3 Incredible People Who Overcame Their Sexual Struggles

Continued from part 1: No Sex Or Self-Pleasuring For Three Months!

How often do we take our ability to receive and give pleasure for granted?

As an able-bodied human being who walks, talks and goes about my days with ease, I am privileged to enjoy a fulfilling and easeful sex life. Recently I have commenced a three-month journey of celibacy and have really come to feel a great deal of gratitude for all that my body provides for me in my life when it comes to my sexuality. I feel grateful because I know that not everyone has the capacity to feel pleasure and sexual fulfilment like I do. This journey has really got me thinking about those individuals who, because of a disability or medical condition, do not have such ease when it comes to expressing their sexuality. I felt called to do some research on different demographics of people who struggle with their sexual expression to create awareness of the lives of others. With greater understanding of other people’s challenges, we can really come to know the gift that is our sexuality.

Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder

I love orgasms. I know many people who do. I love that feeling of excitement leading up to an orgasm and the ecstasy that follows in that post-coital bliss. I like orgasms so much having a few a day sounds like a dream to me. Many people spend a great deal of energy striving for more orgasms in their lives, with the female orgasm even an elusive mystery to many. It may be hard to believe if you enjoy them as much as me but for some individuals, orgasms are a living nightmare.

Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder is a debilitating medical condition where those with it are in a heightened state of arousal for extended periods throughout their days. PGAD affects mostly women, with only 2 reported cases in men (this was associated with restless leg syndrome). The arousal occurs uncontrollably, with no stimulation leading to it. Each person with this disorder varies in the extent of their symptoms, with some women having hundreds of orgasms in any given day.

Image: Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder

Some women who suffer with PGAD liken the state to being on the brink of orgasm for extended periods of time with no satiation or relief. If you’ve ever felt that frustration from being edged to the point of orgasm over and over again, you can imagine that excruciating state these women must be in all day. PGAD is most definitely not pleasurable or enjoyable in fact it is quite painful for women who have this sexual dysfunction.

Physical Disabilities

I recently met a man who works as an escort. He shared with me a story of a client who, because of a physical disability, had never had sex or self-pleasured her entire life. She had never interacted intimately with anyone despite being in her early 40’s, with her disability meaning she had difficulties using her hands and opening her legs. Being intimate with a man was something she had dreamed of since she was a teenager and because of my friend, she got to fulfil her desires.

Image: Disability and sex

Up until this point of hearing this story, I had some awareness around those individuals with disabilities who had extreme difficulties being sexual but it was quite detached from my reality. I was in tears hearing what her reality was like and how something as simple to me as self-pleasuring, which I so take for granted, was impossible for her.

Contrary to ridiculous myths that acknowledge people with disabilities as asexual, this demographic is just like any other with the same desires for connection, sexual exploration and intimacy as the rest of us. To deny them this right is cruel and unjust. There is even erotic furniture available in sex toy shops to assist people with disabilities during sex.

Sexual Trauma

In my previous life as a registered nurse, I worked in a psychiatric inpatient unit where I would hear story after story of people’s hardship and suffering. What really amazed me (in a disturbing way) was the extent of sexual abuse and trauma that many individuals had experienced. It came as no surprise to me when so many people shared their stories of sexual abuse during the #metoo campaign, with sexual trauma dramatically affecting one’s connection to their sexuality. The effects of sexual trauma vary from person to person, with difficulties establishing healthy relationships, hypo/hyperactive sexual desire, disassociation responses and challenges with boundaries just a few of the issues a person with a history of sexual trauma may encounter in their lives. Sexual trauma is debilitating for so many people and can lead them to have unhealthy sexual experiences even after the trauma has occurred.

Image: Stop sexual assault

My heart goes out to those people who for one reason or another, face extreme challenges when it comes to having a healthy connection to their sexuality. May those of us who have the ability to explore our sexuality with ease do so with the knowing that it is a gift not afforded to every being. May we also raise awareness for those individuals who do not have such ease so that they may gain access to the support they need in order to have a fulfilling connection to their sexuality.

Continue to part 3: My Celibacy Journey – A Born Again Virgin

Author: Stephanie Curtis, Sexologist

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