My sexuality has been greatly affected in the past year or so.
When I am feeling more manic, I experience hypersexuality. It explains much of my exploits when I was a teenager, and many times since then. I honestly cannot have sex enough. When I am depressed, however, it's the last thing on my mind. It's like my body doesn't even feel the touch - there is no response. It is horrible for me, and even more awful for Andrea.
My medications also complicate things. With the Divalproex I am quite lucky. It isn't very extreme when it comes to reducing libido - in fact, its one of the best mood stabilizers out there when it comes to sexual side effects. The effexor, on the other hand, is a completely different story. Effexor's affect on sex drive is quite high. As many as 75% of people taking effexor experience these effects - and I can say for certain that I am one of them. So with those medications, plus my general depressed mood - it's making sex really hard for me.
But there is one more thing...
All these medications, all these therapies, all this time has changed the physical way sex feels. It's like being a virgin again in the sense that I am nervous because I have no idea what's coming. No idea what is going to feel good. Worried that something might hurt, or worried about pleasing Andrea. It's all new again. Except, that I have complete recollection of how things used to feel. It's both frustrating and annoying, and completely overwhelming.
And then I feel awful for Andrea who has to bear the brunt of all of this and now feels that I don't want to be intimate with her, that I don't find her attractive. Really, that's not the case at all. Really, it's about me. But, I can't get her to understand that.
Bi-polar has affected every single aspect of my life.