Let’s Talk: Infertility

Before I get started on this post, I want to tell you that it’s ok not to read this if it’s a post that might upset you. I understand that infertility is not a soft subject and it can be difficult for many people, but I really need to put these feelings out there and vent about some of the comments I’ve been receiving.

So, I’ll guess I’ll start by saying that I am infertile. If you’ve seen my recent tweets, then you’ll already know this as I did post some of my frustration there. I have known this for three to four years now, although I knew it was a possibility for a year before that. The reason for my infertility is not something that I really speak about on my blog or in this community much, which is my eating disorder. I have anorexia and this has ceased my ovulation. I’ve had some fertility tests done in the last couple of years, and despite the possibility of recovery in the future, I was told that it’s not possible for my body to handle a pregnancy due to the other medical problems that I now have.

I feel it’s important to clarify that many womb-owning anorexia recoverers (is that a word?) can go to on to conceive if they are weight restored, have menstruation/ovulate and/or their body has had a period of time to heal. It can take longer for this to happen, but it’s still possible for many people. Whilst this is fantastic news for my friends who suffer, it’s not possible for everyone. I’m one of these people who it’s not possible for.

As I have known since the age of sixteen that it was likely, I have kind of made peace with it. I have accepted it, but it seems that others around me haven’t. I feel like this is lifes way of telling me that it’s just not in the cards for me and honestly, I’m ok with that. I now feel that it’s better if I can’t, because I don’t think I’d be able to deal with it if I bought a child into this world and passed some of my problems onto them. I don’t think it’s fair and I couldn’t bring someone into this world for them to just be miserable. Maybe I am saying things like this to make the news easier to deal with or maybe I actually feel this way, but regardless of whichever it is, I shouldn’t have to deal with the comments, especially from those that I care about, that I am fending off on a regular basis.

Here are just a few of the comments I have received from people, some of which include my family or those who know me offline and are aware of my situation:

  • “What will you do with your life now that can’t have kids?”
  • “Real women can have kids.”
  • “It’s your own fault, if you didn’t do this to yourself, you’d be able to have kids.” (this one is particularly upsetting to me – Anorexia is not something I “did” to myself. It’s something that the mental illness did to me.)
  • “Are you going to adopt? Foster? Get a surrogate? You do want children, right?”
  • “It’s your duty as a girlfriend/wife to give your partner a child.” (Are we still in the sixties?)
  • “Why is he with you if you can’t give him a family?”

I’ll start with the less offensive of these and work through them. The questions regarding wanting children and other methods of fertility. I know many people who can’t have children would love them, so I see why these questions are asked, but it’s the way that these people ask the questions. It’s like they are expecting me to say yes, simply because I’m a woman, and what sort of monster woman doesn’t want them? Well, me. If I can’t have them, then I won’t. I support others who do have children and that’s fantastic for them, but what’s right for them, isn’t right for me and I’m not going to bring a child into this world through some other measure just because society says that I should.

“It’s your duty/why is he with you?” Personally, I think these questions are extremely insensitive and rude. I am actually disgusted by these comments, but I don’t think people realise how hurtful these types of sentences can be. Family is not the be all and end all of a relationship. We can be a family without a child and as long as I satisfy him and he’s happy – why should you care whether a child is involved or not? We are now in 2016, so I really shouldn’t have to defend myself for not having children.

As for the I’ve brought it on my myself and other disgusting comments regarding my mental illness, I have lots to say about that and none of it is pleasant, so I’ll keep those thoughts to myself. Like you should. If you’re a person who’s ever said this to me, I hope you understand how inappropriate and disgusting these comments are. If I didn’t feel bad enough about myself already, I have people like this coming in and making things worse. It’s almost like if it was for any other reason, other than Anorexia, they’d shut up and say nothing. I think that’s what makes this so upsetting to me. If it wasn’t for a mental health reason, they’d just accept it.

