Communicable Illness and KinkSep 12th, 2011 | By AidenRN | Category: Aiden, Columns, Contributors
Sometimes it is a little too easy to get wrapped up in the romance of Kink. So often I hear people complain that they never get the time to get out to events, and it always seems like a struggle to balance real life–work, school, family, kids, pets and slaves–with getting out. Attending an event, or even getting in a scene with our special someones, can be a chore to manage.
But real life is real life. And sometimes, real life decides you need more time in bed, but not doing fun things.
I went through most of my life in perfect health. I had some injuries as a kid that required physical therapy, but my body functioned like it was supposed to. Weight always stayed about the same, I hated getting up in the morning but I could do it, so on and so forth. But two years into college, and I learned I was actually very very sick. Without getting into too many details, this ailment also left me with a compromised immune system; everyone else’s common cold was my two weeks of misery all of a sudden.
Entering into the community was no exception. When getting into a play situation, we are often times focused on the obvious- how to manage and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs, or STDs). But events and play parties are also a breeding ground for more benign bugs; influenza, the common cold, strep throat and the like.
Just this month, I was wracking my brain to figure out how I managed to contract mono. I hadn’t even realized I was sick, attributing my fatigue to my illness, but when I had a sore throat lasting more than eight days, I went into urgent care. Mono wouldn’t have even crossed my mind; my primary partner had been away for a few weeks, and my secondary wasn’t ill. It didn’t even dawn on me that I had been out and social the month before, and mono doesn’t necessarily need a smooch to spread from host to host. The diagnosis from the doctor meant a week of quarantine for me, causing me to miss work and social events.
As we head into the flu season, common illness is going to spread through the community just as it does in “real life” places. But combating it is much easier than stopping STIs. Wash your hands often, especially after using the restroom or before eating/drinking. Eat well, as some fruits and vegetables can help strengthen your immune system. And–all you night owls out there!–get a good night’s rest; the stress of being tired can tear down your body’s defenses after only a few nights of poor sleep.
We all want our play time and it can be hard enough to get it while trying to manage other priorities. By taking a couple of extra precautions, you can keep yourself healthy and ensure you get your fun. Remember, you’re not only protecting yourself, but also anyone you may be playing with. You never know who might get hit hard by a virus or spread it on to a family member who could get very ill. It doesn’t take much, but your body will thank you for it when you’re about to enter a scene, happy and healthy.