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chronic sex diary
Image courtesy of iStock/megaflopp
Health Writer Gabrielle Kassel has collaborated with us on a number of articles, and in this piece at Health Central she delves into the topic of whether you should keep a chronic sex diary to track the effects of any chronic conditions you have on your sex life. Here is a brief synopsis of the article along with a link to the full article below.

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,”

she says.

Contiune to the full article here to get the full lowdown on whether or not a chronic health diary can help improve your sex life.

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Testimonial by A.B.

Before I was referred to Heather Jeffcoat I was living in a nightmare. I had been married to my husband for three years and I was suffering from Vaginismus. That all changed when I visited my OBGYN and she said she knew of someone with a great success rate. To be honest I was hesitant at first because my first doctor had already told me that all I needed to do was order dilators from the internet and I should overcome my problem. She was wrong because I had followed the book on how to use the dilators with absolutely no advancements in my condition. However, that all changed when I went in for my first visit and Heather took the time to explain my condition and how we were going to work together to overcome it.

I remember leaving her office with a glimmer of hope that I could live a normal life. As my sessions continued I began to see immediate results. With only four sessions and a strict dedication to my home programs I was cured of Vaginismus. In the beginning of this process I was made aware that my health insurance company might not cover the costs, which was disappointing but today I can say one hundred percent that it was the best money I ever spent. Now thanks to Heather I am finally enjoying my life to the fullest with my husband. Thank you Heather, I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate all that you have done for me. I will never forget it. Those who are suffering from these types of conditions don’t be afraid because she makes you feel so comfortable and the end result is worth it. Good luck to you all and I hope you experience the success I have.
-- A.B.

Testimonial by Alexandra B.

Heather is without exaggerating AMAZING! After years of trouble with a certain part of my body, in no time, she made everything change back to equilibrium and to what would be considered normal. She explains everything in detail and therefore gives you a better understanding of why things are the way they are, and how you can work towards turning things around. I would highly recommend Heather for any type of Physical Therapy. She has created her own "Method/Therapy" through years of studying (with some of the greatest practitioners), practice and breaking down the issues of her past patients, enabling her to fine tune her own system. I'm so thankful to have found her, and I'm especially grateful for the quick recovery I've achieved, after years of distress. If you cannot afford her, I recommend you purchase her book. Although it may not be Heather in person, it can still help you to get on the right path to recovery!

-- Alexandra B., 5/20/2015 via Yelp!

Testimonial by Fritzette H.

I went to Heather after the birth of my third child. It was lucky, really, that I was referred to her, because my doctor had referred me to a surgeon for a possible hysterectomy or pelvic wall rebuild. Thankfully, I went to Heather before undergoing either surgery, she was able to fix the problem. She has studied extensively in women's health--even written a book about it--and was able to diagnose my problem, suggest a course of treatment (6 weeks), and then follow through with said treatment. By the end, as she said, I was as good as gold. Boy, was it worth it! Though uncomfortable to talk about, much less write about, it is worth getting the word out there. If you have painful intercourse, especially after birth or other trauma, the treatment may be as simple as Physical Therapy (with Heather, of course). I highly recommend her.

-- Fritzette H., 3/24/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by Ann V.

I wish i could give this place 10 stars!! 
I have been suffering from vaginismus for 5 years and never found the cure to it. I had seen an ob/gyn and he diagnosed me with vaginismus and told me i needed a surgery to cure my condition, which i refused to do. He also referred me to a PT that he works with, i had given them multiple calls and they never responded back to me, so i started searching yelp for another PT. I am SO HAPPY I found Heather's office! I was working with Laureen, and with her guidance and techniques i was able to be cured from vaginismus in only 2 1/2 short months!!! I couldn't believe how quickly their program worked for me! I am forever grateful and thankful from Heather, and Laureen! They are the absolute best at what they do!

Read more: Testimonial by Ann V.

Testimonial by S.P., Age 26

I would like to start off by thanking Heather Jeffcoat for educating me and curing me of Vaginismus. I had been married for almost three years before I was referred to Heather. I never knew about Vaginismus until almost three years into my marriage. I knew something was wrong when I went on my honeymoon and came back a Virgin. I had always imagined how magical my first night would be but boy was I wrong.

Read more: Testimonial by S.P., Age 26

Testimonial by A.W., age 32

I wanted to let you know that my pelvic floor held strong and gave me no trouble whatsoever in my trail race this morning (12 miles)! In a way, I felt like I ran better than ever because my core feels so rock solid from all the exercises you have me doing. That was especially valuable on the technical downhill - I just flew down the trail because I had confidence in my balance and form. Thank you for helping me get back to doing what I love.

-- A.W., age 32
(completed Post-partum Renewal Program using the InTone biofeedback/stim unit)

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