By Lady Marmalade, January 31 2017 —
For many people, sex and physical intimacy are important aspects of a relationship. The ability to get close, release tension and have fun can be positive and bond-strengthening. For some, sex might even be the best part of a relationship. But what happens when sex creates tension and frustration?
After I was diagnosed with depression and placed on antidepressants three years ago, my sexual life was affected. It wasn’t until after I started taking my medication that I entered a long-term, intimate relationship. And some of the side-effects of my medications clashed with my blossoming sex life.
Anorgasmia is a condition where it is extremely difficult or impossible to have an orgasm. This also happens to be one of the many side-effects of my medication.
The strain this condition can put on a relationship is unique and difficult to deal with. Trying to reassure my partner that it was not their fault led to a lot of stress and self-consciousness, not to mention feeling uncomfortable and never satisfied.
While searching through online forums to find solutions and connect with other individuals with anorgasmia, I encountered a very common mindset: “I would rather not be able to have an orgasm than be depressed.” This is a disheartening reality when you have to choose between your mental and sexual well-being.
I eventually found methods that allowed me to reach climax on my own, like purchasing an expensive vibrator and cutting down on my medications. But no matter how hard I tried to compensate, it seemed that my partner and I had hit a wall in our intimacy.
Unfortunately, most people don’t talk about anorgasmia. When you google, “I can’t have an orgasm,” posts come up recommending different positions, tips on how you should ask for cunnilingus and even an article claiming that the reason I wasn’t able to have an orgasm was because of other problems in my relationship. I even tried cutting out my medications altogether, but it didn’t make a difference.
I still enjoy sex with my partner and I tried to learn that sex is more about the journey than the destination. It took a little bit of the pressure off knowing that it wasn’t a requirement to orgasm during sex, as long as I enjoy myself and feel confident. Bringing pleasure to my partner has always been important to me, so I put some of my focus into doing that.
We’ve made it happen a couple of times. And while the elusive orgasm is still rare, I’ve been able to learn a lot about my body through this experience. Maybe one day having an orgasm will be something more common to my practices. But for now, I will continue to learn about my body and explore my sexuality.