Hey Venus Envy,
Do you have any thoughts or tips for trying different sex positions when one partner has limited mobility?
I’m a hetero, able-bodied guy and I’ve been seeing a woman with a disability for a couple of years now. After some experimentation the first couple of months, we found one position for the penis-in-vagina part of sex that works great. And we pretty much always end up doing PIV sex that way.
I’ve never seen this as much of a limitation. I enjoy all the physical aspects of sex with her a lot and we’re kinky in complementary ways — and it seems like there’s always news things to explore with that.
I think she’s also pretty into or satisfied with the sex, but she does occasionally seem a little wistful that we only use one position. I’m a little at a loss when it comes to that. And, to be honest, I’m probably a little too quick to fall back on what I know works, rather than fumble around with arranging our bodies in new, trial-and-error ways at a steamy moment.
Do you have any tips on how to approach this? Are there any assistive devices out there to help in cases of limited mobility?
Wanting A New Thing.
If I could change the way that sex is represented in the media, one of the first things I would do is make it look more awkward. Because bodies are so beautifully weird, sex is sometimes strange and funny. The idea that sex should always be intuitive stops us from being a little vulnerable and trying new things, when in reality, some fumbling around is just part of that process.
This is true for most people, but is especially true for disabled folks. Not having a script of what sex is supposed to look like tends to lead to lots of creativity and great communication skills — two things that add to anyone’s sex life. If there’s anyone who has these skills locked down, it’s the disabled babes talking through how best to have a quickie in a wheelchair in the accessible washroom.
It sounds like you and your girlfriend have already incorporated these skills, and just need to shake up a part of your sex life that’s become a bit routine. I’d suggest that you get a book of sex positions and look through it together to find some inspiration.
I like Sex Positions for Every Body by Jill McDevitt because it shows a range of positions with thoughtful accessibility notes. The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability is another comprehensive resource that covers positioning, along with all sorts of other considerations around sex and disability.
It can be helpful to adapt positions by using props like pillows. Some people like to put them under their butt or stomach to allow for deeper penetration, under the knees to alleviate lower back pain, or under arms or legs to keep their body comfortable.
Once you have an idea of the size and shape you like, you can buy props specifically designed for positioning from a company called Liberator. There’s another company called Sportsheets that makes a whole range of products to help people hold positions without having to rely on their own body strength. The Sex Sling, the Doggie Style Strap and the Penetration Station are all popular options.
Wrist and ankle cuffs designed for bondage can also help people hold a position. (They can also be helpful in preventing the leg spasms that are common for folks with mobility impairments). If you’re interested in this, look for soft leather or neoprene cuffs that can be comfortably worn for a period of time.
Once you decide on some new positions to try, communication and checking in will be key. If you want, you can integrate this into whatever kinky dynamics you’ve already got going on.
For instance, if she sometimes takes a more dominant role, she could order you into positions, giving specific details about how to do them and adjust them to give her the most pleasure. Or if you’re ever topping, you could make it a rule that she has to give you in-depth feedback about how a position feels.
As with all kinky sex, make sure you’ve discussed and agreed on these things beforehand.
There’s no list of positions that will work for everyone, and your girlfriend will be the best authority on which ones are best for her body. There is bound to be some trial and error, but this is just part of the exploration that leads to a hot longterm sex life.
Sam Whittle, sex educator and owner of Venus Envy.
P.S. It also just so happens that Venus Envy is going to be hosting a Sex and Disability workshop at the Carleton Disability Awareness Centre (CDAC) on March 14 at 5:30 pm. Convenient!
Send questions you want answered to firstname.lastname@example.org or direct to Sam at email@example.com.