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I told my physiotherapist I wanted to have sex! [Video Transcript]

I told my physiotherapist I wanted to have sex!

[Video Transcript]

Hi, I told my physiotherapist that I wanted to have physiotherapy to improve my life. Slightly clickbait, but I did have physiotherapy this week. I have had two sessions now with an NHS physiotherapist. I had a few with a private physiotherapist, but they were odd and too intrusive, and very judgy. You find when you’re chronically ill and you start going to places to get better, people become their own authority over you. The first session was 45 minutes of kind of, “Oh, yes, mm-hmm (affirmative), yes.” a lot of fast words and I have some hearing loss in my lower tone, so I find low toned voices very difficult. He was throwing everything at me and wasn’t letting me take anything in. The second session, he decided, and had a chat with, a supervisor and that my conditions, some of them, fibromyalgia, IBS, other things, undiagnosed feet issues, CRPS potentially, who knows, were probably because of an emotional thing, and spent 10 minutes interrogating me on therapy. What I’m doing in therapy, and more specifically what I’m covering in therapy, and how does that make me feel?

Even my therapist was like, “No, bad, very bad.” anyway, I have gone with an NHS physiotherapist, which, I never thought I’d say, but let’s bring you back to the point. The first session he told me he wanted me to think of some smart goals. Now, here is the SMART NHS acronym. My therapist also thinks they are utter bull crap, but I play by the NHS rules a lot, so they treat me and take me seriously. Oh boy, I want them to take me seriously, so I play by these rules. I go, “Yes, I will do all this thing.” but he wanted me to think of goals.

In January, all I was saying to anyone that would listen, mainly nurses, whilst I was drugged up, I was saying that I essentially wanted, my main goals when I was in this horrific pain, was I wanted to get better so I could do some work, which I’m doing, potter around the house, which I’m doing, and have sex, which I am doing, but my body has deconditioned too much. This is a problem. I can not go on top. I, a dominant female, cannot fuck my own boyfriend properly without too much pain, or painkillers, or great difficulty. It’s everything from the cocking my leg over to just riding. I can’t ride him. It’s really difficult. I have very limited muscle in this bit and it’s really tight and I’m not surprised, but it’s a problem.

He asked me, as they do, “What are your goals?” “Well, I want to sex.” It was a very straightforward answer rather given, but on paper, it sounds great, “I’m going to tell my physical therapist is my goal!” in actuality a lot more intimidating, but I did it.

It was a fumbled conversation and yes, he totally blushed. It was weird, I think, for him, I don’t know if he’s had a client be that straightforward because his response was, “Oh, okay.” and then got into the specifics of me being on top and me doing the uppity-down movements. Yes, I’m 24, no, 25. Up and down movements. It was interesting. He was like, “So you have other goals?” “Walking, I guess?” I mean, I walk, I do more walking now, but I fall over. I look like I’m drunk. I don’t mean to, but I have no balance. The tips of my toes are numb. No my toes are technically numb. I just walk and then. It’s quite something.

I told him, the walking. He then gave me exercises walking. He was like, “I’ll see you at core exercises for the other goal.” it was kind of humiliating but totally worth it. You know why? Because unless we tell them, and it is one of those annoying things when disability comes down to personal advocacy because the system is not going to change unless patients, unfortunately, demand it. You have to be up front about your sexual needs. That really sucks, because you don’t want to have that conversation. They’re human too. They have sex. Just because I’m a chronically ill female does not mean that my drive has suddenly gone poof. It means it’s just waiting. It’s just waiting. Ready to pounce on an unsuspecting gent when he comes back from work. Hopefully soon, but I told him, I tell my physiotherapist, I wanted to have sex with my partner, the gent, who was sitting there on his phone the entire time looking the most awkward, he’s like, “Mm-hmm (affirmative), yes, mm-hmm (affirmative).

I did do the whole, “Okay. It’s okay. It’s okay.” and pat him on the leg a few times, it got a bit embarrassing, but I will talk a lot in the future about how the medical model does not listen to disabled people’s needs when it comes to their life. You look at medication. I was on amitriptyline and gabapentin, both of which slowed my sex drive. I’m still recovering from both of those medications and my sex drive is still recovering. I used to be able to come a lot. I used to orgasm so much and now I really have to work. It is a workout. Sex is the perfect thing to achieve during physiotherapy, a goal of sex, a goal of doing sex and the bouncy bouncy on top of the gent. I’m mature.

