148 chapter 7: Sexuality
Talk with your partner about any limitations
in your movement and about ways in which
your body may respond to sexual stimulation.
Sometimes a partner worries that sex will
hurt a woman or be dangerous because of her
disability. This can lead to lack of desire. When
each partner knows the kind of sexual talk and
touch the other likes, they can both enjoy sex
more. Each person’s desires are different, so the
best way to learn what another person likes is to
talk with one another and experiment.
Good things to talk about are:
• where it is easier to have sex. For example, on the bed, in your wheelchair, in a
chair, or on the floor.
• what position hurts or could be more comfortable.
• how your disability affects how your body works.
• how you can give each other pleasure, and what does not feel good.
• if you tire easily, what times of the day or week you may have the most energy
If your partner is also your caregiver, it can be helpful to talk about the difference
between the time you spend together for care and the time you spend together as
IMPORTANT Whether a woman has a sexual relationship with a man or
another woman, it is important to practice safer sex to prevent sexually transmitted
infections, including HIV. If you or your partner have had sexual relations with
someone else, it is also important to go for an HIV test before having sex with your
partner. For more information, see page 172. Also, if you want to have sex but do
not want to get pregnant, see Chapter 9 for information about family planning, and
page 205 about emergency contraception.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007