Arthritis is making my sex life difficult

Dear Rebecca,

I have arthritis, which affects my arms, shoulders, hips and back quite a bit. Often I find it difficult to get comfortable enough to relax and enjoy sex. Do you have any helpful suggestions?




Hi Kate,

Thank you for your email. Do you know the old saying, ‘Where there’s a will there’s a way’? Basically it means that if you’re willing to explore and be creative, you will be able to find ways to start enjoying sex again. Here are some suggestions to start with:

  1. Experiment with different positions – You may find that different positions work better at some times and not at others. It’s good to have a few favourites to choose from. Perhaps you and your partner could have fun doing some ‘dry-humping’ practice runs to see what feels good.
  2. Support your body – Try using extra cushions, pillows or rolled up towels to support different parts of your body. Don’t be afraid to change things in the middle of the action if you need to.
  3. Talk to your partner – Intimacy starts with communication so tell your partner how you feel. Tell them about any fear or concerns you have about being sexual. You might find that your partner also has some concerns. Getting it all out in the open will make it easier to ask for what you need.
  4. Spend lots of time on relaxing foreplay. Have a bath together or ask your partner for a massage. Ask them to stroke your body slowly and lovingly, to whisper sweet nothings in your ear or whatever else relaxes you and turns you on.
  5. Discover new, fun ways to be sexy together besides just penetrative sex. How about this – get yourself propped up and comfortable and let your partner treat you to a delicious sensual feast. You can either ask them for what you want, or let them surprise you. You can do the same for them when you feel up to it.
  6. Try different sex toys. There’s a whole world of wonderful sex toys out there that can add to your fun. This Cupid’s Couch might help you to get physically comfortable for example. Maybe a remote controlled vibrator? You just have to strategically place it between your legs and then the remote can be either in your hands or your partners!

Hope this is a good start for you!

With love,


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