I can’t do clit stuff anymore.

I’ve known this was coming for a long time. Years, in fact. But it still feels like a huge loss.

All this time, I’ve been lying to myself, pretending that everything is fine. And it’s hard to stop lying to yourself when you recieve no validation from the medical community. In my case, I haven’t even tried to seek validation. Before I got chronically ill, I was too ashamed to raise it with any of my doctors, and now that I’ve been chronically ill for 2 years, I’m too jaded by past disappointments to even think about it.

So why can’t I do clit stuff anymore, you may be wondering?

It’s because clitoral stimulation makes me feel really sick.

I now sort-of have a medical explanation for this. It’s called post-exertional malaise (PEM), a general feeling of unwellness brought on by exertion. For me it includes symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, shaking, vertigo, fatigue, headache and light-headedness.

I developed PEM 2 years ago when I became chronically ill, and it has basically controlled my life ever since. You’d be surprised by what counts as exertion for me. Taking a shower, pottering around the house, and feeling happy or excited can all trigger a flare-up of my post-exertional malaise. Unsurprisingly, sex can also be a trigger, but I’m trying to find ways to have sex that don’t cause a flare-up.

I wish that my weird symptoms after clitoral stimulation could be fully explained by PEM. But the truth is, clit stuff has made me ill for a lot longer than I’ve experienced PEM, and I don’t think anyone will ever be able to tell me why. PEM has just made things a lot worse. Before I got chronically ill, I might have felt a unwell for a few hours after masturbating. Now, I’m bedridden for days after having just 1 clitoral orgasm. I can no longer ignore what my body has been trying to tell me for years.

Long before I got chronically ill, I was already considering giving up clitoral stimulation. I’ve had a complicated relationship with my clit for years. I would tell people I “don’t enjoy clit stuff”, which was only half true. I desired clit stuff, but always ended up regretting actually doing it.

I realise now that a big part of the reason for that is simply guilt because of how sick clit stuff makes me feel. Masturbating could incapacitate me for hours, and to be unable to function normally as a result of doing something for sexual pleasure triggers a LOT of bad feelings for me. On top of that, I had guilt about not being able to orgasm from clitoral stimulation without certain fantasies or scenarios that subvert gender roles. I also had major struggles with self-control and not being able to stop masturbating when clitoral stimulation was involved (I suffered from sex addiction for several years).

So, post-exertional malaise has been the last straw in a long struggle with my clit. I used to make excuses for why I didn’t like vibrators or didn’t want partners touching my clit, along the lines of “I have psychological issues”. But while that was true as well, really, underlying it all, were physical issues. It’s liberating to finally be able to acknowledge that, even as I feel a sense of loss in realising a whole world of sexual experience is off-limits to me.

So what does this mean for the blog?

At this point, no more vibrator reviews. I know myself, I know my addictive personality, and I know that vibrators are a bad idea for me. Even if they’re designed for vaginal use. I can’t emphasise enough how much I struggle with self-control - if you put a vibrator of any kind in my hand, I will use it on my clit, against my better judgement.

So from now on, my vagina will get my undivided attention. Farewell, clit stuff. I’ll miss you. But also I won’t.