When I started out blogging, it was partly due to a bit of an obsession with Beautiful Agony. You probably know the site. A multimedia experiment, testing a hypothesis that eroticism in human imagery rests not in naked flesh and sexual illustration, but engagement with the face.
It was, and remains (and will probably always be) a spellbinding erotic website. It was one of the pieces in the puzzle of me, the puzzle I laid out when this blog started, six years ago this week.
I wasn’t celebrating that anniversary though. I’m not sure I like doing that anymore. It pokes open old wounds (and reminds me of lingering ones). Besides, I rather like the idea of just carrying on like always. Re-puzzling that puzzle.
My libido’s still low. But I’ve kind of learned to sit with it. Ask myself questions, give myself room to breathe and rest as a lot of this is tiredness and depression. Room to breathe is what I seem to keep forgetting.
And giving myself room to breathe was how I got to watching some videos Dr. Lindsay Doe’s Sexplanations channel on YouTube the other night. Indulging my never-tiring curiosity is one of the ways I’ve been sitting with myself. Learning. I subscribe to Dr. Doe’s channel but haven’t really taken the time to delve into her videos. So, when one popped up on my “What To Watch Next [hint: maybe lay off binge-watching The Nekci Menij Show for an hour or so, maybe, possibly]” list, I watched.
It was a video of masturbation tips. And up came the subject of Beautiful Agony.
I’d already kind of been futzing around with bits of porn, willing something to materialize that would help take the stress off from the past week. Hoo, fuckety-boy, it has been a stressful week. But the internet was not being a wonderful thing for porn, alas. Which made Lindsay’s mention of Beautiful Agony all the more timely – sat on the bed, wearing his shirt and nothing else, I clicked the thumbnail for one of the free sample videos.
A woman, on the floor of her flat. Lying back on cushions and a throw, lazily surrendering to pleasure. Outside, you can hear the traffic, the general hubbub of the world continuing. And inside her own four walls, she makes the world pause with her fingers and her pleasure.
And I went right there with her. The first orgasm came quicker than I hoped it would – probably a sign that my body needed that, a lot. But it was good. It was good and it was satisfying and the warmth of my netbook was pleasing on my naked thighs as I watched the woman on my screen come.
The way she bathed in her afterglow, silent and still… it was spellbinding. Ecstasy in the agony, as is BA’s remit.
It was a good orgasm, that first one.
The second one, I had to work for. It was a couple of minutes later, and I was back on Twitter but still needing something. Another climax, another release. So, I took what I needed. Worked for it, felt it building and building in intensity until finally, FINALLY, it blew me the fuck away.
It was that kind of orgasm. The kind that leaves you fuzzy and head-spinny and unable to remember things like words and how pants work. My own beautiful agony. I settled into bed feeling like a toasty, comfortable little cinnamon bun, content because once again I had managed to sit with myself and ask myself questions and give myself room to breathe.
[ PS – in regards to my six year blogiversary. Although I’m not really celebrating in any way, I do want to thank you for reading. Whether from the early days or more recently, thank you, thank you, thank you. Here’s to whatever comes next. Hope you’re there with me.]
It’s hard to remember the last time – or any time – I had such an unsatisfying wank as the one I did the other day.
Himself had gone off to the North for the weekend, on an adventure with a few mates. We were house sitting at the time, so my only company for those two days was a cluster of cats. Now, I spent most of that weekend either at my day job or in front of the telly doing my other job, with one eye on the Olympics. The rest of the time, I was seemingly permanently clouded in a haze of tired and achy.
Maybe, in hindsight, a wank wasn’t the right solution after all. My brain managed to convince me it was, though, because my brain can quite often be a great big dickweed.
Go on, it said to me. It’s late, you’re mildly comfortable…
And? “It’s late” and “I’m mildly comfortable” are not reasons I should be masturbating. In fact, considering I’d dragged the duvet downstairs and had my netbook perched on my lap and a cat precariously close to my face, comfortable wasn’t so much a thing I was as a lie in general.
I wasn’t at all comfortable because I was bone-tired and walking through the endless, boring as fuck mists of a depressive episode. The kind where Nothing has a capital N and you’re existing in a constant state of low-key fed up with your horrid mind.
I also wasn’t comfortable because there was another cat, perched in front of the TV, glaring at me rather openly. As if to say I know what you’re contemplating and I don’t like it one bit, you weird human.
