The Sexuality of One Paralyzed Man: Sex does exist after paralysis.
Hi, my name is Gordon and I am writing to you after reading Graceís columns on sex. She is so right on. I learned some things from her about woman that I had not thought of before. Now I want to share my own experience regarding sexuality, or lack of, which was the case when I ended up a paraplegic after breaking my lower vertebraeís on some rocks at the beach.
My new sexual life began six weeks after becoming a t-12 paraplegic. I had been divorced several years previously and three months before the accident my girlfriend and I had broke up. It was summer 1991 I was 31 years old. Eleven years ago.
I am writing this letter ten years after the fact, it is about sexuality and SCI, so I will skip all the angst and mental horror that I went through at the time and cut to the chase. One week after I left ICU and was moved to the unit where I would spend the next three months I met Arleen, the nurse who maneuvered me into a new and satisfying way of being sexual. I guess that I was lucky to have someone there for me at the beginning of my new life.
Arleen was a friendly and helpful nurse the same age as I was. My favorite nurse. Six weeks after the accident and operations, two doctors told me that I would never have a normal sex life again. They were both up front and did not hide their words. I was told matter-of-factly, that I would not be able to have intercourse again. I was somewhat shocked at this and did not know how to take it. Arleen was in the room when I was told this news.
I already knew that I could not get a hard on, and I already knew that my mind had a different take on sex. I did not seem to have sexual desires as I did just six weeks earlier. I would touch my penis and feel nothing! This was a scary time for me.
The next evening Arleen found the time to express to me how she felt about the way the doctors told me of my sexual dysfunction, as she said it. She told me that she herself seldom got sexual satisfaction from intercourse and preferred to be played with or sucked on instead. Cocks are for guys, she told me.
Without pausing she went on to tell me that all of the few men that she had been with cared only for putting their cock in her and getting off, leaving her craving for more. She included her ex husband as one who didnít care to take the time to find out what she wanted. She was glad to be rid of him.
I lay there in the bed, questioning everything I thought that I knew about sex. I had never sucked on my wife. I never went down on any woman before. I wondered if I had satisfied her, or was Arleen just a frigid and bitter single woman. Her manner of speaking was blunt and always to the point. The thing was that I did like her; she had a great personality and she looked good.
She went on in a soft voice, her mouth close to my ear, telling me that I needn't worry about satisfying a woman just because I was a paraplegic. She told me that I had a nice mouth, and she would be honored to have it between her legs. By this time I was actually feeling a vague feeling of turned on. I did not get hard, but I was excited. She bent over and we kissed our lips together, then she said that she had to go for now, but to think about what she said and we could talk later.
Wow. I was feeling good. It was night and quiet and I was going over the events of the past two days, first the doctors telling me no more sex, and Arleen telling me that I could have sex. The big question came up. Could I be satisfied sexually? Arleen didnít mention that part. It was all about her being satisfied.
Two nights later Arleen was back with some Chinese food form a local take out. Man, it looked good. I was sick of hospital food. She got right into eating and talking about sex. I did not mind. I liked talking about sex. She was the only person that I was in contact with that did talk about it. And sex was important to me. Yes, I was dealing with never walking again, sticking a catheter tube in my dick in order to pee, and shitting was still an unknown factor. ĎThe Bowel Programí was how it was described. I did not like where I was. And this talk about sex was a pleasant distraction.
She talked for about 30 minutes, same thing, how to satisfy a woman sexually. Which I found interesting because I was learning new things that would come in handy later in my life. I was living in a fantasy world. I did not know what the real world would be like for me now. I was thinking that if I could be okay not being sexually satisfied, but could satisfy a woman, I would still have a good chance of getting a girl friend or wife even. This was positive thinking. But, I was questioning myself. Would I be able to go down on her?
As she got up to leave, I asked her about my sexual satisfaction? She laughed, and smiled at me saying that if I was good at taking care of her sexually, she would make sure that I would have a good time too! Then she turned and left the room leaving me lying in bed pondering this new development. Maybe she was just a tease I thought. But she did open the possibility that she would be sexual with me.
