For the past week I’ve been way less interested in sex than usual.
I’m still enjoying reading about it, watching, fidgeting with myself occasionally. I just haven’t had the urge to lock myself away with a bunch of toys and diddle myself cross-eyed.
I have a cold and a period, and I feel uncomfortable and tired doing anything physical – even sitting up straight – for more than 10 minutes. Right now I’m craving full-body hugs, being massaged where I ache (all over but particularly my shoulder blades and the small of my back) and long warm baths with someone else soaping me clean and towelling me dry. There’s nothing innocent about those cravings; I get giddy at the thought of having someone oblige me (that might also be the fever); but I’m happy to be a passive consumer for a while.
This threw into greater relief something I’d been mulling for a few weeks about how our bodies and reactions change over time, in the light of halving my medication two months back, and working out any bugs from that. One day I was on 20mg, the next I was on 10mg. The most obvious shift over the first few weeks was the return of my early morning wakefulness. Thankfully I got through that pretty quickly – 4am may well be lovely, but only in small doses. Importantly, my mood has remained consistent. But my toys feel different. Old favourites are getting completely different reactions, there’s apparently such a thing as too much power even without going near the Doxy, toys I wasn’t so fond of are coming into their own.
Both Epiphora and RedheadBedhead have written about the effect of prescription drugs on their sex lives. It’s a seriously under-reported issue because, you know, shame and embarrassment, but it’s a huge deal. The right-in-every-other-way medication made me almost asexual. That’s kind of bearable if you’re single and have other things on your mind – like staying sane in general – but it’s a kick in the teeth, guts, and balls if you aren’t, for you and any partners you have.
When I changed from paroxetine to citalopram, I finally got my orgasms back, albeit with a lot of time and effort and getting in the mood. They were HUGE intense affairs that wrenched at me emotionally as well as physically. Gradually, over a couple of months, they calmed down a bit, became easier, slightly more predictable, slightly less mentally exhausting.
This time around, in the glee of realising there was no creeping paranoia, no lethargy, no issues with my appetite, none of the dread and disconnectedness I’ve come to associate with being on not quite enough pills or worrying that I’m on not quite enough, and the lack of physical side effects I always got with a shift up or down on paroxetine, I forgot how long it took for the less obvious bits of me to adjust.
Physically I no longer have to go through the sexual equivalent of the Ring Cycle to come. It might not be as much of a release (relief?) at the end, but it’s much easier, quicker, and more controllable. I still prefer dual stimulation, but my clit is more responsive without being over-sensitive, and if I decide it’s time to finish up my body responds to the increase in effort pretty much instantly. The big ones, the G-Spot+clit orgasms, are still deep, delicious and good for terrifying the neighbours. But I’m also having glorious thigh-trembling spasms that make my eyes roll and my stomach clench without the sudden Game Over hyper-sensitivity that comes with the rollercoasters, as well as weaker, sweet, little things that mean I can actually get up and go about my life without needing half an hour to recover first.
Part of me misses the more frequent operatic, earth-shattering, ASBO-tempting, prolonged explosions, but I’ve already proven to myself they’re more a matter of holding back and building up than, as used to be the case, determined persistence. And, as is the situation this week, when I’m feeling more voyeuristic and less active participant, not feeling like getting off in the traditional sense doesn’t mean I don’t feel sexual.