The ideal situation for everyone with lichen sclerosus is to be able to manage the condition, to be comfortable and to be able to continue (or even start) a ‘normal’ sex life, for the rest of our lives. The ages of those who make contact range from teens and twenties to the over 80’s – yes both men and women still enjoy sex in later life and it is not just the mechanics of sex, it is the affection and intimacy that goes with physical closeness. When sexual difficulties come along, many women (and men) shun affection and closeness for fear of it leading to a sexual situation that they feel afraid of or that they believe will be so difficult that their partner will not understand. Over the years this organisation has received hundreds of emails asking for advice on how to manage problems that occur in their sexual relationships as a result of having lichen sclerosus. There are bound to be more questions than there are answers for because everyone’s sex life is unique to them, they will have their own likes, dislikes and beliefs. A good sex life is still possible. One of the keys to keeping your sex life alive, is to make sure that any problems are dealt with as soon as they happen. Some people make contact and say that they have not had sex for over 10 years and when you investigate further, what becomes clear is that the problem could have been overcome if it had been treated earlier.
Itching and soreness will make sex uncomfortable. Lack of lubrication will cause discomfort, not engaging in sufficient foreplay may also cause discomfort. Tearing will cause stinging and make many people afraid to continue. Narrowing of the vaginal opening is a common problem that can be helped by the use of vaginal dilators and if necessary, surgery. For men, if the foreskin is tight, there is help for this. There is no need to suffer. The medical profession can offer help. Labial fusion and also clitoral and clitoral hood fusion can be helped. Sex and sexuality is a huge, vast subject and is not only about the mechanics but the emotions as well. Some people who have developed difficulties with sexual activity then develop emotional and psychological problems. They find it hard to adjust to new ways of ‘making love’ – yes….’making love’ is important. In the 21st century the population is bombarded with articles on how to have better orgasms (not helpful if you have clitoral damage), how important sex is and how you are really not quite ‘normal’ unless your love/sex life conforms to what writers, media and cinema describe. It is for this reason that some of the links here will lead you to explore other ways of pleasing your partner, new ways to show your love, new thoughts about your body and pleasure and how to share in mutual pleasure without penetration, something that has become known as ‘outercourse’.
This page welcomes open discussion and not just if you have LS but if you have a partner who has LS and you need support too. You are encouraged to share here.