The nurse’s guide to romance
We’ve all been educated on the immune-boosting, blood pressure-lowering and even migraine-fighting potential of sex for nurses. What nurse wouldn’t want to engage in a fun activity and reap all of these benefits?
The obstacle, of course, is finding the time—and especially the energy—after a long shift (or string of shifts!) to make the effort.
As San Francisco-based sexuality educator Charlie Glickman puts it, “Nursing is challenging in ways that most other jobs aren’t. It’s physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually demanding, and it often seems like whatever energy you have to give, people need even more. One of the most difficult things for nurses (or anyone else) to learn to do is how to not give so much of yourself away that you drain yourself dry. As the flight attendants always say, we have to ‘put our own oxygen masks on before helping others.’ That’s especially true for people in the helping professions.”
To counteract the draining effect of nursing, Charlie suggests an exercise that he calls becoming “self-full.”
“Even before nurses start looking for ways to boost energy, I encourage them to explore how they can take care of themselves as well as their patients,” says Charlie. “It’s often difficult to do that without feeling selfish, so I think it’s more helpful to think of it as ‘self-full.’ Keeping yourself full up will actually make you more able to help your patients, so it’s really a win-win.”
Charlie, who has written extensively on sex positivity and has led workshops and training for medical professionals on the topic, suggests several really simple ways for nurses to shake off their day and “get in the mood,” including tips on shifting from work time to home time.