Sex & Disability – “I’ll Need To Ask My Carer First”

Privacy is a huge barrier that presents itself to people with disabilities who want to have a loving, physical, and intimate sex life.

People with high-end disabilities know it all too well, but for a new partner, the idea of someone else helping their boyfriend/girlfriend into bed to have sex is not only a foreign idea, but is also very awkward.

Let’s get some facts out of the way.

Sex isn’t something that you just get old enough to do and suddenly know everything about, it is a learning process, and you understand more about yourself as a sexual being the more times you engage in it. Continue reading Sex & Disability – “I’ll Need To Ask My Carer First”

Assumptions About Disabled People’s Sex Drives & Seeing An Escort

It has been said before, but society in 2016 is highly sexualised.

Young people in particular are often focused on their image and what that means to others. With so many avenues providing instant gratification, including sexual gratification, the disability sector has a long way to go in order to address the general public in a way that will help youth.

There are a lot of assumptions that are made about disability out in public, and like anything, the mainstream idea of disability is either to pity or to portray as inspirational. In terms of sexuality, a lot of people think one or two common things:

  1. Physically disabled people are paralysed, so they can’t feel their intimate areas.
  1. It hurts the physically disabled to have sex, so they don’t.

The assumptions aren’t limited to that however. Perhaps not to the fault of their own, another idea people have is that those living with a disability have far bigger problems in their day-to-day life, so therefore, there is no room for sex.

Everybody has problems, disabled or not, and the question then becomes do people realise the positive therapeutic effects that sex can have for somebody?

If therapeutic,  is it time that disability organisations started taking a harder look at the entire area of sex, intimacy, and how that can be worked for someone living with a disability. Or, is it not up to these organisations to tackle such an area?

Many organisations in the disability sector cringe at the idea of lobbying the government to take a more serious look into how the sex lives for disabled people can be addressed.

One organisation The Real Michael Pulman spoke to said that sex is a personal responsibility, but what happens when a disabled person is so limited that this is not possible? Should it just be forgotten about?

With that said, many organisations do offer help to the people they support in the area of sex.

Advocates have tackled nearly every other aspect of disability and often they’ve done this directly speaking to the community.

Why not sex?

The problem facing anybody trying to advocate for the sexual expression of disabled people is that sex, by its nature, is such a dividing subject. Another problem these advocates face is the disabled people themselves, because research shows, a lot of disabled youth and young adults have a very negative view of themselves and their ability to engage in sex.

Being sexy, in many ways, is being confident in ones self.

What also must be kept in mind that many in the community are parents of disabled children and youth, and often, they won’t go near the subject either.

Yes, disabled people are very vulnerable, but is it not their right to make a decision on how to discover sexual pleasure?

That brings the conversation, very often at least, onto the subject of sex workers.

The sex industry in New Zealand is alive and well, but a lot of people still think that prostitution is still illegal.

For a disabled person, as bad as it may sound to some people, seeing a sex worker is often the only way a sexual experience is possible.

That in itself opens the door to another lot of assumptions.

Depending on where you look, some sex services that are on offer are actually of very high class, are clean and professional, and aren’t riddled with dodgy drug dealings behind the scenes. It would be fair to say that no one wants to lose their virginity to an escort/sex worker, disabled or not, but that doesn’t mean that a person utilising that service should be condemned for doing so.

The Disability Sector Is Ready To Get Sexy

It is easy to think that it is all too much and all too scary to try and advocate for disabled people and their sexuality. It is also scary to talk about it, and in some cases, want to experience sex, whatever that may be for the individual.

Look at society, it is more sexually orientated than ever before, sex is mainstream and it is available at our very fingertips. Anyone tried Tinder?

The disability sector is seriously lacking in this area, but not for the lack of trying. However, the trying is not happening on a regular basis.

It isn’t about putting disability and sex in a bubble, but sooner or later, young people living with a disability will need to accept that, yes, you will require very frank and open discussions to achieve this.

Organisations have tried, to open up these discussions by running workshops and having information days. These attempts by the disability sector to have conversation are not a free ticket to getting laid however.

The reason why workshops and information days haven’t been well attended isn’t an easy question to try and answer. They have a danger of bringing on more frustration, but it is a start at least.

