Sex is a normal part of any intimate relationship. However, bad self-image in vitiligo can make anyone nervous about getting close to someone. A skin condition always takes a toll on the person’s self-confidence who is living with it and hence does have some level of negative effects on physical relationships.
As confirmed by a study by the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, most vitiligo fighters report the chronic disorder’s negative impact on sexual relationships. Most of these people attribute the problems to their embarrassment of showing their body during intimacy, which ultimately contributes to low self-esteem in vitiligo. Reading this blog can help you understand some of what you’re feeling. It can also help you work with your partner to build intimacy and find ways to have great physical chemistry.
Things to do before getting intimate
1. Talk it out
Coping with changes in your appearance takes time as vitiligo can affect your confidence and self-esteem. You may have unspoken fears and may avoid intimate encounters because of your fears.
Delaying intimacy will only increase the anxiety. It is essential to discuss with your partner how you feel about yourself. You may feel awkward at first but having an honest conversation about what you are finding difficult is the first step towards establishing great physical understanding.
2. Plan ahead
Rest up and plan at least a day ahead. You’ll be at your best when you’re not tired. Rest can also enhance sexual activity. Choose a time when you and your partner are both well-rested and won’t be interrupted. Wear clothes that are comfortable and easy to remove.
3. Work on the ambiance
It is essential to create a pleasant atmosphere and avoid being disturbed. Playing soft romantic music, candles, a warm room, and burning incense are some of the ways to create a romantic atmosphere.
4. Look attractive
Make an effort to look attractive and groom yourself. Attractive clothes and your favorite perfume can help you feel good about yourself. This will help you regain your confidence. Showering before sexual activity is essential as being clean and smelling good will enhance your appeal to your partner.
5. Do what makes you confident
Some people with vitiligo may choose to cover up the patches that show outside of their clothes by using self-tanning lotions. If it makes you confident, do that before getting closer. However, it’s always a bad idea to put makeup on patches underneath clothes. They will ultimately rub off and create a mess.
Things to do while having ‘it’
1. Feel the touch
Not every vitiligo fighter is good at opening up or expressing his/her feelings. Sometimes, gestures and touching may be used to substitute verbal communication. Start by being close to your partner, touching, handholding and caressing each other. Using touch can be one fascinating way to express your feelings and can greatly increase your sense of intimacy.
2. Explain it
Vitiligo on and around genitals can be overwhelming for the other person, especially if you don’t have vitiligo on the exposed area. If you find yourself in an intimate situation and notice that the other person is looking quizzically down below, take a second to explain what vitiligo is. Remember, most people don’t even know what it’s called. A brief explanation should suffice and probably help dissipate your partner’s anxiety around your vitiligo.
3. Use humor
Sexual attractiveness and intimacy are augmented by having fun together. Humor can be used as a part of intimacy as long as your partner understands the undertones of the humor. Use of jokes or humorous words or phrases to express feelings may add to intimacy as long as the meaning is clear. Humorous references to sexual feelings lighten the mood and increase desire.
4. Find a comfortable position
Finding the right position may be a case of trial and error, but in the end, it always works. Finding a position, which makes your partner see you, not vitiligo (quite literally) doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Consider it as an opportunity to explore what you can do in bed. Be sure and allow enough time to help compensate for slower physical responses.
Things to do after the ‘act’
1. Don’t give up
Remember that sex is not a performance. You don’t have to ‘succeed’ or ‘fail.’ It doesn’t always happen perfectly every time. You can start by getting to know your partner physically again. You could try hugs, cuddling, massaging each other with oils or lotions, or bathing together after a failed attempt. If you would like other ideas for lovemaking, there are many good books available in libraries.
2. Seek help
Talking about your feelings to your sex partner is difficult, so it can often help to get professional support. Counseling can offer you a safe space to find a way through the difficulties you’re facing. Sex therapy can also help you focus on your physical relationship.
Things to repeat on a regular basis
1. Fall in love with yourself
Learning to appreciate yourself can help you feel more at ease with your vitiligo. It will not always be easy. But, with practice, you can get there. The more comfortable you are with your body, the more comfortable your partners will be.
2. Always look your best
Always remember, looking attractive is a long-term effort. It should not last after just a few days. Make lifestyle changes to get it right. Small things like losing weight if you need to, stopping smoking, and cutting back on alcohol can make you more physically active, reducing vitiligo-induced stress and anxiety.
3. Stay positive
Of course, different people react to vitiligo in their own way, and there are little chances of girls or boys rejecting you because of your skin condition. However, even if this worst-case scenario arises, always think that you have one less superficial and horrible person in your life now.