But still, I gave in to my brain and slipped my fingers down the waistband of my pants. And to be honest, I wish I hadn’t. I wish I’d have just gotten on with what I was doing. It felt forced. It felt like I was doing it for the sake of reminding myself that yeah, I do still have a wank, thank you very much. It wasn’t a bad wank, but it was a wank that, if it were a film, I would have seen it through to the end but gotten up at the start of the credits and grumbled about it being a waste of my bloody time.
That’s not the wanks I want to be having. And I hope to fuck I find out what’s going on there, because I do not want masturbation to become another task on an endless tick list.
Written for August McLaughlin‘s Beauty of a Woman BlogFest 2016 – check out the other entries by clicking the button at the end of the post.
It sounds strange, but lately I’ve found myself wishing that I can write my libido back to life. That I can use my skills as an erotica writer, my imagination and my fingers clacking on the keys of my netbook keyboard to write it back into place properly. To reach into my brain and body and jiggle the chemicals around just enough through the power of rewriting it like an edit to a story. Would that it were so simple. Would that libido wasn’t an incredibly complex mess of science, chemicals and circumstances.
Sometimes it feels jarring to me how the lines of my comfort zone have shifted, moulded anew through the lens of depression and fatigue. I try. Oh god. I try to think myself into the mindset for sex, which feels unreal and still goes wrong in the end because my brain has become really brilliant at backtracking, especially from PIV-sex.
I’m trying my best to figure out why that is. And in the meanwhile, I take little steps. Little steps like a few nights ago, when we lay naked on the bed and joked as he lubed me up and played with me, first with his fingers, then with the Doxy. It didn’t lead to much more than an orgasm of sorts, but it was good. I’m also trying to masturbate more, just to remind myself that masturbation is a thing I enjoy and it helps me relax.
When I am in dark places due to my mental illness, I can orgasm as a way to remind myself that there are pleasurable feeling to be had. Not a cure for my depression, not a fix, but a tool that I’ve used as long as I can remember to keep myself going. My ability to find pleasure in the darkness saved me more times than I can count.
Little steps of reconnection.
Recently, I’ve found that my low libido, oddly enough, has also had a negative effect on my ability to write erotica. So now I also find myself wishing I could use my skill as a writer to write my… writing… back into place. To reach into my brain and body and jiggle those self-same chemicals around just enough that the words start flowing more naturally, to stop making them feel like an old car in desperate need of a fix.
If that makes any sense. I wouldn’t blame you if you couldn’t make sense of it, because I sure as shit can’t.
But I can make sense of this: two parts of my life, two very important ones, are ripped at the seams. Not unfixable, but it’s going to take time. These two parts are connected, somehow; parts of the quilt that is my life. And when you’ve got a rip in the fabric of a quilt, you get out your needle and thread/sewing machine and you try your best to join the pieces back together.
The pieces haven’t been lost, though. Libido is there. Erotica writer is there. Neither of these pieces of the quilt will unravel and be lost just because I’m not using these pieces enough. It just takes time. Little steps. Little stitches.
A couple of weeks ago, the ever-excellent Dangerous Lilly wrote honestly and openly about something that can seem like a curse when you make your crust (or at least some part of it/or do it for whatever reason you do it) from writing about your sex life. Low libido is something that can feel frightening if you’re a sex blogger – I know this because it’s something that affects my sex life as well.
Lilly mentions being thankful that she’s no longer the “sexy” sort of blogger who writes erotica, takes sexy photos and writes about her sex life. I wanted to write my take on it from the point of view of someone who, technically, is that kind of blogger (in that I write about my sex life and write erotica).
To start with, this hasn’t got anything to do with my antidepressants. It has, for a part , a root in my depression. In the last few months, it’s been a constant unwanted companion. I like to compare it to the feeling of constantly lugging around a backpack: on the worst days, it’s full to the brim and feels much like carrying around a selection of bricks. On the better days, the feeling’s lighter. Less bricks, but they’re still there. The backpack is never empty, but on the better days it doesn’t feel like you’re in constant danger of toppling over.
The root of this upsurge lies in things like residual trauma from what happened with my mother last year, the stress of coming into a new job in a new area and letting my body get used to it, the lack of sleep caused by housemates who like cooking at three in the morning and having loud and (from what I can hear – which is quite a lot) frankly quite dubious sounding phone calls that last all through the night. Not to mention the pressure I put myself under, a pressure which for the last few months mainly centered around my fiction output and the balance of trying to edit two anthologies at the same time.
