RA and Intimacy: Keeping Relationships Strong
How to keep your relationship strong and your sex life exciting.
6 Tips for Better Sex with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Building a better sex life with rheumatoid arthritis means experimenting
with your partner. Try some of these strategies suggested by women with RA and
Plan ahead. Plan sex for a time of day when you generally feel good
and time your medications so they will be at the peak of their effectiveness
then. Arrange your day so that you won't be tired from other activity.
Get warmed up. Do gentle exercise to improve your range of motion and
relax. Take a warm bath or shower to soothe your joints -- or better yet, take
one with your partner and make it part of your lovemaking. Take turns giving
each other a gentle massage.
Try new positions. If one position is uncomfortable, get creative --
experiment with new ones. For example, having your partner on top may be
painful for some women with RA. Trying lying side by side instead.
Expand your sexual repertoire. Slow down and rediscover foreplay --
leading up to sex or on its own. Stroking and kissing can provide an
alternative path to orgasms. Vibrators and oral sex are other options.
Remember, too, that both partners don't have to participate equally on any
given day. On some days, a warm hug and a gentle joint rub may be all it takes
to put you in a state of bliss.
Don't keep your partner guessing. This is not the time for
mystery.Let your partner know -- with actions, noises, and words -- what is
exciting, comfortable, and painful during sex.
Once you've had some conversations, Lubbers says, you can develop your own
language to indicate that the time is right. While planning ahead can be
helpful, taking advantage of the moment can be good, too. RA doesn't have to
spell the end to spontaneous sex. "You can have a shorthand signal for 'I feel
good, so let's fool around,' so you don't have to talk about it," she says,
"almost like the signals between the pitcher and catcher, to make it upbeat and