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The Art of Compersion

When I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis (IC), a painful bladder condition which leaves you with a permanent bladder infection, my doctors told me that it would be difficult to have sex. I read online articles and blogs about IC sufferers not able to keep a relationship because of their limited ability to handle penetration. I was devastated. My husband and I had been together for 8 years by this point and in the last four years I was in constant pain. I loved him dearly and didn’t want my new diagnosis to affect our relationship.

I was constantly in the mood for sex. I think having my pain sensation near my corpus cavernosum (female ecrectile tissue in the clitorus) made me feel this way. The pain and pleasure sensations were a little skewed. So, even though I was horney all the time, everytime I could act on it, penetration and intentional arousal caused a horrible pain in my abdomen. I had to figure out the limits of my own body and rediscover how to connect and communicate my needs effectively. I even considered allowing my husband to be with other females in order for him to be able to penetrate.

Polyamory is not just having multiple relationships. It is based on not feeling like you own your partner’s’ pleasure. Compersion is the opposite of jealousy. I felt that I had achieved compersion in other aspects of our relationship like when my husband would go on a bike ride and tell me how much fun he had even though I couldn’t go. I wanted my husband to be pleasured. He did so much for me everyday from making me breakfast to helping me to the toilet and rubbing my feet when the pain was too intense. I wanted him to have pleasure as well.

But how does one go about not being jealous and allow your partner to have relationships with others? How does one achieve compersion?

  1. Preparation communication is key. If you or your partner is interested in seeing other people as well as keeping your relationship, planning and pre communication is essential. This can also apply to couples who are not interested in seeing other people and just want to work on their jealousy issues.
  1. Live in the now. Be present and do not think about anything else but enjoying your partner’s company. Another good advice for couples who struggle with jealousy.
  1. Practice feeling joy for your partner’s accomplishments. Did he or she just achieve their 4 minute mile? Even though you cannot run, you can celebrate their commitment to their goal!

I wasn’t ready for another woman to be in my husband’s life, but I was okay with him having a fling to get out his need for penetration. So, while we weren’t ready and are still on the fence about Polyamory, studying how these relationships work helped us create more compersion in our relationship.

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