Passionate Sex and Loving Intimacy is Possible for Chronic Pain Sufferers, MS, Fibromyalgia, Cerebral Palsy and other Disability Challenges
What if we could Celebrate Intimacy whilst being Imperfectly Perfect?
Although more people are added daily due to tragic accidents, violence, or diseases, society does not want to know about them, and many live in a terribly challenging physical and emotional roller coaster of pain, treatment, coping and surviving.
Usually, the most difficult adjustment involves sexual activities.
Disabled people who want a sexual relationship are up against the perception that they don’t have or shouldn’t have sex. It is normally not discussed out of embarrassment or ignorance of caregivers. So, most people affected suffer in silence with real needs for sexual and intimate relationships like everyone else!
What about those amongst us who were born with e.g. cerebral palsy, and/or with learning disabilities?
We all have a right to be loved and be intimate, and that includes sexual health awareness.
Sex and intimacy for a disabled person are not seen as basic needs, but luxury desires.
Lack of privacy can also be an intrinsic problem, which is particularly true in residential care where residents depend on staff help.
Sexual health is a bit of an icky problem with staff. For one, many “able-bodies” members of staff don’t really want to discuss “private” issues, such as sex, many feel uncomfortable even addressing this subject. Then, there is the law, would they get into trouble if they assisted a “vulnerable adult” in sexual matters? Best not to go there and ignore that element of care altogether. It’s just safer. However, meanwhile those who are in care have their needs and desires denied!
It’s this fear around abuse that is another barrier to sexual fulfilment for disabled people. Most training support around sex and disabled people is about abuse and sexually transmitted diseases, rather than a healthy sex life.
So, ok, specific contracts must be drawn up to ensure there is no question of confusion around abuse and consent.
The sensation of touch, the sensuous, warm, and loving feeling of being stroked or hugged is so important, even for survival. However, if the only time you are touched is to be washed, toileted and dressed by a professional, is hardly a pleasurable sexual experience.
Sex aids, and massage can be offered to provide sensory experiences. Severely disabled people, who cannot masturbate may inquire about taking these experiences one step further. This is where a respectful, honouring Tantric Massage is very powerful to bring the needed relaxing into pleasure.It is my desire to serve in the realms of sensual pleasures and enabled intimate relationships in the following ways:
- 1 to provide training to support staff first of all regarding awareness of the most basic human needs: sensuous loving touch and sexual health education for disabled people. (This can happen both in group workshops / seminars, and also in individual training with the disabled client.
- 3 Assisting the disabled client in experiencing sensual pleasure. Personally I am not too keen in just providing sex aids and erotic literature / media, and let them get on with it … (sex toys do have their place if used responsibly). It may be a cheap and easy way out, and less time involved, however, I believe it is better is clients learn to experience internally generated pleasure sensation of their skin as a whole body sensation, rather than a quick pornographically induced release. By teaching the client a gentle method of respectfully inquiring where and how they experience sexual pleasure, that then can become a transferable skill when they enjoy lovemaking with a partner.
- 4 Assisting ‘soulmates’ to find each other and then build a solid relationship to last. Sometimes, this may require the help of the support staff who knows each client really well, so that the optimum level of connection and intimacy can be created with the two people in question.
It is good when both partners are supported, be it both of them disabled, or just one of them. Often no-disabled people in love with a disabled one receive an unfortunate amount of criticism, and ridicule from their friends and acquaintances. Thus support is cucial.
For more information about how I can help you and/or your caregiver personally or organise training workshops, please contact me directly via EMAIL
2 Support the support staff. This refers to the support staff’s own needs for sexuality. In our hectic busy professional work caring for others, our own needs are often unmet. If this happens long enough, then the chance for sexual tension and potential abuse can occur. It is advisable to then have an experienced and trusted professional counsellor / coach or advisor to help.
Below, please find some inspirations and suggestions of products from the company “Lieberator”, which I find particularly useful in supporting bodies of all types during lovemaking. Please note that “Liberator” is not a company that specialises in products for disabled people, hence all the pictures below feature non-disabled people.
With a bit of creativity and fun you can enjoy your lovemaking with comfort. Here are some ideas:
Check out the humorous video on the right:
Here are some suggestions using “Liberator” aids. You could even combine a hoist and sling if you have one … and why not have the more agile one of you use the hoist instead? just be creative 🙂
Some people, such as those suffering from Fibromyalgia, or MS, have regular chronic pain, body stiffness and fatigue, or have painful joints and experience pain all the time. You need to find a way to reduce the pain in order to enjoy sex more, and use sex positions where you are not putting strain on the painful parts of your body.
With physical disabilities, such as from limb amputation or hip replacements, there often is not much strength or mobility to get into any enjoyable sexual positions, so, alleviating pain or pressure point is of utmost importance. Being disabled doesn’t mean you can’t have a good sex life, but you may need to make a few adjustments to make things as pleasurable as possible.
The Liberator© range with their various firm and supportive cushion shapes, which can be securely assembled like personal Lego© blocks, is a real milestone solution to offer comfort, and help expand options for kissing, cuddling and lovemaking.
They are available in various countries such as:
The ‘Stage’ is narrow enough to be easily straddled and wide enough to provide a secure elevation for massages.
Urinary leakage difficulties can stem from a variety of conditions including urological problems, gynaecological difficulties, spinal cord injuries/disorders and Multiple Sclerosis. However, individuals with these conditions can and do have active sex lives and find ways to adapt during lovemaking.
The Liberator covers are made out of microfiber, designed to withstand the wear and tear of bodily fluids. If you feel sensitive about the urine on the covers, I would recommend washing them after each use.
You may also want to check out Spokz for further sex aid ideas.So, whilst society appears anxious to ignore, deny or stereotype their sexuality, awareness does grow and changes to offer real help is emerging. (I just had to add this beautiful photo by Belinda Mason-Lovering of Gold-medal Paralympian Gerry Hewson posing with his pregnant wife, Louise.)
Looking forward to hearing from you!