I lost my sexuality for a year.
A love letter to Eroticon.
I’ve just spent a year living through hell. I wish that was an exaggeration. 12 months of insidious pain, climaxing in a 12-day hospital stay, and a bunch more daily meds with powerful side effects. I’m not cured – there’s a chance I may get worse, but either way, I’ve come up for some fresh air. A more fleshed out description lives here.
It’s only because of a recent sex filled weekend at Eroticon that I realised just how out of touch with my sexuality, wants, needs, and desires I’ve become. The only time I can remember desiring sex as a visceral need was during my 12-day hospital stay – towards the end, I joked about giving my partner a blow job in the loos whilst pawing not so discretely at his jeans. I was only half-joking – the loos are rather soundproofed for a hospital!
Part of me knows it’s because I was in horrendous pain, and my brain could barely process that, let alone process sexual desire. But I also know it’s because my sexual needs were completely ignored by doctors, nurses and the like. I was put on medication after medication that reduced my sex drive, and the doctor’s unwillingness to take me seriously until it was at a critical point meant my body image dwindled and became nothing but red hot dust. I was a ghost person barely surviving in sweat pants, baggy t-shirts, and four-day-old hair. I didn’t feel attractive, and I didn’t want to feel attractive. I was going through the motions of sex acts with my partner – barely present enough to want more than a cuddle afterward. All consensual as I do love making him orgasm through many wicked ways. A burning flame of desire did flicker from time to time – usually mid-sex act, but a wrong move, or breath turned my whole world to pain.
The other reason; the medical model didn’t allow me to feel attractive. Try as they might, dignity goes out of the window when you’re going on sometimes a bi-weekly basis to the doctors in an effort to make them see what you feel. In the end, I begged. The constant knock downs, sneers, and disapproving tones wore me down bit by bit. At that point, you barely exist. You become a ghost struggling to survive.
It doesn’t help that there are no messages that disabled people can feel sexy or even be entitled to sex life. Lingerie is bloody difficult to get into – and out of, medications have side effects doctors don’t warn you about – like loss of libido, care companies consider only your basic needs – well, the needs they deem to be basic, and for years there has been an ever-present societal message that you are not sexy.
Eroticon changed all that. I don’t know if it’s because we were away and out of the house that held so many haunted memories, or we were at a sex-positive event, but for the first time in forever we tried new positions, had sex multiple times in a day, played with an obscene amount of toys, and I enjoyed it. I was in the moment – even when I was completely exhausted.
Writing this jumbled post I became a bit teary-eyed, granted it could be my new ‘lightweight’ status from my singular glass of wine, but I know why. My sexuality has been such a big part of me for years – for as long as I can remember really, but the past year ripped it from me leaving a shadow of a person.
2018, the year I reclaim my sexuality. Thanks, Eroticon, you made me realise I’ve gained a little bit of me back.