Would you rather be reading or having sex? ~ Bethany Cagle

Via elephant journal
on Apr 27, 2012
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Jhayne Holmes

Orgasm v. Harry Potter?

We’ve all done it/read it.

Sometimes we do it/read it when we’re alone.

Sometimes we do it/read it with a partner.

We do it/read it when we are bored.

Under normal circumstances, both are a relaxing and beautiful escape from life’s fury.

It seems obvious which one to choose if the book and a condom are both on the nightstand.

Nope. For me, Harry Potter wins.

Endometriosis (also known as Voldemort) is on a terrifying mission to steal my womanhood and identifying body parts, my dancing body and my fiancé. Endometriosis, a chronic pelvic pain disease that causes killer periods, daily chronic pain and infertility, would like to win this war.

The hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings aren’t fighting fairly. The tremors caused by my medication have an advantage in this battle. The emotional fatigue and depression are on the front lines of Voldermort’s army. However, I have chosen to adamantly, defiantly and unapologetically give endometriosis the finger. My magic wand is at the ready. Expecto Patronus!

Harry Potter always wins and so will I.

The thing that is supposed to make us feel closer, the thing that everyone has a right to enjoy, the thing that leaves my body throbbing (and not in the fun way) is not the thing we retreat to for closeness. Orgasm to me is not what it is to you.

Sometimes I am relieved to pass on sex and am too tired to even consider the psychological preparation to feel good immediately followed by feeling bad. Sometimes I don’t care because I would rather be laughing with him. Sometimes I am deeply sad because I used to be so good at sex. Sometimes I take one look at my endo body and my scars and wonder if I will ever feel beautiful naked again.

Where is a sexy orgasm charm when a girl needs one?

Harry Potter has a scar that hurts, too.

I wish you could feel it, for just a second, the sensation of your ovaries (the area just inside your hip bones) throbbing and aching so badly that, if you didn’t know better, you’d think they we going to explode. I imagine it’s comparable to a Dementor’s kiss.

The miniscule moment of bliss followed by a rush of energy to your pelvis that would drop you to your knees in pain. The residual and lingering ache that you feel for hours and days after, when you stand up and your pelvic floor drops, when you pee, when bend over to pet your kitties…

When Harry Potter’s scar hurts, danger is near.

Vacation (or a trip to Hogsmeade). I long for the days when our vacations are ruined by bad weather, a roach motel or food poisoning. Why can’t one of us fall and sprain our wrist, miss a flight or have our car breakdown? Where are all the loud hotel neighbors, rainy days or housekeeping interruptions? Don’t I deserve to have a sinus infection, a lumpy bed or a really bad romance novel?

I long for the days when it is not me (it’s something else) that ruins our vacations. I long for the days of glorious orgasms on vacation. I long for the vacations in which I do not have a severe hormonal mood swing that lasts half a day.

I long for tearless vacations. I long to be able to wear the beautiful clothes that I pack. I long to feel beautiful enough to take pictures on my vacation. I long to be a better version of myself for my partner on our vacation.

Doesn’t Harry Potter deserve to be rescued from the Dursleys?

When illness would like to steal my womanhood, I fight back with a spell that freezes my eggs before Madame Pomfrey takes my ovaries.

When illness would like to steal my dancing career, I fight back with the creative writing charm that Professor Filch taught me.

When illness would like to destroy my family, I fight back with my Firebolt in hand, and my fiancé and I fly far away from our disastrous reality.

Harry Potter always wins. When you’re having sex, we’re reading. The price of an orgasm, at least for now, is far too great. Harry Potter will have to suffice.

When you’re anticipating the joys of love making, I am anticipating the smell of the pages turning. When you’re taking your clothes off, I am removing the book jacket. When you’re wrapped up in the sheets, I am wrapped inside my imagination dreaming of a magical world that is so much better than this one.

Harry Potter. It’s the one time of day that we are doing the same thing. At night, before sleeping, we are in the same bed, inside the same magical world. We are together. The sheets are our Invisibility Cloak, blocking us from anyone’s judgment, hiding us from anyone’s discernment that Harry Potter is better than an orgasm.

For it is Harry Potter that has bridged the gap between two people that have been separated by a demon, an illness, a monster that still lurks inside the Chamber of Secrets.

BeCaME represents me, Bethany Cagle Movement Experience. I am a dancer, an artist, a partner, an endometriosis sister, and a bitch. While proudly flying my bitch flag, I address topics like chronic illness (endo sucks balls!), arts activism (get off your ass!), and feminism (vaginas should rule the world!). For a provocative documentation of my experiences (never discount the power of the word f**k!)  visit my blog, BeCaME. For scientifically-based facts and info about endo, visit the Endometriosis Research Center. I don’t give a shit about being nice.  So, love me or hate me, just don’t be indifferent.


Editor: Carolyn Gilligan


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8 Responses to “Would you rather be reading or having sex? ~ Bethany Cagle”

  1. Bethany, I love that you are able to bring so much humor to something that's been so difficult for you. Enjoying your writing so much—keep it up!!

  2. Debbie E. says:

    Love your honest perspective! Can't wait to see more of your writing!

  3. Erin says:

    The familiarity of the sentiments that you expressed so beautifully brought tears to my eyes as well as a chuckle to my lips. Thank you for sharing this with the world. ~ Erin, fellow warrior against endo

  4. Becca says:

    I, too deal with endometriosis and I, too enjoy reading as much as sex 😉 My endo is enough under control right now that it's not interfering with sex too much, but I definitely have my days. Thank you so much for this original and creative article!

  5. Mrs Boo says:

    This post really hits the nail on the head!! It brought a tear to my eye.
    Fellow endo sister

  6. elizabeth says:

    I adore your writing and especially these analogies.

  7. Spasmith says:

    This medical condition does not apply to me at all, yet I appreciate the post. Thank you social media..

  8. tea et tulle says:

    I feel that sex wins in this one. It helps alleviate the pain & brings comfort to my endometriosis & psychological comfort.
    Does a lover want to really hear about your negative well being every month, perhaps lead him into it gently so he can understand. If he is yours he will understand & you will want to be with him sexually no matter what.
    I can't imagine the negative energy one can create, that's why you feel like shit.
    I have had endo, breast cancer & I feel great!! It's the energy I put out there.