'MSMS' Multiple Sclerosis Men & Sex
They say of men and doctors, we don’t go if it’s not bleeding, broken and still gets up. Trevis Gleason went to the doctor…
Last weekend, with the changing of the clocks and 60 minutes added to our night, The MS Society of the UK posted a series of blogs under the header “A Sextra Hour”. In our MS & Me Blog of last week, Emma took us into the EMSP bedroom (not to mention her own) and talked about what nice Irish women “aren’t supposed to” talk about.
I suppose it’s my turn to turn down the duvet on issues men with multiple sclerosis might face in the bedroom. It’s a serious subject, but let’s remember that sex is fun (and can even be funny), so I may poke a bit of fun as we talk about this topic.
Age or MS?
It’s not uncommon for people with multiple sclerosis to ask ourselves if something going on with us is, indeed, our MS or if it’s just aging. Men’s sex drive - both mental and physical – can decrease with age. It is important to remember that. Saying that, however, I know of men better than a decade older than me with satisfying sex lives so don’t put it all down to age.
The physical function of obtaining and maintaining an erection might be first on the list of considerations for the lads, but sex is more than inserting tab A into slot B, as if you’re assembling Scandinavian furniture. Besides, we all know there are tablets, injections and “appliances” that can help with that arena.
The reasons behind such disfunction can be complex; from demyelination of nerves leading from big brain to ‘little brain’ to emotional and physiological issues we heap on ourselves when it comes to performance.
It’s important you talk to your doctor, as well as your partner, about concerns in the ‘mechanics’ of sexuality.
Feeling all the Feels
Loss of sensation in general or specific regions of the body can also have negative effect on our sex lives. Some parts of my body are hyper-sensitive, others have lost some (or all) level of ability to feel touch. But as important as feeling the physical is important in sex, the emotional connection is important as well.
Men don’t always get that… do we, ladies?
All the parts
Every part of our body and its systems can be touched by multiple sclerosis. It’s not just the sex parts that can lead to difficulty between the sheets.
If legs make it difficult to walk, flipping and flopping around the bed like we may have when we were younger could be difficult if not impossible. Weak arms can also make sexual positioning a challenge
There’s an old joke that God must have been a civil engineer because no one else would put a waste disposal pipeline next to a recreational area. Bladder and bowel issues with MS can have a rather embarrassing result when it comes to sex.
Your Massive Sex Organ
Here’s the thing, there are work arounds for many MS sexual issues, you just have to use your head.
I can’t do much of my everyday living the way I used to do it. Why then would I think that I should expect the sexual part of my life to go on the same way?
This is where communication comes into play. We must talk about what’s working and what’s not. We can have frank (and fun!) conversations about how to give and receive sexual pleasure with our partners. A chat with your MS doctor or nurse might seem embarrassing but, trust me, it’s better than giving up such an important and fulfilling part of a relationship.
They say that our biggest sex organ is our brain. Use it, men (and women), to its fullest advantage and your life in the bedroom (or wherever it is you might fancy a ride) could be great again… different, perhaps, but still great.
Wishing you and your family the best of health.
Trevis’ Award-Winning book, Chef Interrupted, is in the shops now. Follow him via our Life With MS Facebook page, on Twitter and don’t forget to check out TrevisLGleason.com