To maintain my health I have to practice abstinence. Do I indulge occasionally or never?
May 10, 2010 11:37 AM   Subscribe

To maintain my health I have to practice abstinence. Do I indulge occasionally or never?

I am a male in my 20s with pelvic pain. My main symptom is pain that gets worse with sexual activity or arousal.

Over the years the only solution I've found to avoid spiraling pain is to practice total abstinence. I'm trying different treatments with my urologist, but we haven't found anything that works yet.

This obviously takes a huge amount of discipline and has a profound hit on my quality of life. However, my body has consistently told me that this is what it needs to keep my condition under control. Overall, I am better off now practicing abstinence than I was before I started.

Recently I've been thinking of indulging occasionally just to give myself an occasional break. However, I wonder if indulging my desire will engender even more desire, thus defeating the purpose. I know from experience that sometimes the easiest way to get over something is never to think about it at all.

I am sure some principles about quitting various behaviors can be applicable here (e.g. quitting cold turkey or indulging occasionally), but I'm unfamiliar with this area.

Can anyone offer their thoughts?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)

I don't think anyone say how you would react to this except for yourself. If you read through old threads you'll see that some people find that an occasional indulgence let's them get through a long spell without. For others, a single taste/experience/etc. makes you crave it even more.
posted by mmascolino at 11:41 AM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

: "I wonder if indulging my desire will engender even more desire, thus defeating the purpose."

If you make it a scheduled thing, like say, every other Saturday, I think you'll be ok. It's not until you're rubbin' it out multiple times a day that you build up "tolerance", so to speak.
posted by notsnot at 11:44 AM on May 10, 2010

I think this will sort itself out. Pleasure will outweigh pain, until the pain outweighs the pleasure. You're in your 20s so your impulses are totally natural.

You need to get the underlying condition sorted out pronto. Are you overweight? If so, start an exercise program and eat better too.
posted by teedee2000 at 11:46 AM on May 10, 2010

I trust that you can manage your own medical care, but let me suggest that you get a second opinion.

A significant other of mine had the same issue for years and it was eventually solved by a non-urologist (infectious disease specialist and his primary care doc) who gave him 4 weeks of antibiotics.

I suggest not having sex because having sex makes you want more sex.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:06 PM on May 10, 2010

also...the more you associate sex with this pain, the harder it will be to get back on the horse, so to speak, and it might give you problems with sexual enjoyment in the future.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:10 PM on May 10, 2010

Do you have a diagnosed condition? Simply saying "if I have sex I have intense pelvic pain therefore I can't have sex" doesn't make a lot of sense, especially if there is a diagnosable condition and appropriate treatment available. Methods for quiting various behaviours work fine for drug and alcohol addiction, etc. but to tell a 20 year old to never have sex again sounds crazy. Find a doctor who can cure your problem so you CAN have sex again.
posted by MsKim at 2:29 PM on May 10, 2010 [4 favorites]

I'd practice abstinence - it's what I did when sex meant massive pelvic pain. BUT I was pregnant and then getting physio for it. So I had an end in sight.

(so yeah, it totally depends on how/why)
posted by geek anachronism at 2:57 PM on May 10, 2010

MsKim: This situation surprises me, also. But it does seem to be a real condition.(WikiLink)

I second the second opinion, though. It seems like there ought to be some other help out there.
posted by SLC Mom at 6:22 PM on May 10, 2010

I'm sorry I saw this thread so late, I hope you're still checking it.

Anonymous: male pelvic floor pain is very real, not that uncommon, and it is treatable. It is not normal to suffer pelvic floor pain, and it's not something you should have to live with, or god forbid, practice abstinence to avoid. There are a lot of different tools you can try to address this issue.

If you MeMail me and tell me where you live, I will find you a physical therapist in your area who specializes in pelvic floor dysfunction, and is qualified to treat it. Not just any PT will be able to help with this -- you need somebody who is experienced in these types of issues.

This book is one that a lot of patients I know have benefitted from, but it's best that you get a prescription from your urologist for physical therapy and see them in conjunction with using this book.
posted by jennyjenny at 2:38 PM on May 13, 2010

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