Q&A: Paraplegic Husband

“My husband is a paraplegic…we can do 2 position…..me on top and him going down town on me. We have been married 4 years and in the last three years we have DTD less then 10 times! Granted we are having communication issues in our marriage so that doesn’t help intimacy at all. BUT I was wondering if ya’ll could make suggestions about what else we can do….I’m very bored. I used to be a very sexual person…in my life before Christ. I’m just bored, i have tried books, toys, lotions, etc. and nothing seems to help in the bedroom. What can we do? Unfortunately, i miss the positions ya’ll have on this site.”

Actually, I believe you are the second woman we have had to write in with similar circumstances.  You are right that communication issues are huge in a marriage, with or without physical disabilities.  It’s been a few months since you wrote in to us so I am hoping that you two have been able to work out your issues either together or with professional help.  When doing some research on this topic, I came across a website that has a list of books that you may be interested in:  The Travis Roy Foundation.  They look to have some good information there.

I also happened across this site as well.  I’m not sure if this is something that you and your husband are interested in at all, but I’m glad to see that they are coming up with ideas and sexual aids that are aimed at helping people with spinal cord injuries.

As far as positions go, I’m kind of at a loss, since I don’t know more about your specific situation.  You say that your only penetration position is you on top, but have you read any information about paraplegics being able to learn how to perform on top?  I ask because of this article.  It describes the “stuffing” technique, but again, some paraplegics are able to get and maintain an erection without using that, and since I don’t know the specific circumstances in your marriage, I’m not sure what to advise here.  If he isn’t able to maintain an erection, then you could also look into getting a penis extender sleeve for him to wear or a strap on.   He could also use a toy on you to bring you to orgasm, and although it looks comical, you may want to try something like The Accommodator.  That will give you more internal stimulation while he is giving you oral sex.  We do have many different variations of  woman on top and cunnilingus positions on our Position Page that you may be interested in.

I pray that you two are able to find what you need, and who knows, there may be someone out there in a similar situation who reads this and is able to write in with her helpful tips and advice as well.

9 Comments

  1. Hey Cumingirl,
    I am completely humbled by your answer to this dear woman’s plight.

    Thank you so much for your considerate answer and the truly helpful links you included.

    Since I am ultra sexually oriented, I have often wondered about how painfully difficult it must be for these couples to deal with their sex lives.

    I have been blessed today whilst reading your article and the links. The superior quality of your reply is why I am a regular reader on this site. Fantastic information coupled with compassionate, Christ-honoring feedback.

    You ladies rock!

  2. Thanks SP… This was the second such email we’ve received about a wife with a paraplegic husband. Because I can’t relate to their situation, I was worried that I wouldn’t know what to say or how to advise them. I didn’t want her to feel ignored, and I figured that if I could at LEAST get this subject out in the open, that maybe other women in similar situations could write in and help her more than I can.

    There are all kinds of marriages out there and you are right that it must be difficult for those marriages that are limited by physical disabilities. I do believe, however, that couples who find themselves in these situations should continue to empower themselves to strengthen their communication, intimacy, and marriage bed.

    Those of us fortunate enough to be in a ‘typical’ marriage (one in which there aren’t any physical limitations imposed on us because of uncontrollable circumstances) will all agree that there is so much more to a good marriage than sex. We will all stand up and testify that we need a soul mate, a life long friend, a companion, someone loyal that we know we can depend on, someone to share our secrets and desires with, someone to have fun with and watch movies with, and someone to spend quality time with. We will also all agree that there is so much more to sex than PIV. There is cuddling nude together and nurturing and hot breath and tongues and fondling and caressing and using fingers and describing fantasies and talking dirty and masturbating together, etc. But when the situation changes beyond your control, and you can’t achieve PIV, then that becomes the one thing you miss. I truly hope that the woman who wrote in to us, and her husband, are able to find fulfillment in their marriage.

  3. I thought about this years ago when Christopher and Dana Reeve discussed it in an interview. It’s a reality for countless marriages, I’m sure. Great job on addressing the issue sensitively, Cumin Girl – and you gave some great advice. I pray this dear reader will stay the course and believe her marriage will be blessed!

