I want to discuss strategies for trying to enjoy sex and intimacy more despite FM.
... Many tell me the effect of FM on sex is the biggest problem in a relationship. Call me old-fashioned, but if your partner is willing to be open-minded and adapt to the "FM you," I think love gets stronger and conquers all. ...
Open Communication: This is the most important. Often couples are not comfortable, at first, having converstions about sex. Some find it embarrassing to speak freely. Perhaps a good starting point is connecting on the FM. Discuss FM and how it specifically interferes with your intimacy. Reaffirm that avoiding sex does not equal rejecting the partner. Progress the communication gradually and become more open in sharing each other's most intimate concerns and needs.
Specific Solutions: Identify specfic barriers to your unique situation, and solve them if you can. If your main barrier is lack of libido/interest, then determine if it's from fear of pain, fatigue, depression, medicine side effects, disinterest in your partner, etc. Don't just assume it's the "fibro" and nothing can be done. Your specific barrier "list" can be treated, step by step, by adjusting/changing meds, modifying routines etc. to remove libido-lowering factors. Work with your health professionals, of course. Many times the process of simply recognizing the barriers and planning to address them results in a positive effect (placebo) and improves sexual mood.
If pain during intercourse is a problem, try to ID the specific cause. ...
Is it painful muscle spasms during sex? If so, consider a pre-sex routine to relax muscles.... Sometimes your doctor can prescribe certain meds to relax muscles and decrease tension to take an hour before sexual activity, i.e. a pre-emptive strike strategy.
Painful pressure? Find positions with minimal pressure.
If the problem is not pain but poor sexual organ responsiveness, try lubricants, stimulating creams/products, natural products, or talk with your doctor about prescribed sexual stimulant meds.
I know these sound pretty basic and obvious, but many times couples do not try the obvious due to uncertainty if it's "OK" to do something different. It's OK to do this.
Re-discover the Romance: Intimacy is not the same as having sex and it doesn't only happen in the bedroom; intimacy occurs throughout the day. Couples can work on sending intimacy signals during the day: smiles, compliments, appreciative remarks, soft hugs etc. Try not to let FM stop these signals.
Couples can also take more time to get ready. Yes, I'm talking about foreplay! Strive for natural and comfortable, including a comfortable environment free from drafts. Teach each other to rediscover touch with gentle stroking, massage, soft hugs, kissing, holding: NO poking, squeezing or playful slaps. Discover new rituals: warm oil massage, couple's hot tub, hot bath, or shower. Sexual activities other than intercourse can be explored and enjoyed.
Find Comfortable Positions: We can figure this out. Experiment with different positions to minimize distracting painful pressure. ... Find out what works for you and it's OK to redefine what is "traditional" for you. Be comfortable together.
Professional Counseling: Sometimes this may be needed to work out ongoing concerns about sex and intimacy. You may wish to discuss this option with your FM doctor. ...
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