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How Disease Onset and Rejection Initially Contributed to the Loss of My Sex Drive

Sexual desire has always been an important part of my identity. Something that makes me feel like the spark plugs are all firing away, a sure sign of my mental and physical health. Sadly, developing multiple sclerosis (MS) killed off my sexual fantasies and behaviors during the first three years, starting in 1999. Nothing remains the same, however, and my libido did return by 2002.

What killed it initially was likely my own thoughts. If I have MS, who will want me broken? My romantic life is over. All I knew then was that whenever I took myself out for a drink, some laughs, and a roll-in-ze-hay, I didn’t put out.

Looking back

It made me remember that some used to call this being “frigid” back in the before times. I first heard the word in 1969, in 7th grade. Now I laugh at it as being a dinosaur of a judgment during an era in transition, when our national zeitgeist struggled with the concept of treating women as equals. Maybe it was the right thing to do, but it wasn’t going to be easy.

“You wanna fool around, Kim?”

“No.”

“Why not? You frigid or something?”

“Huh?” (Furrowing my brows into a unibrow.) “What is that supposed to mean?” (I did a mirror check. Unibrow is NOT an attractive look on me.)

“Frigid means you’re uptight about sex, you’ve got a problem with it.” He leaned in closer, keeping his gaze on me. I knew this could only go one way for me, and I made sure it did.

“But I don’t think of you that way,” I began, assuming a bored, detached voice to cover my fear. “More like a brother.”

The extent of my sexual fantasizing was kissing. Eye-gazing and passionate kissing. But only in my 12-year-old imagination. I was much too nervous to do anything in real life. And I wasn’t attracted to him at all. I had a crush on another boy.

Changes throughout the years

He must have thought making that frigid remark would unnerve me and be just the ticket to un-freeze my bad self once and for all, curing my reputation as a (gulp) frigid girl! But I stayed a virgin until age 20. That was me back when I had the good sense to know what I wasn’t ready for and didn’t want to do. Everything scared me. Thank goodness! And I didn’t turn to alcohol and drugs to make it less scary. Drugs scared me more than sex! But I was 12, and it was 1969.

In 1999 I turned 42, experienced in ways of the flesh and no longer a virgin, and facing what might be the finish of my sex life. Other factors contributed to the demise of my self-confidence, too.

My confidence was shaken

Earlier in 1998, I was rejected by not less than 3 men. My brain burned from the frustration. Divorced for 4 years, I hadn’t even gotten close to finding a boyfriend. So I was already in a negative frame of mind about dating. Fear of rejection, coupled with outright shock after experiencing my first MS attack, stressed me in ways I wasn’t prepared for at all. Getting blindsided by MS finished me off. I had no coping chops for it, being so new and all. Time would tell.

So rejection and a traumatic onset of illness that shook my confidence to ever feel happiness again were responsible for killing off my ability to have sexual fantasies. I didn’t know this was a problem until I realized I wasn’t fantasizing at all.

I started dating an old friend in 2002, and that is when my body woke up again. It soon settled back into dormancy again after he stopped making the moves on me. He had always been hung up sexually by his own admission and scolded me for not being hung up, too. He dumped me before the year was over.

My libido waxing and waning

Four years later my mojo started to look more like its old self again when I got involved with my second husband in late 2006, after we saw Daniel Craig’s first film as 007. Craig was my first sexual fantasy in ages, but my husband and I weren’t terribly compatible. He divorced me in 2012 after two years of marriage.

I’ll stop here. Although I’ve written several articles about my sexual experiences, I had not focused on the first three years after onset of my MS. Other reasons for my libido waxing and waning have been covered in those articles over a period of time ranging from 2021 to 2022.

I hope you will respond with your own experiences and thoughts on the subject. We do learn a lot from each other!

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