… dedicated especially to the sexy and brave Glam-RA gals.

…”You are one brave young woman,”he whispers. “I am in awe of you.”His words are like some kind of incendiary device; my blood flames. He leans down and kisses my lips gently, and he sucks at my lower lip… (Fifty Shades of Grey, p. 111)Unleash your inner goddess—or passion, desire, heat and wanting despite RA pain

I admit it. I’m late to the game. “And how?”  I ask myself.  Call it fate or everything realizing itself in its own time, but when my clever, beautiful Swiss friend gifted the Fifty Shades trilogy for my recent birthday all of my w(o)nder(lust) set in. I of course had heard of the series, but it just never pulled me in to read it. And why not especially when such sensual passages like that one could send my mind ablaze?

Perhaps, it’s motherhood and the demands of family life. Who has time to think about where in the world her goddess is or, god forbid, where she went?! Let alone to remember what it felt like before spit up and tantrums. Let’s face it, dealing day in and out with a painful and often unpredictable illness like RA can squelch any notion of sexiness, of sensuality, of erotica. However, as my friend A promised, I was also missing out on and needed to do myself this personal favor. “Just read it,” she boasted with a knowing clever smirk. Ok, so she knows something and now I’m intrigued. “You’ll thank me later.” Really? Ok, twist my arm then (no Fifty pun intended).

As if the stars aligned just in the right way for me, my son and I escaped the dull and chilly Zurich Spring and headed for the sun with the first book of the trilogy tucked into my carry-on. Nothing like a gloomy rainy and utterly chilly forecast to push us out the door towards the promise of sunshine. Let’s just say that reading, and getting obsessed and possessed – as the back cover promises, with the first book while away from home made it all the more …….. (feel free to fill in the blank yourself here). Second, I had lots of down time during my son’s naps and in the evenings once he turned in. This meant I had many hours on my hands and precious QUIET time which allowed my mind…my heart… to wonder and get fully absorbed in the turmoil and fascination of this young couple. I confess I’m not an avid reader (read: busy mom of a toddler) and reveled in the moment of absorbing this lustful tale while enjoying bikini and flip flops weather as I anxiously devoured each and every page achieving a personal first by finishing the book in only 3 days! Then, not to be delayed, I downloaded the second one, Darker, since I just could not wait until returning home; and that too I knocked out in 3 days too! Now, when does that ever happen?!  Thank you, E L James. Thank you, iTunes. BIG smile. The characters were vivid. The erotic romps in more ways than I could take in had me seeking the pool’s cool water to, uh-hum, cool off! Whew! The book possessed me and all I could think to myself was, “where has my inner goddess been lurking?” Is she there? Oh yes, of course, she’s only hibernating…. No need to put out an APB, folks.

Motherhood and toddlers seem the direct polar opposite of inner goddess talk. But, she’s there. She’s been silent…and waiting. Purring. Waiting for her cue.  Waiting to be stirred awake. Oh RA. It seems as an obligation and gift to ourselves as RA sufferers that we should hold onto her, ever so gently, and call her up… often. Take care of her. Don’t let her disappear as (more) joint pain emerges and fears and self-doubt consume one’s mind and body image. Besides, for those who’ve read it, could you imagine being tied up in any of the various ways as James describes in her book? Hell, no way sista! At least, not without some serious cortisone injections before and after. I shudder with images of shooting pain – not from pleasure mind you but from screaming joints – YET, this is an important topic and perhaps one which deserves more dialogue among RA patients and specialists: Do I even FEEL sexy? How do I achieve such desire and unleashing in a free fall of passion despite my pain? What levels of pain relief could be realized for RA patients when reading or viewing erotica? Ouch, my aching swollen joints… but then relief on the horizon.

Believe you me, this has (re)opened my eyes that we must not forget our inner goddess, our own Siren’s call. Remember love. Remember passion. Desire. Heat. Wanting. Touch. Warmth. Intimacy. These appear sometimes, to me at least, as mere foes to a life juggling with RA and family demands. Yet, it’s exactly remembering the fantasy and creativity one can bring to the bedroom despite and because of RA which makes me want to read the “other” Fifty Shades next (http://www.everydayhealth.com/sexual-health/dr-laura-berman-books-to-read-after-fifty-shades-of-grey.aspx). There are many critics and those who admonish the books altogether to that my answer is my usual: to each his own. Just like anything, all in good time. Give your inner goddess time. Space. Relevance. Unleash her and take hold of your passionate beautiful self and by all means have fun.

Besides, what in the world do have you to lose otherwise? Dr. Laura Bergman seems to even agree:

Can “Fifty Shades of Grey” Improve Your Marital Bond?