Different ways of having sex 147
Different ways of having sex
There are many different ways people have sex and share pleasure together. People
often think of sex as only between a man and a woman, and only with a penis in a
vagina. But there are many other ways people have good sex and express their love
with another person. Sex is not just about a person’s genitals. Kissing, hugging, and
talking are part of having sex. Touching a person’s face, hands, back, and neck are
also good ways of being sexual. Having oral sex (when one partner—or both—puts
his or her mouth on the other’s genitals and licks or sucks) may be pleasurable.
Touching and rubbing each other’s genitals (mutual masturbation) may be another
way to give and get sexual enjoyment.
Touching oneself for pleasure (masturbation)
You can touch yourself in a way that gives you sexual pleasure. This is a good way to
learn about your body and what kinds of sexual touch feel best. It can also help you
feel more confident and good about your own sexuality. Many communities have
beliefs that touching oneself is wrong or harmful,
so sometimes people feel shame about doing it. But
touching yourself does not cause harm or use up
sexual desire. It can be a good way to feel pleasure
and satisfy desire whether or not you have a partner.
Sex in a Relationship
Most women want to have a close and loving
relationship with someone who cares for them. These relationships may be with
other disabled persons, or with non-disabled persons. Some disabled women are
married, and others are not. Many disabled women have relationships with men,
and some have relationships with other women. Some are mothers, others are not.
For women with disabilities and their partners, sex is often more enjoyable for
both people if they are willing to experiment and find new ways of doing things.
Instead of focusing on things you cannot do (or things that are hard to do), build
on things you can do that bring pleasure to both you and your partner.
Talking with your partner
Many women are ashamed to talk about—or feel—their desires. But it is natural to
feel desire and to want a relationship that makes you feel good. If you plan to have
sex with someone, it will help to talk with that person ahead of time about things
like safer sex (see pages 180 to 182) and family planning (see Chapter 9).
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007