Sex—Interrupted: Igniting Intimacy
While Living with Illness or Disability
Has your sex life been interrupted by a chronic health issue?
This book can help you recover the sexual excitement you thought was lost.
Do You Feel That Your Health Issues Have Ruined Your Sex Life?
Has the way you look or feel about yourself changed due to an autoimmune disease or medication side effects, from arthritis or loss of a body part? Do you believe that the changes make you less sexual?
Does it seem like your spouse or partner doesn’t realize how your chronic illness is stopping you from enjoying sex?
Do you imagine yourself growing old without the excitement and intimacy that good sex brings to a relationship?
If You Think Your Sex Life Is Over,
We Want You to Think Again
A chronic illness diagnosis or learning how to live with a disability might make you think your sex life is no longer important. But it does not have to be that way. Our culture has ingrained myths about sex and intimacy that stop us from living a fully sexual life in spite of imperfect health or physical change. In our book, we reveal those myths.
Myths like, “Good sex just happens.” Maybe that’s true in the movies, but in real life, preparation is key.
Or “Sex equals intercourse.” The truth is, there are many other ways to enjoy another person’s body—and your own!
Another myth is, “Disabled people aren’t interested in sex.” All kinds of people with disabilities are having sex, with the help of all kinds of assistive devices.
And then there’s the myth that’s especially widespread among people with chronic illness: “I’m no longer sexually attractive because of my imperfect health or body.” Chances are, your partner doesn’t believe that—and neither should you.
We want to help you to see these myths for what they are, and help you find ways to change your mind about them. We have worked with many people in similar situations to yours and we can make a difference in your life, too.
If pain and fatigue are preventing you from feeling sexy, give your partner our list of surefire ways to help you get in the mood.
If lack of flexibility is limiting what you can accomplish in the bedroom, find out why physical therapy can help.
If your ability to keep an erection is being affected by a chronic health issue, learn to successfully use that “little blue pill.”
Two Decades of Experience at Your Service
For more than two decades, Iris Zink and Jenny Thorn Palter have been working with and talking to people whose lives are affected by chronic illness or disability.
Iris Zink is best known for her entertaining and insightful talks at rheumatology, aging, women’s health, and personal wellness conferences. She also contributes to textbooks for nurses about the ways in which autoimmune medical conditions can complicate a person’s sex life. That dedication has reaped real benefits for her patients over the past 20 years. Iris’s belief in the importance of sexual health led her to write this book. In it she shares her considerable expertise with medical practitioners, who will be able to teach their patients how to regain and maintain a fulfilling sex life, despite illness or disability. Iris is a Certified Rheumatology Nurse Practitioner and an adjunct faculty member at Grand Valley State University, in Allendale, Michigan.
Jenny Thorn Palter
As editor-in-chief of Lupus Now magazine for 13 years, Jenny Thorn Palter interviewed dozens of healthcare professionals and people with lupus, which gave her a very good idea of what she would find as she researched topics for Sex—Interrupted. Her goal with this book is to reveal the truth about myths that keep us from having a fulfilling sex life, and to give hope and encouragement to the millions of people, and their partners, who think that their sex life may be lost forever. But it was her personal knowledge of how lupus and fibromyalgia can cause problems in a person’s sex life that convinced her to assist Iris in making the book a reality. Jenny earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Journalism from Texas A&M University.
"Providers and Patients Will Be More Open to Talking About the Importance of Sex and Intimacy"
“Sexuality and intimacy are not topics that many healthcare providers discuss with their patients, especially when those patients have a chronic illness or disability, although the need is high. Furthermore, people with disabilities are not often seen as sexual beings, yet they have the same amount of interest in sex as anyone else. While patients may feel embarrassed by discussing their sexual problems and concerns, the ability to address these issues in an open, accepting, and educational environment can greatly improve the patient-provider relationship. Iris does an excellent job of explaining the importance of intimacy with examples of conversations with patients, and by illustrating the truth about many of the sex “myths” we take for granted. Having trained under Iris, I have seen how her patients love and appreciate her for her direct yet lighthearted method of communication on sensitive topics. By using this communication style and the tips listed in the handbook, both providers and patients will be more open to talking about the importance sex and intimacy to overall health.”
—Claudia Rivera-Salas, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
"Straightforward yet written with a heart of compassion and empathy for those suffering. It’s a must- read!"
"Ms. Zink’s open, accepting, and kind approach in dealing with patients is easy to see and to appreciate in the clinical vignettes she includes."
"This book is a great resource for all dealing with or treating chronic diseases that interfere with a healthy sex life."