However, there is no doubting that disability organisations in New Zealand could be doing more, but those who have tried to broach the subject of sex have been met with disappointment.

This is not down to disabled people having no desire for sex.

Would it be fair to say that a lot of disabled people, especially those with very high-care needs, have adopted a thinking that doesn’t help the cause?

That thinking is that sexual experience is in the too hard basket, and this is where organisations and advocates need to sit down together and have very open conversations.

How do you remove the mindset of sex being in that too hard basket?

The bigger picture is key. It is more than just the act of sex, many physically disabled people cannot have penetrative sex and instead will rely on experimentation in the bedroom. The use of sex toys to reach pleasure is one thing, but out of all the discussions that have been had about the “ins and outs” of sex for disabled people, it hasn’t been stated enough that each disabled person is different and will have certain requirements and assistance in order to achieve something close to a normal sex life.

It isn’t a question of resources or interest by the people, it is a question of if those people really want to put themselves out there and try to broach the subject.

Sex shouldn’t be so taboo for the disability community, but at the same time, it is up to that same community to help those who are trying to make a difference.

This is done by speaking out.

My Journey To Sex: Part 3

It wasn’t just the moment I lost my virginity, but the entire experience that afternoon which absolutely astounded every sense of my being.

It felt like I had been on this journey for years, almost a lifetime, and so many questions along the way had suddenly been answered all in the space of a couple of hours.

I performed, I had my first orgasm, I made her orgasm, and I finally knew what sex felt like.

It was such a terrific moment of clarity, and share relief. I had never been so relieved, so thankful, and so floored by such a powerful and quick feeling of emotion which came as quick as it left.

handicapped-sex-brothel-wheelchair

My first orgasm was indescribable. I didn’t know what the hell was happening to my body, at first I actually thought I was about to pass out or that maybe I was having a stroke or something., my head kind of exploded and went all dizzy, I lost focus on what I was doing, and then out of nowhere that wave of pleasure hit me, so powerfully, and so quickly. It’s like you’re entire being shifts into overdrive, it just feels amazing. Better than any feeling.

When you reach your end you kind of lose all sense of reality. The world around you just explodes into a massive rush of excitement, relief, and pure pleasure.

But greater than that, if sex is done with the right person, the cuddles after the act itself are just as pleasurable as anything you do when getting all hot n heavy.

I love cuddles, sometimes nothing is said, you sort of just lie there with the girl and hold hands, kiss for a bit, and just enjoy being close.

To me, sex is more about being close with a person than actually getting the person to orgasm.

On January 15th 2014, my sex life began, and in many ways my entire life changed in a small way as well.

I had hoped, prayed, and wished for sexual performance, that was all. I just wanted to be able to do that stuff, and despite all my concerns and doubts going in, there was not one thing I wasn’t able to do. I was able to give and receive oral, do penetration, orgasm, and every other thing you do in the bedroom. It was a surprise in many ways, but one that was welcome.

You have to remember, I didn’t even know 100% wether or not I could even get an erection before my first sexual experience.

So in summary, and I really don’t know how to finish this blog. All I can think about is how relieved I am that I can actually sit here tonight, and finish by saying yes, I can actually, and did actually have sex.

Again, the reason of knowing if I could or if I couldn’t, is completely unknown to me. Even now.

Losing my virginity, my journey to sex, all the doubts and concerns, and all the taboo of the subject, it is clear to me that sex was perhaps the greatest challenge that my disability threw my way so far.

There will be many more challenges in the future, some of which I wont be so successful in, but I made a promise to myself long ago that I would try, just try to not let my disability stop my belief in anything, including having a normal and healthy sex life.

I don’t feel like I am in a position to give advice to anybody with a condition like mine, and I won’t do that. Because make no mistake about it, this disease effects people differently, and you have to be prepared to accept that you may not be able to have sex, but go into it hoping against it all that you will.

That’s all you can do, just hope.

And keep in mind, sex isn’t all there is to life. It really isn’t, things that are more important are what should motivate you. Like school, family, love, hobbies, work, being a good person, keeping true to who you are and what you believe in.

