“It has been said that there is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved, and people with spinal cord injuries should not be excluded from that opportunity,” says psychologist Angela Riccobono. She is one of the featured perspectives in Mount Sinai’s video series Sexuality and SCI which aims to redefine sex.
“We have a warped sense of what intimacy and sexuality is in our society sometimes.”
Yesenia, a C5 quadriplegic, states sex is one of the first topics others want to know about when meeting her for the first time. She says, “Even girlfriends, new friends, everybody wants to know. That’s like the magic question. “Can you? How?””
“Yep we can, yep we do, yes it’s possible,” proclaims Anna as she sits holding her husband Dan’s hand who is a T7 paraplegic.
Angela Riccobono states that many people have told her that sex after spinal cord injury is actually better because it is more intimate and there is much better communication between the partners.
Mitch Tepper is a sex educator and counselor who has a spinal cord injury. He has heard the question “What if I have sex and I can’t feel?” His response, “I’m like what do you mean? Everyone can feel. You mean if you can’t feel in your genitals. I understand that’s a big loss and it’s going to be hard to move away from that, but we have to focus on everything we can feel.”
Gary Karp, an author who has a spinal cord injury, states, “This is a very very deep personal journey that we’re all prompted to take that I think is accelerated because of our disabilities.” He continues by telling others to have a positive attitude because the people that are attracted to you are going to see it and be attracted to you because of who you are as a person and how you resonate with them.
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