Now, this is a post that a couple of people have been asking me to write since the day I started this blog. How does sex work when you’ve got a body as unpredictable and undependable as mine?
Well, I have to start by saying, sex only works with an understanding partner. A partner who wasn’t willing to listen to me could do me a great deal of harm during sex – dislocated joints, torn tissue, sprains and strains, so on. Shoot, even with a guy who listens well, there’s a risk of doing all of that, but at least a guy who listens well will stop when I get injured and try to help me put myself back together! An understanding partner also hopefully doesn’t get frustrated when we start and have to stop because of yet another injury.
Right, so we have a partner who’s going to listen to what I say and be willing to accomodate himself to my needs.
Next, the set-up. That starts with the bed. No, seriously, the bed matters. A bed that’s too soft means that the only position possible is missionary, because if I put a hand or knee or…whatever…down on the bed, the pressure gets localized too much. If I put a hand down, it means that my wrist gets bent back because the heel of the hand sinks down while the fingers don’t. A bed that’s too hard means that no matter what position we try, I’m going to be hurting afterwards, but particularly bad would be anything that has me on my knees, because my kneecaps can’t take much pressure. Next come the pillows. I need a lot of support to be able to have sex. If it’s missionary position, I need pillows under my knees so that my hips aren’t flung all the way open (or the risk of sublux goes WAY up). If it’s doggy style, it’s got to be modified, with pillows under my hips and me reclining down on them, because otherwise it’s too much pressure on my shoulders and my hips.
Which kind of leads on to position. Missionary is the easiest on me, because it means my back is fully supported and my weight is distributed on a large area (as opposed to, for example, woman-on-top, where the weight is all on your knees). Next I suppose would be a modified doggy style, with pillows under my hips and me resting my weight on them, instead of all on my hands and knees. Woman-on-top hasn’t been possible for a while, because it is really easy to sublux a hip in that position. Spooning depends very much on the proportions of myself and my partner – I was only able to get things to line up properly with one ex. Man sitting up and me sitting down facing him (usually done in a chair, but can be done in bed) presents similar problems to woman-on-top with the added problem (if on the bed) of getting into the position – it’s hard to get my legs to move that way! (which is a shame – that used to be one of my favorite positions) In that position, it’s mostly my own enthusiasm that is the danger.
The other thing that comes into play with EDS is fragile tissue. When your tissues are fragile and tear or bruise easily, it becomes that much more important to have a lot of foreplay and a good lube. If my partner and I get a bit too eager and hurry things along, I’ll be sore for days because I’ll bruise inside. I can’t use spermicidal lubes because they increase the likelihood of microtears. For me, that means irritation and burning and itching and tenderness for days afterwards. The first time that happened, I completely freaked out and was convinced I had just gotten an STD! It took a rather panicked trip to the doctor to ease my mind. The issue with spermicides is frustrating because so many condoms are packaged with spermicides already applied to them. That’s part of why I always buy my own condoms. Personally, I don’t do well with most glycerine lubes. They get sticky as they dry, which can mean small tears in the tissue. They don’t last long enough, which again can mean small tears. I tend to use silicone lubes, which are much better on that count. Oil-based lubes are also okay, but you have to be careful with them because they are not compatible with condoms. Speaking of condoms, I’m not especially compatible with condoms. They cause more friction, which with my delicate tissues can mean injuries, especially if my partner has a lot of endurance in the sack. It’s very, very frustrating when you’re in a relationship where you’ve just started having sex and want it all the time but can only actually have sex once every 3-4 days.
Now, one of the particular issues I have is the combination of my preferred kinks with EDS. I’m a relatively vanilla girl, which is probably for the best with my body being what it is! There are really only 3 strong kinks I have, and only 2 really get hazardous with EDS. The easiest to deal with is being blindfolded – it makes injuries from accidental collision with a partner a bit more likely, but it’s really not all that dangerous. I also like being tied up/cuffed/pinned down. This one causes all kinds of problems. Before I learned not to fight the ties, there was an evening where I dislocated both shoulders. I’ve also put out my wrists more times than I can count. Part of what I like about being tied up is that sense of not being able to get away! Not being able to fight them without injuring myself takes that down a notch, because I always have to be mindful of my joints when I’m struggling. I definitely can’t ‘fight back’ as hard as I’d like to. The third issue is that I like ‘sharp’ pain. That is, I enjoy some whips and being spanked. It’s definitely more a mood thing than the others. The main thing that makes this one difficult is the level of control my partner has to have. It is difficult to trigger the sharp snap of pain on the skin without bruising the flesh beneath, especially with someone who bruises as easily as I do. And I HATE being bruised. In the BDSM world, when you talk about implements, you talk about ‘sting’ and ‘thud’. ‘Sting’ is exactly what I like – that sharp sensation on the skin. ‘Thud’ tends to refer to harder impacts against the flesh, often leading to some bruising. Personally, I prefer something with almost no thud, all sting, but used gently enough not to break the skin. If things are done to my liking, within an hour or two there should be no marks. Less if it’s done in the shower, typically. The boyfriend, being a gentle soul, was rather appalled by the idea of striking me when it was first brought up, but he agreed to try it and found that while he doesn’t enjoy the act of making contact like that, he does very much like the way I respond. I think he feels much the same about blindfolding and tying me up – it’s not that he enjoys being in control like that, it’s that he enjoys how much pleasure I get from not being in control. It’s a set-up that may sound rather odd, but it works for us. I get my fill of my kinks, and he gets off on how much I enjoy said kinks. (On a side note – I am very, very grateful that my kinks are relatively tame. I think if I was into more pain, or more submission, or more exotic kinks, the boyfriend would be so turned off by the idea that he wouldn’t even want to try it. What I like is close enough to vanilla that he was at least willing to give it a go!)
Um, I think I covered everything there. Please do feel free to ask questions, though I’ll admit I may not answer them if they make me…uncomfortable.