Healthy Sexuality After SCI

DeeJayDeeJay Posts: 7Member
Name Dropper First Comment Photogenic
Hello all,

I am beginning this discussion because I see nobody else on the forum has begun any kind of discussions on the subject. I know this is a very long post, but I believe this is a subject that needed to be discussed in great detail. 

Sex or any kind of intimacy can be a very tough subject for those with spinal cord injuries to discuss or sometimes even begin to think about. I know that people, just like I was, can be very self-conscious about themselves being intimate with somebody because of their lack of being able to hold an erection or even being able to have an erection whatsoever. I myself am a married man and my wife and I are often intimate with each other regardless of the fact that I cannot usually have or maintain an erection.

Regardless of this fact my wife and I have a very fulfilling sex life. There is a mass misconception that a male has to produce an external ejaculate to have a fulfilling sex life. I myself retro ejaculate, but nonetheless I feel exactly as if I were ejaculating externally. You do not need to have an external ejaculation to have fulfilling sex life. I myself retro ejaculate, but does feel exactly as if I were ejaculating externally. All of the feelings are the same; the emotions, relaxation and even the euphoria. 

My wife will stimulate my penis through manual stimulation even though I do not have an erection. In the beginning when we became intimate I did not believe I would be able to ejaculate, but I was completely wrong. She was very patient and understanding during these very emotionally vulnerable times of discovering what my body was capable of doing. I am very lucky to have a partner who was non-judgmental and she just wanted me to Explorer my own sexuality and she was completely willing to assist me during that time. She was Patient and understanding during these very emotionally vulnerable times and never once did she make me feel like less of a man because I could not attain an erection. She was my best friend for years before we ever had any kind of intimate moment and I know this was a big reason why she was so loving during these times. Don't jump into such an emotionally vulnerable moment with somebody who you barely know because they just might be very cruel to you and this very well might affect your self-esteem about your sexuality in long Run.

After learning more about my body through experimentation and just trying new things I became very familiar with my body and my wife's body. Eventually we both had no issues coming to mutual climax on a regular basis. While she is stimulating my genitals I am stimulating her breasts and we have had no problems whatsoever with either of us climaxing while we are being intimate. Not to provide too much information but we have both have had multiple orgasms during our times of intimacy. She has had upwards of six orgasms and I've had two orgasms while we are together and this is in no type of rare occurrence.

We both believe it is the connection that we have with each other that allows us to have such a great sex life. It saddens me to see those with spinal cord injuries who are in intimate relationships complain that they are unable to please their partner and I believe that if they focused more on the emotional and spiritual level of their relationship there sex life would be so much more complete.

You must stop focusing on your physical limitations and begin working on your connection with your partner spiritually and emotionally. It's an all encompassing experience. We do lots of things to be intimate with each other besides vaginal penetration. We love to just be close to one another and we rub each other's bodies kiss each other and do many other things that can be considered "foreplay". Believe it or not we have both come to climax just buy doing these type of things. Once I solely stopped focusing on penetration during sex A Whole New World opened up to me. With my wife our sex life became exponentially more fulfilling and pleasurable. 

We would be happy to answer any questions that anybody has regarding there sexuality or my experience with coming to terms with my own limitations and experiences becoming more comfortable with my own sexuality. My wife would also answer any questions that a spouse to a spinal cord injured person might have as well. Thank you for reading my post and we hope to hear from somebody soon. Thank you

Answers

  • PRCkathyPRCkathy Posts: 18Moderator, Information Specialist Information Specialist
    10 Comments 5 Likes

    Thank you for starting this important conversation

    The documents listed below offer information and resources about this topic.

    Sex and Fertility for Males
    http://s3.amazonaws.com/reeve-assets-production/Sex-and-Fertility-for-Males-9-17.pdf

    Sex and Fertility for Females
    http://s3.amazonaws.com/reeve-assets-production/Sex-and-Pregnancy-for-Females-9-17-1.pdf


  • WAGSofSCIWAGSofSCI Posts: 232Moderator Moderator
    100 Likes 100 Comments 25 Awesomes First Answer
    @DeeJay
    Thank you for being so open on this subject and for discussing your experience with this. You're right, this kind of discussion does not happen very often. People are so scared to talk about this, yet, writing about different experiences with this is SO important as each SCI case in sexuality is so different. The more people talk about their own personal experiences with sex and their bodies post sci, the less taboo in the community it will be, the more people will learn about what could work for them. There is no cookie cutter answer to a fulfilling sex life - it looks different for everyone. The keys are openness, communication, patience and the desire to "try everything" while not getting discouraged if something doesn't work for you and your body (or your partners body). 