That last one especially did a number on me. The editing period of the second anthology leaked over into the Christmas period, which is a very high-pressure period in the day job. I spent many of my days off wanting to do nothing more than fajita wrap myself into my duvet and not come out. Of course, this causes discontent with the authors you’ve accepted into the anthology because if you don’t keep them in the loop (which, I am shamefully bad at this) they’ll start to question what the hell is going on. And it made me heavy with a weird kind of guilt. Because I was already pushing myself harder than I’d ever had, and I knew that I needed to take it slower on my days off. But there’s the lingering knowledge that something’s not being done. Something people are needing you to do. And you know that if you drop yourself right in and don’t stop and take a minute to reassess how you’re going about, things will go wrong. But the feeling of letting people down weighed on me so much.
We’ve had sex a couple of times in the last few months. The last time, a few weeks back, I nearly cried with joy at the feeling of him inside me. Sometimes my body and my brain are actually in agreement over how much I want it and need it and want him and need him. Sex and talking about it is such a major part of my life that it leaves me slightly baffled and plenty worried that it’s just not been on my mind much as of late. And when it’s not on my mind and I’m not having it as much, this blog does not get written in. And that same guilt I mentioned above adds a leaden weight to the brick in the backpack.
I am essentially feeling guilty for not having sex, or not thinking about sex in a way that I can write about it on this blog. Which is also not exactly a blessing for my already low libido as it now feels like every time I catch myself thinking I fancy pouncing on my boyfriend, it is immediately followed by the thought that I’m thinking this because I have to for the sake of the blog.
In case you weren’t aware, I fucking love my boyfriend and sex with him gets better and better every time because we keep discovering each other over and over again. The fact that my body and my brain are doing a great big Gallic shrug at the notion of letting me experience my boyfriend like that is as upsetting as the little voice that tries to convince me I don’t actually want to have sex for any other reason than content.
Me, lying on the bed and trying to get words down for a project I’m working on. Him, sitting behind his computer at the desk, doing little bits of admin. He gets up to give me a hug.
And suddenly we’re kissing. No, not just kissing, actually. Making out, like two thirsty teens, drinking each other in with lips and hands and tongues.
“Was that why you came over here for?” I ask.
“No, I just wanted to come and hug you. But this is good too.”
And it is better. It’s glorious. I am overcome by something I haven’t felt in ages – the red hot glow of spontaneity.
I am crap at initiating sex. It’s partly because I think that, with enough pre-amble and getting in the mood, I will one-up the sneaky hate spiral somehow. Perhaps what’s going through my mind at that point is that if I affirm to myself enough that I want to have sex, and that I’m going to have sex, it’s going to happen without the bit where my brain’s seemingly had enough of my bullshit.
I am crap at initiating sex because, as of late, I’m confusing initiating sex with doing Masterpiece fucking Theatre. Masterpiece Fucking Theatre, if you will. I’m treating it as a game in which I sit my brain down and tell it all the reasons why sex is a thing that will be happening. It’s a game that gets very tiring, very quickly, because my brain does not often feel like listening. Well, that part of my brain doesn’t, anyway.
Maybe it’s because my brain knows it’s a performance.
Don’t get me wrong – I really do want to have a more active sex life, unimpeded by the general banal mulch of depression. I want to work on that because… well, I bloody love sex. Otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this blog.
What I mean by “a performance” is that I am trying way too hard to trick my brain into being quiet for a while. I am giving my brain a one-man-show, consisting entirely of reasons why I should be allowed to just go for it and have sex with my boyfriend. It’s not an efficient way of living your sex life, and it’s also not an efficient use of the creative/trickster energy* inside you.
But last night… my brain was quiet. It was quiet as we made out and groped and moaned. It was quiet while we both wriggled ourselves out of our trousers and underwear, and it was quiet as I spread for him and took him in.
My brain was quiet, but my body wasn’t. It was basking in the glory of being faster than the hate spiral. It was basking in the sheer delight of a good, frantic fuck.
I had used my trickster energy right, at last. Instead of a performance for my brain, I just let my body react faster than it. It was a moment in which I realised just how much I am willing to deny my body its moment in favour of appeasing whatever’s going in my mind – be it positive or negative (or just plain confusing).
And I don’t want to stand for it any more.
