For the approximately 50 million Americans living with some sort of chronic pain, striking a balance between suffering and sexual pleasure is a complex process, especially when balancing another person's preferences during partnered sex. There is (unfortunately) not one magical sex position that works for every person facing chronic pain, so it can also take quite a lot of experimentation because each condition can manifest in a variety of ways.
For some, chronic pain appears in the form of fibromyalgia or hyperalgesia—an increased sensitivity to pain. For others, it can appear after an injury or surgery. However it starts, chronic pain can wreak havoc on a person's daily life and their ability to access sexual pleasure.
"The most common issue that we see that interferes with sexual activity due to chronic pain is decreased desire," explained Lee Phillips, a Washington, D.C., psychotherapist and AASECT certified sex therapist. "Often, when