There is a misconception that people with disabilities are not capable of having sex, especially those with spinal cord injuries. However, sexual relationships have many benefits for people after sustaining a spinal cord injury. Backbones discusses the topic of sex and disability.
“The key to successfully redefining sexual identity is experimentation and open communication.”
As a person with an SCI you or your partner may have questions and/or doubts about your abilities to have sex. It is important to be with someone who you can have an open line of communication and who is not afraid to experiment with you to figure out what is enjoyable. “Whether it is a partner you are in a relationship with, spouse or trusted friend, having someone aid you in creating a safe space where you can explore what your body can do, feel and experience after SCI can really impact your self-confidence and help build positive body image,” says Backbones.
“Sexuality is one of the main concerns people have after spinal cord injury yet many healthcare professionals are uncomfortable providing information about sexuality during rehabilitation,” says Backbones. Questions related to sexuality can include function, reproduction, relationships, self-esteem and body image. It is important to find a doctor who will openly discuss these topics in a non-judgemental manner.
Sexual experiences can help lessen chronic pain, reduce spasticity, ease stress and anxiety, and improve sleep.
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