It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I have SEX on the Brain Again

[image description: the wheelchair dude gettin it on with his wheelchair lady]

The other day I read yet another article about sex and disability from England focusing on prostitution. (for others, click here) If you click on the tag prostitution below, you will see that this is a hot button issue for me. I almost feel as though I've said all I can about this issue, except that I want to revisit one thing that was touched on (no pun intended) in the article.

Says a sexual surrogate,

"I see a lot of women with cerebral palsy. Sex is painful for them because they can’t open their legs fully and they get spasms. But if they learn how to relax and experiment with different positions, they can overcome that. Having an excited boyfriend is not the best way to learn.”
I'd have to disagree with that. He seems to make that an absolute truth (the boyfriend part) and it isn't necessarily. TRUST ME, I've thought about this a lot, as I have said issue. Not that I've been able to have first hand experience yet, but I believe in being prepared, realistic, and talking. Hasn't anyone ever heard of talking? Talk to a friend with a disability, a friend without a disability, a friend who's a virgin, a friend who's a slut, a shrink, a physician, your significant other, & why not have a talk with yourself in your head while your at it. If you want to have a satisfying sexual relationship / experiences you need to get over your/society's hangup/embarrassment about sex and start by talking about it.

However, I've gotten a step or 2 ahead of myself. The first thing you have to do is know yourself. Get to know your body in a non-sexual manner. For example, I'm a triplegic and my right arm has a lot more spasticity then my left. When I was little my mom and I figured out that it was sometimes impossible to get dressed if we put my left arm in first, so I'd start getting dressed right arm first. We needed the extra maneuverability of the clothes for that arm. Over the years that has pretty much become a non issue. Spasticity levels change all over your body as you grow, have surgery, and just get old. Keep track of those changes and changes in your general mobility.

What I've done next is take a good look at the images of sex I see in the media all time. I've taken that along with the info about how my body works and spent a lot of think time trying to match the 2 together, figuring out what might work, what might hurt a little, and kept that easily accessible in my brain. I've also noticed that a lot of what looks like "traditional" sex looks like it could be crazy painful, even with liberal amounts of botox in the right places. I've thrown those ideas out the window. That picture above, that's a no go for me.

This is where I've had to stop for now. It's the point where talking needs to start, and I have no need to talk right now. But I do have a plan for the talking part too. The first thing I'm going to do is talk to my physician who handles my pain management. It might be helpful to take some of my PRN medication an hour or so before, it might be a good idea to have a drink before, neither of those may be the thing to do, and/or she may have something else I'd never have thought of. It's not my job to know, it's her's.

The next thing I'm going to do is talk to the dude. Find out if he has any fears about having sex with a crip (if he isn't one). Explain the info I've gathered, my "plan," and find out what his expectations, ideas, and hesitations are. This will likely involve me talking to whatever shrink I happen to be seeing at the time alone first and may involve me dragging the dude to a trained sex therapist with me (totally different then a surrogate). As I said, I'm all about the talking and minimizing pain as much as possible (which involves talking to repeat myself).

I've been told that sex is more satisfying this way then total spontaneity without discussing anything. Getting our signals crossed doesn't sound like my idea of fun, it sounds like stress and unfulfillment, and possibly physical pain. If the guy's too "excited" to work through this with me then he doesn't deserve to get what he wants. End of story. Somebody else will have no problem being patient and I have no problem waiting til they come along.

Who am I, a virgin, to be giving sex advice you ask? Well I'm part way through the process of obtaining certification as a Family Life Educator, which involves training (a 3cr class) in sexuality that I've completed, I possess the bible on my bookshelf (the book THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SEX AND DISABILITY Don't have it? Get it) and I have 5+ years of deep thought under my belt (pun intended).


The Goldfish said...

This is excellent Cheryl - so much better than that first odious article. When the time comes, you'll not only be ready, but you'll probably prove a great help to your future lover(s). It's surprising now many non-disabled people have hang-ups and anxieties just because, despite the apparent saturation of the subject in the media, they are not so hot at thinking and talking about this stuff themselves.

therapydoc said...

Who are you? You're absolutely brilliant, for one (I've told you that, but what do I know). #2, you're spot on about all of this. It's ALL about communication, and no matter what anyone says about non-verbal, the best is verbal. And people with issues hearing things, i.e., that hurts, shouldn't be having sex with ANYONE. Just mho.

Cheryl said...

TD, wait til you read the post that's going up this evening, in direct response to your latest post. These are the best two posts I've written in MONTHS. There's something to be said for actually taking the mood stabilizer & antidepressant that have been taking up space in my apartment. Who would have thought they were meant to be used and not just to look pretty? :-)

Cheryl said...

Thanks Goldfish!

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