by Lady Love
*** This post is of an adult-themed nature ***
When I was in junior high school, a boy once asked me whether I can have sex and have babies — because I use a wheelchair. My immediate reaction was, “Yes, of course!”
Then he asked me how and I replied, “Like everyone else!”
Even though I had no personal experience yet, I knew my body enough to know that I could have sex. Most people probably find his question rude and too direct but I thought he was also open-minded to have at least asked me about sex. My parents and most of my classmates never talked about sex with me because they assumed that a person with a disability couldn’t have sex.
The topic of sexuality and disability is often taboo and not discussed very much. In college, I decided I wanted to find out why able-bodied people did not generally date people with physical disabilities. This interest in this topic then led me to write a research paper about sexuality and disability. I interviewed able-bodied people and people with physical disabilities about their sexuality and preferences in regards to disabilities. The results were very telling. One able-bodied interviewee said he had never thought about dating a woman with a disability because he thought he wouldn’t be able to have unconventional sex in the kitchen or the closet. I found this response interesting, and also thought to myself, “Hmm… if only he had more imagination…”
In my research, I learned that society often sees people with disabilities as asexual beings. This is a misconception that needs to change. As people with disabilities, we are experts of our own body and should be proud of it. We cannot let society define beauty for us. Even though I have scars on my body from previous surgeries and my legs are skinnier than my upper body, my husband thinks I am beautiful.
People with disabilities are sexy and can have fulfilling sex lives. There are also many different AT devices available that can give them more independence in this intimate arena – items that could even allow for some unconventional sex, too!
Check out these different AT devices that people with disabilities can look into to enhance their sexual life:
Liberator shapes are effectively pillows and cushions for wedging and rocking. These can be used to attain a desired position or they can be used to facilitate the necessary motion for intimacy. Liberator shapes come in many forms, the most common of which is the wedge. The crescent, the bean bag, and the double camel humps (not shown) are also useful for achieving new positions.
The intimate rider is a rocking chair that, with minimal upper body effort, can facilitate a pelvic thrust. The intimate rider was designed by a c6-c7 quadriplegic and is also recommended for individuals with stroke, arthritis, back pain, multiple sclerosis, amputation, and cerebral palsy as well as spinal cord injury. It is suggested for someone with moderate trunk stability and able to perform transfers however transfer legs are available for simplification. The Intimate Rider is low to the ground making many sexual positions accessible and can be purchased with accessories such as the positioning strap and liberator wedge. The intimate rider is a very safe alternative to the many variations of the sex swing which may or may not be stable and supportive.
The thigh sling is made of leather for durability and is easily folded up for storage. The sling fits snuggly around the neck and has adjustable, padded loops for thigh straps. This helps a patient maintain an elevated and open position for easy contact. With creative positioning of additional leverage the thigh sling requires little to no motor control to achieve enjoyable sex.
The Body Bouncer is like the Intimate Rider in that it allows a disabled individual to achieve greater mobility during intimacy while other positioning devices are simply used to help one hold a given position. The body bouncer achieves this by using a spring activated seat. With slight momentum shifts the seated partner can achieve 8-9” of thrusting motion. By allowing the user to have a more dynamic sexual role the Body Bouncer can help break the mental barrier that disabled intimacy should only exist in a passive role.
The love bumper is a different take on the previously discussed Liberator Shapes. Though there are fewer contour designs available for The Love Bumper it comes with an opening which facilitates the use of a dildo or a vibrator during intimacy or self pleasure. Choosing the right love bumper shape and design may depend on the disability and an honest discussion between partners.