HealthCentral | How (and Why) to Keep a Chronic Sex Diary
- Written by Heather Jeffcoat, DPT
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Heather Jeffcoat, DPT
Should You Keep A Chronic Sex Diary?
Doctors tell you to track your diet and exercise to benefit your health and well-being—so why not keep tabs on sex, too?
You might type up erotica-esque graphs for your group chats after going to Sex City with your new boo. But do you ever write details about your sex life down just for you? If you have a chronic condition, you might want to.
Keeping a chronic sex diary, according to both sexuality and pain management experts, has the power to connect you to your inner-pleasure seeker, as well as help you better understand the relationship between your condition and your ability to experience pleasure.
What Is a Chronic Sex Diary?
A sex journal, generally speaking, is a method for deepening and better-understanding your connection to your erotic self, explains sex educator Searah Deysach, owner of Early to Bed, a pleasure-product company in Chicago that ships worldwide. It’s a therapeutic tool designed to add a dose of mindfulness magic and raunchy reflection to your lovemaking, she says.
But a chronic sex diary isn’t just a sex diary kept by someone who just-so-happens to have a chronic condition. Usually, a chronic sex diary includes info about how the sexy session helped (or worsened) symptoms. Plus, things like when you took your meds, how you were feeling about your condition, and any therapies you’d recently used.
It should also include comments about where internalized ableism reared its dirty head while having sex, says Andrew Gurza, sex educator and chief disability officer and co-founder of Bump’n, a company that creates sex toys by disabled people for disabled people. In other words, if you're carrying around ideas about how sex “should” look or how your body “should” be able to move, jot that down. “If you have a chronic condition and disability, it’s common for sex-negative, ableist lingo and ideas to infiltrate your brain space and impact how you feel about yourself,” Gurza says. Naming when it happens can help you learn to better-control (read: halt) those thoughts.
The Benefits of Keeping a Chronic Sex Diary
A sexy diary can help anyone take their sex life from ‘woof’ to ‘wow’, according to Deysach. “By taking the time to reflect on your sexual experiences and what worked for you as well as your fantasies and desires, you can gain a broader understanding of what makes you tick,” she explains. That means you’ll have deeper understanding of your needs, and you will be able to more effectively communicate them to your lover and hopefully have a richer, fuller sex life, she says.
For people with chronic pain, however, keeping a sex diary offers several additional noteworthy benefits. Mainly: it can help reveal patterns between your condition (and condition management tools) and the pleasure (or lack thereof) of your play.
When you keep track of when you have your therapies or take your medication and jot down when you have your symptoms, you may notice a correlation that could lead to a change or modification in your prescribed therapies,”
explains Heather Jeffcoat, California-based doctor of physical therapy who specializes in sexual dysfunction and incontinence and author of Sex Without Pain: A Self-Treatment Guide to the Sex Life You Deserve. For example, someone might notice that their orgasm is strongest when their medicine is on the way out of their system and therefore, may try to have sex right when they wake up, before popping their pills.
Tracking the ebbs and flows of your frick-fracking has the added benefit of showing progress over time, she says.
When a chronic pain problem is present, it can be a challenge to see the progress on a day-to-day basis,”
she explains. But if you look at how you were four to six weeks (or months!) ago, and compare that to how you are today, you might be able to notice a decrease in the frequency of your primary complaint during pleasure time.
It can be hard for those with chronic conditions to see any progress unless their own words are staring back at them confirming it,”