    - Brooke (WAGS of SCI)
    Your WAGS of SCI
    (Elena and Brooke)
  • ZcollieZcollie Posts: 151Moderator Moderator
    100 Comments 25 Awesomes 25 Likes Name Dropper
    edited May 1
    @DeeJay Awesome post! Thank you for talking and sharing about this topic. I totally agree with you that sex in the SCI world is not talked about enough. The more we talk about it, the more people can be educated and hopefully be comfortable asking questions. It is different for everyone and a person with an SCI can ABSOLUTELY have a fulfilling sex life. I do have a question for you. How is your actual sex drive ? Do you get the feeling of being horny? Before my accident my sex drive was through the roof and I was always horny. Probably because I was going through puberty haha. However now after my accident I rarely get the feelings anymore or crave being sexual as much as I used to. 
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
  • DeeJayDeeJay Posts: 7Member
    Name Dropper First Comment Photogenic
    @Zach: This turned out way longer than I intended. I kind of went on a few other tangents, but it's all still relevant.

    Well, honestly, it has only been the last few months that my sex drive has been decreased in any way and even then that's because of recent health issues. It seems that when I am having any kind of health issues my drive is definitely decreased.

     Normally though, health withstanding, I have a very high sex drive and my wife and I are intimate on a very regular basis. When we first got together it seemed like a day didn't go by that we weren't intimate. We could be trying to watch TV or a movie and either her or I had other things in mind. The big difference that with her I felt like everything was on my terms and being a Christian woman she allowed me to take my rightful place in the home and in the bedroom. Feeling like I was in control of the things around me was something I had not experienced before with women and honestly, my libido felt like it grew exponentially after we got together. I was also was around a whole lot of creeps who were attracted to the fact that I am in a wheelchair and I found out the hard way that those people can and will treat you like you like nothing and less than them. 

    If I could give a newly injured person some advice I would strongly recommend that they not get involved with someone who seems to be more interested in the chair/disability/injuries than the actual person or makes that the sole reason for their interest in them. It has just been from personal experience that those people have some pretty messed up intentions and thoughts about disabled individuals. I was injured at a very young age (14) and I didn't have any experience with women and I honestly couldn't tell the difference between a person who had some sick fetish for the disabled and someone with a genuine interest in me. Just like any able-bodied person a disabled person needs to be selective in who they allow access to themselves. Probably even more so than able-bodied people. Those in wheelchairs should not just settle for the first person who gives them attention because they think that they won't find someone. If you are a good person and aren't being a creep or perv I think you will eventually find someone who will love and like you for you.

    My wife was the reason I finished my high school education and then enrolled in college. We had known each other for almost five years before we got into a romantic relationship. Once we were in a relationship she told me that she has had an interest in me for quite a while but knew I wasn't ready and she was right. I really wasn't and even after we got together I still had a whole lot of growing up to do. During that time she was not involved with any other guy and once we got pretty close she cut out every other guy from her life.


    My wife is nothing like those people who were seeing my disability and not me. We were friends, then best friends and then more happened after we knew each other for years. She genuinely cared about me and didn't have some weird attraction to my disability. When I first met her I was in my early twenties and I was entirely immature. I thought I knew everything and I knew what I wanted. Looking back at myself it is kind of shameful how I conducted myself. 

    By that time I had been hurt and abused by multiple women and I didn't even realize how messed up I truly was. She saw straight through my act of confidence and happiness and saw me for the lonely, depressed and at times borderline suicidal person. She was the friend I needed and I often say (as cliche as it sounds) she was the light to bring me out of the darkness I was surrounded by. She brought me back from the brink, dude. She really did. She cared about my state of mind and even when I would try to say things that were flirty or sexual in nature she knew that I was in no state of mind to be in a relationship. She waited until I was in a good place emotionally, physically and spiritually to even show she had a romantic interest in me. 

     Not to sound cliche or anything but the way she treated me made me feel more like a man. Made me act more like a man, too. The way she did things and treated me made me fall in my rightful place and everything else kind of fell into place too, intimacy included. Like I previously stated she didn't put any pressure on me to do things that I just couldn't do anymore and just told me to explore her body and learn myself and her in the process. That took most of the anxiety I had about being intimate away and once I became more comfortable and lost all craziness I had in my head from watching pornography everything was fantastic. I know that the pornography aspect is a whole other topic but definitely one that should be discussed and the harm that it can cause to relationships. Once I was only focused on my wife and none of that unnatural crap you see in pornography I could not be near her without feeling like I couldn't stop myself from reaching out and grabbing her. Her and I do not have any issues with passion or intimacy. We genuinely love being with and around each other and it all was started with a firm foundation that all started with friendship. 

    I really didn't mean for this to turn into a full-on essay, but I guess I have a whole lot to say on the subject. I have had a whole lot of bad experiences with people since my injury and I just hope that I can stop someone from experiencing what I went through. I also have a lot of good experiences and I hope that they can have those without any of the bad ones.

    Anyway, if anybody has any other questions I will be happy to answer them. Thanks for reading to the end if you made it this far haha.
  • ZcollieZcollie Posts: 151Moderator Moderator
    100 Comments 25 Awesomes 25 Likes Name Dropper
    @DeeJay Wow what an incredible story. The way you talk about your wife is beautiful. This really made me appreciate everything my girlfriend does for me. She makes me feel a lot of the feelings you described. I am very lucky to have her in my life and I learn from here everyday. Thank you for sharing(:   
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
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