Feeling confident in the bedroom is a challenge for most in itself, let alone when you’ve got arthritis making things that bit more tricky. Worrying if it might hurt your joints or your partner seeing certain body parts and even finding the energy in the first place are all common things of concern for people with arthritis.
We’ve collected our top tips for keeping things alive in the bedroom and making it as enjoyable as it should be.
To put it bluntly, the best steps towards a satisfying sex life come from communicating with your partner.
An unwillingness to be open is often common, even today. However talking about what works, doesn’t work, what’s comfortable and perhaps what’s a little too uncomfortable is particularly important if you have arthritis.
Talking to friends and medical professionals is also a good idea. Whether it’s to learn about exploring new ideas, or to express concerns and feelings, reaching out to others will help build confidence within yourself and also allow better communication between you and your partner. Reassurance is another form of communication that’s useful if your partner doesn’t also suffer from arthritis; the knowledge that they’re not hurting you helps boost confidence and trust between each other.
Despite the movies making us believe that a passionate night in is supposed to be spontaneous, this fantasy is often more hard to make a reality. With or without arthritis, busy lifestyles tend to get in the way of spontaneity in the bedroom. This isn’t something to spend time getting upset about, because a little planning ahead of time will in fact lead to a better moment of intimacy for all.
There will always be good and bad days when it comes to arthritis. Recognising the good days is where love will be at its best. Just as with preparing meals in advance on the good days, save the romantic moments for those good days too!
With timing also comes preparation. Know when you’re at your most uncomfortable; arthritis particularly affects joints in the morning, so take this into consideration before getting down to it. Having a hot bath or shower is also an effective way to loosen up your joints and put your mind and body into a relaxed state. Electric blankets to warm up the bed are also a good investment.
Whether you’re on pain medication or have found faith in Flexiseq (or both; Flexiseq can be used in conjunction with other medication), taking action to ensure physical comfort is key to a romantic and enjoyable sex life.
When it comes to getting down to it, be imaginative. Depending on which partner suffers from arthritis, if not both, work to find the best positions that compliment you; whether that’s using a chair, lying on your side for the good old spooning or perhaps keeping it old school.
There is no shame or harm in researching positions together beforehand. Diagrams can be really helpful in getting your heads around what to try, take this page from Arthritis Research UK as a perfect example.
Just as we’ve shown how knowledge can be empowering, remembering that ‘perfection’ isn’t the aim is another way to feel confident. The movies like to make us expect perfection, but in reality it’s not going to always be how we imagine it. Relax and find yourself in the moment, building confidence from within!
Remember, your partner, whether they have arthritis or not, is someone who should understand that your arthritis might limit what you can do in the bedroom but it doesn't limit your passion or ability to have fun.