Providing Your Disabled Lover With Agency & Access During Sex
Written by Andrew Gurza
We don’t talk about sex and disability enough at all in popular culture. One of the spaces I think is particularly lacking when it comes to our discussion, is guides for non-disabled partners to understand how to better assist their hot disabled lover. Maybe you picked up a hot wheelchair user on Tinder who’s DTF, but you’re nervous because, what happens if they need help during sexy time. What the f*ck do you do in that situation? How do you keep it chill, sexy, accessible and respectful? Worry not, dear reader, I come to you today with some pro crip tips designed to help you out when your disabled partner asks for help or access during sexy times. Let’s get comfy, cozy and crippled and dive right in!
1. Be Honest About What You Don’t Know & What Scares You
One of the things that I have come across when dealing with non-disabled lovers who are wanting to help me during sex, is that so many of them will say things like: “Yeah, it’s not a problem” when I bring up my access needs. They usually act really nonchalant about it, I think in an effort to convince themselves that they can do it, they will do it. The problem with this kind of approach is that it usually doesn’t address their discomfort and their fear, and it ends up that they’ll not be able to help out of fear, or they’ll help me, but afterward I’ll never see them again, which really sucks.
As a seasoned disabled lover who has seen this approach time and time again, I would recommend that instead of saying “No problem” when I ask you for access help during sex, I’d suggest that you stop and be 100% honest. If you are uncomfortable, tell me. If you think you can’t offer help, tell me. If you have no idea about all this disability stuff, and it scares you, tell me. Rest assured, this honesty is not bad, in fact it helps me as the disabled person determine what to do next. Should I call an attendant to help, or should we change the game plan about the kind of sex that we want to engage in? Most importantly, this honesty will bring you and your disabled lover closer to each other, and that will make the sex so much hotter - trust me!
2. Don’t Ask to Help Every 5 Minutes
Sometimes, when I have been with sexual partners who wanted to help me with my access needs in bed, they’ll be so committed to helping me and being ready for that, that every 5 minutes they would stop our sexy time to ask, “Can I help you?” As kind as this is, it can be an epic mood killer. In many ways, it takes me out of the moment that we’re trying to create together, and then it can be hard to jump right back in. Also, sometimes it reminds me of my disabled body in a way that feels really uncomfortable. Asking me if I need help every 5 minutes, reinforces the fact that there is so much that I can’t do, and also makes the disabled person feel like they can’t give their partner pleasure at all, and this really sucks! I think it is important to remember that disabled people have agency - we know what we need - and if we need something we’re more than happy to tell you. So, instead of asking consistently what kind of help they need, consider checking in occasionally, or setting up the scene beforehand. That way, you can both jump right in and enjoy all of their disabled deliciousness!
3. Stay Calm & Listen Carefully
If your disabled partner does ask you for help in bed, the best advice that I can give is to stay calm and listen carefully. More times than I can count, if I have asked for help in bed, my partner has leapt up to assist me, rushing through and not listening out of fear or nerves, or thinking that they had to do it “just right”. It can be really hard to communicate our needs if our partner is bouncing around the room, unsure of how to help. It takes us out of the moment again, and it can be really hard to get back in that “Disabled People Are Hot” headspace. If you think something isn’t right, it’s okay to ask for clarification (maybe just not every 5 minutes, lol). The more you stay calm, the easier it will be for everyone involved - trust me. It’s also okay to say, “I don’t think I can do this, can we call one of your Personal Support Workers to help?” There's no shame in that, promise!
4. Storyboard Your Sex
A truly innovative way to learn about your disabled partner’s access needs, is to do something I like to call “storyboarding your sex”. This is where you have an open, honest conversation about what each of you wants to do, what the limitations are for each of you, and what the adaptations will have to be. Doing this before a sex with your disabled partner reinforces consent, access AND it is a really hot part of foreplay. Sometimes, I use visuals and drawings with a partner to really get those juices flowing, while also fully explaining what it is that I need from them. Storyboarding helps me stay connected and ready for hot crip sex, but also gives my partner enough information. I recommend that everyone (whether you are disabled or not) give this a try.
So, while these Crip Tips are not the only ones you can try, I think they are the best ones to start learning about your disabled partner’s access needs in the bedroom. They keep things sexy, seated and steamy, but also allow for good communication so that you can have the best crip sex ever!