We have to be advocates. It really sucks. It really sucks, but if you’re chronically I’ll and you have been for some time, you already know this. I’m more talking to the mass now. If you’re not chronically ill, your life has been okay. You’ve never had to have the conversation with the doctor about sex being a goal. You need to be more open-minded, because if a chronically ill person says to you, “What’s your goal when you’re getting better?” “Sex. Sex is my goal, goddammit.” that’s kind of how it was in January. My parents were shocked and appalled and told me to stop telling the nurses that I refused. Goddammit, I refused. I was in the hospital for 13 days. There was no orgasms during that time though I tried. Not me, because that was too much effort. I tried to convince the gent when he was trying to give me a shower, or when we were talking about showers, I tried. I failed, but I tried and that’s what counts, but you have to listen to whomever you’re around because sometimes the doctors might not listen to them. Particularly if you’re advocating for someone you know about and have that condition affects them, say for arthritis example, a very, very common condition, an autoimmune condition, you might be with your partner advocating for them, because you find sex difficult.

The fact that physiotherapists seem to have walking and doing day to day tasks as the main focus is appalling, because as far as I’m concerned, if they’re having sex, then I should be able to have sex. My drive doesn’t disappear, because I’ve suddenly become disabled. Even though I’ve been disabled since 12 ish, I’ve always had that sex drive. I’ve grown up being disabled and finding out my sexuality, my sex drive, finding what sexual positions I’ve liked. Just because I’m disabled does not mean I stopped liking these things. It means that I get more frustrated because people don’t tend to believe I have a sex drive. And I do. Put aside my job for a moment. That kind of helped – it’s fun, but put aside that. Even if I didn’t have that job, which a lot of people do not, it doesn’t detract from the fact that I can be sexual. Companies make lingerie with all these fiddly, little straps.

I should know, I’ve just bought a bunch of it, I never learn. For videos, because it’s an evil necessity and I have a gent to help me. Again, that’s a side thing, but companies produce lingerie with able-bodied people in mind, companies produce toys with able body people in mind. It’s only after the fact, it’s like, “Oh, this could be good for people with disability as well!” no one’s really looking at lingerie yet. Hopefully decided to take on something else, but if we can make things a little easier, then surely it can become more in the popular knowledge and it can become more mainstream. If it becomes more mainstream and everything, then it’s better for everyone because there’s a very good chance, I’m sorry to slightly depress you, that at some point in your life, you might become either temporarily or chronically disabled, permanently disabled.

It can happen at any time in your life. 60 onwards, you’re more likely to get some of these conditions like arthritis. If it’s not in your genetics for three generations and you’re bound to get it also. I have appalling genetics. Why don’t we start improving the revolution when it comes to disabled people to help ourselves, if we’re able-bodied, in the future, because if my physiotherapist doesn’t really know what to say when I tell him that I want to improve my muscles, so I can have sex. He pushes that off onto to the goal of walking, walking when I’ve been walking and having that as a goal for four weeks, no, I want uppy downy sex, and he’s a more open-minded person? What is everyone else going to do? If you are of the persuasion where you’re like, well yes, fine whatever, if you became disabled and you wanted to have sex, you wanted to continue masturbating and suddenly no one was thinking about your sexual needs, do it for yourself. Or do yourself. You know what I mean. I told my physiotherapist and now he’s going to go away and think of some exercises and come back and tell me what I can do to increase my sexual prowess.

I did it though. I was going to film this video a couple of weeks ago when I went to physio for the first time, but then a lot of life stuff happened, but I’m back, and I’m filming videos. I’m going to film another one about doctors. There’s a theme tonight, apparently, but thank you for watching. If you liked this and if you like the message of this, that we should all be thinking of sexuality and doctors, and not in that fantasy category, but in the sense that we need to advocate for our own sexuality, even though we shouldn’t have to, to make doctors think about it, because they won’t, like this video. Ask a question if you want to ask a question on the topic. See you next time.

  • Self-professed 'Professional (Disabled) Internet Human' Ruby Rousson runs Arousibility, The Ruby Umbrella and a number of other sites that all aim to help disabled and chronically ill people in some way shape or form. Twitter and Instagram: @MissRubyRousson

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