We all know how satisfying, therapeutic and just f*cking awesome good sex can be, right? It can be transformative, enlightening and just fun. Imagine for a moment though, that you wanted to have amazing sex with this great person you know. They’re funny, they make you laugh so hard you’re usually in tears, and you have the biggest crush on them. The sex you have together will be absolutely mind blowing… there’s just one teeny thing. That hottie you wanna get with has a disability and you want to make sex accessible for them, and not expect them to teach you everything. You want to come in prepared (pun certainly intended), but what do you do? Fear not, sweet reader, for I am here to offer you some Kinkly Crip Tips to make your sex with a delish disabled partner accessible.
Top 5 Ways to Make Your Sex More Accessible to Your Disabled Lover
1. Crip Conversations About Sex
In sex positivity, we hear a lot of chatter about the importance of communication before, during and after sex. When a partner you’re with has a disability, whether that be physical, invisible or somewhere in between, those conversations have to have a bit of a disability bend to them. I know that this might seem challenging (you’re thinking: How in the f*ck do I ask them about their disability needs without offending them and killing the mood?) and that’s okay. I feel that having conversations about disability with your disabled partner is important. But, usually, in my experience the disabled person has to start or approach these conversations and that can be scary and exhausting, because coming out about disability is real and ableism is real. So if you start the conversation with something as simple as: “Hey. Just let me know what your access needs are before we start”, that takes heaps of pressure from the disabled person feeling as though they have to walk you through everything (bad disability joke, I know). Having crip conversations makes sex accessible!
Read: Disability and Sexuality: Desiring, Not Fetishizing
2. Pillows Make Play Crippy & Comfortable
One of the other ways to ensure that sex is the most accessible when playing with a disabled partner is to have pillows EVERYWHERE. A lot of disabled and chronically ill people live with chronic pain and body stuff that makes positioning/staying in one position for a scene really difficult. This is frustrating for us as disabled folks because, trust me, we want to get on all fours for you and be flogged, but goddamnit that shit is murder on the knees. Pillows allow for many disabled to maintain certain positions longer, and what I like about them is they aren’t a super obvious disability device. That way, if your partner’s disability is less visible, or even if the partner doesn’t want to unpack their disability at the moment, they can just say, “Hey, lover, can you pass that pillow?”
3. Pain Meds
Sometimes a pillow just won’t cut it, and the chronic pain your cute crip partner is experiencing can be really intense, and distracting for them during that awesome deepthroating session they’re trying to give you. How can they be present and into it when they’re hurting? So, you may want to chat with your disabled/chronically ill lover around whether or not pain meds work for them. Being prepared in that way means that maybe you can stock up on Tylenol or Advil if that works for them. Having pain meds at the ready is also a big message to your disabled lover that you care about them, and want them to be comfy. Of course, have a conversation with them about meds, side effects, sex and consent before you buy anything.
Read: Fucktionality: Why Sexual Function Should Be Part of OT and PT for Disabled People
This is a big one for me as a disabled person. I love sensuous touch too, but I also really like being massaged to relax my muscles. Suggesting a sexy, pre-sex massage is a great way for you to learn about your disabled partner’s body. You can understand their pain points; what feels good and what doesn’t AND you can learn about any spasms or sensitivities they have. Most importantly, though, a massage allows for there to be intimacy without an expectation of sex. For me, I often feel like when I’m with someone I have to get right to it right away or my disability will scare them off. A massage can be a great way to allay those fears and still engage in sensuality.
5. Take Breaks
Another way to make sex accessible is to actively take breaks. I know, I know, we have been taught in our culture that taking breaks during sex means that your partner isn’t interested anymore, or that you did something wrong. But - for disabled and chronically ill folks - breaks are the perfect opportunity to regroup; grab some water, go pee, grab a snack, take your meds, and check in with your disabled body! Breaks are sexy!
Read: Adaptive Methods for Sex and Dating
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but I do hope that this gives you some Kinkly Crip Tips to make your sex for you and your disabled partner’s playtime that much more accessible, sexy and fun!
Andrew Gurza is the Founder/Co-Director of Deliciously Disabled Consulting, where he strives to make disability accessible to everyone within pop culture and intersectional communities. His written work has been highlighted in Out Magazine, The Advocate, Huffington Post and The Good Men Project, where he candidly discusses the realities of sex and disability as a Queer Cripple. He is also host of the “Deliciously Disabled” podcast on iTunes where he makes sex and disability accessible to the masses.