150 chapter 7: Sexuality
Finding a good time and place to have sex can be hard for
women with disabilities, especially if they need someone
else’s help to get ready for sex. It can also be hard for
women who live with their parents or other relatives.
There is no easy answer to this problem, especially if
your family or caregivers do not think you should have
sex. Sometimes, it can help to talk with the people who
are helping you. Or you can try talking with another
person you trust, who can then talk to your family or
helpers. It is also helpful to talk with other women with
disabilities, and to share experiences.
Some people find ways to manage on their own.
For example, a woman can have sex with her partner
while she is in her wheelchair. Then she does not need
another person to help move her to a bed. And some
people find that their helpers are sensitive to their needs
and want to support their relationships.
Let’s go together
to speak with your
mother-in-law. We will
tell her that when
your husband comes
home, you would like
to spend some time
alone with him in a
Finding a Comfortable Position
If you have limited movement you may have to
experiment to find a comfortable position to have sex. Women with
cerebral palsy, weak muscles, tight or spastic muscles, or arthritis, and women
whose disability causes pain or weakness, may need help from a partner to find a
comfortable position. It may help to use pillows or rolled-up cloth to support your
legs or hips. Also, if a partner’s weight causes pain, try a position where you both lie
on your sides, or sit in a chair together. Kissing and touching may be easy to do, but
having sex with a penis in the vagina or anus may be difficult.
Oral sex is easier if both people can get their
I feel like a queen
bodies into the right position.
now because I am
always in my chair
when we have
sex. It adds to the
If you are paralyzed, you probably know
how much you can move and what body
positions are possible for you. Depending
on how much of your body is paralyzed, it
may be necessary to ask a partner or trusted
caregiver for assistance.
The positions used for having a pelvic exam can also be
used for sex (see page 133). And the “safer sex” positions listed
on page 182 may also be helpful.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007