Sex and Disability

Couple with man in wheelchairThe sexual experiences of people with disabilities are frequently mis-understood.  Quite often the subject is just ignored – many people assume that disability removes all desire for sex. The truth is that the way you have sex or think about sex might be different after a serious illness or due to a disability, but you are still a sexual person capable of enjoying healthy relationships.

If you have experienced physical changes due to ill health or a disability, a therapist will be able to help you think about ways of changing your approach to sex so that you and your partner can still enjoy a fulfilling relationship.  You will be encouraged to make your own decisions about how you want to deal with your individual situation.

If you are leading a double role in your relationship – as both the lover and carer of someone with a disability – it is important to discuss how to combine these two different roles.  These roles can be confusing but the roles can switch completely when both of you are feeling sexual.  It is not uncommon for someone who is disabled to enjoy taking a more dominant role when having sex.

There is a wide range of equipment such as ramps or wedges to make sexual positions more comfortable, and other devices to help you achieve sexual satisfaction either alone or with your partner.  Not everything will be suitable for everyone, choose what works for you and your partner. There is a section on our Useful Links  page with links to websites which can offer help and information for people in this situation.