146 chapter 7: Sexuality
A woman’s reproductive parts on the outside
The clitoris is small and shaped like
a flower bud. It is the part of the
vulva that is most sensitive to touch.
Rubbing it, and the area around it,
can make a woman sexually excited
and cause orgasm (climax).
It is possible for most women to have orgasms, but each woman’s body and
experience is different. Women who have less feeling in their lower body may need
more pressure and firm touching on their clitoris, sometimes at the same time as
pressure in their vagina, in order to have orgasm. Even women with spinal cord
injury and women who have no feeling in their bodies do have orgasms, though
they may feel them differently.
Different women have different places on their bodies where they feel pleasure
and like to be touched. Most people think of a woman’s genitals or breasts as the
“sexual” parts of her body. But a woman’s hands, neck, face, and belly can also be
sensitive areas that give her pleasure when they are touched. For women who are
paralyzed or have a spinal cord injury, these other areas can become so sensitive
that they can feel pleasure like orgasms because of being touched.
All the senses—touch, smell, hearing, taste, and sight—can be important and
satisfying ways to feel sexual pleasure. Each person, man or woman, with or without
a disability, experiences these senses in his or her own way. For a blind woman,
touch, smell, and hearing might be most important. For a deaf woman, touch and
sight may be the most satisfying parts of sex.
A woman can learn about the sensitive parts of her body and about how to have
an orgasm by touching herself, or by letting her partner know what feels good.
This will be especially helpful for a woman who has recently become disabled. It
may make her partner feel good to know how to please her.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007