I want my body to feel good, because it doesn’t often get the chance to just bask in its own glory like that. It doesn’t often get the chance to give in to what it wants faster than my brain. I know what I did last night, and I know that it came about from a place of sheer spontaneity – which is good to know and is noted. But I can’t help wondering if I’ve now made it all too clear to the hate spiral that this is a way to trick it…
Still, it was good to be faster than the hate spiral for once. There was something delightfully giddy about wearing a jumper and t-shirt and nothing else, grabbing at the fabric as my boyfriend frigged me to an orgasm that left me beautifully woozy in the head.
I needed that.
*Trickster energy is a concept taken from Elizabeth Gilbert’s excellent book, Big Magic. It’s all about living an awesome creative life, and will most likely be the topic of my Write Sex Right column in December.
There really isn’t another way to describe it. Those two words – thanks, Tay Tay – are pretty much exactly how I would like to convey to you that my mind has been doing something not at all funny during sex. And it has been doing so for longer than I’ve cared to admit on here in the past.
We haven’t had a lot of sex recently. In fact, since Eroticon, we’ve only had sex twice. Granted, both times the sex was bloody magnificent. In fact, I wish to God I could grab those two moments by the scruff of their neck and point them towards my depression, yelling SEE, SEE, I AM GOOD AT THIS AND FRANKLY I DO NOT CARE MUCH FOR YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS MY SEX LIFE, SIR.
Or something, I don’t know.
It’s worrying how my depression likes to stick its claws in me during sex. Sometimes it even does so during masturbation. And it never changes its tactics, either – what it likes to do is create something called a sneaky hate spiral. Now, what I would like you to do is to take a moment to open that link in another window and have a quick read, so you know the basics of what a sneaky hate spiral is.
Done that? Good. (Also, if this is the first time you’ve read Allie Brosh, bookmark that shit because she is boss).
Now, I am willing to bet you a quid that you have, more than once, experienced a sneaky hate spiral. In fact, I am willing to bet you another quid and possibly a pint that you’ve experienced at least one this past week. As Brosh says at the start of the comic, sneaky hate spirals are merely the confluence of a series of many unremarkable annoyances.
But how does this translate to my experience of sex (be it partnered or solo)? And how does it link up with my depression?
Well, let’s break it down, shall we?
A general sneaky hate spiral starts simple enough – confluence of a series of many unremarkable annoyances, remember?
Sure enough, the ones I have been experiencing during sex do so to.
All it takes is one thing to set it off. One tiny little thing. And it doesn’t need to happen during the buildup to the sexual interaction. (For example) It can be as simple as waking up after only three hours of actual sleep because your neighbour (lovely as he is) decided it to be a grand idea to watch all 137 minutes of Fast and Furious 7 on a volume so loud, every time Vin Diesel speaks (which, considering the movie, is a bloody lot) your bedroom wall vibrates with his basso profondo.
At four in the morning.
And you’re due at work later on.
One tiny thing can set it off. This one thing is usually followed by a lot more tiny things.
Pins and needles in your leg as you walk up to the Tube station.
Someone rather shamelessly elbowing you in the ribs while trying to get on the train before you.
The one customer who just can not resist asking you a stupid question.
Remembering the reason why that fucking awful Wiz Khalifa song from Fast and Furious 7 is stuck in your head.
Hearing it at least three more times in various places throughout the day, including probably while waiting in the queue for something.
Slipping and skidding on a puddle of water while running for the bus.
Narrowly missing that very bus.
It starting to rain again as you wait for the next bus, making an average nine minute wait feel like a year.
Imagine it being like an ever-worsening hail storm. With a bro rap ballad tribute to the memory of Paul Walker as your constant soundtrack.
The tipping point
Now is where it turns to the sexual interaction bit. It has not yet turned on me, but boy howdy is it ever about to.
Allie Brosh describes the turning point of a sneaky hate spiral as a minor but slightly jarring incident, initiated by some force of nature that cannot be blamed or scolded – like gravity or sleeplessness or wind. In these specific sneaky hate spirals (which, as you will see, are kind of also sneaky thought spirals in my case) it won’t actually be an unscoldable force of nature which pushes me over the edge.
Unless my own brain is actually an unscoldable force of nature, in which case, motherfucker do I need to be studied.
