Okay, 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 often, don’t we?)! I am talking about S-E-X. (Don’t worry, I will keep this PG rated.)
But this is a serious topic because many people who have this condition may wonder how they can be intimate with their spouse, without having the situation turn extremely bad by having an annoying hives reaction! People shouldn’t let cholinergic urticaria stop them from having a normal life, and this includes physical intimacy.
Cholinergic Urticaria and Sexual Intimacy
Let me start off by saying that I was blessed! I have been married to my wife for many years now. 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 remission, I met my future wife, and we began dating. We dated for about 1-3 years or so until my cholinergic urticaria came back (which wasn’t fun!). 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. We were already really close at that point, and we had just been married for a month or so before the hives came back.
For those of you worrying about the logistics of having physical intimacy while suffering from cholinergic urticaria, I hope this post will help you.
Also, I am a Christian, and a firm believer that sex is meant for a man and woman in the bonds of a marriage, so 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. Communication is extremely important. You should explain that you might need to stop if the itching becomes too intense, discuss which positions that may be best to minimize an attack, and so forth.
My wife was really supportive and completely understood my triggers, symptoms, and what would happen to me during the attack. That REALLY helped a lot!
After you have told your “spouse” everything about your hives, it will probably alleviate a lot of anxiety, and you’ll both know how to handle the situation if you suddenly become overcome by an attack of hives.
Nevertheless, the idea is to totally “AVOID” a breakout in the first place. Here are some pre-intimacy tips that can help:
- Try to sweat or have a good workout to force the sweat earlier in the day, if sweat therapy works and is safe for you. 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 (some people experience a refractory period of about 24 hours). So if you can sweat or initiate the hives to “come out” early in the day, it may reduce your chances of having a breakout later during 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 become “intimate.” The same goes for any other medications your doctor may have prescribed that help you. Just know that certain antihistamines can cause drowsiness, which may kill your mood!
- 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. Alternatively, making the room hotter (or more muggy) may help you to break a sweat. The best temperature setting will depend on whether you can sweat or prefer to stay cooler.
That does it for the pre-intimacy tips, 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 your body temperature, and try not to get “too” hot and excited in the moment.
- 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 avoid sheets or covers as much as possible, you will reduce your risks of your body reacting to the heat.
- Use 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 it’ll blow away the excess heat you produce from your body! It can help you stay cool, which means a better chance of no hives. You might even consider ice packs or an ice vest.
- Know when to slow down. If you start getting hot, you may want to slow down and let your partner “steer” for a while so that you can cool down. Again, this is where it will come in handy if your mate knows about your condition and is willing to accommodate your needs.
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.
Nevertheless, 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 obnoxious hives condition keep you from living a normal and healthy life!
Go get ’em, Tiger!