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327th Friday Blog Roundup

It must be near Valentine’s Day because everyone and their mother (by which I mean every infertility organization and clinic … since it would be odd if everyone’s mother started writing me emails) are sending me tips on how to not allow infertility to decimate my sex life.

But I’m not really sure how you don’t have infertility decimate your sex life — at least for a short time.  I mean, it’s sort of like an anorexic’s relationship to food — you need food to live, but your relationship with food is killing you.  And you need intimacy in a relationship, but, come on, the sex-not-equaling-baby thing is soul killing.

It is really hard to want to have sex for fun after you’ve been having sex for days in a timed-manner or want to have sex when you’re bloated to hell from drugs.  Or when your heart hurts.  It is really hard to have sex when your heart feels like a shriveled raisin-of-a-thing barely beating under your ribs.  How are you supposed to become stimulated when you are just so fucking sad?

So if you are having mind-blowing sex this weekend, rock on.  But if you are not; if your body is so traumatized from transvaginal ultrasounds or you feel like sex is just a reminder of what is not working in your body or you are so sad that you can’t get intimate, then stop beating yourself up and stop reading those articles and stop putting MORE pressure on yourself.

You will get back to a happy sex life if you two are both going to work to get back to that place of intimacy.  But all problems don’t have to be solved at the same time.  Sometimes, solving one solves some of the other ones too.  So if not-letting-infertility-destroy-your-sex-life feels like too big a task right now, take the night to eat through a box of chocolates in bed.  And cuddle.  And tell each other what you love about each other.  And promise each other that this is a moment in time and the future won’t look like now.

I feel like instead of “Spice Up Your Sex Life During Infertility!” articles, there should be a simple Michael Pollan-like mantra:

Have sex. If you can. And if not, don’t stress and have it later.

14 words.  That’s the advice I wish I had read back then rather than the articles I did read that just made me feel guilty.  And I was reminded of that this week when I read my 3000th email on sex and infertility.


Instead of the Weekly What If: taking sex out of the equation, would you rather get a really good box of chocolates to eat without any impact to your body (they would magically be without calories or fat) or get an hour-long massage?


And now, the blogs…

Okay, this post is from last week, but I read it in my Reader on Friday, which means that I have two options — say “oh well” and move onto the next post, or break the rules and bring it to you this week.  I’m breaking the rules…  I am Vulnerable has a post about soup and vulnerability.  First of all, it starts out with a gorgeous story about finding a recipe she loves from a woman who has already died.  It then goes into the way she wants to live: “But I have to say that your comments and then the discovery of Leila’s blog have only reinforced for me the desire and intention to live with an open heart. Because everything is impermanent, but everything ripples out in ways that we cannot even begin to imagine. And I want my ripples to be reflections of who I am and what I believe most strongly.”  Like many of her posts, I felt myself nodding and it gave me food for thought.

The Eternal Guest Room has a post about the jumbled thoughts in her head when she can’t sleep.  Oh, this thought rang so true for me: “I feel like people must be tired of listening to me by now. I’m even kind of tired of listening to me at this point. I feel like I talk about it less and less, because I’ve already said it all, again and again, and it’s so old and tiresome.”  Didn’t she capture that amazingly well?  I just thought this was an aching, raw, dark, silent-scream-of-a-post.

And lastly, Two’s Company. Three’s a Family has a post about time spent with pregnant family.  It was a good night, but it had those moments.  You sort of felt as you read the post that you were the author, sitting in the room, silently processing the situation, knowing a very different reality than the one the family suspects.

The roundup to the Roundup: Have Sex. If you can. And if not, don’t stress and have it later. Chocolate or massage?  And lots of great posts to read.


1 HereWeGoAJen { 02.11.11 at 7:56 am }

Massage! I regularly eat boxes of chocolates anyway.

2 gingerandlime { 02.11.11 at 8:05 am }

Massage. Definitely massage.

Thanks for this; your Pollan-esque mantra is just what I needed right now.

3 Christina { 02.11.11 at 8:10 am }

Thanks for the mention!

