For several years leading up to my hysterectomy, I was physically incapable of enjoying sex. My doctor had explained that was fairly common with problems like mine; but with the majority of those problems currently behind me, she told me that after I should be able to get back to a healthy sex life after I was fully healed. This would have been great news for me except I had already come to the sobering (if not overly dramatic) conclusion that the universe simply did not want me to ever have sex again.
Grieving the loss of your libido isn’t exactly something you can bounce back from overnight. Having sex is not at all like riding a bike (mostly for reasons that involve not treating your partner like a method of transportation), and you can’t always assume that you’re going to be mentally prepared for any complications that might arise. It’s vital that you be honest with yourself and with your partner/s in the event that your coital hiatus took place while you were in a relationship.
There can be very real emotional obstacles involved in getting yourself back into the game after a long absence, so it’s important to take some time to evaluate just what you want out of your next rendezvous. Are you looking for something casual or non-committal? Are you looking to rekindle an old spark? Or are you hoping to find someone to settle down with? For me, as someone who prefers to get to know a person very well before doing the deed, this means that sex and dating might seem a bit more complicated than it did before.
For instance, when should the topic of kids be approached? Is it still taboo to talk about kids “too early” in the relationship? Before my surgery, I always tried to be open about the possibility that I might never be able to have children. It didn’t really matter if the topic was brought up on a first date or during pre-penetrative chit-chat, because those conversations didn’t seem to have a timeline and often happened when they needed to.
But knowing for certain that having children is not an option, I’ve started thinking about things a lot differently. Would it be easier to advertise my uteruslessness while dating online to avoid any potential awkwardness in real life? Do people who are serious about starting a family deserve to know up front that I can’t have children so they don’t waste their time? What if I am physically able to enjoy sex again but I can’t because I’m constantly over-thinking these kinds of things?
There aren’t always hard and fast answers to questions like this. It’s incredibly important to be open and honest about your sexual health with potential partners, but after my hysterectomy I suddenly feel like I can’t tell how much information is too much information. Maybe the most important thing to remember is that since I no longer have a biological clock governing my sex life, I have all the time in the world to think about it.