Let’s talk about sex, baby!
I have had several people ask me about my sex life or just gimpy sex in general. I thought it would be fun to answer them all in one monster post. I do think that I should warn you that I don’t have a filter and I’m pretty open about sex. If you are more modest then this may offend you. The following post will contain discussions about human anatomy, fetish, sex therapy, sex workers, etc. If you aren’t comfortable with any of this, then I understand and I will see you in the next post.
Do you have real sex with your husband? If so, how?
This was by far the most frequent question asked. I have to admit that I laughed at the “normal” part. I never really cared for “normal” anything, but I’m assuming they meant vaginal intercourse. I have had 4 vaginal surgeries so we couldn’t do it that way while I was recovering each time. There are other ways to be intimate and we took advantage of them all. When I am okay for intercourse, we do it like anyone who is able bodied. I can even get on top if I am careful and hang on to the headboard for leverage.
Do you still like sex? Isn’t it just numb?
The spinal cord is a funny thing. Someone can be paralysed or, in my case, have partial paralysis and still have quite a bit of feeling below their injury level. Many people can’t feel anything superficial, but feel deep pressure in the muscles underneath their skin. Some report that their nerves act strangely after. For example, someone could be touching their back, but they feel it in their butt. Others, like me, experience increased sensitivity and actually enjoy sex more after their injury.
Is there anything different that you have to do, medically or otherwise, to have sex?
For me, not really, but a lot of wheelchair users do have some special needs. Catheters are very common in the wheelchair community. I have a sacral nerve stimulator that helps to stimulate the nerves that empty my bladder, but not completely. I only need to cath 2x a day so I use a straight cath that is inserted to pee, then removed. For those of us who can’t pee on their own at all, many people use an implanted catheter which means that it stays in the bladder. A Foley catheter is inserted into the urethra and to have sex, a man can tape the tubing up the shaft of the penis and cover it with a condom. A woman can simply push the tubing to the side. This can be very uncomfortable so a supra pubic catheter (a surgically implanted device that accesses the bladder through the belly) is often used. Depending on the severity of the injury, men can have issues getting or maintaining an erection. Viagra and vibrators can help tremendously.
Can you recommend anything that could make sex easier for someone with poor mobility?
Sex swings are very helpful and a lot of fun. Many of us have a hydraulic lift that can used as a gimpy sex swing.
Sex furniture is very popular with able bodied people.
For those who have problems with movement, The Intimate Rider can assist with thrusting. It’s basically a sexy, gimpy rocking chair.
So does your husband have a fetish and that’s why he is still with you?
I won’t comment on my Hubby’s kinks in general, but I will say that he isn’t a devotee and he isn’t trolling the medical supply store for dates. A devotee is someone who has a fetish for disabled people. I’m fine with whatever happens as long as it is safe, sane, and consensual, but I do have an issue with using someone as a gimpy sex toy. Don’t use us as some weird bucket list item, but then refuse to date us. We’re people, not sex slaves on wheels.
The Happy Ending
This has become a ridiculously long post, but I think I covered most of the questions. I hope this is helpful for curious able bodied people, but also for wheelchair users who think they can’t have sex. Doctors and caregivers often overlook sexuality in the disabled. Many treat us like children which is very unfair. Sex and intimacy are an important part of relationships and life in general. I also wanted to note that I am not a doctor and this isn’t a replacement for medical advice. This is based on my friends and my experiences so other people do things differently.