I love the mantra! And i choose chocolates, even with all the calories and fat. Besides, chocolates are supposedly an aphrodisiac so maybe eating them in bed will help jump start something?

4 tash { 02.11.11 at 8:14 am }


5 mash { 02.11.11 at 8:21 am }

Oh gosh. What kind of chocolate? If it was dark chocolate and orange… it would be really hard to decide. Is it a gentle aromatherapy massage or one of those hard ones where they try to get the knots out of your back? In that case CHOCOLATE.

6 manymanymoons { 02.11.11 at 8:26 am }

Thank you for this post, I needed it. You have managed to put into words what has been rattling around in my brain for a long time. Seriously…thank you!

BTW – I’ll let strangers on the street rub my back if they ask nice so I’ll definitely take the massage every time.

7 Annie { 02.11.11 at 8:37 am }

I would take the chocolate without any hesitation, even if it WOULD make me fat. I am sick and tired of having others people’s hands all over me all the time. Hands off!!

8 Blanche { 02.11.11 at 8:37 am }

Massage, definitely.

Even taking calories out of the equation the effects are longer lasting.

9 Gail { 02.11.11 at 8:51 am }

Massage. No thinking about it or anything.

10 Bea { 02.11.11 at 8:58 am }

Is there not a 50/50 option? Because I could go a half hour massage and a little bit of chocolate.


11 JC { 02.11.11 at 9:02 am }

Massage definitely. I don’t splurge on them for myself and I do eat chocolate regularly.

12 serenity { 02.11.11 at 9:43 am }

I love you. You have, singlehandedly, made me feel so much better about my lack of interest in sex. I’m going to stop beating myself up now.

And a massage, hands down. Mostly because with sweets I can’t really eat too many before they taste gross. Too much sugar or something. And because I just started working out again this week and I’m super sore.


13 Another Dreamer { 02.11.11 at 9:52 am }

I would definitely go for the massage.

And thank you for this post too.

14 Sharon { 02.11.11 at 10:24 am }

I get an hour-long massage every 2-3 weeks, and I love them. So I would pick the really good box of chocolates with no body impact because that’s impossible to get in reality, and I love chocolate. 😉

15 Chickenpig { 02.11.11 at 10:47 am }

chocolate. I don’t like being touched by strangers, including getting my hair shampooed and cut. If my husband gave better massages perhaps….

My husband and I were very lucky (or unlucky, depending on your point of view) to have had sex eliminated from the baby making equation very early on. Since we can only get pregnant by IVF with ICSI, we have been free to enjoy sex strictly for sex sake. Aside for the couple of weeks during each cycle where we were on pelvic rest and/or too uncomfortable, IF hasn’t really affected us in that way. Being sad/angry/hopeless about not having kids always threw us into each others arms. Having children, on the other hand, has affected our sex life hardcore.

16 a { 02.11.11 at 11:14 am }

Chocolate! I’m so ticklish that even the thought of a massage makes my shoulders tense up! But I’d pick chocolate anyway because I love chocolate.

17 Esperanza { 02.11.11 at 11:41 am }

Hour long massage. Didn’t even finish reading it before I picked it. I LOVE ME A GOOD MASSAGE!

18 It is what it is { 02.11.11 at 12:46 pm }

Facial. Always, facial (as I approach my 45th birthday, ALWAYS, FACIAL) 🙂

19 Brandy { 02.11.11 at 12:58 pm }

Thank you for that advice! I went to a Resolve workshop last year and one session was held by a counselor. This was one of the topics she discussed. Her advice was to go home and have sex every day for two weeks. ??? Seriously? I was about to start IVF #2 at the time. Needless to say, I didn’t follow through on that.

20 geochick { 02.11.11 at 1:45 pm }

You hit the nail on the head yet again!

I choose massage. Ironic because I loooove great chocolate. Massage just popped into my head first.

21 Erica { 02.11.11 at 2:00 pm }

Massage, or probably even better, pedicure. Having pretty, soft feet is what makes me feel like a Varga Girl these days.

22 Amanda { 02.11.11 at 2:13 pm }

Massage! Way better than chocolates. The relaxation is provides is priceless.

