No, it shouldn’t really impact penetrative sex much. Unless somebody is actually pulling at the IUD string, you should be alright. One major thing to note though, if your partner has a penis, they may be able to feel the strings during penetrative sex. This should get better after awhile once the strings soften, but if it is a persistent problem you can get the strings trimmed further.
By: Alex M.
There are a lot of “cute” little catchphrases I could use to start off this review. You know, “Sex is like pizza, even when it’s kind bad it’s still kind of good…” har, har, right? I’ve personally always felt sort of left out by those kinds of jokes. Sex is great, and it may be one of my favorite things (and the option to not or never have sex is totally rad too!) but having sex isn’t always easy for me. Because of the way my body works, some not chill things can happen to me during sex. Disability is a hugely personal issue for those who identify within that spectrum of identity, and I don’t want to speak for anyone but myself, however: Sex isn’t always easy. I personally have a lot of reproductive issues, and the sex I have now is honestly only possible through the massive amounts of (usually fun) trial and error experimentation I’ve gone through.
Luckily for you, my dear readers, we’ve come up with a basic primer on having sex while disabled and having sex with those who are disabled. This is a very, very, very broad guide meant to reflect the diversity of our bodies. It may be winter right now, but hopefully this guide will be a fun way to prepare for when the birds and the bees show up.
Consent: I don’t care who the frickfrack you are, all parties must be enthusiastically consenting in a sex act, (that goes for solo sex too). Do not sexually pleasure yourself or engage in sexually arousing solo activities unless you know you’re most likely able to handle it emotionally and physically, ( i.e. if you are a person who runs on spoons, don’t feel pressured by society and it’s absurd standards of sexuality to expend them on solo sexytime unless you want to. It’ll be fine- I promise. ) What if you or your partners can’t always or sometimes verbally consent for whatever reason? Work out a system where you and your partner(s) have a definite “yes” and “no” signal that will work 100% of the time even when verbal communication is iffy.
The Big Shabam: Yo, don’t worry if you can’t always orgasm. Sometimes bodies don’t cooperate. Sometimes sex is more about the journey. Talk to your partner(s) about your expectations and prior experiences and see what theirs’ are as well. Work together to see what aspects of sex are most important to both of you, and agree to try to uphold the spirit of the ideals or engage in crucial actions.
Remember, sex is whatever you define as sex. Sex can be dry humping, foot rubbing, anything. Sex is wholly defined by the people having it, so disregard what people outside of the experience think. Sex is whatever activity you want it to be.
Break those Schemas: Disabled people can be and are sexy. That cannot be stressed enough. We are neither your tragic victims nor your fetish. We are people, and people that can feel sexy, empowered, or sensual-the whole spectrum. A differently functioning body does not negate sexuality or the fact that we are hardwired to propagate the species. Disabled people like sex too, and can be good at it. Disability studies have a boat load of media and narrative studies on the ableist idea that disabled people are all asexual or are not traditionally sexually desirable. Read up if this is a schema you feel called to smash.
Lube: It can never hurt. Test out a bunch of brands to see what tickles your fancy. Lube can give your wetness a boost, relax you, stimulate you, and allow other orifices to safely and easily fit hands. Lube is the bomb.
Safer Sex: Safer sex is a critical component to any sexual relationship. I don’t care if you’re into hardcore BDSM or solely phone or cybersex. It doesn’t matter. Make every effort to educate yourself on STI’s and potential pregnancy risks (if that scenario is possible.) Critically think over past, potential and preferred sexual acts and analyze if any element exposes you or your partner’s body to emotional or physical damage. (I’m talking like infections here, not whips and chains. No one is aroused by yeast infections.) Barrier methods (internal/external condoms, gloves, dental dams, etc) are crucial here.
Self Love: Accept and understand your body. Sex is not the time to be fighting with yourself, (it’s okay if you do, though.) Try not to worry about your belly, your various scars, or the way your disorder might make you move. You know why? You are attractive. There is at least one attractive person having sex with you when you have sex, even if it’s only yourself. You’re a babe. Embracing that makes sex so much better.
Sex Toys: Sex toys are great in that they can really facilitate sex if you’re mobility impaired. Discuss with your partner(s) the possibility of introducing one to pleasure one or both of you during sex acts. Your own personal sex toy is also pretty swell as well, to help you experiment on your own what works for you. There are a lot of great guides to sex toys that can be found here on BCIAW (try our Post Index and our Resource section) and all around Tumblr.
Talk with Your Doctor: I’m not a psychic or a doctor. I don’t know everything about every medical condition that can impede sexual function. I highly advise finding a doctor that is sex positive or at least competent and asking them what nuances of your disorder might interfere in sexual function.
Example: Pelvic disorders can cause hardening of arteries which in turn can impede orgasm. Typically when one is diagnosed, the first question isn’t: “But how will this affect my ability to cum?” And that is fine. However, it would pay off to schedule a visit if you suspect your disability is impeding your sex life in anyway.
Communication: Talk it out with yourself and your partner(s). Make time and space to negotiate your feelings on sex solo and with each other. Communication that leads to understanding is key. You are the world’s expert on your own body and its experiences, thus, only you can tell your partner how it feels to inhabit your body- as a sexual being and as a disabled person.
Looking for additional information? We’re big fans of the following resources on sex and disability:
Is there anything you’ve been hoping to see that we haven’t covered here yet (or lately)? Any topics you see too little of?
We plan two months out, so feel free to let us know what kind of posts would be most helpful to you and your feminist/activist/sexual-being journey as we approach the holidays!
PS I’ll be online for the next few hours working on this, so if you have any questions you’d like answered, now would be a great time to ask!
Many (most?) of us grew up watching Degrassi Next Generation. The long-running series follows the lives of teens at Degrassi Community School in Toronto, Canada and featured an incredible cast of young people. Perhaps best known as the jumping off point for rapper Drake, the show gave a real look at many of the problems teens face. Most notably for this blog, those issues often included sexual health, sexuality, and relationships. For those of us without a proper comprehensive sexual health curriculum at home or school, television shows such as this played an instrumental role in educating us about the dangers, rewards and details of sex.
What exactly can we learn about sex from Degrassi? Read on, but please be warned that this post does include a couple of major plot spoilers as it encompasses points across the progression of the series.
This is really complicated, and I am hesitant to really weigh in too much here. I think there is a really big difference between having sex with someone who isn’t consenting (which is rape) and consenting to sex when you aren’t in the mood. You aren’t wrong for feeling uncomfortable with this situation, but I do think its important to consider that many people do have sex when they aren’t in the mood for a number of reasons- and that is okay if they are consenting participants.
What I suggest is having an open and honest conversation with your partner about what happened, and why it made you uncomfortable. Telling him that you will not have sex if you aren’t in the mood is a good place to start. It is very important to discuss your boundaries. Communicating with your boyfriend is the only way you can work on this and get past it if that is what you want to do (or not if this is a deal breaker for you).