For Ann Marie J., having an open and honest dialogue with her partner is key to intimacy. Hear from her and Dr. Kaplan as they discuss ways to enjoy sex while being mindful of MS.
DISCUSSING SEX WITH YOUR PARTNER
Dr. Wanda Castro: Welcome to She Talks MS. My name is Wanda Castro and I’ll be your host. I work with Biogen, and today we will be talking about sexual health. Ann Marie, what is it like to open up to your sexual partner about MS?
Ann Marie J.: I am very open. I believe that it’s important that the more open I am, the more satisfying the experience can be. The last thing I want is to be in the moment, where I should be thinking about him, and thinking about us, but instead I'm thinking about oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. You know, the oh my gods should be more directed towards another kind of oh my god—Those days when I'm not feeling up to it, whether it be my fatigue, whether it be that my tingling, and my sensations are a little off, it's important that I let him know. Because in that, we’re then able to manage and try something else, or maybe a little later. It doesn't have to be right then, right now. That’s one of the things that I've learned, that it’s okay. Sometimes, let’s wait it out.
Wanda: How does that make you feel, having to make those decisions?
Ann Marie J.: It empowers me. It makes me feel like I’m in control again. MS is going to do what it’s going to do but at least in this moment, I can be in control, so that I can feel good, so that we can feel good.
Dr. Kaplan: That’s so important. So many of my patients say that they just feel like MS is out of their control, that’s when you have to find those moments where you can take control.
Wanda: Did you look for any help? Did you talk with your healthcare provider about this issue?
Ann Marie J.: I am all about you got to talk to someone, started with my doctor first. And also, though, in conjunction, I was reaching out to support groups. You know, it’s a lot of information that’s out there in the support groups. But sometimes, you know, it’s not about the information, it’s just more so, simple support to know that you’re not alone, you know, that there are others that are going through this, and then getting tips sometimes on how to deal with what you’re going through.
Dr. Kaplan: But I commend you so much for talking about this.
Wanda: What are other things have you found that work with you and your partner that allow you to enjoy sex while being mindful of your MS symptoms?
Ann Marie J.: It’s important to take the time to really explore each other’s body. Touching, kissing, and anything and everything else in between. You know, explore those places that at first hand, you probably overlooked. You’d be surprised, forehead kisses are quite nice. Back of your neck, very nice. Be open. I think if anything just with sexuality and just sex in general, I think it’s important for you to have an open conversation and dialogue, and that’s with or without MS. So, with that being said, talk to your partner. Talk to them in terms of how MS affects certain things, and let’s try something new, sometimes.
Dr. Kaplan: You know, so many people with MS are so familiar with their own body in a way that maybe people without MS aren’t. But transforming that and making that helpful in the bedroom, is really an amazing thing, and a wonderful thing.
Ann Marie J.: And sometimes, it could be a lot of fun in that journey.
Wanda: Well, Ann Marie, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. We know that’s difficult to open up about these topics. We hope that this inspires someone that is watching us to have these conversations and open up with their healthcare providers.
Ann Marie J.: Thank you.
Everyone’s experience with multiple sclerosis (MS) is different. Your healthcare provider should always be your primary source of information. The people in this video are paid spokespeople for Biogen.