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I've been using orgasms to deal with severe back pain. It seems to work. Is this OK?

Q:

My doctor decided that she would no longer prescribe Vicoden or Percoset for my severe double scoliosis, citing some bogus study of "others" for whom it did not work. Lately, I've been having marathon masturbation sessions to relieve my pain. If I stay in climax mode or do a lot of edging, then the pain goes away and stays away for some time. It's like whatever chemical my brain is releasing during climax is taking my pain away. Is this common? Is this a "real" thing? I hate to be in an aroused state all the time, but it works for the pain.

A:

First off, I'm so sorry you're in pain! I have had multiple spinal surgeries myself, and I know how debilitating that kind of pain can be. Secondly, congratulations, you have discovered one of the rarely-discussed but extremely real benefits of orgasm: pain relief! Before my last surgery, when the pain was unbearable my Magic Wand was never out of reach. But don't just take my word for it! According to Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD, of Rutgers University, "Orgasm can block pain," This is due to the release of oxytocin and subsequently endorphins, the effect of which is said to be similar to morphine. Komisaruk's work also offers an explanation for why you find edging effective. In discussing stimulation without orgasm Komisaruk says, "We’ve found that vaginal stimulation can block chronic back and leg pain".

So, yes, this is absolutely a thing! Take good care of yourself.

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Written by JoEllen Notte
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JoEllen is a writer, speaker, researcher and mental health advocate whose work explores the impact of depression on sex and relationships. Since 2012 she has written about sex, mental health, and how none of us are broken on her award-winning site The Redhead Bedhead.

JoEllen is currently writing her first book: “The Monster Under the Bed: Sex, Depression & The Conversation We Aren’t Having”

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