Many things are affected by chronic illnesses and disabilities. However, the things most focused on by the wide world are productivity, symptoms, morbidity, and mortality. These are clearly worthwhile, but what about Quality of Life (QOL)?
Chronic Sex aims to open up frank discussions and ruminations about how QOL is affected, specifically focusing on self-love, self-care, relationships, sexuality, and sex itself.
This movement was started by Kirsten Schultz of Not Standing Still’s Disease.
Kirsten has been collecting chronic illnesses since the ripe age of five. In 1993, she was diagnosed with Asthma and had her first flare-up of Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Since that time, she has added on fun diagnoses including Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The total is approaching 20 and somehow growing. Kirsten’s first blog was How to Ace Life but she started NSSD in 2009. She works with a number of organizations including the Arthritis Foundation, Creaky Joints, and Joint Decisions.
An avid volunteer, she has been interested in sexuality and sexual education since high school (which is longer ago than she’d care to admit). After attending a presentation by Lucky Tomaszek of Tool Shed Toys, Kirsten realized how little was known or talked about with regards to sexuality and illness or disability. She also knew from her own journey with relationships and illness, though, that illness and disability also affect these things by affecting our relationships with ourselves and others.
Chronic Sex was born shortly thereafter.
What Does Chronic Sex Do?
We have a chat on Twitter Thursday nights at 8 pm Eastern (New York City) Time. We also have a strong social media presence. Our podcast can be found on iTunes and SoundCloud and just about everywhere you listen to your podcasts.
Kirsten has presented at a number of conferences including the Juvenile Arthritis Conference (2016), Women in Pain (2016), Medicine X (2016), University of Guelph Sexuality Conference (2017), and Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit (2017). She has also worked with a variety of companies and organizations, such as Pfizer, Janssen, Stanford University, For Grace, Arthritis Foundation, Healthline, HealthCentral, and more.
We’re also starting a research wing called ORCHIDS – the Organization for Research on CHronic Illness, Disability, and Sexuality. Our team consists of patients, sex educators, researchers, nurses, and nurse practitioners – and we’re always looking to add more people.
If you’re looking to write a piece, have information featured on the website, or want to talk about the podcast, please send an email to kirsten [at] chronicsex [dot] org.