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Sex After a Serious Illness: What You Need to Know

Returning to Sex After a Serious Illness

Opening to sex after a serious illness, traumatic incident, or while adjusting to a chronic illness is scary.

Because good sex requires you to open vulnerably:

To share yourself deeply. To trust your body and let go. To relinquish control. To trust.

And when you feel like your body has betrayed you – or that you could have another medical emergency at any moment – that can all feel a bit much.

As an intimacy and relationship coach, I already knew this intellectually. But here I was, experiencing it up close and personal.

I wanted to have sex. I wanted to feel close and intimate and connected.

But I was also scared to let go:

That if I gave in to the pleasure, relinquished control, or worked myself up into an orgasmic state, I might have another seizure. That I’d end up in hospital again.

How likely was that scenario?

According to most medical advice*, not very.

But that’s not the point.

The fear was there. And when it comes to having sex after a serious illness, that fear needs to be dealt with.

As I leaned into that fear, I discovered some steps that helped me ease back into sex.

Not all of the following 7 steps will apply to your situation. Take what fits, but most of all listen to what you need and trust your own timing.

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