It’s hard to write about sex when I want to die

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I had another post planned for today. It was Vaginismus Awareness Day yesterday, and season three of Netflix’s Sex Education comes out tomorrow, so I was going to write about how the show’s vaginismus plot-line has made so many people with vaginismus feel seen, but made me feel more broken. It would have been clever and timely and good. Instead I fell apart in public and cried while clutching my laptop to my chest. Instead I wrote this.

Content note for suicide, mental illness, OCD-like behaviour, and self-hating thoughts.

It’s hard to write about sex when I want to die.

I try not to talk about it. I try to keep the tweets that start with a content warning for mental illness and self-harm to a minimum. People don’t follow me for tweets about being suicidal; they follow me (I assume) for my nudes or the filth I write or because I say clever things about sex and gender and queerness. They don’t follow me to hear about how I don’t feel safe in my own kitchen anymore, or about how I wake up from nightmares screaming, or about my panic attacks.

That’s right: I have panic attacks now. Panic attacks, which are different from the anxiety attacks I’ve had regularly for the last six years. Instead of the rising tide of anxiety, there’s the sharp bite of panic and a tightness in my chest that makes it hard to breathe. They’re new, like the OCD-like behaviour is new. I took a year out of university to focus on my mental illness and get better, but it just feels like it got worse. I got worse.

Sure, there’s supposed to be a certain realness in writing that’s about sex. I pride myself on being authentic in my writing. I’m honest about my own experiences, even when they’re embarrassing or I feel like a fuck-up. But there’s a difference between a vulnerable and tweeting about how I need to wash my hands every time I touch my fridge – even if I use a piece of kitchen roll so I don’t actually touch it.

Me talking about how much I’m struggling right now doesn’t help anyone.

Sometimes I do tweet about it, of course. Sometimes I tell myself that it’s helpful for people to know that I’m human, to know that – alas – being a sex writer doesn’t mean I’m having super hot sex all the time. More often, I’m sobbing and can’t breathe, can’t think, and just need to do something to lessen the pain. Sometimes those tweets don’t get any replies, and the voice in my head tells me no one cares about me. Or sometimes they do and that’s worse, somehow, because someone offering me kind words or virtual hugs only makes me feel more alone when I’m falling apart and there’s no one there to hold me.

It’s so much easier to tweet about how good my junk smells, or about the bruises a partner left me with. It’s easier not to let everyone see how broken I feel – how useless, how pathetic. And I don’t want you to see me as useless or pathetic or broken. I want you to see me as strong and sexy. Not as someone who sometimes crawls under the covers to cry while hugging his laptop. Vulnerability might be sexy, in some contexts, but this isn’t just me being vulnerable. It’s me cracked open, raw and in pain.

So I try to hide the cracks. I paper over them with dick pics. I tweet about feeling gloriously slutty when I fuck two different people in one week, but I skip the bit about how I cried into a partners’ arms before we fucked because I was so sad it felt like I was splitting in two. And I do it with my friends too. I sext and wonder if I pretend to be this confident I’ll ever feel like it. I send nudes and wish that my sense of self-worth didn’t hang on the recipient’s response.

There’s been exactly eight days in the last year when I haven’t thought about killing myself at least once. I’ve changed my meds twice but haven’t found the ones that work best for me yet. I’ve been to group therapy, but while it helped it also brought to the surface hurt that hasn’t healed over. But you’re supposed to show your scars, not your wounds, so I try not to talk about the places inside me that pain pours out of like poison.

I have blogged about it, of course, but by this point it just feels like I’m repeating myself. I don’t have anything new to say about how much it hurts, how hard it is to keep making the choice to stay alive when my brain is screaming at me to kill myself. I’m so exhausted, and sometimes it feels like it will never get better. Sometimes it feels like I should just kill myself, because carrying on cannot be worth fighting this hard every single day.

But that doesn’t make good content. I hate myself so much, but talking about that doesn’t help anyone – and it gets boring. Blog posts like this don’t say anything meaningful, they’re just a self-indulgent stream of consciousness. The voice in my head calls me worthless, so I try to write something that will turn people on. I try to pretend that I’m fine, to act like I’m a badass who isn’t holding himself together by a thread.

I try to write about sex, but it’s hard to write about sex when I want to die. It’s hard to write about sex when I want to kill myself.

I’d like to reassure you that I am safe, I’m just sad right now. Today has been really hard and I needed to do something with the painful emotions I was feeling instead of just sitting with them and letting them eat me from the inside. That said, if you do want to buy myself a coffee through Ko-fi, I could really use one today.

Bulges and butt sex: fucking in the coffee shop toilets
Bulge

2 Comments

  1. Please don’t hide the cracks. They make me feel less alone. I had panic disorder for ten years. Then I had vulvodynia. This last year I’ve been struggling with feeling suicidal too, and a lot of that is because covid left me so disabled that I can’t even have sex or masturbate without causing severe pain. People need to hear these stories and they need to know how both physical AND mental health can impact sex and sexuality. It’s important to know that it doesn’t erase us, that we exist and are still valued and seen.

    I’m so sorry for what you are going through right now. It is SO hard. You are still strong and sexy even when you are also vulnerable and suicidal. Both those things can be true at the same time and I hope that you are able to hold on to that in those darkest moments. Love and strength to you.

  2. So much of what you wrote resonates with me. I feel less alone and I feel a pain too. That duality of just wanting to be held and at the same time of wishing no one knew me so it would be easier to disappear is one of the most painful things to endure day to day. You’re writing and posts are so vulnerable and powerful. I appreciate and am so thankful that you shared this and am so sorry for the pain and what you are going through. It’s hard and feeling harder as we awaken to more and more of what the world is. You are so very loved. Hang in there.

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