June 21, 2009

I'm So Much Better and What Has It Gotten Me...

In some ways I was better off when I was crippled by vulvodynia and pudendal neuralgia. I'm beginning to worry about how sexually compatible my partner and I are. When I had to go weeks without intercourse, we didn't have a problem. He understood and I did plenty of things in the interim to keep him satisfied. Now that I have a pretty good handle on the vulvodynia and pudendal neuralgia, I can have sex more frequently. I can even have sex two days in a row! Although I can, I usually don't, because my partner isn't in the mood.

I have a lot of trouble wrapping me head around that. Call me sexist, but he's a man! Shouldn't he be perpetually in the mood? Shouldn't he be ready to go any time? Shouldn't even suggestive dialogue get him turn him on? Apparently not.

I've never been with someone like this before. Every guy I've ever been with has had a very strong sex drive. Even the one night stands, obviously they wouldn't have happened if the guy hadn't been ready to rip someones clothes off. I was just stupid enough to volunteer.

Sexual compatibility is extremely important to a successful lifelong relationship, even the Catholic Church thinks so. That's why I'm up at my computer at 1:00 in the morning. I'm worried that my partner cannot satisfy my sexual needs. How can I spend the rest of my life in that situation? How can I work so hard DAILY to enjoy sex only to be rejected time and time again?

There's always an excuse, "I'm exhausted, it's too late, I've got a lot on my mind." It's not going to get easier, we're always going to be tired, there are never going to be enough hours in the day, and we're always going to be worried about something, if we can't manage to have regular sex now, we never will.


K said...

I believe that we are all conditioned to rely on these sexual archetypes. The idea that men want sex all the time and that conversely, women do not want it ever. It's not true of course, and it leaves little wiggle room for reality, and then it makes reality stressful. But that's what you see on TV & in magazines very frequently.

I also believe, that sexual compatibility, is something that can be cultivated at least to a certain extent. It wouldn't be fair to force another person to have a higher libido (and that probably wouldn't work anyway,) but hopefully whoever is involved can work out some intimate activity that both enjoy. Of course then the questions come in like, well what activities are we talking about, op no I don't like that, think of something else and it goes on...

Easier said than done.

At the same time, I kind of know what you mean. It's not likely to happen but oh wouldn't it be ironic if someday, down the road, *I* want to have intercourse more frequently than my male partner? What a role reversal.

And if that point ever comes,
I will be wanting to have intercourse more frequently,
for a very limited time only. I don't know how long that will last and I am going to want to drain every second out of it.

Selena said...

Okay, the same exact thing is happening to me right now. I've had improvements with my vulvodynia, only to be rejected by my boyfriend. I think they're still afraid of hurting us.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr Anonymous here. My wife has vulvodynia and pudendal neuralgia and in my world K has it exactly. I love my wife but the concern of the pain that each and every movement may cause can make it difficult even for those of us with a very high libido. What have you done to help reduce the pain, we have tried just about everything we can find and have had very very limited success (pretty much no success.)

Quinn said...

Hello Mr. Anonymous! It's very nice to have a male presence on the blog. Thank you so much for posting a comment. You've helped me better understand how my partner might be thinking.

I've got a pretty good routine right now that seems to be helping. The most important thing I've found is the ability to listen to my body and know my limits. If some activity makes my pain worse, I stop it immediately.

I take Neurontin to reduce pain signally from the pudendal nerve. I sit on a cut-out cushion that I made when I sit in the car or on a hard surface. Otherwise, I avoid sitting as much as possible. I stand at my job or kneel. Any pressure on the nerve can cause it to flare. I don't wear underwear, pants or shorts unless my area is in really good shape and then it's only for a brief period of time.

If I am in a pain flare that I cannot tolerate, I take Vicodin as my pain killer. When I have sex, I use a lot of KY jelly to avoid excess friction. After sex, if there is some burning, I use Lidocaine to numb the area.

Before I go to bed I use an estrogen/testosterone compound that is supposed to help increase the skin's resilience.

That's my routine. Everyone is different, but certainly, if your wife has pudendal neuralgia, avoiding sitting should definitely help.

Anonymous said...

Mr. A again, Thanks for the information. Sounds like your routine is rather similar to the one we have been trying/working towards, just a few different names … My wife uses small doses of Amitriptyline to help reduce the sensitivity. Lidocaine before sex, and lots of slippery stuff (we found this works a lot better than KY, at least for us.) She also uses the cut out cushion at home and in the car. We are still working on making changes for her at work, she is in lots of meetings and is working on a good arrangement for reducing her sit time.

Back on the topic at hand of being rejected … for the record (note this is purely based on my personal experience, as all men are different) I do want to state that under good circumstances men are pretty much good to go if there is any hint of a chance of having sex.

Now due to things like vulvodynia and pudendal neuralgia, there can be negative history that if long enough, can greatly hinder the instant desire. For example having to stop in the middle of intercourse due to a partner having unbearable pain, finding out after the fact that there was a lot of pain, several days of pain after the event, guilt or negative feedback, etc.. Eventually the desire can fade. Being a perpetual optimist has helped me hold on for all this time, but my “jump to it” is a lot more cautious than it used to be. As I’m always thinking it is going to end with a failed attempt and a “well that was a bad idea.”

I also want to point out that some excuses are valid like exhaustion and stress. My wife and I were very sexually compatible, with her actually having a higher desire level than me. I know hard to believe, but I was a 5-7 a week and she was a 7 a week. A year-ish before the evil v and pn era started. When I was in a very rigorous grad school program and working full time, my desire levels went way down, to a 2-3 a week. She had a very hard time with this, and really didn’t understand why I was withdrawing. In retrospect I was living life way too seriously and given the chance to do it over I wouldn’t have missed even one of those opportunities. We are now going on year 7 of v and pn, with the pn just having been diagnosed about 4 months ago.

What we are struggling to deal with now is that I am still at a 5-7 a week desire level and she is around the 1 a week, and even that is not the sex it used to be, it is now very clinical and limited, no where near the passionate Olympic, we had better stretch/warm up before getting started, event that it used to be.

We both have the concerns that you have stated about the sexual incompatibility and its impact on our relationship. I maintain my belief that we will eventually get this under control at least better than it is. How are all of you managing this with your relationships? How do your spouses/boy friends deal with it? Have any of you gotten to the point where you enjoy sex as much as you did pre v and pn, even if it is only once in a blue moon?

Esther said...

::Quinn:: Thinking of you....hope things start looking up soon.

AK said...

I'm sorry to hear it. My now ex-boyfriend was much the same. When we first started dating it was sex, sex, all the time. Then we moved in together, and I was lucky if he wanted it once a week (sometimes once a month). I was constantly getting rejected and feeling frustrated and irritated with him. It's so terrible when you haven't been able to have sex in the past because of pain (sometimes for months), and then when you can, your partner doesn't want it. It certainly made me question my attractiveness and even my self-worth.

My ex's moodiness and lack of physical giving precipitated our breakup about three weeks ago. It's incredibly difficult when you're so emotionally, financially, and domestically involved with someone, but you have to weigh long-term happiness against (relatively) short-term strife. I cried for days, but now I can look back and pinpoint why I'm way better off to be alone.

Good luck.