A question, maybe medical, maybe psychological, about gay sex & a medical condition (NSFW and gross discussion inside)
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (13 answers total)
Since you're past the NSFW tag, here's the more blunt version: I'm embarrassed to get fucked because of my hemorroids.
I'm a gay man who, over the years, has steadily had a more and more difficult time (psychologically) with receptive anal sex, due to the fact that I'm terribly self-conscious about hemorroids I've had almost my entire post-pubscent life. I suffered badly from IBS as a kid. In addition to having debilitating stomach cramps because of this, it also meant that I pushed too hard, and took far too long, when having a bowel movement. One hernia operation and a bunch of hemorroids later, I've learned how to control my diet and exercise such that I stay 'regular'... But I'm pretty sure my little 'friends' back there are permanent, at this point.
I saw a doctor some years ago about them, and after a cursory examination he proclaimed them not bad enough to warrant surgery (they were entirely un-swollen at the time, which makes me wonder how he could judge?), especially given that I don't really have flareups, in the sense that I hear about on TV. They never get sore or itchy. I could get elective surgery, he said, but then followed it up with horror stories about the recovery, potential infection, and in general explaining to me why he thought I shouldn't have the surgery if I didn't need it.
Despite not getting flareups, the fact of life is they do swell up. When I have a bowel movement, yes, but also if I'm in any position that encourages my muscles to relax down there. This includes, I'll say politely, a number of sexual positions involved in foreplay as well as actual anal sex. Worse, they also tend to bleed easily -- I got used to this as a kid, but during sex, I'm terrified not just of my partner seeing the swelling back there, but also being disgusted/frightened/etc. by any blood that may show up.
I'm sorry to go into such detail, but I want to make clear the circumstances of the situation, because besides the health concerns of having receptive anal sex while bleeding, there's no medical reason why I can't enjoy being on the receiving end of anal sex. I've tried talking about it with partners, and they're mostly just confused as to why it would bother me. You'd think this would encourage me, but it mostly just makes me think I've done a good job hiding them, and if they ever saw them they'd run screaming from the bedroom. As a result, I've done it less and less, and when people ask if I want to I usually come up with some excuse why we shouldn't, while on the inside wishing desperately to say yes.
I've read every piece of medical advice online that I can on the subject of hemorroids, and I've come to the conclusion that my options are to wait for them to go away on their own, get surgery, or just live with them. Every other remedy is just voodoo. Mine have gotten neither bigger nor smaller over the years, no matter what I've done.
Does anyone have any advice on how to be less self-conscious about this? Has anyone gone through the surgery, and should I really not consider it? Do I have any options besides just getting the hell over it?