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.]
Due to the line of work I’m in, I didn’t really stop working during the holiday season. It felt strange to see all the days blur into one. To temporarily forego the actual names of the days in favour of Christmas Eve, New Years Eve, and so on. Even stranger still to jump back to plain old Tuesday.
Strange, but kind of nice. As the clock ticked over to twelve on New Years Eve, it felt nice to just breathe for a second. Celebrate that this lovely, but stressful period was drawing to a close. And reflect on what lay ahead.
One step at a time, one day at a time is my motto for this year. It has to be, considering my previous motto (DO ALL THE THINGS DO THEM NOW OH MY GOD wHy AM I sO TIreD) wasn’t exactly doing wonders for my mental health. Nor was it doing wonders for my libido. The mind is insidious like that. It’s like my depression had been talking at me about my sex life for so long that I eventually had to go “sure, why not”. The same old drone became so fucking boring that in the end my mind just flicked a switch turning off my sexual needs and wants.
And then got that switch jammed for A Very Long Time Indeed.
So, in life as in my sex, that’s going to be how I’ll try to roll from now on. And already it’s kind of working. Taking baby steps has already made me feel a bit better, a bit more relaxed about my body and about being touched. I’m wanting to work on getting back to masturbation first – that’s a jolly one that I maybe didn’t actually talk about last year come to think of it.
I think that one’s actually borne more out of being too tired to even take my shoes off at the end of the day, let alone go to town on myself with fingers and vibrator. Maybe it’s a mix. Part mental health, part tiredness, with a glazed cherry of are you fucking kidding me though on top.
One step at a time, one day at a time. That’ll do for a resolution.
It’s World Mental Health Day. So I wanted to take this opportunity to write about mine. Talking about my depression and anxiety in an open and frank way on here has helped me immensely. Just like being open and frank about sex. This blog has always been a source of catharsis, among other things, after all.
It’s hard to verbalize my depression sometimes. That pains me. I’m meant to be good with words, not just on paper but in life as well. I like to think I’m a decent conversationalist when I get going. I can hold my own when I’m speaking in front of a crowd. But when it comes to telling people how I really feel, telling them with my actual voice and words… No. Not so much. To my detriment, because I end up internalizing everything even more.
Which throws me into a destructive spiral. What I’m internalizing in my mind has an effect on my body as well. It’s like my mind is trying to tell me to open up by making the rest of me slowly close down. Quiet little aches and pains are suddenly not so quiet (literally) or little. It has an effect on my moods, which in turn has an effect on the moods of the people around me. Which in turn makes me not someone you want to be around.
The little weevil on my shoulder. The black dog. The sneaky thought spiral. Whatever you call it, it has a way of – if not necessarily directly – making my day to day life fraught. With tension coiled tight in both body and brain. With moments where I shouldn’t be second-guessing myself but do. With silent frustration.
Writing about my depression and anxiety on this blog has kind of removed some of that frustration. But there’s always this niggling thought. Somewhere in the back of my head, the feeling that this shit doesn’t belong on my sex blog. That no-one wants to hear about my problems. Here’s the thing though – I’m finding it increasingly hard to care about that niggling thought.
The last few months have been slightly quiet on this blog because of that niggling thought. I’ve not been having much sex, nor have I been in the head space to write a lot about anything to do with it. And until now, I’ve been not okay with that. Not okay with the words not coming in the way they usually do. But right now, here and now and in this post, the words are coming regardless because I have had it with letting my depression and anxiety keeping me from my chosen way of catharsis.
This is a blog about sex, love, relationships and depression. These four big topics provide plenty of sub-topics: sex and its portrayal in mainstream film, the silly minutiae of living together, the white-hot light of fear that hits me in the chest during sexual play with my partner sometimes. This is also a blog where I have carved out a safe space for myself. And I am making this space safe again. My space for catharsis. My space for letting go in written words what I can not seem to say out loud.
Maybe, just maybe, it will help me say it out loud too.
PS – Hey. You. I see you. I hear you. I am walking on this path with you, whoever you are. I love you and I cherish you. You are never alone in this. As Jenny Lawson says in this post (and really, she’s fucking great when it comes to being frank about mental health) The ups and downs are always there for those of us with forever broken brains. But that’s okay because you come back out. The good is worth battling through the bad. And I will battle alongside you.
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.
Until recently, I thought that one of the most impossible questions for me to answer was “what do you want me to do to you?”. There are several factors to that line of thought, not in the least the factor which is me being naked and turned on and getting wetter and wetter at the expense of every logical thought in my head. What I want? This is what I want. What you’re doing to me, right now, is what I want. More of it. Turn me on with your fingers, lips, hands, your cock and your thrusts. Get me there and beyond and get me there again because I want you to make me fly.
There is no one clear answer to that question. There is only a very unclear waterfall of verbal grunts and half remembered words. I know what I want and yet having him ask me so clearly, matter-of-factly, makes it hard for me to remember how to put it into even the most basic of words. I stumble. My brain can’t process the countless answers that come up all at once, like a line of F1 cars with the KERS on coming round the final bend to the finish. So often, what ends up coming out is a huffed “don’t ask me that – just do what your instinct tells you to do”, which doesn’t really lead anywhere other than straight towards a “but I don’t know”/”I don’t either”/”what do we do now” meander.
Until recently, and because of the way my brain worked in those situations, I thought that out of all the questions I am faced with regularly, this one was the pincher.
It’s not, though.
The real fucker among questions is “how are you doing today?”
I get this question a lot because it’s a part of daily customer chit-chat at my job – along with complaining/rejoicing about the unbearable shit-arsedness/gloriously wonderful happiness of the weather and asking if they’re up to anything good today. It’s a difficult one to answer for several reasons.
1) Jokes about how it’s still early morning can (duh, Captain Obvious) only last you so long.
2) I get this question SO MANY TIMES in a day that “good” tends to stop being a word that sounds like a word in my head and feels like normal speech on my tongue.
3) Especially in the last few months, I’ve been so wracked with the big beast of depression that I’m afraid the real, 100 percent messy as can be answer might cause them to inch away and leg it out the door.
So I share bits. Fragments. “Bit tired, really.” or something like that. Of course, with my colleagues I can be open because they listen and they empathise and they offer a listening ear and a hug and are wonderful human beings. But sometimes the having to grin and say “good, good” to customers gets to me. It causes little fractures in my soul – the truth wants to get out, all messed up and ugly and gnarly. But there’s only so much you can share with these virtual strangers who only see you in this context. Fragments it is.
It’s not so with other situations. Friends and family, who you don’t see as often, will want to know more than just a “good, good”. Fragments can’t get you far with their questions. But I’m often left wondering if the full truth will, or even half-truths and . And then I find myself longing for the moment where he asks me, naked and wet and aroused, what I want him to do to me. Because no matter how many meanders we end up on in our quest to get to the point where he’s doing what he does so brilliantly well, it’s often still easier than grinning and telling people I’m fine when all I want to do is to let out in the open that I am not.
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.
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.