Sexual Side Effects

Okay, so if the title wasn’t clue enough, let me spell it out here. I’m going to be talking about sex, and how it fits into my life with the new medication. Which of course will require discussing how it fit in my life before. Not in a titillating way, but I’m not one to play coy language games and beat around the bush for the sake of sensitive sensibilities either. So if either the topics, or the combination of topics bothers or upsets you in any way, I’d suggest bailing right now. Like don’t even finish this paragraph, just leave. Cause while I’m more than happy to expand upon anything I’ve written here… If even after I’ve spent like… 100+ words warding you off, you read this and get cranky… I’m just going to mock you for it. Heads up. ;P Mostly, I’m writing this in part to vent some of my frustrations through a “Creative” outlet, and in part to try and provide insight into what “Sexual Side Effects” may actually look like when brought up as a side effect. A lot of times I’ve seen folks assume (For Men obviously, as that is the only perspective I can offer) that it means it’s harder to become aroused, and as a result, erect. But while that may be the case in some instances, that is not what I’ve experienced.

So, with that out of the way, let’s get to the subject in hand… well err… maybe at hand… *ahem*… it’s far too early in this for easy sex jokes. More seriously, to begin the contextualization, I’ll start out by stating that I’ve always had a rather healthy sexual appetite. That said, I’ve not had too much opportunity to discuss the subject of sex with most folks in my life (Puritan societal influence baked into our culture and all), nor have I gone out of my way to hide from it or avoid talking about it when the subject does come up either. Despite that, I hold the view that a more comfortable relationship with sex (And the conversations therein), would do our society wonders. Cause our current fetishization of the human body leads to all kinds of bizarre social behaviors (Folks freaking out about breast feeding in public, awkwardness when personal care tasks become necessary in a social situation, concerns about multi-gendered restrooms, etc.) due to folks not having a clear idea where the line between the body, and “The Sex” lies. You get questions like, Is it sexual if I see a woman’s breast? Is it sexual if I pass a stall where someone is using the restroom? and other ridiculousness. Not to mention that it breeds a weird kind of pseudo eroticism as advertisers and etc. try and play with this fetishism, because there are an incredible number of people out there for whom all their sexual experience is shaped by a few hours at school (Maybe… depending on where / when they grew up) and the media. And goodness forbid they ask anyone questions about any of it. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, women tend to bear the brunt of this fetishization but… I digress… all that’s a post for another day. Suffice it to say I’m very comfortable with both my desire for sex, and the conversations surrounding that desire.

Now, I’ve written before about my general world view. And having just very lightly established my thoughts about and relationship with sex, I will add that due to the limited range of stimuli I tend to… acknowledge? Sexual stimulation has always been a notably poignant experience compared to the general thrumm of life. It should come as no surprise then, that I am intimately familiar with all the sensations surrounding both my general state of arousal, and the entire series of elevations leading up to a potential climax. Whether alone or with a partner, I’ve come to (With extensive practice) know at precisely what level of sensation my arousal process shifts through the stages of pleasure. I contextualize this specifically because with this medication (And the medication I was on some time in the past before the stuff that caused last month’s shenanigans), the last few tiers of elevation are simply cut off. It’s as if the arousal process is muted, and the climax (If there is one), not only occurs at a perceived lower level, but is also Far less elevated itself. So even at climax, the entire experience results in less pleasure than simply moving up the stages of arousal provided before.

So what does this mean in practice? It means that while my actual desire to engage in sexual activity has not been muted even a little, the result of acting upon that desire is not only less satisfying, but also more difficult, and in whole, more frustrating that simply not acting upon it was before. Meaning an aspect of my life that had always provided both enjoyment, and measurable pleasure, has now been brought down to the same general buzz that the rest of my life hides beneath. Sure, it’s not the end of the world. And theoretically the medicine might at some point raise the level of that buzz overall… But for now, it is just one more streetlight burned out on the sidewalk of my life, and it was already hard enough to see the road ahead.

Less ‘Blue’

So yesterday was an interesting experiment. I wasn’t sure if I ‘Should’ write what I did, but it ended up being both cathartic, and allowed me the chance to step back and look at my thoughts from an outside perspective once more. Granted, I’ve already done that countless times in the past, but I enjoyed not only writing it, but this time, sharing it. Also, I realized that while ‘Exposing’ myself so openly ‘feels’ like I’ve revealed myself to the world, being less ridiculous I realize that very few people ever actually see what I write, so it’s less ‘to the world’, and more ‘to my mom’.. and maybe a few other people here and there. ;P As I don’t have anything else ‘interesting’ to write about at the moment, allow me the time to delve back into my head for a bit as I indulge my narcissism.

 

Following the thread that I tenuously touched upon yesterday, it’s interesting to note ‘what’ stimuli tends to resonate the strongest when I’m under the influence of the emptiness that comes. Rationally, one would assume that ‘all’ stimuli resonates equally, and then I get to choose which to pursue. While of course the choice of what to pursue is certainly always mine, it’s ‘easier’ to pursue the colloquially ‘negative’ emotions… and I’m not sure if that’s an associative thing learned through the years, or if there’s some kind of actually connected psychology there. ‘Common’ study insinuates the latter, but I’m not convinced.

 

For one thing, the negative stimuli isn’t ‘spontaneous’. I still need to engage the world as I always do, and it comes as it typically does. So if there were ‘truly’ an association there, I would assume that it would come regardless of the way I interact with the world. What ‘does’ happen though, is that there is an increased awareness of the stimuli when I’m ‘down’ that isn’t there when I’m not. As if it’s suddenly ‘louder’. And conversely, the colloquially ‘positive’ emotions are ‘muted’. So while being depressed doesn’t ‘make’ one negative, for reasons I have yet to nail down, it’s ‘easier’ to be ‘negative’ while depressed.

 

An interesting series of thoughts just occurred to me. “What” ‘actually’ occurs when I’m feeling ’empty’. I’m describing it here as if certain stimuli is ‘enhanced’, while others are ‘muted’… but what if ‘everything’ is muted (And due to the mellow way I always see things, I’m not particularly aware of it), and it’s just those few things that for some reason escape that? ‘Could’ I train myself to not allow the rest to be ‘muted’? And even going along with the idea that certain stimuli is ‘enhanced’, could I then ‘learn’ to use that for all stimuli, and possibly use it while I’m not ‘down’? I’ve certainly learned to modify my reaction, in some cases quite dramatically in ‘other’ ways, so there’s certainly potential… hmmm… I ‘almost’ want to be ‘down’ for a bit so I can observe this now. ;P

 

That’s all I’ve got for the moment. I went and ‘refreshed’ myself on what’s ‘current’ on Depression, and of course did the ‘link diving’ that happens when you just wander into Wikipedia. It’s ‘possible’ that the specific issue I’m dealing with is outlined here. Of course that’s a personal observation, and it carries no medical weight, but it does note a ‘lack of emotions’ for those who suffer from this under the Pathophysiology heading… which would comfortably explain both constructs I’ve outlined. If that’s the case though, I’ve been under this since childhood. O.o! Or I could just be seeing patterns where there are none. ;P