Okay, well we all have this crazy hives condition, right? So I thought it may be worth it to make a somewhat awkward post about the “S” word. And no, I am not talking about SCRATCHING (although we do that quite a bit as well)! I am talking about S-E-X. Don’t worry, I will keep this PG rated.
But this is a serious topic, as many people that have this condition may wonder how they can be intimate with their partner, without having the situation turn extremely bad by having a breakout of hives! People shouldn’t let Cholinergic Urticaria stop them from having a normal life, and this includes intimacy. This will probably be most beneficial to anyone who has just recently realized they have been cursed with Cholinergic Urticaria symptoms, and they are still finding ways to manage or treat it.
Cholinergic Urticaria and Sexual Intimacy
Let me start off by saying that I was lucky! I am now married to my wife of almost 3 years (we have been dating + married for almost 7 1/2 years total). I had my first experience with cholinergic urticaria before I met her. Then, after a few very rough months of my first experience with it, it magically went into remission and disappeared.
Shortly after that, I met my wife and we began dating. We dated for approximately 2-3 years or so until my cholinergic urticaria came back (which sucked!). So I was lucky in the fact that we actually got to date, and really learn a lot about each other before my hives came back into the picture. So we were already really close at that point, and we had just been married for a month or so before the hives were back.
But for those of you that may not already have a dating partner (boyfriend or girlfriend), or you aren’t married, then here are some tips so you can have those “intimate moments/sexual relationships” with your main squeeze when the moment arrives.
Also, I am a Christian, and a firm believer that sex is meant for a man and woman in the bonds of a marriage, and this post was written with those values in mind.
How to Have Intimacy (sex) While Dealing with Cholinergic Urticaria:
First, it would be a good idea to talk with your spouse before the intimacy comes into the picture. Of course, since you know each other, and the person actually sees you have a reaction, they will be understanding and at least know that you have to deal with a weird condition. My wife is really supportive, and completely understands my triggers, symptoms, and what happens to me. That REALLY helps a lot! If you are doing a “one night stand,” then you may have a rough time, and I suppose you would have a lot of explaining to do if you have a breakout. But things on this list will help you there too.
After you have told your “spouse” everything about your hives, and they understand, that will help out just in case you do ever experience a “breakout” during the heat of the moment. But, of course, the idea is to totally “AVOID” a breakout in the first place. Here are some things that can help:
- Try to sweat or have a good workout to force the sweat earlier in the day. A lot of people on the forum have indicated that they like to get a good workout in the morning, and the breakout will help them manage the hives for the rest of the day. This is because they usually have a bad breakout, and the histamine release takes time to rebuild itself (there is sometimes considered a refractory period of about 24 hours). So if you can sweat or initiate the hives to “come out” early in the day, it will reduce your chances of having a breakout later if you do have intimacy.
- If antihistamines help you manage your hives, then try to take some earlier that day, or at least a few hours before you suspect you may get “intimate.” The same goes for any other medications your doctor may have prescribed that help you. Just watch out about falling asleep from the drowsiness of the antihistamines!
- Crank up the air conditioner! If this takes place at your house, or if you can control the temperature in any way, do it! Turn on the air conditioner to a cooler temperature way before the moment may actually happen. This will help your body stay cooler.
- That does it for the pre-intimacy, now let’s talk about how to manage your hives “DURING” the intimacy- First, pace yourself! We can’t go crazy now can we? We know we have limits, and when we cross those limits we will pay a painful and itchy price! So try to keep yourself paced, maintain body temperature, and try not to get “too” hot and excited (or nervous) in the moment. We all know those things will trigger an outbreak, so we must use caution.
- Watch out for covers/blankets/sheets, etc. Any extra clothing, blankets, or anything else will keep all of our body heat close to your skin, which means you will be hotter. If you can-avoid sheets or covers as much as possible, you will reduce your risks of your body becoming hot to the point of an attack.
- Have a fan? Turn it on a low setting, and face it towards you (but not to the point where it looks like you are in the middle of a tornado!). This will work with the air conditioner to make it very cool, and blow away the excess heat you produce from your body! It can help you stay cool which=better chance of no hives.
- Know when to slow down, or let your “mate” take the wheel. If you start getting hot, you may want to slow down, and let your partner “steer” for a while so you can cool down. Again, this is where it will come in handy if your mate knows about your condition, and is understanding.
Now, of course, not all intimate moments can be planned so well. So you may have to keep those things in mind and do what you can. In terms of one-night-stands, you may be in a weird situation trying to explain to someone why you are scratching yourself uncontrollably. So, you may want to at least get to know them if possible. I am lucky that I not only knew my wife before I had to deal with this, but she is also the only woman I have ever been intimate with.
Okay, that’s it! Not to bad I hope. But those are some tips for those of you who may wonder how you can manage cholinergic urticaria during those intimate moments. Don’t let this crappy hives stuff keep you from living a normal and healthy life! Go get ’em tiger!