“I have Parkinson's. Who could possibly find me sexy?”
There is no question PD can make the physical act of sex difficult. If one makes being sexy dependent upon consummated intercourse then it would be very difficult to see oneself as sexy.
If sexuality is more than a physical act, then the question is misplaced altogether. It is not others who doubt an individual’s sexiness. Rather, it is the person asking the question.
This thing we call sexuality is quite complex and is predicated on much more than simple inherent physical attractiveness. It encompasses every aspect of the person, including physical appearance, personality, attitude, trustworthiness, and likeability. It is a matter of self-perception and of feeling an attachment to another person. A sexy person is one who believes he or she is sexy and acts in a sexy manner toward the person with whom they are in relationship.
Notice the importance of relationship to being sexy. Physical sex can occur without relationship. Physical sex can be a transient experience. Many like it that way precisely because there is no need to do the hard work of building and maintaining a relationship. For the vast majority of us, the hard work is not only the foundation of sexy; it is the very fuel that keeps its fire alive.
If our notion of sexiness is built upon physical appearance and vigor, then every human being is doomed to lose it. The human body is mutable. We age, we wrinkle, and we develop chronic illnesses like PD. Yet it is very much the case that in spite of the imperfections the aging process thrusts upon us, the relationship we nurture is the wellspring of our sexuality. We are sexy to the person we have carved out room in our life for. That person is sexy to us.
Parkinson’s disease unleashes an unrelenting assault on the body but it need not compromise those aspects of the self that are not of the body. Who we are and how we form relationship with those we love must be kept impervious to the physical changes that assault our body be it PD or the aging process.
I quoted a Rod Stewart lyric when titling this blog entry. Now, I will alter it in a very important way.
Do you think you’re sexy?