"There are so many stereotypes, generalizations, and myths about intimacy and those who live with disabilities.”
“I was surprised by the absence of information that was available to me,” she writes. She tried books, internet research, many sources that glossed over the topic of physical intimacy. “Thankfully, as I got to know other women through the Ms. Wheelchair USA pageant, I was able to get more answers,” she shares. Tasha is grateful for the women’s openness that allowed her to get the information she was looking for, and now she’s returning the favor for others who might be searching by sharing more about herself. “I do not think that this topic should be hidden,” she shares, “neither should it be shameful to talk about as it is normal, natural, and a part of being a human being.”
Debunking the misconceptions of disability and sexuality
There are many misconceptions swirling around the sexuality of people with disabilities. Many assume that people with disabilities have no desire for intimacy or sex or that they shouldn’t or wouldn’t engage in sexual activity. “I even have been asked if Doug and I sleep in the same bed,” she shares. “Of course we do! We are married!” Tasha also has found that people assume people with paralysis can’t be satisfied due to the lack of feeling. Everyone is different when it comes to sensation and sensitivity, but it’s just about finding what works for you. “With a spinal cord injury, it has been documented that there is heightened sensitivity above the level of injury,” she shares. “I also believe that a big part of the sexual experience has to do with the mental and emotional realm, of security, closeness, and trust, and it is these things that fill my bucket.”
Tasha also debunks another misconception that a person with a disability is not capable of satisfying a sexual partner. “This actually was a fear of mine before Doug and I were married, but definitely is no longer.” The happy couple have worked together to establish their lives together like any other couple.
”Doug and I have a normal, healthy love life. It did not take us long to figure out that we could have a satisfying sex life; that I could fulfill Doug’s needs and he could fulfill mine.”
However, not everyone sees this as a possibility. Someone once told Tasha she was surprised Doug would want to marry her, which is already incredibly offensive, but realizing that this person was not alone in her assumptions, Tasha vowed to one day speak openly on the topic.
As for getting pregnant, Tasha has that option. “Many people have just assumed that I can no longer have children because of my spinal cord injury,” she shares. “The possibility of me having children is the same as every other woman in this world!” As mentioned before, every woman’s situation is different, but paralysis is not something that typically impacts a woman’s fertility. For women with paralysis who get pregnant, there are certain precautions to take. However, there’s no reason that Tasha and Doug can’t have children when they’re ready to grow their family. Check out their relationship from Doug's perspective too.
Know someone who is looking to reestablish physical intimacy in their lives? Share this post to share Tasha’s insights!