You can’t describe what sex feels like, and no matter how OCD and obsessed I become in trying to do so, I wont ever be able to describe that wave of pleasure and how powerfully it takes over you. It just feels like a tremendous surge of everything pleasurable. Lets just say, think about how great you THINK sex will be before you do it, and then triple that by around 100, that is how awesome an orgasm feels.

That’s how it feels to me anyway. And no matter how many times I do it, it never ever stops feeling that great.

Finally, I just feel very proud and quite privileged to have shared this story with you. I hope you enjoyed the last three blogs. I was scared to share this story, but I wanted to tell it as well.

My next challenge?

I don’t know really, I am busy as hell with Wintec these days and working on my Journalism degree.

There are many girls in my life too, haven’t quite found the right one yet, and I am quite scared to try as well because I have been hurt so many times before, but as I proved recently, it doesn’t scare me away either and I hope date 3 with the girl from my class goes well.

You can’t force love, it comes to you. Sex is awesome and I glad I can do it, but it isn’t the end goal for me.

My goal is to be myself, and be true to the girls in my life. After being true to myself.

I will make my mistakes too. In fact, I have already. My confidence with girls is terribly low and it will take a long time to gain it back. But like everything, you believe in what you are doing, and I guess you just have to hope.

Plus, I have dates to go on soon, and that girl is awesome too! Don’t know if it is officially dating or what, we are just mates.

I hoped with sex, and I achieved it. I hope with a girlfriend one day, I want to be the best boyfriend in the world, and I will achieve that too. I just believe in that.

Regards,

Mike

My Journey To Sex: Part 2

Even today, I don’t know why being able to perform sexually meant so much to me. All I knew was, if I couldn’t, I would be heartbroken but somehow would have to find a way of dealing with it. It was hard to not think negatively, but I just tried to hold onto hope that everything would work out.

I may be disabled, but I was damn sure that it wasn’t going to motivate me to shy away from this goal.

I was fortunate enough to have a few days notice before my first sexual experience occurred. It gave me time to think, and while thinking may sometimes not be the way you want to go into something like sex, it did me a world of good in the end.

As I said in the last blog, sex was something I had desired for so many reasons but all those reasons I couldn’t explain or justify to anyone, including myself.

handicapped-sex-brothel-wheelchair

The first reason was to experience sex. The second, to know if I could or not, and the third reason was the biggie, to achieve something that so many of my friends with either MD or SMA had passed away without ever attempting or knowing if they could or not. This was the hardest justification of them all, because a handful of them had almost given up on sex, or at least that is the vibe I got from them when they were still alive.

It was a myriad of reasons, reasons I couldn’t justify to anyone, including myself as well sometimes… most of the time… all the time.

I had the best part of a week’s notice before my first sexual encounter, so I had time to prepare my mind for the event. Much time that week was spent on my own, deep in thought, as I had been in the sexual sense since the journey began all those years ago. I never talked to anyone about my fears, and the week of losing my virginity, I kept the nerves as much to myself as I could.

The few people around me who knew of the pending event were well aware of just how nervous I was becoming.

It was a nervous excitement, a fear of the unknown, and a worry that after all this time and all this toil, including the decision to finally take a leap of faith and do it, sex may not be all I imagined it to be. I was worried that I would go through all these years of wonder, only to be disappointed.

“Ok, maybe I will be able to perform in the bedroom, maybe I will orgasm, but what if it just isn’t that good?”.

I can hear those words in my head like it was yesterday.

I think you could easily put sex up on a massive pedestal, thinking it will be something out of this world. I think everybody who hasn’t experienced is in danger of doing that, some will have realistic expectations while others will be a little more out there in what they think will happen when the clothes come off.

I was in both camps, and on reflection I think most of my thoughts about intercourse and how it would be and feel were fairly realistic.

I mean jeez, I had enough time to think about it that’s for sure!

My disability and how it works is restrictive. Physically, I probably have the ability of a baby. My arms are weak, I can’t move my legs, I can’t move my hips, I can’t even reach my private areas.

A lot of people who are in the know wonder why I don’t masturbate, the reason why is because I can’t. I have never masturbated, never had any pleasure from my own hands. I don’t have the arm power or the hand power. The man zone is just not a place where my hands go. They never went there.

