Diabetes and Intimacy

Diabetes in the "bedroom" isn't necessarily sexy. Diabetics don't get to bare all, especially with pump and sensor attachments. And there's the anxiety of your blood glucose going too low or high during intimacy. How do you overcome diabetes in the bedroom? Let me share my intimate encounters with diabetes.



I'm having a 1990's flashback to Salt-N-Pepa's song Let's Talk About Sex right now. Diabetes and intimacy aren't really discussed openly. Maybe the subject is a bit on the taboo side. However, it's a topic that many diabetics struggle with.


So let me paint a picture...you're ready to take your relationship past "first base." You kick it off with a striptease. But then you realise all the diabetic attachments stuck to your body, and you can't take those off too. You're feeling a little embarrassed by these extra diabetic fixtures. You anxiously wonder if a low or high glucose will interrupt a climatic point. And let's not forget about the annoying beeping or vibrating notifications (not that kind of vibrating) from one of your devices.


I have felt all these burdening emotions during intimacy. So, now I'm showing you how to bring sexy back to embrace your diabetes in the bedroom.

"In the words of Justin Timberlake - I'm bringing sexy back diabetic-style."

What is sexy about diabetes when it comes to lovemaking!? It is definitely not the insulin pump attached to the belly, a CGM sensor on the bum, or that leftover adhesive still stuck on the leg. Insulin pumps and CGMs can be annoying, having to wear them 24/7. I totally get it - this device can make you self conscious, especially if you want to bare all or even wear a bathing suit.


Hide and Seek with my Pump


I was 21 years old and at university when I first got an insulin pump. The Medtronic rep told me, "it's just the size of a pager." Despite being 2002 at the time, this encouragement was so not encouraging. I couldn't embrace my new robot parts yet, so I tried to conceal them. Even during intimate encounters, I would sneakily take off my pump, leaving no evidence. I wasn't just hiding my diabetes. I was hiding a part of me and not comfortable in my own skin.


At the start of my husband and I's relationship, I didn't even tell him I was diabetic. When we were intimate, I switched between wearing my insulin pump to taking insulin shots. I didn't want to wear any extra attachments. I thought, "what if he found out; would he reject me or think I was strange!?" However, when I finally revealed my diabetic secret and insulin pump, he responded opposite of what I expected. He didn't mind one bit that I was diabetic and wondered why I would conceal it.


First, Love Your Diabetic Self


It takes time to feel comfortable as a diabetic and really embrace it. It also takes time to love your body. Bring confidence to the bedroom and keep out any self-consciousness. You have to realise that people don't give a hoot that you are a diabetic. We often believe that others will judge us before we get a chance to reveal our true self. When you accept diabetes is part of you, you can allow others to become closer to you. And when you get closer with someone, you can allow yourself to let go during intimacy instead of diabetes taking you away from the moment.


Preparation Prevents Interruption


To alleviate any anxiety of diabetic mishaps during sexy time, do some preparation at the start. Test your blood glucose and make sure it's correctly calibrated with your glucose monitoring system. Slightly higher blood glucose may be beneficial since sex is like exercise - you'll be burning calories. If you are wearing an insulin pump, consider reducing your basal rate or taking it off for a short time. For a do-not-disturb experience, silence those pesky alarm notifications or put them on vibrate. Be sure to have fruit juice or glucose tablets nearby in case you need to treat a hypo. They say practice makes perfect, so figure out what works for you.



Spice Up Your Diabetes


Here are a few ways to bring a little more sexy to your diabetes:

  • Try applying some sexy pump or CGM skins and patches. Check out some options at Funky Pumpers, Pimp My Diabetes and Pump Peelz.

  • If you want to wear your pump during lovemaking, get a garter belt to keep it clipped on.

  • Whatever accessory makes you feel sexy and comfortable with your diabetes, wear it - even if it's lace knickers.

Getting In the Mood


As a diabetic, you have to be in the right mindset for lovemaking and have a "normal" blood glucose. Highs and lows can lead to mood swings and hindering intimacy with your partner. Better manage your glucose numbers and take control of your diabetes so you can get into the mood! Now there are so many diabetic resources and health support to improve your diabetes management. With my health coaching programmes, I can help you stay healthy and feel confident with your diabetes.


To sum it all up, just be your sexy diabetic self and love the one your with!


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