Hi everyone. I’m conscious it’s been absolutely ages since I posted something. I must apologise to my fans, who have been patient in waiting for new material. You may snigger, but a few people have actually asked me when the next post is coming, so it must mean that on some level I am connecting with you, and it feels pretty good!
I don’t really have an excuse. Perhaps other things have got in the way, but I think deep down I have been putting off this particular post because it isn’t necessarily the easiest to talk about. Sex is a very personal and private subject, and as I sit on this metaphorical fence – on one side the thought of sharing some private details of my mildly embarrassing sex-life – and on the other, the inherent purpose of this Blog to share these details in order to truly relate to some people out there who probably need it the most – I think, maybe I’ll find a middle ground that just about works. After all, my parents read this shit, and my girlfriend! The one thing I would say; if you’re a diabetic reading this, please please please comment below on anything that strums a chord with you. I’m really keen to know how many other people go through what I do!! (You can stay anonymous too … I think).
But before I get into the good stuff, I want to reflect on the last few months. I’ve thought a lot about my last hypo which I described in my first post. I was seconds away from taking a glug of Lucozade which could have prevented the need for an Ambulance crew. Minutes away from it being a non-event, just another time my bloodsugar went low and I ate to correct it. No biggy. Instead, I’ve got the DVLA on my case if I have another episode within the next 10 months, they’re gagging to give me a driving disqualification. Anyway, it has made me realise how small the margins are. I’ve been fully savvy with a bloodsugar of 1.8 before, and yet have felt much worse at 2.5. It can be very inconsistent. As you read on, you will learn about all the signs I get when my bloodsugar drops. A drop of 0.5mmols (say, from 4.0 to 3.5) will trigger most of these. That’s less than one dextrose tablet. It blows my mind that that amount of sugar can have such huge ramifications on my body (and performance).
I’m pretty sure my Dad has had a 1.4 bloodsugar. What a legend #hedontneednosugar. I want to talk about him in another post. He deserves a mention in his own right because his dedication to controlling his diabetes has been inspirational for me. In his day, there were no blood-testing kits. You urinated on a stick and matched the colour to a scale which gave you a reading accurate to within 5 mmols I think. How times have changed, and to his credit, my Dad has changed with the times too.
Back to topic. Those of you who read my last post will know that sporting activity requires a lot of diabetes preparation. Changing background insulin, meal-time insulin, raising bloodsugar level thresholds are all things I have to think about when playing different kinds of sport. If you think of sex as a sport involving ‘physical activity’, and it certainly is with me (a warning, there will be loads of these kind of sarcastic jokes in this blog post – it’s a way for me to pretend I’m dynamite in bed without taking myself too seriously), then it won’t surprise you to hear that I struggle with spontaneity when it comes to sex.
I think I need a slang word for sex moving forward. Jay from The Inbetweeners coined the term “Business”, which I like because not only does it remind me of the creepy yet brilliant way he describes losing your virginity (while pretending to penetrate a woman from behind), it is a tenuous link to the way that sex to me can often be a job in itself. I will explain.
I hope I’m not the only diabetic that struggles with sexual spontaneity, and I’m sure I’m not. More than anything I’d love to be more spontaneous with a lot of things I do, but there’s always that annoying bloke on your shoulder saying, “you need to eat something” or “you should probably do a bloodtest”. Listen mate, my girlfriend is taking my trousers off. I haven’t got time for this right now. Can it wait?
He always sounds like Alan Partridge too, which is weird. Why isn’t he saying, “Jack-anack-anory. Overall, 7 on 10, let’s make love”?!
Most of the time I ignore Alan and go for it. About 80% of the time it works every time, and we both end up entirely satisfied, sometimes twice (oh no, another awkward joke for my Mum to read). The other 20% it massively backfires. All sorts of things can go wrong which leave you both feeling like complete shit. It’s the worse feeling ever.
I’m just going to tell it straight. There are a few ‘business-related’ signs of my bloodsugar being low. Lack of coordination with the hands and body. Penis shrivelled. Sweating. Inability to get or maintain an erection. Tiredness. Saying weird stuff.
Within that 20%, all of these will have happened to me at some point, often multiple things at once. They are all susceptible to killing the mood – and it’s hard to get it back because no matter what you eat you have to wait about 10mins for it to work. By this point, the missus has probably put the TV on. That’s my chance gone for another week!
It can make me feel very nervous and insecure. Many times after a low during sex I have doubted my ability to perform. My girlfriend Rosie has often got upset because she thinks that it’s somehow something that she’s done wrong. If only she really knew how ridiculous that was!! I can see why she thinks that though. I have to try and explain that it’s not her, it’s my useless pancreas. But given that I end up saying weird stuff (ref: above), I actually probably end up muttering, “It’s both of us,” which oddly never seems to help. When my bloodsugar drops in the act, let’s just say everything goes low (and small). FUCK. No matter how many times you stroke that salami, it ain’t getting any bigger. It’s like all the sugar in your body is stored in your penis, and when you have a low, the sugar takes all the blood away from your penis and turns it into sweat which then floods out of every pore in your body. Any lady would be lucky to have me. One time, I actually had a rant at my penis in front of Rosie.
“Why are you so shit?” “Why don’t you work?!”
How has she not left me.
Given the physical nature of sex (sometimes), it can also have a delayed reaction. I remember a hypo I had in the early morning whilst visiting a girl at University. Needless to say the night was successful, plus I’d had a few beers so I could go for what felt like ages. But overnight my bloodsugar plummeted and it gave her a bit of a shock when I started elbowing her in the face at 5am. Some women are into that kind of thing, but not this bird. Since then, I’ll always try and eat a snack afterwards, it’s like my alternative to a cigarette.
Having a really high bloodsugar isn’t much better either. If you try and play it safe by eating loads in preparation, you can end up needing a constant wee for the next hour (a normal yet very inconvenient sign of a high bloodsugar). It can also make you tired, make your mouth dry and your breath smell, so probably best to keep it somewhere in the middle if you can. Easier said than done, of course.
That’s enough. I won’t be able to look any of you in the eye for at least a month, but I feel like a weight has been lifted. It would be great to hear from fellow diabetics to reinforce that I’m not alone. Please post either on WordPress or my Instagram if you have anything to add. It would be great to hear from you.
But for now, enjoy your Easter holidays. I’m off to bathe in a pool of self-pity, safe in the knowledge that everyone knows that for 20% of the time, I’m shit in bed.
From that persistent old hummingbird. Cheers.