As a queer person with a disability who is not shy about his sexuality, I find that some of the most common questions that I get are, "Can you have sex?" "Do you have sex?" and "How do you have sex?" These questions arise from many different places, but predominantly from the fact that our dominant sexual discourse has left disability out in the cold. I could launch into a discussion of all the internal emotions/frustrations that this has created for me personally, as I believe that those are valid and in need of unpacking. That being said, I'd like to focus on the positives of sex with people with disabilities and why it may be the best sex you've ever had, or haven't had -- yet.
1. It Forces You and Your Partner to Actually Talk
There is a misconception in our society that good sex is spontaneous, hot, and surprisingly silent. In my experience this is particularly prevalent in queer hookup culture. Each partner is simply supposed to read the other in that exact moment, and from this create this sexual fantasy. That all sounds amazing, but we all know that that is not true life or reality. This is especially true when engaging in sexual congress (OK, I just really like this term!) with a person with a disability. One of the reasons that sex with people with disabilities can be so much better is that in order to have it, you have to communicate, and I don't just mean, "Harder! Faster! Ooh, baby!" (although if that helps, by all means, be my guest). I mean you will have to "storyboard your sex," as I like to say. You can sit with your prospective partner and lay out exactly what will work for both of you. You can discuss what gets you off, what might hurt, and what might feel funny or amazing. You can openly talk about what you're apprehensive about and what you might want to try. This way, you're not unhappily surprised. You may even be surprised by how open you are. It kind of makes one rethink the old adage "Less talk, more action," right?
2. 'Blow... in My Ear...'
One thing that I love about how people with disabilities have sex is the fact that we have adapted our erogenous zones to respond to different stimuli. For instance, someone with paralysis might love it when you tweak their nipples or blow in their ears. That might be more pleasurable to them than a blowjob or fucking. People with disabilities are some of the most adaptable people, and you'd be amazed by what we can offer in the bedroom. Imagine for a second that your partner has a disability and can only use his mouth for everything. See what I'm saying? Hot, right? Persons with disabilities are experts at using what they have around them, and the same certainly holds true for our sex lives. I know how to hit your marks, probably ones you didn't even know you had. Rawr!
3. Top/Bottom Roles Dissolved
It would seem that as a gay man, I must be defined by one of three words: "top," "bottom," or "versatile." These roles help other gay men decide if they are sexually compatible. For me (and for many others too), these roles are completely arbitrary and inaccessible. If I can't "top" you, then I have to be your "bottom," but if we are both "tops," one of us has to be "versatile" and into both? What? Consider that it may be physically impossible for me to top you, or vice versa, but I can still take charge. I can guide your body with my hands and tell you what gets me off in that moment, and you can do the same -- no penetration required. One of the greatest pleasures for me is hearing a guy say, "I have never gotten off like that before, but it was incredible." Want my number yet?
Given my level of disability, I'll need help with a few things, particularly undressing, getting out of my chair and positioning, etc. So few people see this as sexually appealing, but if done correctly, this can be so hot. In that moment you can feel each others bodies and put on a little show. Also, I think humor in these instances can be really helpful. I find that when I make my partner laugh about the fact that he's carrying me over the threshold, as it were, that puts him at ease. Sometimes there may even be a sling involved! So come on over and take off my pants. No, really! Ha!
5. Redefining Sexual Norms
My favorite thing about having sex as a person with a disability is knowing that each and every time I do it with someone, I am redefining their sexual norms and altering their ideology about what is sexually appealing. I am turning them on in ways that they didn't even know were possible, through my words, my thoughts, and my body that defies everything they thought they knew. It forces partners (in whatever context) to be genuine and move away from all the scenarios that they think are sexy, and it create that sexiness within that moment, no matter how vulnerable, different or awkward it is.