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Taking something up for Lent

One of my mantras since I started this blog has been the need to get creative if you want to keep your sex life going as a stroke-survivor.

Straightforward penis-in-vagina penetration under the bedclothes at 11pm on a Friday is not going to cut it - even assuming that penetration is possible, which it might not be. Erectile dysfunction is a common problem for male stroke survivors, either as a direct result of their brain damage, or as a side-effect of their post-stroke medication.

So, creativity is essential - and Mrs SS and I have decided to get creative for Lent. Yes, rather than giving something up, we are taking something up. Thanks to a friend who knows an awful lot about sexual creativity, we have a list of ways to achieve sexual arousal which specifically does not include pornography, either in film or book form.

At the moment, our (or rather, our friend's) list is 60 items long and we are looking for more. It ranges from ideas like writing and reading erotica, nipple play…

Sex is different after stroke - but you don't have to give up on it

It's been a while since I've posted here. Blame the general daily difficulties that come with being a stroke-survivor, the health issues which can raise their unattractive heads at any time, plus a realisation that I was probably doing too much, something which I tell other people not to do, of course.

All these meant something had to be put on the back-burner and this, plus another blog I write about naturism, was an obvious candidate to give way. But one of the stroke-survivor charities I support, Different Strokes (differentstrokes.co.uk) is running a campaign this month to highlight the issue of sex and relationships after stroke.

Obviously, it's an important business, especially for the 'younger' stroke-survivor and their partner/carer who may be struggling to process the fact that their sex-life as they knew it is over, probably for good. I am indebted to DS for the worrying statistic that 42% of people report a negative change in their relationship with thei…

Pump up the volume

I've started using a new toy this week. Well, it's not actually a toy, more a device or a piece of equipment.

I've bought a penis pump. There you are, I've said it. I've accepted that my middle-aged, stroke-affected penis needs some help. And not just from Mrs SS (or, indeed, from me); this is a different kind of help. The idea is that having your penis in an artificially-created vacuum for an extended (sorry!) period of time will eventually help it become firmer and, yes, longer.

It's not a quick process, obviously; I don't expect that using the pump for 10-15 minutes a day or more will instantly restore the kind of raging erection I could summon up at will in my mid-20s. I'm not entirely sure I'd want it to do so, to be honest. Our sex life has changed since then, as documented in this blog. We do different things in different ways, discovering them has been exciting and interesting and anyway, I'm not sure my heart could cope with the kind of…

Another step on our sexual journey

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that Mrs SS and I were about to take our sexual exploration to a whole new level. We were going to attend the fetish market known as the Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar (brumbazaar.co.uk).

We were going on the recommendation of a friend who has done a huge amount to help us expand our sexual horizons and when we did some research, we discovered that we knew at least three people who had previous experience of the event.

You can read about how we got on in our June visit in that previous post; I said there that we were hoping to go in August with two of our 'experienced' friends who could show us the ropes (as it were....).

Unfortunately, they couldn't attend the BBB held last weekend (August 19) because of a diary clash, but we decided to go on our own and we are glad that we did. We felt much more comfortable this time and certainly weren't fazed by all the sexual toys and equipment on display, with products catering for all interests, fr…

Being gorgeous, desirable, sexy - and naked

Are you one of those people who has always felt that in order to look sexy or be desired, you had to have your hair properly done, be shaved in all the right places and (depending on gender....) have to be wearing the right amount of aftershave or have a full face of make-up on?

Well, thankfully, as someone who has been comfortable as a naturist for my whole life, the above doesn't apply to me. But it does for too many people, especially young people. And I'm happy to say that a good friend of mine, Rebecca Lowrie of self-alchemy.com, addressed this in a recent social media post.

She said that she used to have that attitude. But after many years of learning to love and accept herself, she now knows differently. In her post, she included a picture of herself without make-up, with her hair up and the word SEXY on the wall behind her.

She encouraged her readers to look in a mirror, right now, as they were and say to themselves that they are gorgeous, sexy and desirable RIGHT NOW.

Of …

Bizarre? No, not really.....

As I was saying before I was rudely interrupted by any manner of things over the past month, my wife and I were about to take our sexual exploration into a whole new sphere by attending the Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar (www.brumbazaar.co.uk).

It had been recommended by a friend of ours and although we have never classed ourselves as being into any form of sexual fetish, she pointed out that we had said we were looking to explore a little more "and anyway, fetish is whatever you want it to be. It doesn't have to be tying each other up, dungeons and leather and whips and all that. Fetish can be tickling each other's genitals, Tantric sex, using dildos and vibrators all over each other, even having sex in the kitchen, rather than the bedroom, for a change!''

So, we girded our loins (as it were...) and decided we'd go. And once we had, there was never any thought of backing out. We arrived at lunchtime and found the venue (a nightclub in Birmingham's Gay Quarter)…

Taking it slowly - in new directions

I began this blog primarily as somewhere to help stroke-survivors who still wanted a sex-life; those whose libido had gone up as a result of their stroke, but also those who didn't want to let go of the sex-life they had previously enjoyed; those who didn't want to let the words 'stroke-survivor' overwhelm their marriage or their relationship.

But I also did it for me and my wife; I was that survivor who didn't want to let go. And over the last few months, writing this blog has helped us massively. It has introduced us to new ways of thinking, new ways of enjoying and appreciating our sexuality.

I think the most important thing it has done is helped us realise that the 'bouncing-off-the-walls' penetrative sex we had when we first met in our mid-20s is no longer possible, or even appropriate. Lives move on, we are different people now, we've had different experiences, our sexual abilities and tastes have changed.

So does it matter that I can't achiev…