Managing Bladder Leaks in the Bedroom
by Team Speax
Hi everyone! You might have heard from me before. Perhaps through satisfaction surveys and/or via emails answering questions about sizing and shipping. Aside from my daily responsibilities as a Customer Experience Champion, I'm very passionate about breaking taboos (Duh! I work for Speax), especially when it comes to sex and intimacy. Recently, we received a couple of questions about oral sex and leaking and I made it my mission to shed light on this common occurrence. To answer these Qs, we chatted with fellow leaky-lady Sophie and Dr. Uchenna Ossai—better known as UC—a sex-positive, truth-telling pelvic floor therapist.
Oral Sex & Gender Bias
To begin let’s address the obvious: when it comes to oral sex, there's def a double standard between men and women. According to UC, women feel that it is their responsibility to always be “clean” and “pristine” down there, making it hard for them to find the act of receiving oral sex pleasurable. Whereas for men, there is less pressure. Did you know that many of her female patients are more likely to give a blowjob than to make out with their partners?
Before dating her current partner, Sophie had never experienced oral sex. “I was very nervous and in my head- I was SO busy worrying about what he was thinking, whether I was ever going to cum?,” she explains. UC believes this double standard exists in part because as women we are taught to protect ourselves as opposed to enjoy ourselves since biologically we might have to bear the brunt of carrying a child. For many women, oral sex can only be truly enjoyed when an elevated level of trust and intimacy exists in the relationship.
What Exactly Happens Down There?
Oral sex can be a subject that many of us don't talk about openly, which explains why having incontinence can make those convos even more uncomfortable. While speaking to UC, we learned about “coital incontinence” which is when intercourse causes leaking. This can happen due to a variety of reasons, among them are poor pelvic floor strength (either too tight or too relaxed) or an overactive bladder. Lucky for all the leaky ladies, leaking during oral sex does not affect your vagina or your orgasm…unless you get embarrassed and your mind starts to wander off to Sh-sh-shameland.
For Sophie, leaking doesn’t occur during oral sex. When her partner tries to go down on her, Sophie feels uneasy. Having an overactive bladder makes it difficult for Sophie to feel like her vagine is a pleasure dome. “I start processing when did I shower, when did I leak last, do I feel mentally prepared for this.” Instead, she relates it to feelings of “frustration, shame and annoyance.” Hence, oral sex continues to be an unchartered territory for Sophie because of her nerves and overactive brain.
FYI: Unless you have a UTI or yeast infection, you should not be concerned about your partner accidentally drinking/ingesting/absorbing your pee. Tiny droplets of urine can still dribble out of the vaginal “vault” during sex regardless of incontinence. Ignorance is bliss? Maybe. And in this scenario, we thought it was important to let you all know that leaky-ladies and non-leaky-ladies may have more in common than you think.
What To Do If This Might Be You?
Feeling yo’self: You need to first be comfortable with your body as it is. Celebrate that you're a sexual being by answering why sex—and specifically—oral sex is important to you. Get as much health information on sex, oral sex and pleasure as you can. Every body is unique so make sure you understand your anatomy.
Bladder Bestie: There are several different types of incontinence: urge, overflow, stress, functional, mixed (urge & stress), etc. Learn which one you have by meeting with a pelvic floor specialist. The more you know about the pattern of your leaks, the more you’re able to plan for sex. Make sure to pay attention to stress and bladder irritants like alcohol and refined sugar.
Game plan: Although planning intercourse may feel like a drag, it's *super important* to communicate with your partner. You may want to use humor to bring up the leaking situation. Assure him/her that you will let him/her know if the leak starts while having sex/oral sex and whatever you do, do not make a big deal out of it because it isn’t. More often than not, you are coming into close contact with your SO’s bodily fluids, whether you know it or not.
Do pelvic floor exercises: Before you start kegeling like crazy, use your health insurance (#privilege) to consult with a female urologist/gynecologist. This especially important if you experience constipation, pain with intercourse, and/or severe back pain. Depending on your pelvic floor, you may be recommended different exercises specific to your conditions. For example, if you have hypertonic pelvic floor (when your pelvic floor is so tight that it causes you to leak) you might want to do reverse kegels.
Get over it: Shame can be huge culprit when it comes to leakage & sexy time. In order to get over shame, you have to get empowered. The more informed you get about your bod (and how you're not alone), the more the shame dries away.
How do you navigate leaking and your sex life? Share your stories with us in the comments.
Posted: July 31, 2019