First, the boobies. They are quite frequently sore. I wouldn't quite go so far as to say they feel almost as if they are bruised, but they are typically quite tender particularly on the sides. My gynecologist has described my breasts as "lumpy, but with no lumps." Obviously this is very uncomfortable and any suggestions would be welcomed. I've heard that iodine helps a great deal with breast tenderness- does anyone have any experience with this? What are some good sources of iodine other than seaweed and salt?
As a side note, my breasts do not touch my breastbone in the center, like this. Instead the gap between them is raised off my chest- if you poked it you would find half an inch to an inch of space between the skin between my breasts and my actual breastbone. While I wouldn't call it a "mono-boob" by any means, the distinction between my breasts is not absolute as it is in that photo. Unfortunately I don't have a picture for you to reference, but I've always wondered if this is normal (my gyno doesn't know, and my physician says it is but I don't trust her judgment, unfortunately; although my breasts being "normal" is certainly not something I'm stressing out about- I'm merely curious) and if this could mean that there is some sort of lack of support for the weight of my breasts which is aggravating or even causing the above-mentioned breast tenderness. I realize this might not be possible to reflect on without a picture but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
In addition, I'm suffering from a serious lack of a sex drive and I could use some advice. This one is going to be very long, because it's ery upsetting to me and I've thought about it a lot.
For as long as I can remember, I've been a sexual person but never particularly enthusiastic about the idea of sex, if that makes sense. I began masturbating at about age nine and I've been turned on by S&M-type stuff since well before that (before I really understood what it was, obviously). As a child and teenager I used to fantasize about sex quite often and I've enjoyed sex in the past, but for the most part it's always been about the orgasm for me. I never really thought I'd ever have sex, and I was just fine with that. It wasn't something I was terribly interested in.
I'm almost never "horny." I scarcely think about sex or crave it. On the rare occasions I do, it's rather like an itch: if I ignore it, it goes away; often it goes away on its own anyway. I'm typically horny for an hour or two at most and even then it's a very subtle thing, like "Hm. Sex. Sounds nice right about now." Since I'm at school or at work during the week and my boyfriend lives an hour away (I see him every other weekend), 95% of the time I don't get to act on this vague sense of sex-sounds-nice. Last time I did, we didn't have sex anyway. I enjoy foreplay, but I seem to lose interest as soon as there is any indication that penetration is going to take place. Pants come off? I become displeased. He plays with my clit to get me wet? No thank you. And I have no interest whatsoever in either performing or receiving oral sex. When we do have sex it's either because I'm letting him have sex with me, or because I'm forcing myself to try it because I know I'll like the end result (because I do ultimately enjoy it- just not til the very end!). Usually I experience pain or discomfort despite being quite wet (my gyno says I'm fine). Needless to say, our relationship is suffering a bit.
I'm polyamorous, currently living as monogamous. I've been with my boyfriend for nearly four years. I lost my virginity to him and my relationship with him has been my only long-term relationship. He hasn't had any other partners while with me; I've had two while with him. Both were short relationships, lasting about three months, and I only had sex with each of them twice. I was certainly turned on during these encounters, but I strongly believe that it was due to the new-ness of the experiences. Sex with a new person who is not my boyfriend! Exciting! Yet I can honestly say that in each of those encounters, I felt a definite sense of reluctance- this is exciting! But I'd rather not do it! But I'm gonna do it anyway! My boyfriend thinks the fact that I was turned on during these encounters means that he's doing something wrong. Missing something. I'm of the opinion that, because the relationships were so short and I had so few sexual encounters, my reactions don't mean anything other than I like having sex with new people for the first time. NRE does that. I personally feel that if the relationships had lasted, I'd have lost interest in sex eventually there as well. I feel that my reluctance during even these sexually exciting experiences means that the problem definitely lies with me, not my boyfriend.
I've been tracking my sex life since March 2009. After a New Year's Eve sob session revolving around my boy's belief that my lack of interest in sex means that he's not the one for me (because if you love someone, you desire physical intimacy with them), I looked at the data I'd been tracking and saw something interesting. Our sex life was rocky from the start because he didn't know how to get me to orgasm. While we were figuring that out (and after we figured it out) we averaged sex about 5 times a month. After my relationship with Secondary #1 sex dropped to 3 times a month. After my relationship with Secondary #2, it dropped to once a month- all averages of course. My interpretation of this is that my confidence is shot. That either my relationships failed and I'm so depressed that my sex drive is suffering, or that I feel "used" (both guys said they loved me, had sex with me, stopped talking to me shortly after, etc.) and I feel like a slut and my reaction to that feeling is to avoid sex. I have no idea if this is accurate, but if it is I don't know how to address it, either. I have absolutely no time for therapy (I love therapy, so it's not something I'd avoid), unfortunately.
Aside from that, I'm on HBC, antihistimines (for year-round allergies), and Lialda (for ulcerative colitis). I know of no libido-related side effects related to the latter, but anything's possible of course. Unfortunately this isn't a medication I can eliminate or switch, I haven't noticed any impact on my sex drive since I began taking it, anyway. I have stopped taking antihistimines for several weeks and not noticed any improvement to my sex drive. I've also gone off HBC for a month and noticed no improvement there either (I was entirely off all medications for a month), though I am considering switching anyway to see if it will help. Unfortunately, I began taking HBC before I was sexually active so I cannot compare my sex drive now to pre-HBC levels. I have suffered from depression and anxiety and I get stressed very easily but as my boyfriend pointed out, even if these are contributing to the problem they are not factors that are likely to go away any time soon.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.