I’ve left the house once in the past two weeks. 

As I reached into my purse to check my boarding pass before an out-of-state trip, a sudden jolt across my sacrum made me drop my bag and nearly crash to the floor. “Something happened to my back,” I gasped to my husband, barely able to breathe. I stared at him, wild-eyed. “I have to cancel my flight. There’s no way I can go like this.”

He looked worried, knowing what this trip meant to me. “We could get you a wheelchair?” he offered, wanting to help.

“I couldn’t even sit in it right now,” I said, trying not to laugh at the idea and cry at the same time.

30 minutes before needing to leave for the airport I was in bed with an ice-pack, shaking from pain, one-finger-texting to cancel plans. “You won’t believe what happened. Hurt my back. Can’t make it.” 

A weekend of immobile agony followed by a doctor visit and X-rays on Monday revealed an annular tear in my lumbar spine. It’s generally caused by aging, being overweight, or sports injuries.

I’m not into sports. 

So I’ve been mildly depressed and propped up on pillows ever since, stretching myself slowly and alternately creeping through my apartment to keep from atrophy, sitting upright, and laying down. I’ve got my laptop so I can work and my phone so I can stay connected on Instagram. And through all of this, I’m putting the final touches on a sensual eCourse that starts in less than two weeks, Blushing Wild—A Sultry Embrace of Erotic Awakening.

Truthfully? I’ve felt about as erotic as a phone book.

It feels a little ironic to be writing about orgasms when simple things, like taking a shower, means detailed planning ahead. But as I’ve weaned off my prescriptions and feel less loopy + more alert, I’ve started taking note of ways I can still cultivate beauty in my life even when mostly incapacitated. I may not yet be able to shave my legs, but I’m determined to feel sensual.

Here are some of the ways I connect to my sensuality even while I'm bed-bound:

  • Burn incense. I keep my favorite incense within reach which adds an exotic air of mystery. It also helps keep my room from feeling stale and not only smells divine, it uplifts my spirit.
  • Let the light in. Opening my shades to invite morning light to anoint the room makes a huge difference! It’s easy to feel stuffed inside and depressed when it’s dark and you’ve been staring at the same piles of laundry or overflowing trash bin for days.  
  • Wear my softest, comfiest pjs. I love clothes that allow me to breathe and feel like a comforting hug around my shoulders. Old tees washed a hundred times do this for me. Modal—my favorite fabric—lounge pants. Dreamy socks. 600-thread-count pillowcases for my face.
  • Meditative Pandora stations. Music makes such a difference and you can create any kind of channel on Pandora. 
  • Allow myself to be loved. It’s really difficult to be an invalid and rely on someone for everything! To have to ask for what you need and worry that you’re making life harder on others. My husband has had to become both of us—work all day and then come home to take care of me. It’s hard to accept what I can’t reciprocate right now but it makes me feel deeply adored. I hope everyone has a special person in their life who stays by their side through times like these. 
  • Luscious oils and body creams. Even though so many of my nourishing routines are paused for the moment, simply applying a seductive fragrance not only feels divine but also lifts the mood and reminds me that I am worthy to anoint myself with beautiful things. This is a blessing because it’s easy to fall into a little depression … a lot, if your condition is more severe.
  • Enhanced senses. When one sense is dulled others can be sharpened. And in paradox, pain can also intensify pleasure. Flavors grow more savory, touch more sensitive, aromas stronger and more defined. Brushing my teeth feels like a luxury. I watch movies on Netflix and notice more details … the way scenes fade together or the way light reflects off a lens.
  • Blissful awareness + presence. My body moves at a snail’s pace because everything requires effort, care, and intention. This brings awareness. It forces me to be in this moment. I feel my entire leg stretch out between smooth sheets. I feel the pressing of each step onto the floor, the roll of the foot, the grip of my toes when I walk, my hands grabbing hold of walls or counter edges or chairs as needed. I feel each inhale + exhale, the way a cough jerks at my back or the slow warmth of a stretch. I remind myself to breathe deeply, fully. To not over-exert my body but to come alongside her as she heals.
  • Uplifting body mists. I am head over heels with Aura Cacia's Patchouli-Sweet Orange Aromatherapy Mist which promotes “love, peace, and happiness.” I keep one by my bed and under normal circumstances, one at my desk and one to-go—for my purse or car.

Despite all of this I confess I’m going a little stir-crazy and it’s only been two weeks. I have so much compassion for those who have been in debilitating positions for months or years! It’s hard to retain your dignity when simple self-care routines are impossible and you feel unpresentable in countless ways. I do not take my normal health and abilities for granted.

What are ways you’ve found to keep in touch with yourself and your humanity through the extremes of injury, illness, or convalescence?

Blushing Wild—A Sultry Embrace of Erotic Awakening

If you’d love a sultry chance to awaken your own erotic nature, join a tribe of sensual enchantresses for a six-week eCourse beginning August 24th. Visit Blushing Wild to learn more.

Hillary Rain dwells at and likes to write sultry confessions. You may just want to subscribe.