cover your eyes, family members…i’m not kidding, like, seriously consider sitting this one out for everyone’s (my) sake.
so, this is something that i’ve bopped back and forth between putting on the internet because content on the web, you know, it’s kind of like a bad tattoo: there to haunt you for forever. except for my own mother, who screams, “say sex!” when she takes people’s pictures, sex is a pretty awkward topic for everyone. especially when you have a little sticker jabbed on your love handle with a tube coming out of it…talk about hanky-panky happiness.
intimacy in our mid-twenties is already a terrifying and sensitive domain as it is, but when nature throws a few additional hurdles our way, feeling out of touch with your inner “goddess” can be a little challenging.
i have struggled with my body image for years. what girl hasn’t? if you are a girl and you haven’t over-analyzed every dimple, pimple, square millimeter of cellulite, or hair on your body then, well, you need a new mirror or i hate you. in high school, i was good at every sport i played, always had a boyfriend that was cool, and was always ~10lbs overweight. OH THE HORROR. my friends hated my complaints and my whining, because, “you have a guy that likes you, can it, sister” and i’d say, “but look at the cottage cheese on my tuckus!” and deep down, i was actually really hurting. being overweight even by the tiniest amount has always flat out sucked. on top of all that, adding diabetes to my most pivotal years of trying to identify with my blossoming, judy blume body, was a real doozy.
anyway, this post is supposed to be about getting jiggy with it and the logistical qualms that come with it as a diabetic, not puberty and all of its horror stories or how i deliberately buy mirrors that belong on a funny farm to make my legs look longer. at the end of the day, sexuality is human nature and it all boils down to being honest with yourself and other people involved whomever he or she may be, open lines of communication, and carrying yourself with pride, and respect. insulin pump, or no insulin pump.
on top of that whole holistic view of sexuality, let’s add the additional complication here and let’s get real with what it means. diabetes is not a “cock block” and by no means can you not get a little frisky when you want to, just because you have a pump, use injection pens, or have to test your blood sugar in the middle of the night.
however, there are a few things to consider. below you will find my super official “diabetics guide to getting some”:
1. own it. if he (or she) already knows that you’ve got a little derek (pump) clipped to your bra, there will be no surprises, right?? the more open and honest you can be about the situation way before there are other people involved in whether your bra is clipped in the back or it’s on the floor, the less they will care. and in all reality, who the heck are you wasting your time with if they DO care?! HM? boobs are boobs. don’t roll your eyes at me for that statement, we’ve all been with people we shouldn’t have, but i’m not going to sit here and encourage that kind of behavior – no bueno.
2. test before and after anything happens. if you know where your numbers are lingering well before the mood strikes, the candles are lit, and Big Sean is playing out of your Jambox, you’ll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. (i just started sweating writing that.)
3. when you go out to a bar, or over to a significant others’ house or wherever you’re going that could result in promiscuity, bring something with you as an emergency blood sugar picker upperer. no lie, i have needed to access a stash such as this many, many times. getting low when you’re not in the comfort of your own home, or bed, or kitchen, or anywhere really…well…it kills the mood pretty quick, we’ll put it that way.
4. don’t not sleep with your pump connected to you because you’re not sleeping alone. it’s okay to detach for an hour or so obviously… but when you go to sleep, it’s VERY easy to discreetly clip that little guy back on to you, and tuck it away. i literally pinkyswear no one will know the difference.
5. go with your gut. if this is a new person in your life, you’ll probably be uncomfortable sharing all of your pump secrets and the not so glamorous side of the whole diabetes thing. YES – there is a distinct possibility that he/she will react with a bit of surprise when you first tell them what’s happening with your pancreas. however, this moment should not be happening once your clothes are already off, this chat should happen long, long before that. but, if that is when the grand reveal occurs (love at first sight strikes around 1am after 13 vodka sodas, i know, i get it), and they still don’t seem comfortable, time to shut the operation down. sounds like they’re a loser anyway and he probably wouldn’t even buy you breakfast in the morning. just. not. that. worth it, home girl.
in conclusion, last time i checked, your pancreas secreted insulin, NOT hormones. so, if you like the guy (or girl. i really suck at this gender neutrality thing), the wine is flowing and your favorite ‘night moves’ playlist is speaking to you… go for it. don’t let your stupid little pump dictate how you feel when you’re in an intimate setting.
what i have learned through this journey of my teens and my early twenties, is that at the end of the day, it’s all about believing you’re capable of “giving off the vibe”. it’s never easy but you attract the right people at the right time. usually that time is when we are focused on exuding the energy of a confident, sexy woman, beaming with pride, positivity, and independence. diabetes, and being open about it when it comes to anything relating to men and relationships, has done nothing but improve that vibe i, and all other diabetic women out there give off. so let’s get it done, shall we?