Having Psoriasis and Loving Intimacy
Last updated: August 2023
Living with a visible condition like psoriasis, it can be quite the emotional challenge to be comfortable showing our full self to a person. Our raised plaques and cracked skin can make a person feel extremely insecure and when it comes to exposing them willingly, well, it can be quite vulnerable.
Our skin shouldn't stop us from connecting with a partner - and if a partner truly loves us, wants to support us, and wants to intimate with us, our skin shouldn't even be a topic of concern.
My own personal relationship with intimacy
Speaking honestly, the psoriasis on my skin makes me feel ugly most days. It's true. At my worst I was 80% covered and intimacy was not something I even wanted. Now, I would say I'm about 20% covered and find myself, at my current age, craving intimacy and emotional connection.
My husband is not much of an affection giver. This has worked in our relationship since my psoriasis took so much control over any type of skin exposure or physical touch. He shows up in different ways like emotional support and providing financially. We had a sex life, but I am now finding myself wanting more.
What intimacy truly means...
This is a new development and my wanting more intimacy doesn't come without its challenges. This approach really is like training a person in how you want to be loved. I think small changes and open communication can benefit both of us. Saying things like "Aren't you going to kiss your wife before you leave" has helped.
I will say my husband always holds my hand. When we were out sightseeing once, a gentleman made a comment that resonates with my husband to this day. He said, “That’s the way to be a man. Hold your woman’s hand proud and tell the world she is yours.”
The difference between sex and intimacy
I must make this clear, intimacy and sex are two different things. As my husband and I age, sex has been something we don't need as much. It honestly took a load off me mentally when my husband told me he was starting to have problems like men his age typically do. We decided together that sex was not a priority for us.
Communication, transparency and emotional support make all the difference in a marriage - and I'm thankful we have it. He did not want any kind of supplements and we moved forward. Without that in our lives, we've had to shift focus on what intimacy truly means and how we can incorporate into our lives.
Intimacy is possible when living with psoriasis.
Since this is now a priority for us, and he knows how I feel, things have really ramped up in the intimacy department. My husband comes up to me when he leaves just to kiss me farewell. He kisses me to say good night. There are times when he comes up to me just to give me a hug. I do the same things to him.
I have what I want in a partner. Pure joy at just being with someone without the pressures to perform. My psoriasis is no longer a factor in our sexual relationship. Now if I could just find the balance of the psoriasis not being a factor in my daily life, the sky would be the limit.
Are you recently diagnosed with psoriasis?