  4. My DH and I are not as bad off as the woman that wrote in. But we have our issues. Since our last child was born 4 and a half years ago my health has been going down hill. We almost lost our daughter at birth, her cord was around her neck and body 3 times. During the emergency c-section I stopped breathing 4 times. By the time she was a year old, I was told the last disc in my back was degenerative and bulging on both sides and will eventually need surgery. This limited my ability to pick up my duaghter. Plus I suffer from complication from the fibromylgia. I have had fibromyalgia since I was 17 year old, I am 41 now. 2 years ago they finally told us I suffer from bi-polar disorder while in therapy for sexual abuse as a kid. Then 5 months ago I started having almost constant migraines that the specialist is having trouble controlling. I am currently suffering with a massive one that started 2 weeks ago. So I now what it is like to live with physical impairments that interfer with ones sexual intimacy. It is especialy hard for me because I have a high sex drive.

    I can not say enough about communication with ones DH. That is the one thing that is getting my DH and me through this. I have to let him know where I am physical and what I can do. Sometimes it is meeting his need when I cann’t have an orgasm do to the migraines or letting him know when my back hurts to much to keep going.

    I want to thank cumingirl for the position of the week. It has helped me find ways that are fun and less painful. Thanks again.

  5. My first boyfriend was a para and I have friends who are also. I feel for this young married couple because they are already experiencing these struggles. Many marriages with SCI individuals end because of lack of experience and knowledge.Let me start by saying making love to a para or quad is not a quick thing. It takes time and patients. If you don’t mind I would like to give her some suggestions. Many times para’s have to use injections to stimulate an erection and don’t feel stimulated. However most E-zones will transfer to another part of their body and can become quite aroused. There should always be sensual touch and exploration because that is how you learn what the two of you need. Positions are important because your partner cannot bend and move the way he chooses. If he lays on his side with pillows behind him to hold him in place and you lay with your pelvic area up against his, on your back, you will find the both of you can still participate in touch. You can sit backwards on his lap in his chair, take showers together and experiment, he can get on top and you move your body to the motion you need to enhance the experience, etc. When you are married to a SCI individual you have to be willing to try new things and never allow embarrassment or disappointment to interfere in your love making. God knows what goes on between two married people so don’t be afraid to please each other in different ways. Many SCI’s do not get physical pleasure out of sex because it is always all about pleasing their partner. I am sure your husband feels it makes him less of a man, knows it is causing problems in the marriage and the bedroom, feels he is disappointing you, feels you deserve better and does not know what to do to make things better. There is nothing wrong with trying toys for him to give you pleasure however make sure that this is not just all about you and what you want. It is not a sin to please eachother. God gave you his blessing when you married and I am sure he still is. Good luck and I hope this helps.

  6. I stumbled on this searching for something else….. thought I would chip in

    I myself am a para man of 27 years, and have been married for 2 years. Me and my wife enjoy a active sex life and tend to have it everyday if we can. I personally really enjoy the whole experience, and my wife does as well. She tells me Im the best shes had, and im inclined to believe her as we really do have a connection, and to be honest she hasn’t had lots of sexual partners…. I really make an effort to please her, and she does for me as well. You will find that the benefits are that my pleasure comes from pleasuring her.. so its a arrangement that works perfectly. I have had one night stands in the past that all went seemingly well, so it is not the case that para men can’t perform/…. its just about practise and being realistic with your body, and knowing how to use what you got.

    Im fortunate that I get erections by a bit of touching, and also spontaneously like in the mornings. This is a good time for me as I can maintain a good erection for as long as is necessary and theres nothing better than waking up next to her and getting busy :-) I dont feel my penis very well, but I simply find I dont care. I really enjoy watching her on top of me, or using her hands or mouth or when im on top lookign into her face… best thing ever. The sex organ is the brain and I enjoy sex as much now as when I did when I had full sensation, not kidding. Some paras cant get erections, but there is an injection you can use that I hear keeps you hard for about 20 minutes, and of course viagra.