The scariest thing about the sneaky hate/thought sex spirals? The one thing that really, really freaks me out about them? They also happen (and have been doing so far more often) without any of the buildup. Like a broken record, it skips to the tipping point. The one thought which takes me right out of my body and back into my brain, drawing me into a seemingly never-ending, numbing loop of dark, bad memories and thoughts which you really don’t want to be having when you’re in the middle of ANYTHING sexual.
It happened the other night – I’d been feeling a peculiar mix of frustration and singular-focus anger, with a scoop of anxiety waiting in the pit of my chest (and a dollop of having my period pretty badly) I wanted some kind of release, so I trawled the tube sites and (much to my surprise) pretty much instantly found a video that seemed pretty much destined to get me off – Doxy armed and ready, I was even more surprised to discover that the vibrations stayed strong even through the fabric of my pants and my pad. It felt nice. It felt, for the first time, like I was in the zone and nothing could stop me.
And then my brain did.
I toppled over due to just one teeny tiny thought. A thought which, although incredibly stupid in essence, made way for other – less – stupid and gradually more destructive thougths.
You want to know what the one thought to ruin them all was, dear reader?
THE THOUGHT OF THIS FUCKING SONG EXSISTING.
Yes, people who read this blog. It was Trumpets by Jason Derulo – or at least a flash of its GODAWFUL lyrics which set me off on a spiral of thoughts which started with “Jaysus, that’s a crime against music.” and ended with me having flashbacks to a rather sexual MSN conversation which happened several years ago.
Even the fact that I not only had ILB masturbating nakedly next to me but was watching a scene featuring James Deen, a ridiculously sexy tattooed lady and a yoga ball did nothing to get me back. Verily, the trumpets did not go TOOT TOOT TOOTOOTOOTOO TOOT.
When I do manage to bypass the spiral – however infrequent that may be at the moment – the sex is gorgeous. My medication is helping me along fine and is causing no real problems (except when I run out) and, most of all, I have a wonderful, caring, loving and understanding boyfriend who doesn’t run from my disabilities because he understands them (and he, also, has his own battles with the black dog of depression) and is not ashamed of me for having them.
I am, however, ashamed of having this as a problem.
And you may think of me whatever it is you want – it is a real problem to me. A real problem which keeps me from enjoying an active sex life. Because creeping in between those disconnected, silly thoughts are evil things. Words I recognise come from a space within me that opens up whenever I feel like I have a grip on my day. Creeping in between thoughts of stupid song lyrics, embarrassing conversations and irritations are the words of my depression – the words which put me down, over and over and over until I am nothing but a stripped bare mess of tears and ferocious noises I don’t even recognise as being human.
But they are human because they are coming from me. And the fact that my depression makes me feel this way in my most intimate moments, with my partner or solo, makes me the person utterly terrified.
The blows landing on my arse cheeks reverbrated through my body, down to the core of my pussy. I was getting wetter and wetter by the second, no matter what kind of rhythm he was playing out on me. We giggled, yes. He made me laugh by pretending my arse was a pair of bongos, yes. But fuck me, it turned me on until I felt like I could melt.
He went on for what seemed like forever, and if I could have had it my way I would have had him spanking my cheeks for all of eternity. But a greater urge took me over, the urge for him to just grab me and have me right there. We’d tried doggy style as a position before but only a couple of times and never with great success, but in that moment it was the only way I wanted him to fuck me.
And this time, it worked. This time, I could feel his fingers digging into my thighs, his balls slapping against my cunt as he drove his cock into me over and over again. It was something else. It made me feel utterly dirty and I loved every second of it. Even when we switched positions and fucked with him on top of me, I still loved it because I love him and I love sex with him and it doesn’t matter what we’re doing or how we’re doing it or what kind of stupidly impossible position our knees and arms find themselves in.
Later, after orgasms and moans and creaks of the bed, I lay in his arms not thinking but just being. It had been too long since I’d just let myself be. The last few weeks and months I’ve spent so much time living in my own head, thoughts rotating like a manic hamsterwheel which I couldn’t for the life of me bring to a halt. Even if I’d have just jumped off, it would have pulled me back in, as if I was magnetically tethered to my own unstoppable brain. Letting myself just be wasn’t a thing I was able to do. My Sertraline ran out, which really didn’t help because it hasn’t taken me long to figure out that my brain off medication is not a happy place to be – the two or three weeks of brain fog and sadness that come when you start taking it (or in my case, start again) is something I’ll gladly go through in favour of the infinite loop of black gloom that manifests without it.
