Practical Sex Tips for Disabled People
Whether you are newly disabled, new to sex, or just looking for some ideas to improve your sex life, read on! This leaflet is aimed at disabled people, and we realise that, just like the rest of the population, some have a vivid imagination, some are uninhibited while others who were probably brought up to think sex is dirty, or they had a bad early experience, need lots of reassurance, help and time to improve the way the enjoy sex.
More than talking
Almost everyone can enjoy sex in some way or other, regardless of their disability. To find out what suits you and your partner can take experimentation, imagination and above all, learning to feel comfortable with your own image of your body and your desires. If you want to suggest new ways of having sex to your partner, it is important that you bring it up in a way that doesn’t make them feel awkward. Wait until you are both feeling relaxed and sexy, and say things like “I love it when you do this…” or “It’d be great to try that…” You may find your partner is more willing to try new things than you had realised.
“I thought that telling someone what you can and can’t do would be tough. But talking about sex really turned her on!”
Try looking at good illustrated sex manual with your partner. We like Suzi Godson’s The Sex Book (Cassell 2002)
More than one position
There are no positions specifically for disabled people, only a huge number of positions for you to try and see what you like. If you are trying something for the first time, take it slowly, see how you feel and check if your partner is having a good time. If you feel uncomfortable or find there is too much pressure on your body, switch position. Be sure you both take responsibility for yourselves and set out to enjoy. Penetration is not essential to have a good time, and it doesn’t have to be deep for both partners to find it enjoyable.
More than penetration
Sex is not just about which partner is on top. You may find that a disability makes penetration difficult or just hard work, but that you can easily enjoy manual or oral stimulation. Touching, rubbing, tickling, licking, sucking and using a vibrator can be very enjoyable, and many people find it easier to orgasm this way than through penetrative sex. Try different types of sex in one session. Start with stroking and touching, and then go on to masturbating each other or licking and gently sucking sensitive areas. Avoid rushing or thinking too much about whether or not you will orgasm. Concentrate on the pleasurable feelings that you are experiencing and the ones you are giving to your partner.
“We have been doing things lately that we never did before. It’s made us experiment, instead of opting for missionary the whole time.”
More than enough lube
Lubricants can make a big difference when it comes to sex. They are not expensive and you can buy them in chemists, supermarkets, sex-shops or online. When applied to genitals, they can make touching more comfortable and penetration easier. They can also be great for masturbating on your own. If you are not confident with using lubricants for the first time, try them during a body massage and work your way down to the penis or vagina. It is important to remember that if you use condoms, you must buy a water based lubricant as oil-based lubes can damage rubber.
If you are worried about your sex life, or can’t find a way to overcome the sexual problems which are interfering with your happiness, the first step should be your GP. Your GP should know whether you need practical information, medical help or relationship therapy. Try not to get fobbed off with prescribed drugs. Sex therapy is always informal and helpful. It helps couples out of their sexual wilderness into a garden of adventure. If you feel awkward about discussing sex with your doctor, try taking this leaflet with you.
A list of sex therapists and counsellors around the country who specialise on physical and learning disabilities, with details of costs, wheelchair access, etc will shortly be up on our website.
Any questions on personal issues like these can be asked on our Sex and Disability Helpline:
Post: Tuppy Owens, BCM Box Lovely, London WC1N 3XX
Email: Email Helpline
Phone: 07770 884 985 : The Helpline is open weekdays 11am to 7pm