My point?

Everything about sex was so unknown, and the week’s preparation was so vital in me coming to terms with all that. There were countless times when I wondered what I would actually be able to do in the bedroom. I questioned if I would be able to get her off and make her feel as amazing as she was going to make me, I wondered if it would hurt when it came to penetration, I was worried that I would not be able to get an erection, I was worried I would break my hips, I wasn’t sure if I would know if I was doing the job right. The list just went on and on and on, there were so many reasons to back out of the whole thing, to save the potentially damaging results to my mental state if things didn’t work, but so many reasons to bite the bullet and try as well.

I ended up having a coffee with the girl I lost my virginity too a few days out from the event.

It was so crucial for me to trust her, and also for her to know what my limitations were and would be once we got to the bedroom. We had a good few conversations about it all. She really was amazing at calming me down, and it was quite easy to trust her in the end. She was experienced, and while someone who had been around the block a few times wasn’t how I always imagined my first time girl would be, it benefited me ten fold. I needed a girl who knew what she was doing.

I was scared because I wondered if my reliance on her would scare her away, despite all her experience, I was worried that she would back out because she thought she’d hurt me, and I just wanted the whole thing to fly off without a hitch.

But in order for it to be a success I had to put myself in a position that could have easily taken the whole thing away. I am VERY, VERY proud of the courage I showed in that conversation with her in particular.

Casual sex, or picking up girl in a bar and bringing her back to my house wont ever be an option for me if sex was going to occur just randomly out of the blue, because there will always need to be some sort of discussion about how things have to work in order for sex to be a success for myself and the girl. Like most things with the disability, my sex life also requires pretty much total 100% reliance on somebody else. Getting ready before hand, during sex, and after sex too, it is all pretty much out of my control and I have to rely on the help of somebody else.

But through all the worry, it was such an exciting time too!

That was the longest, but in many ways most enjoyable week of my life. The days just dragged on and on and I couldn’t settle myself down. If anything I was getting more excited and I wanted to forget my worry and just soak up the whole experience. Whilst asking myself if I could move on and live my life if I couldn’t perform sexually, I also tried to ask myself what I would do with my life if I could have awesomely amazing sex. I didn’t come up with any answers to both those questions, but I just knew that either way, I wouldn’t regret what I was about to do.

The other lingering factor in the back of my head was if this whole thing was “right” or not.

I guess I am a little old school, but sex should be a good thing and it should be with the right girl. Plus, virginity is special, and it shouldn’t be taken too easily. Just keep that in mind. I don’t have any regrets, but lets just say I worried that I would have had massive regrets if it didn’t turn out like I hoped.

Two things to keep in mind.

Be prepared to accept that you may not be able to have full on sex, but also be confident or positive enough to believe that you will.

And so… D Day arrived.

The sun came out bright and early on Wednesday January 15th 2014, and I knew that no matter the outcome, this day would be remembered for the rest of my life. I remember the first thing I did that morning. I got up, had breakfast, and went outside listening to music on my iPod. Nothing was done differently than any other day.

As the morning wore on, and the time till my first sexual experience drew closer and closer, I was feeling more and more excited. I took a shower, and that’s when it hit me.

Out of nowhere, an amazing sense of worry threw itself over me. It was one of the most exciting, but terrifying feelings I have ever had. I don’t know why, I think I was just scared that sex, something I so yearned for to settle a question I had been having with myself for years, just wouldn’t be something I could do. My disability, like it has for all of us, had taken so much of my physical capabilities away from me, I didn’t want my dream of sex to be taken away too, because I knew what it would do to me if it did.

It was all so important to me.

But I had to go through with it, worry be damned, self belief and hope shone on through and before I knew it, the time had come and it was about to get a whole lot more real very, very quickly.

You cannot describe that level of adrenaline, my heart was beating quicker than it ever had before, and my panic buttons were being pushed in every direction possible. All the pep talks and advice were ringing loud and clear in my head, and all the ways I had imagined sex would be were racing through my mind like a silent movie, a montage of pictures, what felt like a lifetime of questions and second guessing about to be answered.

Before I knew it, I was having sex. I was no longer a virgin, and everything had worked out well.

Regards,

Mike