Disabled sexuality is an umbrella term that describes the physiological sexual functioning and experiences, both physical and emotional, of people with disabilities.

Common misconceptions Edit

It is not only possible, but encouraged by clinical sexologists for paraplegics and other people with disabilities to have intercourse and experience a regular, healthy sex life. The common myth that paraplegics have no sexual functioning is false. Many people with various disabilities are, in fact, very capable of participating in sexual behaviors, both giving and receiving sexual pleasure.

Overcoming social obstacles to sexual fulfillment Edit

According to, over 50% of people with disabilities have no form of regular sex life, but not because they can't. Instead, this is caused by social stigma (even able-bodied people have a hard time discussing sex), and internalized self-perception that they are unattractive because of their physical differences.[1]

In fact, people with disabilities—including paraplegics—can still enjoy a healthy sex life:[2]

An important first step back to a rewarding sexual relationship involves communicating openly and directly with partners, doctors and other health care professionals. This is not always easy, however. People often have trouble discussing sexual issues or simply feel lucky to be alive and, therefore, as if they don't have the right to "complain" about changes in sexual functioning. Many assume, incorrectly, that sexual intimacy is no longer possible due to sensation loss in the genitals. As a result, some may decide to ignore sexuality issues because they believe they no longer apply to them; others will seek out any opportunity to restore sexual-esteem.

Overcoming physical obstacles to sexual fulfillment Edit

Widespread misconceptions about human sexuality, prevalent in part due to a lack of accurate and rational [3], perpetuate the myths that people with disabilities cannot experience healthy sexual functioning. Even those people with disabilities who lose sensation in their genitals can still experience sexual pleasure. According to,[4]:

For those who lose genital sensation or functioning, rebuilding a sex life is still possible. Paraplegic women will still be able to participate in intercourse, as will gay male paraplegics. Paraplegic men in heterosexual relationships can, at least, please their partners through oral and manual stimulation.

Male paraplegics can also be capable of erection. Since sexual response is mental and emotional and the other physiological sexual responses remain intact (such as blood flow), the sexual processes of the brain, both conscious and involuntary, can remain normal.

There are also commercial products available that help people with disabilities have sexual intercourse and engage in other sexual activities.[5]

References Edit

  1. Disabled Sexuality and Disabled Dating
  2. Sex and Disability
  3. Freeing Sexuality Information - KinkForAll Boston
  4. Paraplegic Sexuality
  5. New products help paraplegics have sex