I’d spent so much time in my head, I’d forgotten what being fully and utterly in my body felt like. But in that moment, with him and with the connection our bodies made, I remembered what it felt like to just be.
A couple of weeks ago, I managed to get a double appointment with the new GP at our surgery. This double appointment came at the recommendation of the GP herself, considering that the first time she saw me I was babbling everything out at once and tearing up something awful. Obviously, I needed a bit more time to explain what I was feeling and, ever so kindly, she made the time.
I’m back on SSRIs, because as I was talking to the GP it became crystal clear to me that I had, essentially, sacrificed my mental health for the sake of an orgasm instead of finding a way to let the two co-exist. And I can’t have just one or the other. I don’t want to have glorious, toe-curling and mindboggling orgasms but then spend the rest of my day drifting into terrifying dark places in my head. In the couple of months in which I wasn’t on SSRIs, I had the most vivid, concentrated and, quite frankly, shocking anxiety attacks of my life. They were tiring as hell, both for myself and ILB.
So, I admitted to the GP that I wanted to be back on SSRIs, but was afraid it might impact my libido again. It’s always going to be a risk, but it was one I was willing to take and work my way around. So, she prescribed me something called sertraline and so far it’s working for me. I’ve had a couple of weird moments – even suicidal ones – but those will pass and I now know that I have a GP who I can talk to and who will take her time to listen to me and my worries.
And I have a loving and understanding boyfriend who means the world to me. And if anything, I am confident that we can work our way around the sex thing. If I’m honest, so far it’s not been on my mind. Sex has been like a foggy kind of thought, overtaken by other things like anthology editing, writing and the day job. I want to make sure it doesn’t stay foggy, but I’m not entirely sure how to do that. It’s like I’m feeling extra self-concious at the moment, not knowing whether I want to give in to loving touches and deep kisses or just crawl under a blanket and hide from the world.
But I’m sure I’ll find a way. I always tend to do.
PS – We did end up having sex on Valentine’s Day – but that brought a whole different set of problems… of the ribbed and dotted kind.
It’s been about a week and a bit since I wrote this post about how I decided to go cold turkey on the SSRIs I’d been taking since 2009. I wanted to write an update (one of probably several) on the effect this is having on my sex life, so I can chart how I change and what changes.
As I mentioned in that last post, I’ve been having bouts of raging horniness. I can only welcome that, really. Feeling turned on, really turned on, feels fucking amazing. Whereas before I had to run things through in my head (nothing sexier than a bit of mental analytics, amirite?) now I can actually feel the changes in my body. I can actually say “I’m really turned on” without having to think “Wait, am I?”
It’s what happened a few nights ago, when we were messing around and browsing through some Tube sites because I wanted to watch porn. When you’re already a bit turned on, browsing a Tube site and not knowing exactly what you want to watch is a bit like being really hungry, going to a five star restaurant and not knowing what to pick. The fact that my computer was apparently undecided between buffering the videos and just plain not playing them was not at all helping me.
“Is it weird that I’m getting turned on just by browsing and looking for a video?” I say, shifting so I can fully feel the wetness forming between my lips.
“Actually, I kinda am too.” he confesses, sitting on the bed all naked and gorgeous. “Maybe you could try this other website?”
So I try this other website, which has a little less choice but also a little less buffering. By that time, I’ve wriggled my way out of my knickers and am wearing nothing but a t-shirt and the glow of someone who really just wanted to get fucked again and again. It’s amazing how the more you get turned on, the more all sense leaves you and in the end you are a cave person-like husk of rampant, fiery desire.
I settle on a scene and ask him to feel just how wet I am because I always think he never believes me until he feels it. Plus, I kinda get a kick out of him going “Wow, you’re really wet!”
And at this point, I am really fucking wet. I’m lying on my belly, shifting my arse into the air and my legs open so he can reach the bits I so badly want him to reach. The moment he touches me and starts playing with my clit is the moment I know that it’s not going to be like other times. Everything feels intensified and the moans that escape me can’t stop escaping me. He takes me far beyond holding myself back in fear of others hearing.
