The first time I had sex, I nearly vomited. Not because the sex was bad, or because the guy wasn’t cute. But because I was very, very drunk.
You see, I lost my virginity on my 21st birthday. (You could say it was a rite of passage in more ways than one, am I right, ladies?) Up until that point, I had spent years thinking about sex in the context of others. Sure, I fantasized about sex, and having it, but it was always in this weird, disassociated way. In my fantasies, I was able-bodied. I could do any position imaginable, and then some. I had the body of every amateur porn star I had ever watched online.
In other words, the mental image I had for myself rarely matched my reality. In reality, I was disabled, with the flexibility of a tree trunk. Whenever I thought about losing my virginity, all I could think was, who would want to f*ck this slice of pumpkin pie with Cerebral Palsy. (Sorry, it is almost Thanksgiving and all I can think about is pie.)
Looking back, it’s a shame that it took a heavy pour and several shots of Fireball (I was 21 with poor taste in alcohol, OK!), to get me to actually have sex.
But, thankfully, I did, because it’s led me here, now, where I plan to bestow the best advice ever for having sex with people with disabilities. But don’t worry, not all of these tips come from me, who–spoiler alert!–is still disabled. I also talked to a few folks who talk about sex for a living. (Talk about a dream job!)
Without further ado, here are 6 ways to have the best sex ever with someone with a disability…
1. Don’t automatically expect it to be bad. But don’t expect it to be good either.
As much as my boyfriend proves this dead wrong (he’s a coitus god, what can I say?), sex isn’t always going to be great, and that includes having sex with people with disabilities.
In fact, a few years ago, I was working on a Queerty story that required me to ask a friend what it was like to boink me. Thinking he would have something earth shattering to say (like maybe that I was a coitus god), he simply replied with the following:
“It wasn’t that weird, except that you couldn’t move your legs much,” he said. “Boinking a disabled guy is just like boinking any other guy, really, in that it might be terrible, it might be great, it might be average. I think that we managed to hit on several points along that spectrum!”
Hey, I’ll take “average,” and you should too!
2. Don’t let the D, as in disability, get in the way.
Having sex with someone with a disability may seem like a mystery (along the same vein of, WTF ever happened to Matthew Fox from LOST?), but don’t let that get in the way of having a good time.
According to Christopher Ryan Jones, a clinical psychologist and sex therapist, people should avoid thinking ”of the person’s disability as being a hinderance to sexual variation,” he says. Instead, “think of the disability as a factor to promote creativity in the bedroom. In other words, if you are having sex with someone who has a disability, this doesn’t mean you are stuck in the same routine, but this is an opportunity for you to explore and try new things that you haven’t done before.”
3. Don’t be afraid to LOL before you O.
Let’s face it, sex is weird, and weird things are funny! Case in point: one time, I was straddling a guy (in my trademark disabled way) when I full-on slobbered on him. It was an accident of course, but still horrifying. After all, I am pretty sure salivia is last on the list of bodily fluid gay men like swapping. Needless to say, the guy was a champ and we LOL-ed all about it before going on with our business.
In the same way, you should always approach disabled sexytime with a gentlemanly dash of humor. Maybe the two of you tried a new position and it totally failed? Maybe you’re both hilariously bad at dirty talk, but hey, A for effort?
Regardless, don’t be afraid to laugh a bit at each other, and f*cking relax, bro.
“Sometimes people approach sex much more cautiously when they have a partner who has a disability,” says Jones. “They overly plan and calculate their sexual encounters. While this may be necessary depending on your partner’s disability, do not lose the passion and excitement! Everyone loves passionate and spontaneous sex, so don’t rob your partner of that just because you’re worried about their disability.”
See, even Jones gets it.
4. Have an X-rated IKEA-like moment, and get some sex furniture.
Do you love buying new furniture? Do you love having sex? Of course you do, because why else would you be reading this?! Why not combine the two by investing in some sex furniture!
“Comfort should be the main concern when having sex with someone who has a physical disability,” says relationship expert, Adina Mahalli. “Comfort for both parties involved is essential for an enjoyable experience for everyone. Generally speaking, people with physical disabilities will have a harder time holding certain positions and will have a restricted range of motion. One of the best ways to overcome this is to invest in a sex swing,” or anything else that allows for easier sex, such as comfy lounge chairs, rings (you know the kind I’m talking about, wink wink), straps, cuffs, or other goods.
On top of that, it’s all things you’ll actually want to assemble.
5. Throw your dictionary out the window, and redefine your idea of sex.
Having gay sex isn’t all sausages and donuts, if you catch my drift. Maybe someone has a disability that prevents them from having genital-to-genital sex. Which hey, that’s awesome! After all, “the body is full of sensitive areas that, when stimulated, deliver sexual pleasure,” says relationship coach and writer, Carmel Jones. “This goes beyond genitalia and expands from the toes, to the neck, to the ears, to the lips, etc. If ‘conventional sex’ is not plausible for one or both partners in your relationship, experiment with your bodies! You may be incredibly surprised at what you discover about yourself and your partner.”
6. Finally, show an interest!
As disabled people, we will spend years of our lives telling ourselves just how unf*ckable, unattractive, gross, or sexually inept we are. We don’t do this out of pity, but rather, because we live in a world that frankly, doesn’t view us as desirable.
When we are written about in articles, it’s usually about how inspirational we are, how we’ve overcome great odds, how positive we remain in the face of great obstacles. Which is all nice and dandy and fluffy and wonderful but also, screw that. Yawn!
Where are the articles about all the orgies we’ve been to? The STD scares we’ve had? The heartbreaks? All the mind altering sex we’ve had? Or the stories about how sometimes, we just want an ahem, eggplant, in us. Or to find a peach to put our eggplant in?
When you’ve lived your life through an able-bodied world, there is something truly magical that happens when your boyfriend calls you beautiful. When he kisses you like you, in all your disabledness, are worthy of being kissed. When he holds your hand while watching Winnie the Pooh. When he makes you laugh like no one else can, all while grocery shopping. When he loves you like a human, and not a disabled human.
As disabled people, we will spend years convincing ourselves that we are less than. If I can give one piece of advice, it’s to never be afraid to show an interest. Make that move. Use that awful pick up line. Remind us how much you want to f*ck us.
Make us feel more than our disability, even if it’s just for one night.
Josh Galassi is very gay and very disabled, if you haven’t noticed. Sometimes, he writes about both those things, and sometimes, he doesn’t. He lives in Seattle with his boyfriend and their dog, Carmen Sandiego, who, it turns out, was on Craigslist the entire time (where they bought her). You can find him on Facebook and Twitter, or at a nearby coffee shop obsessing over cold brew.