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Really Hard To Be Intimate with IBS

Here’s a topic I haven’t heard many people discussing when it comes to their IBS – the topic of intimacy. It’s one of the most requested topics I’ve had viewers of my YouTube channel ask me to talk about but I have to be honest, I’ve been putting it off. If there’s one thing that’s been the most difficult for me to admit about my IBS, it’s the fact that it gets in the way of the level of intimacy I’d like to experience with my wife sometimes. I’m sure many of you reading this in relationships, marriages, or even those that are single can relate to this frustration. We continuously ask ourselves the question: how can I be intimate when a simple touch from my partner can make my symptoms worse? Or, how can I feel like I’m going to perform my best when I’m in so much pain? Then the insecurities and worries begin to kick in, which doesn’t help with the mood at all. Due to the stigma of what it means to have IBS, many of us are left feeling unattractive, disgusting, too weak or incapable of pleasing our partners. This chronic condition leaves many with shot egos and low self-esteem, making it difficult to sustain a long-term relationship with anyone. For me, simply writing about this topic and being willing to put myself out there to the public is taking A LOT of courage which is messing with my anxiety right now, and in turn triggering my symptoms. However, I understand the significance of being vulnerable and sharing even the most personal of stories because it can possibly reach someone who needs to feel like they’re not alone in their suffering.

Just be intimate with IBS

I wish I could give tips on how to be romantic or prepare for sex while dealing with IBS, such as not eating anything beforehand, or trying to keep the stress and anxiety to a minimum, but frankly, I myself haven’t mastered that part yet. Realistically and for the most part, sex happens spontaneously, so you can’t always plan ahead or prepare yourself enough to make sure your IBS doesn’t overreact. Since IBS attacks are also spontaneous, I just do my best to relax, tolerate the pain, and be in the moment. Not to be too descriptive, but I also realize that the farther I get into the act, the pleasure tends to numb the pain, so it’s not always so bad once you get into the groove of things. Let’s face it, men and women have their needs, so it’s important in every relationship to keep the intimacy alive as best and as proactively as we can.

So we all know that having IBS can be a significant obstacle when it comes to being intimate. So then, the question becomes, “How can we be intimate with IBS?” The answer is simply within the question – just be intimate with IBS. Many times we may not physically feel up to it, but there are other times when it’s simply our insecurities discouraging us from even attempting the act. If you want to feel and be more intimate, or even sexier, then you have to fight for it! We’re not always going to feel 100%, so it’s important we learn to be stronger and take advantage of intimacy even when we feel 30-50%. The name of the game is called “Power of the Mind”, and if you can master your mental more than your physical, than the latter won’t be much of an obstacle because you put in your mind that you’re unstoppable.

How do you feel about intimacy while dealing with your condition? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below! Thanks for reading.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The IrritableBowelSyndrome.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • threemce
    8 months ago

    Thank you for posting this. There may not be any revolutionary suggestions or tips in this article, however the mere fact that you addressed this topic is helpful. I have really struggled in this area, so thank you.

  • Chris Hall moderator
    8 months ago

    Thanks for your feedback, @threemce. It can definitely be an area of struggle for many, so I’m glad it resonated with you. Take care! – Chris, IrritableBowelSyndrome.net Team

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