What is Sex?
Often, sex is defined only as intercourse. When you have chronic pain, sticking to this narrow view can mean a very unsatisfactory sex life. However, redefining what is sexual can open up a whole new world for you and your partner, one that will make both of you feel tingly, sexy and loved. Almost anything can be sexual. Making out on the couch like teenagers, caressing an arm with the lightest touch, watching the trail of goosebumps follow your finger or feeding your partner a piece of sinful chocolate cake. It can be a gentle scalp massage or reading a sexy story to each other. And it can be masturbation, both mutual and one person doing it themselves, while the person who is hurting maintains eye contact and offers caresses and encouraging words. You get the idea. Sexy and sexual isn't just intercourse. In fact, sometimes knowing intercourse is off the table can need to a more sensual and intimate experience.
Positions, Furniture and Toys
There are a number of ways you can make sex more comfortable. One is to get more creative with the positions you and your partner use to avoid stress on parts of your body that are hurting or weak. There are a number of different positions that can make sex easier for people with RA, as well as for those who have back pain.
Using pillows to support various parts of your body during sex is an option, but pillows tend to squish and move. Depending on your level of pain and mobility problems, you may want to look into sex furniture. The company Liberator offers not just sex toys, books and DVDs, lingerie and other sexy items, but also sex furniture that can provide support for different positions. The Canadian company Love Bumper specializes in sex furniture and has the added benefit of having considered the needs of a wide range of disabilities right from the design stage.
Sex toys can also be a terrific help for people who live with pain and mobility issues. Various forms of vibrators can help enhance stimulation when hands and jaws hurt too much to really get into the action. Both Liberator and Love Bumper mentioned above sell toys, but there are many other websites (including Amazon) that offer quality products and allow you to browse in the privacy of your home. Google "sex toys" and have fun
checking out the options! You can also do a search for "adult store" in your geographical area to find a place where you can see the products before you buy and get help from a clerk about the best product for you.
Sex is important, but intimacy is even more vital to your relationship. Finding small moments of intimacy throughout the day will help nurture the connection between you, especially during times where you may not be able to have sex. Intimacy can be any moment that makes it feel as if there's just the two of you there, together. It can be spooning in bed, holding hands while cuddled on the couch, doing the dishes together or gazing into each other's eyes while the house is in chaos around you.