Why should I be made to feel bad about not being able to have a child and not wanting to go through other methods to have one? Motherhood is not for everybody and it seems that it’s just not meant to be for me. I find it extremely rude that people suggest I’m less of a woman for not being able to have a child. I am actually a real woman, because I’m a woman. I have thoughts and feelings too and it seems to me that some people forget that and just look at me as though all I am is a womb.

It seems to be a very common thing for people to comment on others fertility and family size throughout a relationship. It starts with “so, when are you getting married?” and leads to “when are we having a grandchild?” – I really believe that people need to stop this. You don’t know the ins and outs of someones relationship, health and life, so you have no idea what these questions stir up in people. If my partner knew about this before our relationship started and he loves me regardless, then why can’t others just leave it alone?

Let’s Talk: Don’t Feel Guilty

I have no problems writing negative reviews. If I were a manufacturer and my product sucked, even if it hurt my ego, I’d want to be told. I’d want to take the feedback on board and fix the problems to improve my product. If you’re a company that can’t handle negative feedback and have to pay people to say great things about your product, you can’t have much faith in what you’re trying to sell. If you don’t believe your product is amazing, why should I?

When I first began reviewing, I wasn’t very descriptive in what I wrote and felt guilty if I didn’t like a product that everybody else loved. I probably rated things higher than I should have because I didn’t want to sound like I was being petty with things that bugged me about the product. Now, I don’t care how I sound, I want people to know why I didn’t like it, so they can make their own choices about whether the same things would irritate them. I’ve discovered lots of people share my gripes about noise, buzziness and bad quality items and I’ve become comfortable with dishing out criticism. My aim is to be constructive and let people know what I want and how I want it, which is exactly how I act in my sex life with my partner. If you don’t communicate, you end up stuck doing the same shitty routine that does nothing for you.

I suppose it started with materials, once I’d learnt about the dangers of Jelly Rubber and other porous toys, it helped me to understand why I couldn’t enjoy using toys made from these materials. I understood why I felt a burning sensation, why it hurt and why it wasn’t pleasurable in the slightest. If I was buying my first sex toy now, I’d want to read about the  downsides of choosing a toy in a certain material. When I ordered my first vibrator, it had no reviews, it was just featured on the popular page of a site and I thought that meant I’d enjoy it. After all, if it’s popular, it can’t be bad, right? Wrong. These toys are often popular because they’re cheap, not because they’re good quality or safe to use. After a couple of months wondering why I had such a bad experience, I found the bloggers of the industry and wondered how on earth I could have not known. I didn’t even know the sex toy industry wasn’t regulated until I started reading through blogs!

So out those toys went and in came, slightly more costly, body-safe toys. There’s no phthalates, foul odour or leaking chemicals, nothing that should give me an infection or bad reaction, it’s just a clean slate. A trust worthy canvas. So now I have to look for other things that explain why a toy won’t work for me, sometimes it’s really obvious and sometimes it isn’t. It’s interesting to read reviews and share opinions with other people who’ve experienced the same toy, there might be a way you haven’t tried to use it yet that turns out to be the answer to all of your questions or they may share the same feelings you have, indicating that the problem is the toy.

Noise in particular is subjective, what may be quiet for some, could be loud for others, it depends on many factors. I live at home, in a semi-detached house with thin walls, so I can’t use my wand in the middle of the night as I’ll wake everybody up, however if you live in a farm-house in the middle of nowhere, the chances are, you’re not going to be too concerned about waking up the neighbours. (If you even have any!) If you relate to my situation, we probably share similar opinions about what classes as noisy. For me, it’s if the neighbours can hear or the TV can’t drown it out. This doesn’t mean a toy is bad, it just means it’s not the right one for me.

The purpose of this post is to encourage everyone to be completely honest about the product you’re reviewing. Talk about the things that a product description can’t tell you. Talk about why it worked for you, or more importantly, why it didn’t. Share your experiences. If you don’t feel the toy is a good fit for you, who might it be good for? Don’t feel guilty for not liking something that other people raved about or for leaving constructive feedback, your review could help someone just like you to save money and more importantly, buy a toy that they will really loveHonesty is always the best policy.