Sex after a stroke can be extremely scary. You worry, in case a orgasm increases your blood pressure. You worry that with only half of your body working to it’s full capacity, will sex be the same as it was before? Will I be able to perform the way I once did?
The answer to all of this is NO. No, your blood pressure won’t increase. No you don’t be able to perform like you did before. But that doesn’t mean your sex life is over.
I suffered a life changing stroke aged 24, a month after my son was born. I am right side paralysed – my right arm doesn’t do much, I walk with a limp after spending a few years in a wheelchair, and I am partially sighted in both eyes. This was 13 years ago. I have come on so far from being a stroke victim, now I am a STROKE SURVIVOR (there is a huge difference).
Being a victim let’s the stroke win – you are defeated before you have even got out of bed… or in. You need to take ownership of what has happened to you. Yes, your life will be completely different. You will change as a person. Your feelings and fears will change.
I spent five years suffering from depression and anxiety to scared to do anything. To scared of sex, as getting pregnant again was my biggest fear. My stroke was due to hormones from child birth. Which is rare. The help that was out there was aimed at older people. I was 24-years-old. My son was a month old. My while life had been ripped apart in a matter of seconds.
Advice for a young person who had a very active sex life before her stroke was non-existent.
Information can be found here. Although there is a bit more informative than what it was 14 years ago, I still don’t feel there is enough information.
The one and only time my partner and I tried using a condom, as I was not able to use the pill or any form of hormone-based contraception, I unfortunately fell pregnant. As you can imagine, my world fell apart. It was 18 months post-stroke and I was not strong enough to look after myself, let alone another child. So I had a termination. This increased my fear of sex so much to the point where we didn’t have it. My partner was frustrated, I was frustrated, it just wasn’t a very nice way to live.
Then one day something just changed. I excepted I had had a stroke, that I was now disabled, and that my life had changed dramatically. But I felt fine about it. I didn’t carry the stigma of what being disabled meant. I was going to be different. Try things that people thought I couldn’t do. I was going to try everything, and I have. There are still things I want to try.
I found my love of burlesque. I now dance, and do stand-up comedy as a disabled performer.
This has increased my confidence to a point that I know longer feel shame of being disabled. I love myself and I live my body. I am plus-size, which carries stigmas as well.
Sex after stroke is tricky, especially finding positions that work for the both of you. Experimenting is key. Please try not to feel self-conscious. If you are confident as a person and have accepted what has happened you will find things a lot easier. Also, talk to your partner, no matter how uncomfortable you may be feeling. It not only helps bring you closer as a couple, you will probably find your partner is feeling the same. It’s great to discuss things with your partner – a strong relationship can survive anything.
I’m a huge lover of foreplay. Some women like clitoral stimulation, others like internal. I have tried lots of different vibrators, from the rabbit ears which is quite nice, lipstick vibrators are ok but are more for internal stimulation. My great love is for wand vibrators.
The feeling from them is like no other.
I feel now is the time to talk about confidence and self-love. You need to accept what has happened to you. You need to like and love yourself, because if you don’t you will find it hard for others to love you. Masturbation is so important. It’s how you find out what you do and don’t like. The wand is perfect for that as you just need to hold it in place, no movement is needed!
I found my confidence through burlesque. I now perform as a disabled performer. I don’t care that I am disabled and overweight – I embrace it. Think about what you are good at or search around for things you could do which appeal, and go for it. Talk to your partner. Things are going to fail but that shouldn’t put you off try again.
Most importantly… have fun.