Multiple Sclerosis and Sex in Men

There is certainly a degree of overlap between the sexual experiences of men and women  living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

MS wears most people out, regardless of sex or gender. Sexual relations become exhausting and perhaps painful, and yet, of course there is still a human desire to feel the physical and emotional pleasure, as well as the intimate connection, that can only come from sex. For men, the loss of libido can have an impact on their sexual satisfaction, confidence in building relationships and in current romantic partnerships1.

Maintaining a healthy sex life when you have MS

Fair warning, we’re getting honest, people. If real talk about sex makes you squirm, you may want to switch over to a different article at this point!

To put it bluntly, some men with MS find it difficult to achieve an erection, let alone an orgasm. And this isn’t something you can easily hide. So it’s time to get honest with your partner (and your doctor, which we’ll get to in a second). Don’t let him or her write sex off, just because it’s more difficult to achieve stimulation. If you want to be intimate with your significant other, tell them2!

Most people are not mind readers. Many of your partners may think they’re helping YOU by not having sex. They might fear hurting you and/or they might not know how to handle the sexual situation in such unfamiliar circumstances. Consider bringing your partner to your appointments and don’t be embarrassed to ask for sex tips TOGETHER! Seriously, ask your doctor anything and everything. You won’t be the first, and though sex may seem taboo, your health includes sexual function, so it’s the doctor’s job to help you find a solution. Ask ask ask2!!!

Once you get home, do your homework (with or without a partner, whatever your preference). Make yourself comfortable. Start playing around (no, we’re not talking about video games or puzzles people). Use trial and error to discover what feels good. One type of traditional stimulation may work, while another may not. It all depends on the individual, as people with MS may suffer from nerve damage in various locations. While one man with MS might enjoy a plain old stroke of his “Joe Schlomo,” another may feel nothing. Oral sex is an alternative, if your partner is willing3.

Furthermore, start small. Yes, most of us prefer BIG things, but baby steps take some of the pressure off. If you’re struggling with stimulation, don’t be upset if you can’t ejaculate. If you feel any pleasure at all, you’re on the right track. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t expect the city inside your pants to be, either.

The note we received reminded us of the importance of hope. There is always hope. Make sure to get your point across. Put any societal shame associated with sex to bed, and make sure you communicate how you feel. Don’t let anybody boss you around or treat you like a child. Scream at them if you have to. The passion has to start somewhere.

References:

  1. Website “MS Society”, Sex and relationship problems. Available at: https://www.mssociety.org.uk/about-ms/signs-and-symptoms/sex-and-relationships/sex-and-relationship-problems
  2. Website “MS Trust”, Sexual problems for men with MS. Available at: https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/sexual-problems-men-ms
  3. Website “MS Trust” Delayed or absent orgasms and ejaculation. Available at: https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/delayed-or-absent-orgasms-and-ejaculation#what-can-i-do-if-i-have-absent-orgasms-and-ejaculation
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