What’s a Normal Sex Life with Bipolar?
I get asked about the sex life of the bipolar on a regular basis. People want to know what’s “normal” or can they have that mythical “normal” sex life. Some of these people are partners of people with bipolar and others are the people with bipolar themselves. It seems we’re all a bit mystified as to how this mental illness affects our sex lives.
Well, I can’t say what is normal for you, but I can tell you what I know about bipolar and sex.
Are Bipolars Sexually Weird?
Well now. If I were to tell you about what it’s like to have sex with me it would probably involve more panting, smacking, scratching, screaming, gnawing and clawing than your average person. But that’s me. That’s just how I roll. It’s not necessarily indicative of the bipolar population as a whole.
What I will say about the bipolar population, from my tiny perspective, is it seems that:
- People with bipolar are more sexually adventurous than the average
- People with bipolar are more likely to have had sex with both genders
- People with bipolar may or may not identify as bisexual, regardless
Keep in mind, none of this is to suggest that people with bipolar are any less capable of monogamy than others. Some people have issues with it while others don't.
(Mind you, I have no stats to back any of that up. To the best of my knowledge no such research has been carried out.)
Hypersexuality and Bipolar
Part of this may be the hypersexuality that many people with bipolar disorder experience. Hypersexuality tends to occur during mania or hypomania and it creates the need for sex such that it seems you could claw through a wall if it meant getting to the sex on the other side. Picture being turned ravenously on by a dish towel. Or a floor lamp. Or a piece of tuna fish. And then needing to sate that need with the nearest warm body. Hypersexuality sort of like that.
(Of course, the opposite phenomenon also occurs. When in a depressed phase a person with bipolar may want nothing to do with sex at all.)
Bipolar Medication and Sex
Some people find that taking medication for bipolar dulls their desire for sex. This is a common problem, actually. But, believe me, many people with bipolar disorder still have healthy, fulfilling sex lives while taking their medication. And if your sex life is an issue for you, I recommend discussing it with your doctor as there are things that can be done to address that need. After all, sex is a part of life and it’s a part you don’t want, or need, to hang up just because you have a mental illness.
Having a “Normal” Sex Life with Bipolar
Look, I can’t tell you what is normal for you. It might be having sex every day, every week or every month. It might involve whips and chains or it might involve beaches and sunsets. That’s something only you can decide. What I can tell you is that it’s entirely possible for most people with bipolar to achieve the sex life that they want. There are therapeutic techniques that can deal with hypersexuality or low sex drive, and, of course, there are always medical options as well.
And remember, no matter what is happening with your sex life, it’s important to be open about it with your partner. If something is amiss your partner likely feels it too and it’s by dealing with it out in the open, and by getting help, that you can make it better.
Tracy, N. (2013, January 31). What’s a Normal Sex Life with Bipolar?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2013/01/normal-sex-bipolar
Author: Natasha Tracy
Hypomania reduces inhibitions so, yes, it can create a desire to do things you wouldn't normally do -- like use cocaine. It also tends to create a desire for pleasurable activities without worrying about the consequences -- again, this could be drug use.
So I seriously doubt you are alone.
- Natasha Tracy
I can see from reading back his text msgs where his moods seem to shift and wanted to ask if this seems right to people with more experience with this.
I suffer from anxiety and adjustment disorder myself and am only just putting myself back together after a nervous breakdown a month ago..which is when I met J. Yes I knew it was a bad idea but he seemed so nice and understanding about my breakdown and was happy to take things slowly.. So that's how we started, nice and slow.
