"Pleasure" : A lyrical essay about sex with ulcerative colitis

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A young woman in a grey top touches her skin as a prelude to sex with ulcerative colitis

"Pleasure" : A lyrical essay about sex with ulcerative colitis


After years of chronic pain

I fight to remember

To reconnect with my skin

I touch the softness of my thighs

The skin of my stomach, and around my stoma

I hold the scar at my pubic bone, grazing it gently

Reconnecting to my body

Trying to feel something other than pain

I roll around a bit, touching more of my skin

My breasts, my collarbone, my upper arms

I slowly turn it on and exhale

This breath is labored as well

I pretend that someone else is with me

Touching and helping me feel

Loving my body as I am now

I slowly use the toy, gently in and out

Feeling my lower abdominal muscles contract

The muscles remember

That not all contraction causes pain

They have a part in this pleasure too

I bring my hand to my left hip 

And feel bone and muscle moving under my skin

I rock back and forth as my hand traces my inner thigh

Remembering the beauty there

I find the connection back to my body through the mounting pleasure

Soon I find the exact spot I need

Like a wave in the cold sea, splashing against my skin, 

My fingers dig into my hip

Grasping onto my body as I become overwhelmed

With such a pleasurable feeling

..I know I’m alive.

My body can’t disappear when it still has the beautiful ability to produce this feeling.

Article by
Kristen Hutchison

Kristen Hutchison, the author of ""Pleasure," a lyrical essay about sex with ulcerative colitis is a medical writer. Her goal is to create universally approachable rhetoric in science and medicine. She has lived with Ulcerative Colitis for over a decade and advocates for dismissed voices in the complex world of healthcare.