    And on the positions; There are plenty of positions to explore. Being on top does require strong arms and practise… but it can work. It took me a while to get the right rhythm and at first it was common for me to slip out of her but we explored… and most importantly we enjoyed the whole exploring process. I can now go on top quite comfortably and make her cum. Another good one is me sitting against the wall and her on me like that. You can even do a doggie style when I sit forward on my chair, and she lowers onto me from in front and I control her by grabbing her hips. This can work on a desk, or table or she can lean on the bed for support.

    But you guy does need to be fairly fit, and I appreciate this is not always the case. Going on top is tiring as I mentioned for example, but sex is exercise… so no harm in it!

    The point is don’t be disheartened. I know for a fact my woman is satisfied, and I am to. We have an excellent sex life and it is completely possible. You got to have the right attitude, and a bit of creative thinking and you’ll be multiple orgasming in no time.

    Reply if you have any questions and hope things go well.

    Brad

  7. My husband is a T2. I knew this when I married him. We waited to have sex because of our religious beliefs. We thought the injections would work. They didn’t. He has some kind of issue with the injection leaking out. We tried many times many ways and it just became to where we worked very hard only to be disappointed. We even cried together. So, to be frank, he can’t get an erection. He can’t feel anything. He doesn’t initiate anything unless I really bug him…so by the time he does, it’s hard for me to enjoy it because I know that he gets no pleasure in it and he has to be “nagged” into it. He is stimulated in other ways and I try to excite him that way. Unfortunately it usually ends when I stop and he doesn’t return the favor. On the occasion he does, he show no excitement…as if it’s a chore. He has even gotten bored and fallen asleep in the process.

    In every other way we have a wonderful marriage. He works hard and I stay home. We have fun together in day to day activities and we rarely have a serious disagreement. He rubs my back and feet for hours on end and I love it. I try to be grateful for that much…but sex is how I bond emotionally…how I feel a deeper intimacy with him. I have only been married to him for 2 years now…it’s not long…but it’s a long time to feel a disconnect. I truly believe that if things would improve in the bedroom, that perhaps I would feel “one” with him more than I do. Right now, it just feels like he is my best friend…not my husband. I feel so much guilt about this…which is why I have responded here. I hope I won’t regret this.

  8. I would like some advice also…I am so depressed, sometimes I feel like I’m drowning and its all because of sex :( my husband is a paraplegic. He has no problem getting an erection or orgasming, but he has next to no flexibility in his body…he cannot take weight on his arms because they do not bend properly, he has no movement in his hips so he can’t sit up or bend in any way there…this means we have to have sex in the same position every time- me on top facing him. It is the only way we can achieve penetration but I am desperate for something new :( I don’t feel passionate anymore, I feel pressure every time we have sex because it is up to me to give him an orgasm and do all the work…which sometimes I physically can’t do because I am so tired from doing his care. We are great emotionally, we are best friends and we love each other and laugh and talk, but our sex life is terrible…I fake my orgasms and pretend to be excited because I know he would give up everything just to make love to me in another position and he would be so heartbroken if he knew how unexcited I am. We cry about it together every now and then but we dont know what to do anymore. I am scared because we are only 18 and 19 and I don’t know how our marriage will survive like this :'( :'( :'( thankyou, AJ

  9. Hi… Im paraplegic, and there’s a multitude of positions you can do. You can spoon each other, and he enters from behind… my wife likes this a lot as she likes her back and neck kissed while we do it.. I also have got two free hands, and can rub her breasts or wherever… I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but I can go on top.. this admittedly has taken practice and is tiring at first, but it is perfectly possible and is about finding the right rhythm. You can help by guiding him with your hands, or moving your hips to help penetration underneath. You can have sex in the chair, a bit like doggy… he can help guide your hips with his arms while you lean on something like a table for support so you do little work… it sound like he really needs to try and do more work, he may need to get in the gym and bulk his arms up to support his weight, and maybe be able to move you about a bit. I can huide her hips with my arms a bit so we share the work load….. it all takes practice, and hope you can try some new things. Its a mistake to think he has to just lay underneath you… it doesn’t have to be like that all the time.

    I hope you can work this out. There are forums, and maybe if he talks to people with the same disability you and him can learn new things from people with more experience.

    I feel a bit uncomfortable being explicit, but it sounds like you need practical advise.

    Shes back from a trip tomorrow, and I cant wait… :-)


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