Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Sex with a chronic illness: How to feel sexy when you feel so poorly



I’ve been terrified to write about this as I was recently diagnosed with the chronic illness ulcerated colitis but here it is, proof you can still have a cracking shag.

In truth, it has changed many things about who I am and how I feel about myself and this is only going to change more as my treatment progresses. 

If you don't know what ulcerated colitis is, it is a long-term condition where the colon and rectum become inflamed. According to the NHS website, the colon is the large intestine (bowel) and the rectum is the end of the bowel where stools are stored. 

Feeling sexy has never been a strong point for me as I’ve never felt good in my own skin wholeheartedly and I finally got to a place where I felt comfortable enough with my partner to fully express myself. 

Then along came my illness...

Nothing to me felt more unsexy than frequent trips to the toilet, constantly feeling sick and being extremely fatigued all the time. 

How was I supposed to perform and show my partner that I cared when I couldn’t even get out of the bathroom for longer than 20 minutes at a time and even the slightest touch was causing pain? 

My initial reaction was to push my partner away as much as possible so that he leaves me because he doesn’t want to be with someone like me anymore. 

The reality however was him not leaving and telling me that I’m beautiful regardless even though I didn’t feel like it! 

I hope you have wonderful and understanding partners, you deserve to still have pleasure and to enjoy making love or even a harmless shag.

Below are three things that I found really helpful to remember when I was feeling at my worst when it comes to getting your freak on... 

It may feel like there is no end to how you are feeling and with a chronic illness, it’s often knowing that there’s nothing you can do to make it better that causes the most distress. 

When suffering from a chronic illness just because in many cases it can’t be seen, doesn’t mean that you’re not in pain... all the time! 

This is when you have to be really honest with your partner if you’re in too much pain to do certain things as you shouldn't push yourself to do them and your partner should understand. 

Maybe the act of intercourse is something that you’re unable to do because the pain is too severe but foreplay may be possible and may even take your mind off it.

This is why communication is so important, if you have a lover who does not understand this and is pressuring/making you feel bad, leave for YOU and YOUR health!


Want to read more on this topic? Why not check out:

- You say 'from Duff to Buff', we say sometimes losing 8 stone is not what it seems: Chronic Illness Awareness

Be proud of yourself even if getting out of bed in the morning is the only thing you can manage that day and remember sometimes even the smallest things can make you feel so much sexier. 

Try and put on matching underwear if that is possible as even a tiny thing like that that no one else can see can make you feel so much better in yourself. 

Even taking 10 minutes out of your day to do some personal care, brush your hair, clean your teeth if you’re up to it maybe even painting your nails - they’re all little things that don’t take a lot of effort but will make you feel so much sexier.

Just remember don’t push it if it’s something that you’re unable to do understand that there will be better days that you’re able to do those things. 

Focus on the things you can do that day rather than the things that you can’t.

By stressing about the situation you are only going to make it worse. 

It’s proven that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. 

Speak with your partner openly about how you’re feeling and they are bound to understand as if they're a good lover they will only want what’s best for you if they can see that you’re in pain.

Again, we sadly can't change our illness but we can sure as hell change our perspective on it!


So the truth is you may not always feel the sexiest you’ve ever felt especially with a chronic illness. 

There will be times when you feel really really good about yourself and there will also be times where you literally feel like the worst you’ve ever felt - this is just the truth of the matter.

This article was never going to be one where I tell you to pull yourself together and try and be sexy because I know how difficult it can be. 

Do YOU, what’s best for YOU and what’s manageable for YOU and remember only YOU know your condition as well as you do!

Only you know what you go through but don’t push your partner away if they are trying to understand and help. 

Be open and honest with them and you’ll be surprised at how much they actually do understand. 



Written by VavaViolet's writer, Jessica Murray.



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