It’s a subject which is topical with the media at the moment, with the release of Hollywood film ‘The Sessions’ and Beth Gregson has written this emotive piece for us:
How do you find the balance between having a lover and a carer when they are the same person?
How do you get them to know what your body feels like and when to make a sexual approach and when not too?
The simple answer, it’s not easy, sex never is, let alone communicating your needs when you don’t even know what to make of the churned up feelings of being cared for create.
It is possible of course, hell I love sex – it’s a different kind of sex these days, but its still sex. I use the word – but it encompasses everything from hugging to a full on legs akimbo shag.
I have a fluctuating chronic illness, I never know when I will hurt or fatigue will kick in just as it gets interesting, my poor husband doesn’t always know if a touch will have me squirming away in pain or wanting more – I don’t always know either.
I waffled on for a bit about communications and the finer art of it, but hell I don’t know your relationship dynamic – I only know mine. We usually resolve most things over a brew sat at the kitchen table eating cake.
So imagine this, you haven’t managed to get in the shower for 3 days, your still in your dressing gown with hair that quite frankly you could fry chips in and your horny. How exactly do you persuade your lover to see you as anything other than what you are? Or far more common how do they get you in the mood cause they are horny.
It all about perception…
Let’s set the scene, time to get naked. You slowly peel off the once fluffy dressing gown, kick off the slippers that look like a zebra head and get naked, he follows suit, ripping open his shirt with buttons flying in all directions. *cough* sorry I got all thrills and spoons then. He gets his hands all soapy you cling to your grab rails or sit astride the ever so nice bath board the lovely OT gave you and he begins to soap you down very slowly, at some point the giggles kick in as the soap flies out of his hands and it becomes less mills and boon more Monty python.
You get the drift; you can either see it as a chore or a chance for a bit of fun, to enjoy each others body, with no strings attached it doesn’t have to lead to sex, but in my book its dam good fun foreplay.
If you are someone who cares for their lover, and they have lost their mojo it’s a lovely way to make them feel good about themselves, at first it might not work. Remember the moment when you first got naked together, when a shared look as you discovered just where your erogenous zones are, that’s what I’m talking about. Use that knowledge, no pressure but yes you get clean and its fun.
Which takes me nicely onto letting them know if sex is on the table as it were, colour codes? I suggested this to a good friend of mine who like me feels crap most of the time. Her husband loves to give her a massage, sometimes he chances his arm, but when she is feeling sore all she wants is a fucking massage thanks very much.
I suggested using 3 different colour towels she could lay out on the bed, red, green, yellow, or whatever colour scheme you like doesn’t matter. She talked to him about the idea. Red for no chance sunshine, yellow for maybe but not sure and green for yup im up for it.
Why do something so obvious? Well its easy to lose confidence, to feel under pressure, to not talk about it for your lover to wait for you to say, but that can be a mood killer. You both get uptight about it and well sex becomes a dirty word. This doesn’t need words so you can relax and see where it goes.
I will be honest, I don’t always feel like it , I feel fat, ugly and unattractive at times, my libido was last seen doing a runner with an attractive sailor called Rodney.
There are loads of things that you can do, im not taking away from how hard it is accepting your lover being your carer, believe me it was a tough slope to slide down. What made it ok was love and kindness, he does it because he loves me, I let him because I love him.
Being intimate isn’t about orgasm, its about intimacy. We hug daily, I don’t mean a functional cause I have to hug, I mean a strong life-affirming hug, we kiss, we hold hands and we touch.
When it comes something more full on then, I do know it’s down to me. He will usually be up for it, so who better to know if I am than me, go for what works to get you in the mood, what ever your poison is from a sexy romp type book, to porn or salivating over a new recipe dressed in nothing more than a piny.
I’ve been asked to blog about sex and life by the lovely peeps at Enahance, I’m open to discussing most things from a kinky sex life to how to be intimate again when you can’t remember the last time you even had a dam good kiss let alone anything else.
I’m no expert but I do have a healthy attitude to it, and have been merrily experimenting since I was 16. What I do think is its about time we threw off the shackles of our misconceptions and society’s that yes just like octogenarians disabled folks have sex too.