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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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Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has honestly changed my life. Before receiving treatment at Femina, I was going doctor to doctor to try and find the answer to my pelvic pain. It has taken me YEARS to find someone that can help fix this. It wasn't until my gynecologist recommended your clinic that I finally felt relief. My pelvic pain is almost gone, and granted I still have a lot more to work on with Laureen (my PT), my original problem is nearly cured. I am so grateful to her.

What is even better is she gave me practical exercises to do at home that were not tedious and provided instant (and lasting) relief. Although I mainly work with Laureen, my interaction with the owner (Heather) has been great. She is very generous, kind, and committed to her business.

It hurts to know there are women out there suffering who will never know or have the opportunity to work with women like Laureen and Heather because this issue is hardly talked about and this field is so rare. I hope more doctors and physical therapists see the value in this work and can relieve more woman of their pain.

-- Julie T., 12/4/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by Julie T.

Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has honestly changed my life. Before receiving treatment at Femina, I was going doctor to doctor to try and find the answer to my pelvic pain. It has taken me YEARS to find someone that can help fix this. It wasn't until my gynecologist recommended your clinic that I finally felt relief. My pelvic pain is almost gone, and granted I still have a lot more to work on with Laureen (my PT), my original problem is nearly cured. I am so grateful to her.

What is even better is she gave me practical exercises to do at home that were not tedious and provided instant (and lasting) relief. Although I mainly work with Laureen, my interaction with the owner (Heather) has been great. She is very generous, kind, and committed to her business.

It hurts to know there are women out there suffering who will never know or have the opportunity to work with women like Laureen and Heather because this issue is hardly talked about and this field is so rare. I hope more doctors and physical therapists see the value in this work and can relieve more woman of their pain.

-- Julie T., 12/4/16 via Yelp!

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.

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