My partner has epilepsy, what should I do if they have a seizure during sex?
First off, thank you for asking instead of just freaking out and deciding to run the other way. (I’ve heard from a lot of people with epilepsy that this is a concern, and I used to worry about it myself.) Epilepsy is actually really common, about 1 in 10 people will have a seizure in their lifetime and 1 in 26 will be diagnosed with epilepsy (these are US numbers.) Your partner has made themselves emotionally vulnerable to you in a way they likely could have avoided by just not saying anything.
What to do if they have a seizure is simple – stop what you are doing then provide seizure first aid, if necessary. The CDC provides a good summary of general seizure first aid. Ideally, you can talk to your partner in advance to determine what their seizures usually look like and talk about specific seizure first aid and how they would like you to react. Afterwards, help your partner reorient as needed. Don’t pressure your partner to go back to where you were and don’t feel obligated yourself to continue if they want to. Consent goes both ways.
Most important, keep the lines of communication open. One of my partners said “Seizures aren’t sexy,” but that didn’t mean that I wasn’t. You might continue to have fears and concerns and deserve to have them taken seriously.
An Essay on Consent, From a Woman Who Hosts Huge Sex Parties is a fabulous article that mentions seizures during sex.
Image attribution: Geralt