Sex on Wheels
There is a common stigma that individuals who are disabled are seen as sexually or romantically impaired. This is, quite frankly, far from reality. People with disability, whether it is related to mobility, physical, or mental health, are fully capable of being sexual.
Through the years my view on sex and disability has greatly evolved. I have gained information along the way from clients, colleagues, research, and personal experience. Based on these factors, I have put together a few key aspects I feel are relevant to sexual intimacy for a person with a disability.
Patience- Practice makes perfect, especially if this is a new situation for you or your partner. So take your time and work through it together. Depending on the situation, it may take a while for the two of you to perfect your coordination, and figure out what positions work best for both comfort and, pleasure.
Communication- Being able to effectively communicate is key aspect of any relationship, especially when working through a difficult situation, or getting to know a new romantic interest. Openly expressing your needs will allow your partner to better understand what they can do to help meet those needs. Be sure to discuss your boundaries. What are you comfortable doing? What are you not comfortable doing? Let your partner know if you are experiencing pain or discomfort, as well as if they are doing something that is pleasurable. Don’t forget to check in with your partner. Ask them the same questions. After all, you are in this together!
Creativity- Have fun! Experiment with new positions, and toys. Mix things up. You are only limited by your imagination. If you have a wheelchair, use it! There are also many great options out there that can help with positioning, and assistance with reach. Remember, sex does not have to be limited to penetration. Sex may be anything that can provide sensual, pleasurable experiences for the individual. And don’t be afraid of solo sex! This is one of the best ways to become more aware of what feels good, and works best for you.
Everyone is entitled to sexual independence. Don’t allow social stigma to prevent you from enjoying yourself, and exploring your sexuality. As always, be sure it’s safe, sane, & consensual.
The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability: For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain, and Illness by Miriam Kaufman, Cory Silverberg, & Fran Odette
Documentary: (Sex)abled: Disability Uncensored