On Pleasure and Grief
*(content includes discussion of death and illness)*
This is not my typical post, allow me to start with that. This post will not be any sort of toy review, pleasure guide, or fun story, but rather an open and honest conversation I feel needs to be had (at least for me) right now.
The past two weeks or so, I have had a family member whom I am very close to get very sick and just last night, that family member passed after several days of being unable to communicate and being in mass amounts of pain. I have been having a hard time grasping this situation as this is a person I had, prior to recent events, viewed as being on top of the world and practically superhuman in terms of ability to withstand harsh things in life.
This news and period has brought a lot of questioning for me in terms of how I view those around me, my communication strategies, and even how I cope. I am from a family where we don’t talk about sadness or death or grief. We all deal with our feelings privately and continue our lives as usual, never taking any time off of work or seeking out counselling. I go to regularly scheduled counseling sessions but have never been willing to do anything beyond discussing matters briefly at my normal therapy sessions.
As someone who writes about all things sex and pleasure, it feels a bit off to not have considered how my own relationship with my pleasure and physical intimacy plays into grief, especially given that I’ve gone through sudden deaths of three people close to me in the last couple years.
Perhaps this is taboo because the last thing people want to think about when someone near to them passes is getting off but for me, it was sort of unavoidable. I feel that, honestly, physical intimacy and pleasure can be helpful in terms of helping us process emotions. It may be unorthodox, but I had a wild sex session for nearly two hours with my significant other last night and it’s the best I’ve felt in weeks. It allowed me to step out of my own head for a little while and experience and give pleasure in a way that felt freeing from the bounds of what society dictates as healthy ways to process pain.
Now, this is not to say I am not sad. I’ve spent my day thus far sitting at my desk feeling numb and unable to to do much of anything other than write out my current thoughts, but alas, nothing is linear. I just wanted to take this opportunity to address the fact that seeking out pleasure and physical intimacy during a period of grieving is not bad or wrong or selfish. You are not dishonoring someone who has passed. You are honoring your needs.
That said, it is also entirely normal to experience a steep decline in sex drive or desire for any intimacy. You do not need to force yourself into anything or feel a need to return to your pleasure life as normal.
The bottom line is that I just wanted to come on here very briefly and say that however you feel inclined to proceed or pause in terms of sex ans sensuality is entirely norma;l, fine and valid, and that we are all just doing our best to cope.
TLDR; it is okay to see out or avoid physical pleasure or intimacy during periods of grieving.