula did the magic! almost immediately i started usage, i started noticing a general reduction of symptoms including the very severe pains and fatigue. 9 weeks into usage, the disease has totally succumbed to this herbal treatment. The whole pains and terrible fatigue has seized and i am now able to function fully well again. (Visit their website www . newlifeherbalclinic . com) I'm able to get out of bed in the morning and have more energy to go about my daily activities.

  17. As the husband I am learning what is to live with a wife whom has suffered with fibromyalGia for years I love my wife for better or worse and will be by her side. She does a good job of educating me. We too have only had intercourse 3 times in 10 months because how sire she is afterwards, she always tells me to "ask" when I need something. However, in my opinion I struggle asking knowing of her situation. Any other guys feel guilty asking?

  18. Jack, I too understand where you are. Not wanting to even address it or talk to my wife for fear of making her feel guilty has stopped me from talking to her.


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