Sexual Healing: Why Masturbation is Good for Your Health
Constant readjustments of all kinds are necessary when we have a neurological condition. Multiple sclerosis seems to change how our bodies work on a monthly, weekly, and even daily basis. Numbness comes and goes. Bladder and bowel dysfunction can wax and wane, affecting other bodily functions. Pain and spasticity might interfere with our walking, thinking, and pleasure. Our social lives can change drastically and sadly. Friendships and spouses are often lost. Marriages can either end or become troubled. The burdens of chronic illness feel even heavier when the added strain of social interaction piles more stress on top of stress.
Stress-relieving techniques are many. Warm showers, meditation, reading, napping, and confiding your feelings to a trustworthy source are only some of them. The one I’ll focus on is a very intimate one. It doesn’t cost anything and you don’t need a companion: masturbation.
Masturbating can accomplish several things: It can be an instant stress reliever, it nurtures your sexual relationship with yourself, and it gets you in touch with a change in sensation, especially if you’ve had a flare with new permanent symptoms.
Loss of sexual desire
But perhaps you’ve been feeling kind of dead down there, with no sexual desire at all for what seems like ages. And maybe you have tried to get things going from time to time, to no avail. I get that. And I can relate. There were years when I thought I’d lost my desire permanently. I’d follow the routine that worked for me during my pre-MS life, but my body didn’t respond. Looking back, however, I know why things were that way.
Fears of rejection
During those years my libido went dormant, I was still reeling and in shock over this disease and how it changed my body, how I saw the world, and how I saw myself in it. I had my first MS attack when I was single and unattached. I’d been divorced for years and only dated sporadically. It wasn’t unusual for my sex drive to go dormant during such periods. But this was different. I could usually pleasure myself when it occurred to me to try. This time, I had a disease from which I would not recover. I was scared about my future. What seemed inevitable was the world rejecting me completely. Men rejecting me, employers turning away in indifference. Who am I now? My identity and confidence took a big hit.
The game changer
Years went by, and then I entered a serious relationship. My body was still in indifference mode. We weren’t compatible lovers, but I started to enjoy some of our sessions and could even climax once in a while. Then the game changer happened. He took me to see the new James Bond movie CASINO ROYALE, the first movie with Daniel Craig as 007. I found Craig extremely attractive, so much so that I began fantasizing — and that was the key. I realized that all those years my body was unresponsive, I had no sexual fantasy life. For me, that was the key. My libido came alive. That relationship ended. But I got my mojo back and that is no small deed.
How a session of self-love can help
I’m now divorced and just ended a three-and-a-half year relationship with another man. That last relationship was sexually as wild and satisfying as those of my youth. Alone again, I’ve got many tools and self-knowledge to have fun without a partner.
Here are some things a session of self-love can help:
For other insights about sexual dysfunction and what we can do about it, see my article titled: We Can Enjoy Sex Despite Having MS.
Do you live with any comorbidities aside from MS?