Sex. Do you still enjoy it?Mar 09 07:05
When I was paralyzed, the last thing on my mind was whether or not I'd enjoy sex. Now it's 20 years later and it's a much different scenario. I'm 33, and yes, I have sex. Openly saying this however isn't always easy. People can be ridiculously prying. They all want to know the same thing - can you feel anything?
How do you feel when you're asked this? Violated, perturbed....all of the above? If you use a wheelchair, you will be asked this sooner than later (it's only a matter of time). It doesn't matter whether you have a spinal cord injury and can't feel a thing below your injury, if you have MD, SMA or you're an amputee, if people see a wheelchair and their mind is in the gutter, "Can you have sex?" is a question that will cross their mind.
A great article in the Daily Mail today (a popular British newspaper), written by Sophie Morgan, an artist and paraplegic reporter from London, got me thinking about this. Her article, Can you still enjoy sex if you're severely disabled? This bride-to-be says YES! is a bit tongue in cheek, and it covers a really important issue. Sophie was hurt in a car accident when she was 18 years old and is now engaged to her longtime acupuncturist boyfriend. The able-bodied masses are clueless about this kind of stuff.
In the article, Sophie shares her road to sexual discovery, finding out that she could still feel "something" down there the first time she had sex post-injury. And lucky girl, she found out she could orgasm too. But Sophie isn't the first woman with a spinal cord injury to say this. I too can feel penetration, a small amount, which definitely helps me enjoy sex a bit more. But sex is not all about sensation when you have a disability.
Sophie also interviewed a few other folks, including a man with paraplegia, who says sex can be both rewarding and frustrating. I think a lot of people with disabilities can relate to this. He says he craves the release of orgasm, can't, but even though he's in a frustrating situation, he's found other ways to still enjoy sex. Oral sex (giving) is one of the more common ways to make this happen.
Sex isn't dependent on everything we think it is. Tricks, mental strategies for coping, even techniques in bed, there's a lot more to sex than your average penis-vagina penetration, and thank the Gods for this. Finding pleasure in sex can go as far as your creativity will take you.
Do you still have sex? How do you enjoy it?
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.