I found that someone had done a google search for “Sex and Chronic Fatigue” and landed on my blog recently. In my recent research, I haven’t come across any discussions on the matter, so I’ll delve into this tasty topic for a moment or two. Following is my experience and my advice for those couples where one partner is suffering from this syndrome.
Is having sex possible with a person suffering from Chronic Fatigue, CFS? Yes. But some considerations are in order. It helps to understand that CFS sufferers have a daily energy output or allotment. Once that energy is spent, it’s all over, time for bedrest. Sex is a high-energy activity and consumes nearly 100 percent of our daily energy. Very often, I’ll tell my husband he’s getting just a ‘bite-sized’ sex portion, we call it a bite sized snickers bar, meaning that our sexual activity will be delicious but short lived. It’s not a quickie in terms of attitude, it’s a quickie in terms of how active I can be for him in bed. Apparently orgasms zap a ton of energy, very enjoyable but it comes with a price. After sex I need to rest. It doesn’t always mean a nap, but it definitely means that I’m not going to do the dishes, or laundry that day.
Diminished libido: CFS patients have reported diminished or non-existent libido. This is true in my case as well. It can also be said that I have a diminished capacity for any ‘normal’ activity though too. This lack of libido and recognition of the energy required, can cause some sense of trepidation or anxiety for the partner with CFS. I actually have to plan in advance when I can devote the sex energy to my husband and prepare the household the day before, so that no futher demands are placed on me for that day. While my libido is pretty much non-existent, I do love my husband so much that I want to please him in any way that I can. I want to give him sex. Sex makes men happy 🙂 Plus, if I take the energy to give him some good lovin, then my having CFS doesn’t seem to affect him that much and he’s much more capable of tolerating my illness.
Sex hurts: This is another important consideration for the partners of CFS sufferers. Chronic Fatigue is almost always in consort with Fibromyalgia. CFS sufferers hurt all over, every day, relentlessly. Everything hurts. Sometimes for me, being touched hurts. My muscles fail easily under most tasks and then I have to pay for it the next day. It doesn’t really matter what sex position we include – they all hurt. This is why I mention the bite-sized portions of sex above. A shorter duration of sexual activity lessens the repercussions. In addition, we make use of pillows, lots & lots of pillows. We use the pillows to lift my body into different positions so that I don’t have to use the energy to support myself. The pillows also offer much needed cushioning to my elbows and knees. Am I getting too detailed? Is it time to change the channel yet?
Oral Pleasures: My diminished libido also leads me to offering him oral pleasures instead of my whole body. This is one of my avenues of making sure that he’s given good attention while saving some of my energy if I’m having a slower day. This is an excellent substitute – he’s happy, I’m happy, but even this outlay of energy often has its price in terms of my energy allotment. I still have to rest afterwards, I’m just not a complete zombie. Turning the table around and offering my secret treasure to him for oral sex is very difficult for me. Most women typically require advanced bathing techniques to feel comfortable enough for this activity. So now you’re asking me to bathe and offer my charms, and have sex? Only on the very best of days do I have enough energy for this. It’s not that I don’t love you, it’s that afterwards, I feel like I’m dyin.
I hope this post gives partners of CFS sufferers some insight into why when you ask for sex, we roll our eyes & say “Are you out of your ever-lovin mind?”.
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