Thanks for that advice on sex. When you put it that way, it seems less monumental of an issue, which is refreshing.

23 iamvulnerable { 02.11.11 at 2:21 pm }

Oh, thanks so much Mel! It is such a deep compliment to find my post on the roundup. I thought of you as I wrote it, actually – cause I know you love those bloggy connections and the meta-posts as much as I do.

I would take the massage, definitely. Seems more luxurious to me in my life right now. Could have something to do with the fact that I just downed two chocolate cupcakes topped with a dark chocolate mocha ganache, though…

24 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 02.11.11 at 3:17 pm }

Massage — though there are other sweets that would win out over the massage: specific brownies, cookie dough, certain cakes.

25 Aramelle { 02.11.11 at 3:29 pm }

This is a timely post for me. I actually have been pondering one for a while now about how infertility killed my sex life. I thought it would come back after we “made it,” but a year+ after baby, it’s still screwed up. I’m struggling with how to get past the emotional baggage that seems to be associated with sex now.

Can I have a box of chocolates while having a massage? Please? 🙂 If not, I’ll take the massage. One sounds extraordinarily heavenly right now.

26 Jonelle { 02.11.11 at 3:36 pm }

Can I have a massage whilst eating my chocolate?

27 Kir { 02.11.11 at 3:41 pm }

the chocolate, because massages hurt me (the fibromyalgia)

and those blog posts were wonderful and got me thinking.

sex is just not the same anymore, I am just thankful that I have a husband i love, even when we’re not intimate. I like him…and I love him and it gets us through.

28 magpie { 02.11.11 at 4:57 pm }

your 14 words rock.

29 Natalie { 02.11.11 at 5:39 pm }

I would take the massage. I can have chocolates any day.

30 IF'er { 02.11.11 at 6:30 pm }

And THANK YOU for saying what you did about infertility and sex.

31 Mali { 02.11.11 at 8:39 pm }

That’s a tough choice, mainly because I’ve never eaten a box of chocolates without impact to my body and therefore the accompanying guilt, and can’t imagine what it would feel like. So I’ll take the chocolates, for a once in a lifetime experience.

32 Deathstar { 02.11.11 at 11:19 pm }

Well, eating no consequence chocolate is SORT of like a massage for the tongue, isn’t it?

33 Missy { 02.12.11 at 4:20 am }

I read in the infertility books to have fun and make it not like work at all. I try to be spontaneous and seduce my husband so it doesn’t feel like work for him, but what about me? There are times when I just don’t wanna, but it’s supposed to be the right time… I’ll take a massage please!

34 Kristin (kekis) { 02.12.11 at 12:08 pm }

No brainer — go for the massage. You can always eat chocolate when it’s over! As for sex? Well, you gotta be careful. An unplanned pregnancy might be difficult. (ugh)

35 mrs spock { 02.12.11 at 1:50 pm }

Massage 100%

36 Jaime { 02.12.11 at 2:32 pm }

If I could specify dark chocolate, then a box of them for sure!

37 Sarah { 02.12.11 at 6:21 pm }

Definitely a massage! I feel like chocolate is almost an anytime kind of luxury, while a massage is a rare and wonderful thing :).

38 Hope { 02.13.11 at 1:06 am }

I’ll take a massage over chocolates any day!

Thanks for the mantra. It’s just what The Mister & I need. 🙂

39 Lut C. { 02.13.11 at 4:17 pm }

Too sad to get in the mood, definitely.

40 coffeegrl { 02.15.11 at 8:17 pm }

Massage – the thought of all that free ME time. Ah.

41 TasIVFer { 02.16.11 at 7:45 pm }

Really good box of chocolates to eat without any impact to your body! EVERY TIME – now please!!!

And what is this thing ‘sex’ you speak of?!??

42 Battynurse { 02.18.11 at 9:49 pm }

Totally the chocolate. Preferably really good chocolate like See’s Candies.

43 Battynurse { 02.18.11 at 9:50 pm }

Oh and I totally agree (although for different reasons) about the “what is this sex thing you speak of?” It’s been entirely too long.

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