Nice text msgs quickly turned to sexual ones. Which I have no interest in and tried to end things quick smart. He convinced me he cared a lot and I was worth waiting for for and so we continued. Again he starts with the sexual texts which I mostly either ignored or deflected with humour. We met up for a chat and a cuddle. He was so nice and caring and just loved to hold me. I was keeping my anxiety in check and started to relax and convinced myself that his sexting wasn't a big deal, tho it made me uneasy. As we texted more he would say more and I relaxed again. He works a lot and does volunteer emergency services work so not much spare time, which suited me as I like being alone. By week 3-4 the sexting gave way to venting about his boss who he had told off and who had driven away to return 4 hours later. I don't think too much of it. A few days later the tone of the msgs change again. To really sweet things and hinting at wanting to catch up more etc. I explained I had only been trying to fit into his busy schedule and cause minimal disruption in his life. Suddenly he had more time and wanted to spend more time with, saying he couldn't wait to hold me in his arms etc, so little miss adjustment disorder adjusts her schedule to meet up after work, the nite before our preplanned date, for a quick cuddle. I found it unusual he was being a bit sooky and no sexual comments had been made all day tho, so I asked if he was ok, not sleeping cos he was stressed or upset. He assured me he was fine. It was just him. So we meet up the next night and he seems a bit cranky at everyone bar me. Anyway things got a bit hot and heavy..not all the way but he was helped to 'release' ..which was over pretty quick..and that's where his next mood swing started I think. He pretty much had to go 10mins after his release. Somewhat stunned and anxious I didn't think too much of it and went home too. So our preplanned date was for 6:30 and I was getting myself organized when he sent a rather abrupt msg asking if I was still ok for date which I replied yes he then asked to make it an hour earlier which caused me to panic as I need a good bit of time to dry and straighten my hair and he msgd at 4:40pm. I said I would prefer 6:30 but can do 6 if he insists. Got back ok 6:30. When we got out our cars to go for walk in forest he looked like he hadn't slept or showered and would barely look at me. He walked ahead of me and I had to try keep up. I asked if he was ok with what happened the night before..he said yep..I asked if still thought I was a nice girl..he said yep. My anxiety started to kick in and so I tried to ignore his coldness and try get back to normal. When we sat under the trees he still wouldn't look at me, when I tried to make him laugh by kissing his ear he pulled away, when I moved closer cos I was cold he put an arm round me but his hand was on ground. Then he gets up and says he has to go to the supermarket.. An hour and quarter into our date. He gives me a quick hug and a kiss on my neck and I give him a squeeze on the but and say see ya next time and ran away before I cried. From multiple msgs a day to complete radio silence. When I msgd him 2 days later to ask if everything was ok he didn't reply until the next day late morning. His usual good morning texts are at 7:30am..his was reply was all good feeling a bit flat and took some time for myself..closely followed by a sexual one about how he doesn't regret what happened the other night listing the things and what he felt . I was so shocked all I could reply was glad ur ok. Again radio silence til I asked why are u hurting me I don't know what I've said or done for u too suddenly treat me like this. Again completely cold reply saying he's not he told me he was busy this time of year and that he had wanted to catch up earlier to spend more time with me on our date but I said no and not much he can do if he has to go to supermarket. I am ashamed to say my temper exploded and I said to stop f#*king with my head that I would take myself out of the equation so he could have all the time in the world. To which he replied ur choice not what I want but that's ur choice I was going to see if u wanted to catch up but all good. And it only gets worse from there.
Does someone with bipolar switch from being so nice and loving to ice cold in the blink of an eye? And if so do they feel bad after they switch back to nice. Does his behaviour sound like bipolar behaviour?
I'm so brain broken and after the things I said I feel terrible but I just had no idea until I read up on this
Major chances are you are not emotionally capable of any other kind of sex if you are all about the afforementioned "rough Sex". it is not an equal and healthy scenario. especially for the one often "required" to be dominant. there is no chance to show equality and vulnerability.
If I had a dollar for every BDSm woman on these post that says "me and my dom are healthy. He treats me well." Yeah, but could they TREAT HIM WELL? I don't mean sexually - I mean emotionally.
The very dynamic of the sex you say "Is just me" isn't productive, healthy or normal. It stems ALWAYS from daddy/parenting issues in my experience.
He's bipolar, found out and read up on it, he's a sex addict. He lives 8 houses by bus, train, trolley.....we spent few nights together . No sex or anything else. He's always talking dirty or stange things to do, and places to have it. All the time....
I've come out of my shell and actually desiring it !!! Which I never ever had, old days drugs and booze did it. Been clean for many years. I'm worried that his sexual thoughts all the time will make things ugly. Reading some of response have helped.
Mood swings kind of sucks, it's more him being sex addict worries me more. I've worked with DD people all my life. Not calling him or any of that. I mean by up's and down's being so distract.
RUN! Run NOW while you can (before any babies or other ties are bound). After 50 years of marriage to a Bi-Polar woman, I can honestly say I would not do it over again. Indescribable decades of chaos, embarrassing behaviors, bankruptcies caused by her manic spending and my weak defenses, erratic emotional instability, social problems (never could keep friends), suspected (and very hurtful) affair with her former boss (she was a virgin when we married), great sex-life early-on to NO sex life for half the marriage, strained relationships with children and other family, passed-on BP genes to one child, and more hang-ups than an art gallery! Yet, I love her and will die her mate. I just wish it all could have been different (for HER sake first, as well as everyone else's) And, it could have been very different if I had realized at your stage of life that it was never, ever going to get better. I know it's difficult and even sounds selfish, but you MUST think about yourself and whether you want to sacrifice your life now to an early hell. Believe me, he will find someone else and eventually move on. [Wish someone had written this to ME 45 years ago.]