Over the next two months Arleen managed to slip in my room often for what she called turn-ons. We discovered that when she sucked on my nipples I got turned on, and my limp penis actually got slightly stiff. She would rub and pinch my nipples while we French kissed.
After three months in the hospital I moved into a friendís large house who rented me a room with a bathroom and private entrance. Arleen was right there helping with the move and setting up my new space. She and the home health care attendant taught me how to transfer and how to shit. It was all way to personal for me and I was embarrassed and humiliated most of the time.
But then we got into the sex. She showed me how to suck her pussy. Yes, that is what she called it. She would direct me; up, lower, harder, softer. I would lick and suck it until she had orgasm after orgasm. Then she would suck my soft penis while pinching and twisting my nipples, not to hard, I had to tell her. But, this way of doing sex began to satisfy me. It was different, and I was not sure if I was comfortable with it. In fact I was un-comfortable with it. It was not normal for sure. After several months I would actually get hard, not big and stiff hard, but hard. Not enough to have intercourse, but the head swelled enough to watch it in her mouth as she sucked on it. She was determined to satisfy me.
A year later I actually ejaculated while she was sucking on me. The trick was, that her playing with my nipples transferred some very erotic sexual feelings down to my pubic area and this sensation gradually made my cock get harder. Still not enough for intercourse, but when I would see the swelled head slide in and out of her mouth, I could almost feel it. At her insistence I had stopped referring to my dick as a penis, and begin calling it a cock. I ejaculated occasionally. But ejaculation was not the important thing. I was having Orgasms! Orgasms were more exciting and satisfying to me than ejaculation!
It was the stimulation of my nipples and my seeing my cock in her mouth that was the right combination.
We were a couple for less than two years. She never did move in with me. Arleen was an RN, and was going to college part time to get her bachelors degree. When she did, she had to move to the west coast to go for her Masters. I was hurt at first, then lonely, then frustrated. But within three months, I got up enough nerve and self-confidence to approach women that I was attracted to.
I had several married friends from back when I was married myself who had single woman friends. They were agreeable, at my suggestion, to plan dinners so that we could connect. It wasnít easy for me, it was a difficult time, and nothing happened right away. I got to know several woman, had dinner and movies, and a kiss or two. But, it did finally happen. I met a great friend and sexual partner at one of these dinners. We connected straight off! We were in bed together that very night! I was satisfied and so was she. It was a revelation! Remembering Arleen's suggestions on communication, I told my new friend what I liked, what turned me on and what the state of my penis was, it doesnít get very hard, but it does get stiff, is how I said it. I let her know that I love oral sex. Having enjoyable sex with this woman confirmed what Arleen had told me, that the size of my cock was not important in order to have satisfying sex.
Over the years I have met woman who did indeed place great importance on the size and stiffness of the cock. Needless to say, I did not get sexually involved with these woman after we reached the point where my condition was out in the open. But, I have had some wonderful woman friends who did not care!
Sex is about giving!
I am going to end this here as I could go on and on. I just wanted to make some points here. You do not need a big fat hard cock to satisfy a woman. Have patience, relax, take your time. You will meet someone that you are compatible with. Talk. Talk. Talk. Be open with her or him. Be yourself. You may think that no one will understand you, not true. If you share your self, with the right person of course, you will be understood.
Take care and good luck, Gordon T.
Reproduced in Paralinks with the expressed consent and approval of the author.
February 20, 2002 Paralinks: I came across your website and I was very refreshed to read the article Gordon wrote about his sexual experience after becoming paralyzed, it is such an informative article.
I have recently met a man who had a T5 SCI 7 years ago. This is a man with whom I can see in my life for a very long time and I don't see his chair or his being a paraplegic as an obstacle to us being together. But as I am new to his world of functioning and I'm trying to learn as much about his injury and the medical effects so I have at least a basis to work up from.
This article helped give me an idea on ways to please him. I want to make sure that he is able to get as much out of our sexual experiences together as I can. It's not the intercourse I care about, it's him being comfortable with me and being able to experience pleasure however he needs to.
I wanted to thank you and if you could, extend a thanks to Gordon for a great article!
Sincerely, Aly Healy