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Are hearing aids sexy? The truth of being intimate with hearing loss

being intimate with hearing loss
Intimacy can be a sensitive subject to talk about for anyone, and being intimate while wearing hearing aids can bring about another level of challenges!

As someone who has lived with hearing loss my whole life, I’ve had my share of uncomfortable moments of intimacy. Sometimes a moment has been ruined by the ringing in my ears, or missing something that’s been said. Several articles have been published about how having hearing aids will improve your love life, but there is not a lot of information that dissects the potential repercussions of hearing aids.

When you’re fit with hearing aids, there’s no master book that says, “Hey, by the way, these may ring in the most inconvenient of moments.” Audiologists also won’t necessarily explain this, because who wants to talk about sex with your ear doctor!?

Anyways, I decided to take to the the Hearing Like Me community to see what other hearing aid wearers do in their “private” moments. No surprise, here, there are various answers, and reasonings behind each. I think it all comes down to how you want to feel or what you want to experience during the intimate moments, but here are some anonymous suggestions from others on what to do with your hearing aids:

3 tips for being intimate with hearing loss

Tip 1: Wear them.

One person explained that he keeps his aids on during intimate moments, so he can hear the sexy talk, but that doesn’t come without some misunderstandings. He detailed an experience in which he and his partner were sharing a moment in the cinema, and in the heat of the moment, she said something presumably hot. What he heard, however, was, “grasshoppers are here”, so naturally he replied, “there aren’t any grasshoppers,” and an awkward moment ensued.

I’ve personally been so used to always wearing my hearing aids that I’ve never thought of taking them out or turning them off, hence hand grabbing my face and hearing aid roaring feedback in my ear, hence twitching and a fair amount of discomfort on my end. And for this reason, others suggest…

Tip 2: Don’t wear them.

A few people in the community expressed that taking their hearing aids out or turning them off is their preference with reasons including “just so I don’t have to worry about them beeping, etc.” and “because the feedback kind of ruins the moment” being the primary reasons for this approach.

Read more: Dating with hearing loss: Date spots, cuddling and lipreading in the dark 

Tip 3: Wear one and take out the other.

One HLM community member explained that he keeps one in and takes the other one out. Again, not something I ever thought of, but his explanation is quite brilliant in my opinion.

“I keep one in… that way I can hear the “pillow talk” while avoiding the annoying feedback chirps,” he says. “If I take both out, I just know that will be the time my wife says something super magical, lovely, and sexy to me. I’ll have to pause the moment, lean over to my bed stand, put a hearing aid on, then ask her to repeat herself. Yeah, that’s not happening. Having one in at least gives me a chance  to hear it. Also, wearing no hearing aids inhibits my ability to hear the kids coming in to the room during “business” time. It’s VERY important to be on alert for that!!!”

“I keep one in… that way I can hear the “pillow talk” while avoiding the annoying feedback chirps.

Read more: Love, Marriage & Hearing Loss

Overall lesson learned about being intimate with hearing loss:

I personally find that sometimes it’s hard to bring up the hearing aids when you’re with somebody new. Many people have explained that they will talk to his or her partner about the situation and make a decision together. Sometimes this entails trying all different approaches to see what fits best for everyone involved. This feels like a more light-hearted and less serious way of tackling intimate moments without pressure or anxiety.

Read more: Dating tips for those new to hearing loss   

One thing’s I know for sure: I am grateful to have a community like this that allows for the freedom to both vent and laugh about our similar experiences as they relate to intimacy.

Do you have any tips for being intimate with hearing loss? Let us know!

Author Details
Ashley is a 29-year-old who loves to travel and try new things. She has bi-lateral, severe hearing loss, and wears a Phonak Naída V-SP hearing aid in one ear and has an Esteem implant in the other. She plays soccer for the USA Women’s National Deaf Team. She’s currently traveling the world in pursuit of adventure and perspective while also learning about the deaf and hard of hearing communities in various countries. Her travels can be followed on instagram @ashley5chanel or on her blog