Buying a house. It may not be a stressful event on the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory’s top 20 but it’s been stressful for us. We’re both anxious people and we loved the house, so we REALLY wanted it. Then, things went to shit. The seller’s agent was also part-owner / flipper of the house and when it appraised low it was our own personal World War 3. I was under so much stress that I had near-constant chest pain; turns out stress/anxiety really makes your gallbladder grumpy and that chest pain was mine freaking the fuck out. A little over a year later from the start of things and I’ll be having the fucker removed. So yes, we bought our first (and maybe only) house. We have been dealing with all the things (and then some) that new homeowners deal with, including slowly finding out that little things around the house weren’t as well-done as they seemed. Compound all of this with two people who both already have mental health issues, one of them (me) untreated and the other starting a new treatment and the stress continues. Add in an unknown “injury”for myself that’s stumping doctors and racking up bills. Add in 8 weeks of illness (5 of them fairly major including oral surgery) for the spouse and 4-5 months of illness for me culminating in my first surgery of my life. And hey just for good measure….let’s mix it all up with that lovely little side effect that some people get with untreated depression or anxiety: trouble keeping up with personal hygiene, things as simple as showering regularly. Yes, it’s a thing; it’s a thing we don’t talk about it, but it’s a thing1. The chances of us both having the ability to shower on the same day? Low.
Do you know what you get? You sure as hell don’t get laid.
And we both know that the lack of intimacy isn’t necessarily healthy for our relationship but we both see it for what it is – out of our control and something we’ll work on when our health improves. We know this and we miss it, but our libidos are too low to care *too* much, so at least we’re both in the same place. We know it’s nothing personal. But you don’t feel sexy when you haven’t showered in 4 days or brushed your teeth since yesterday.
But it feels a bit frightening for a sex blogger! Thankfully I’m no longer the “sexy” sort of sex blogger who writes erotica, takes sexy photos, writes about her sex life, etc. If I were I’d have nothing to write about. If I were, the pressure I’d be putting on myself would be huge. The lower sex drive is affecting my reviewing, though, too. It’s making me less interested overall in anything that doesn’t vibrate, for one. Dildos just don’t hold as much appeal to me. I could, were it not for the reviews, go a month or so right now without needing g-spot stimulation and that’s the sad truth. I have a Lelo Tiani 3 that I very badly wanted to review now that it’s being sold in the States once more but guess what that kinda requires: a partnered sex life. Guess who doesn’t have that right now? This guy. And when we do finally have PIV sex do I really want to waste time on a vibrator that I know won’t help me orgasm? Been there done that and I’d like to not repeat that again but that’s the life of a sex toy reviewer. It just means that, for now, I have to put the Tiani 3 review on hold and I feel awful about that.
[pullquote]Update: Since writing this post I got the chance to try the Nuelle Fiera Arouser for Her, a product designed for low libido[/pullquote]I reviewed the Doc Johnson Truskyn dildo because I felt strongly about telling everyone about the new, affordable dual-density silicone but I wasn’t really very sad to be done with using it so that I could move on to cutting it and burning it for science. The same thing happened with the CuRious Wand – I really wanted to tell you about it, penny stink and all, and re-acquainting myself with the Pure Wand as part of the testing was nice but I could have gone without it. Testing vibrators like the L’amourose Prism and We-Vibe Rave have been a different story because at least they vibrate. I can still form strong opinions about sex toys and feel good while using them. I can still orgasm; it’s just that I can go a week without even wanting to. I have this complete Orgasmatron X2 kit waiting on my review and trying to find the ability to really put it through the paces has been rough; as of this writing though I’m realizing that perhaps I need to just force it because I don’t know how many weeks after my surgery I’ll be in pain and unable to use insertable toys.
There’s no answers, and I’m not really seeking them. I don’t feel like I can just take time off again from the blog; I had to do that in 2013 (actually I thought I might have to quit) and it created a lot of problems. One of the problems being a drastic decrease in affiliate sales. My sales are finally at a level where they really are helping out with our household expenses and I can’t afford to see a drop. I don’t want to lose readership or followers. I don’t want to fall out of contact with my blogsquad – I fucking need them! At this point I think I can just be grateful that I can still orgasm and that I no longer have the “sexy” expectations hanging over me; due to a bit of a traumatic dramatic “thing” 4 years ago I lost all taste for that sort of thing. It was to such a dramatic degree that I didn’t just stop doing it, I hid it from view on the blog. You can’t easily navigate your way through to those sorts of posts anymore. But that’s a story for another time…
I wrote about my slowly-increasing depression a year ago, mere days before we found The House and that whole snowball of stress started building. I am no stranger to it, but back then the low libido hadn’t affected my desire to use any and all sex toys. I am, at least, in good company (if there is such a thing in this not-great space to be); plenty of other sexuality bloggers & reviewers have gone through this same thing. I don’t think it gets written about a lot. Sure, maybe we’ll tweet about it but it’s not a hot topic. So I kinda wanna drag this one out into the light – not at all for sympathy, please don’t fawn with sympathy – but in solidarity. There’s things that get discussed only in private messages and I’m ready to say “Here I am, here’s my issues, anybody with the same issue need to chat?”. Whatever pedestal you’ve maybe put me on, pull me down, I don’t belong there. I might feel a little broken some days, but deep down I know I’m not. And if you’re in the same boat, you’re not broken, either. Far from it. I know that this could be worse; I could be completely unable to orgasm. Couldn’t very well review regularly if that were the case. I could lack a support system and understanding spouse; I am grateful to have friends in the same boat and a spouse in the same boat! At least we’re going through this together. With Tumblr porn at the ready I will carry on and hope that soon it comes back, for both of us. In the meantime we’ll have substitute intimacy in the form of curling up together on the couch for TV time, finally sleeping in the same bed, and supporting each other. There are fixes and workarounds there’s something out there that will help me, I just have to find. I hope you are able to find the thing you need to help yourself, if you’re in a similar situation.
Some other posts and must-reads from other bloggers dealing with similar issues:
- Why don’t we talk about this? Oh that’s right, because not everyone is like this and the people who religiously shower once a day or more will judge you so fucking harsh. I have confided in other bloggers privately and we have compared notes on how long since our last shower. For those who are judging us, fuck you. Count your blessings. This isn’t abnormal ↩