I know that my husband had a sexually wild past and I'm often jealous I couldn't have experienced it. He is a dedicated Christian now so there is a lot that he doesn't see fit for a Christian relationship. Some things he just won't even talk to me about. I feel as though there is never any passion and he only has sex with me to appease me. I have a hard time feeling wanted and loved by him but he doesn't see anything wrong. I guess this is the other side of all these hyper sexual comments.
meds adjusted, However no sec since valentins. He swears he would not cheat on me, but there has been signs. He is in a depressed state and has been for 4 months. I know he loves me and intintially dont want to cheat. However, not intimacy at all and I am a very attractive lady and very patient with him we dont fight and talk bad to each other. Very sweet to me, but now he has days in the week he stays home instead of coming over, before he would not skip a chance, I want to know if there are signs of them cheating, he is always tired and is blah all the time. he said it kills his sex drive but since mid feb?? HELP I love him deeply but never married and will be in 3 months. I just need to be 100 sure he is being faithful
What does concern me though is that during that episode every female I saw I imagined her naked.. Not a conscious thing hell I'd prefer not to have done... And on the odd occasion I did feel aroused.. But still no sex drive..
This of course is troublesome for my dear partner... We have managed sex 2 in 18 months... And I'm starting to feel like a failure for not being able to fulfil my part..
Any ideas would be greatly received.. Any advice in fact just anything....
Februaary of this year I had sex for the first time since then it was great
but I took a reisk I had unprotected sex which is something I promised never to do. I ran and got tested 2 weeks later everything is fine but I am going again in 6 moths..I have opened up a box of worms no now I am
wanting to have sex opposed to not having it in all those years Just thought I'd share (
I met him at the beginning of last year and we married in December. Two days ago he entered into a severe manic episode and I think his family is trying to have him committed for now.
I was a virgin and sooo naive (didn't even know the difference in looking at a circumcised penis vs not circumcised). I told him of sexual abuse in my past and how I only ever thought I was meant to be used as a sex toy and he took full advantage. Before I began to discover his acting out, I enjoyed sex and dirty talk bc I thought it was innocent and just between us, but when I began to see that he was doing all the same things with other women, I began to hate myself and consider sex a punishment.
While dating, He led me to believe he was a man of faith when in fact his sexual promiscuity since 2009 had progressed and led him into illegal activities.
I question if getting off of his meds in 2010 drive the hyper sexual side to an astronomical level.
Nevertheless, I have been pursuing a civil annulment based in fraud and duress (he had been a master deceiver and manipulator, isolating me) Having been only married three months and having to be tested multiple times as more as more truth comes out (sexual past, prostitutes in our home etc), I question my decision.
Do I stay in a risky marriage when I have the opportunity to get out safely? Or is this a part of the "for better or worse"? Or is this comin out now an escape for me?
The way I "feel" is that I would love to be everything I can be for him to help him, but I don't ever want to have sex with him again (even though I enjoyed having sex 3,4,6 or 10 times a day early on.)
Definitely torn and don't understand all of this.
I am most amazed by those who are BP and DO remain only with their partner.. To those of you: I greatly admire you!! I cannot imagine your struggle and the fact that you stay committed is a HUGE feat in providing security for your partner in the midst of your struggle of which he/she likely doesn't understand and never will. Props to you! If I could praise you from the mountaintops I would. Well done!!!
I wish that my husband would have done the same. I just don't know how to move forward in this. Why is it so hard?
1) can someone be only hypomanic? or does this fluctuate from different stages of highs and lows also, but with lesser then highs and lows?
2)if the above answer is a yes then does the hypersexuality moment change for them as well? Such as last longer, or always be on.
3) this may be posted but I have not found yet but and again if hypomanic only is possible, does this change things for meds.?
I am a 31 year old married bipolar on Lithium and Quetiapine for 1.5 years and struggling with my sex life: I hardly get any desire at all and as reaching climax is so complicated I don't want it and it gets more and more painful everytime we try.
I've tried to find information on alternative medication or therapy that could help me improve but data on this is really limited.
Do you have similar experiences and?or have found treatment that helped?
Well done for making the commitment and the effort to support your wife and your family! I respect where you are coming from and I understand the questions you have. Unfortunately, I'm sorry to say that what your wife says is true - you are unlikely to get one without the other. I have been happily married 10yrs (+2 kids) to an awesome man. I also have BP and experience hyper sexuality in the up cycles but then find it hard to get going when I'm "normal" (which is most of the time). We still have a good sex life, but I get what you mean, it's not the wild exhilarating sex that I hunt him down for in an up cycle! ;-) I bet your wife wishes she could turn it on as much as you do. But I'm sorry they are not dormant desires that are "trapped" inside her, it is just something that is isolated to the up phase of BP. Of course, that's not to say you can't or won't experience that sex again. We have, but we both accept that it won't always be that way. Enjoy the memories. ;-)