A woman is wearing a sumo wrestling blow up costume, and holding a stop sign while her partner hangs his head in disappointment in the bedroom.

When Sex is Not Possible

I wrote before about having sex when you have endometriosis. But what if endometriosis makes it impossible to have sex at all?

When my endometriosis was at its worst, I didn't want to have sex at all. The hormone birth control pill effectively killed my libido and sex was always painful. Thanks to the added complication of adenomyosis, whenever I got aroused, I was in pain as well. As a consequence, I started to hate sex. I didn't even want to think about it.

How painful sex impacted by marriage

Sex is important in a relationship, I won't deny that. And it was very important to my husband and me. So when we stopped having sex altogether, this created friction in our marriage. Thankfully, not to the point of breaking our marriage, but it still required us to sit down and talk about it. And there are a couple of things I learned from this period in my life: Women like sex as much as men do. The idea that men are somehow unable to go a day, let alone months, without sex is a myth. My husband stood by me and didn't cheat on me, even though we didn't have sex for the better part of a year. And I wouldn't expect any less. Your partner should stand by you even if sex is off the table for an extended period of time. Especially when sex hurts.

Your partner should stand by you!

You often hear men use the fact that their partners can't or don't want to have sex as an excuse to cheat. Women in those situations are pictured as cold, frigid even. And the media promotes this narrative. Male celebrities who cheat on their partners get a free pass if it turns out their partners "withheld sex". You should never feel pressured to have sex in a relationship. You don't owe your partner sex.

Find other ways to be intimate

There are other ways of being intimate. My husband and I snuggled a lot while watching movies together or, sometimes, while talking in bed in the dark. Or you could give each other massages, which don't always have to be sexual. Have a romantic dinner and talk about how not having sex impacts you. You should be open to each other about it, or else the issue of not having sex could start to fester and break you apart.

Get creative

There is also nothing wrong with masturbation. If your partner really needs to relieve the tension, so too speak, they can take matters in their own hands. A bit of porn and some lubricant will go a long way. It's important to be open about that too. It's not pleasant for your partner to think that they have to be secretive about this. Their pleasure is still important, even if you can't do anything about it at the moment.

Sex is often a minefield to navigate, whether you are in a relationship or not. But by being open, creating other ways of being intimate and allowing your partner the space to masturbate without feeling guilty, your relationship does not have to be doomed just because sex is not an option.

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