The scene we’re not really watching ends and I try and pick another scene while he continues. By the time Kelly Shibari spreads herself open to her partner’s tongue, I’m wanting the same. I’m dazed with lust and I am crying out for a release. My head starts doing its analytics thing, running through what I think will happen – he’ll warm me up with his tongue, I’ll ask him to play with my arse and perineum while I finger myself to orgasm – but as his tongue and fingers start pleasuring me the analytics system melts into a puddle of nothing. I relax underneath him, my body relishing the waves of pleasure he’s giving me. There’s no overthinking. In that moment, there’s nothing in my head and everything in my cunt.
And when I feel the orgasm coming, I’m not even prepared for how it seems to seep in to every inch of me. It leaves me so wrecked that I spend the next two minutes bucking my hips as my body rides it out. And as I come back up for air and realize that it was all him and my genitals aren’t broken from the medication I want to burst into tears of joy. But every cell of me is so spent that I just lie there, grinning like an idiot because I feel like I’ve found something of me that had gone missing so long ago.
And I really, really want more of it. So that’s what I’m going to get. And of course, you’re all with me for the ride, which will hopefully contain plenty more oral sex…
A few weeks ago, I had a sobering realization: I didn’t actually remember what I was like before I started taking SSRIs. I was diagnosed with severe depression in 2009 and, along with regular visits to my psychiatrist, I was put on a few kinds of anti-depressants. This was right before I became sexually active and started masturbating, and when after a few months I stopped feeling any kind of pleasure when I was masturbating, I switched meds with the help of my psychiatrist.
I’d been doing relatively fine and even shed the two other meds I was on along the way. Since last year, I’ve been on 30 milligrams of Citalopram – and I thought I was on the right track until I realized I was so far away from the right track that I couldn’t even see it any more. Every time I mentioned something about it to the GP, I got the same exact response: “Well, it’s not like it makes it all go away in an instant.”
This summer, while visiting my mother, I demanded an appointment at the GP surgery I used to go to back home. I didn’t get my actual GP, which should have been a sign. When I tentatively brought up the thing that had been playing on my mind for some time (that I thought the Cipralexa was having an averse effect on my sex life), she managed to turn it into “Is your relationship going well? Do you not want to move back home?”
I had to resist the impulse of walking out of the surgery right then and there, despite the fact that she was in the middle of drawing blood from my arm. It would have been an unusual sight…
Two weeks ago I reached my boiling point. Anxiety attacks were now an almost daily occurrence, my brain was being eaten by paranoia and I couldn’t stop feeling tired and foggy all the freaking time. And then there was that feeling that the Cipralexa was fucking me over on the fucking front, which had only intensified since I initially thought of it. I read both JoEllen and Epiphora’s accounts of what SSRIs did to their sex life (and day-to-day life), which only fuelled my anger. I hadn’t ever had an orgasm without also having the effects of an SSRI influencing my body. I hadn’t ever experienced the pleasure of being licked by my boyfriend until I shuddered to a climax all over his face. I didn’t know if what was happening to me was still okay – and all the signs pointed to a big, neon HELLA NOPE.
That Friday, I quit cold turkey.
I’ve now been off Cipralexa for a week and three days. It’s been, at times, both brilliant and frightening. The absolute worst bits are when the withdrawal symptoms kick in – whereas before I pretty much felt numb, now there’s a fucking can-can line of emotions dancing on the stage in my brain. Pretty much immediately, I started having bouts of intensely sharp headaches. Now that, I can cope with – I’ve got chronic sinusitis so this is tiny compared with the scary stuff. The pins and needles in my hand in the middle of the night, the sharp and concentrated outbursts of anger or anxiety, the confusion when I speak, the feeling like I’m about to have the worst bout of flu in my life… that’s fucking scary.
But for every one of these there appears to be an upside. And although we haven’t been able to have full-on sex yet (due to… well, another problem), I’ve been having an absolute raving horn. A few days ago, I had my first non-SSRI orgasm and Christ, it was beautiful, messy, confusing and left me wanting more. So yeah, I had more.
I think I speak for just about everyone who’s done this when I say that I don’t exactly recommend going cold turkey. I had my reasons and, judging from how much better I’m feeling (despite the withdrawal symptoms), I can stick by those reasons. But if you feel like your GP isn’t taking you or your situation seriously, make them take you seriously. It is your life and you have every right to question your current treatment and look for a better way of going about.
As for me, I’m looking forward to discovering if this impacts my libido in a positive way. Meanwhile, I’m taking advice from JoEllen and have started to look after myself and what I eat and drink and do. And hopefully, eventually these effects will die down. Cross my fingers, knock on wood.