Libido, Love and Physical Pain

Libido is that delightful urge within us to seek physical, emotional and sexual pleasure and orgasmic release. Love nudges us to reach out to our desired partner. Love helps us to feel invincible, as if we can conquer all obstacles and overcome all difficulties. But pain can stop us dead in our tracks.

Pain has sometimes been called the 5th Vital Sign. When we feel pain, especially sharp, shooting, spasmodic and intense pain, most of us can only focus on one thing – relieving or getting rid of the pain. Once in a while, after an intense athletic workout, after an unexpected fall or injury, we may experience temporary pain which causes us to avoid sexual intimacy for a brief period of time. And usually our relationship does not suffer from such a brief hiatus.

But what happens when pain becomes the norm, when our body hurts most or even all of the time? What happens when we have difficulty turning our head, bending our spine or our knees, or supporting our body weight with our arms? What happens when severe body pain blocks our desire for sexual relations?

When our body is screaming in pain, desire for sex is usually not a very high priority. What we crave and need is to find a way to ease the pain. This is where love and nurturing can help us to overcome all obstacles. A loving partner can touch, massage and soothe our aching muscles, joints or overall pain.

Pain takes on a life of its own, demanding attention and respect. if we honor the pain and look for ways to diminish it, our natural libido can resume its rightful place in our life. When your body is in pain, do NOT ignore it and keep trying to please your partner at your own expense. Be open and honest. Talk to your partner. Share your fears and discover together whatever works to alleviate the pain.

Sometimes a warm bath or jacuzzi will help enhance your passion, especially if you share the experience. The warm water and vibrating sensations can help you and your partner experience sensual delight.

Get yourself moving. Sometimes pain begins to decrease as you walk and stretch and get circulation flowing into the aching body parts. Sometimes rest and relaxation and sleep are the best solutions.

If certain physical activities, such as sexual intercourse, are agonizingly painful, then explore with your partner some new ways to find pleasure together. Open communication, a sense of physical and emotional safety, and a relaxing environment (soothing music, dim lights, pleasant scents in the air, soft pillows, warm blankets) along with loving eye contact, kind words and gentle touch can help your brain bypass the pain signals. Sexual arousal enhances the release of feel good hormones and pain relieving endorphins. Sometimes just getting into a sexual encounter can help your pain temporarily diminish.

Pain is part of life. It affects all of us at some point in time, especially as we age. Pain can be unpleasant and certainly has the potential to limit our range of activities. But the pain does not have to interfere with, block or preclude the enjoyment of sensual and sexual pleasure. In a loving relationship, we can find a way back to pleasure, and sometimes that is the actual solution to eliminating the pain.

Michael Ortiz

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