I never thought I’d be into threesomes. But, as of about two years now, it’s been the norm for me. And I can’t say it’s the most pleasant experience ever. This threesome I’m talking about is me, my boyfriend, and my ulcerative colitis (UC).
When you have UC, it goes everywhere with you - to work, the doctor, the movies, and yeah, the bedroom, too.
I’d like to leave my UC on the couch, or in the other room, but, instead, she tags along, and my boyfriend and I deal with the third wheel when we want to be intimate.
A majority of the time, UC steps up and says no. No matter how badly my boyfriend and I want to have sex, UC has securely fastened her chastity belt and is holding up a big stop sign. She’ll make me bloated - like, uncomfortably bloated - so having someone on top of me isn’t ideal. Or, she’ll cause my rectum to start burning or prevent any stool from leaving my body, so I overall don’t feel well.
She lets me cuddle. Hardcore. So I’ll give her that.
Then, there are times when she gets really vindictive. She gives me gas. And along with that, an intense amount of worry, because I don’t want my boyfriend to go down on me, or have us in a different position, and she lets loose. Nothing is less sexy than passing gas on your partner, or making them stop because you know a fart is about to escape.
Or, there’s the times when UC decides to let all of the stool out of my body, causing me to literally rush out of the bedroom. She also shows up in the anxiety form and forces me to think about potentially having an accident mid-thrust, so then I mentally check out.
She also isn’t much of a planner, my UC. Even if my boyfriend and I have a pretty romantic night planned, she doesn’t care. I could be feeling fine all day but the minute the lights get turned down, she awakens like some kind of gremlin, ready to unleash all kinds of hell.
Taking my UC everywhere causes some frustration - whether it’s me being frustrated with her for making me feel like crap, or my boyfriend being frustrated with her because he’d really like to leave her out in the cold. He also gets frustrated when I find ways to cheat my UC and pleasure him, but there’s not quite anything he can do in return.
I’m very lucky, though. Despite this gremlin hanging around in our bedroom, my boyfriend does an excellent job of being understanding and supportive, and taking what he can get. When my UC hangs back and is satisfied, for whatever reason, our sex becomes way more meaningful and way more spontaneous than I ever could’ve imagined. We say all the sexy things to each other when the moment strikes because we’re a little more comfortable without her around. The moments become intense, passionate, and all-encompassing, because we can’t have sex whenever we want to.
So yeah, I guess you could say I’m into threesomes now. But, when it’s just the two of us, and we can focus on each other, instead of the lurking gremlin, I feel sexier, and I feel like myself before my diagnosis. These moments are rare, and there are plenty of times when the gremlin gets to participate, but those moments are no longer taken for granted. Somehow, she, in a weird way, gave my boyfriend and I a new appreciation for each other in the bedroom.
Mandy is a writer and cat mom who is slowly becoming a health-nut. She’s earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in professional writing. For her master’s thesis she wrote about patient education materials for those diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. She works full-time as a technical writer in Chicago, and serves on the board of directors and blogs for Girls With Guts, a non-profit organization to support women with IBD and/or ostomies. Follow more of her stories on HealthCentral and blog posts on the Girls With Guts website.