6 Ways to Enjoy Sex with Limited Sensation

Sex is much more than just stimulating nerve endings. While most humans on this planet go gaga at the prospect of their genitalia being simulated, for people with spinal cord injuries, sex has a whole new meaning because of lessened sensation.

The interesting thing is that most of us still want to have sex despite not having much sensation. The average able-bodied person always wonders, then why have sex? The answer is simple: Because it helps us feel more human, more alive. Other people still enjoy it because it helps them feel connected to their partners. Sex truly has that magical ability.

But at the end of the day, the able-bodied partner having sex with the person with a spinal cord injury always wonders the same thing - what are they getting out of it and will they still enjoy it? Communication is key when it comes to discovering pleasure when having sex with a spinal cord injury. For some people, all they need is dirty talk and role playing, and then the decreased sensation doesn't really matter.

There's a lot more needed for most than just dirty talk though. From electrical stimulation to focusing on parts of the body you can still feel, here are six tips to swear by on still enjoying sex in spite of limited sensation.
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#6: Focus On Areas You Can Feel (even if they’re weird)

Try sporadically stimulating areas on the body you can still feel, even if they’re weird, during lovemaking. Some enjoy their neck, ears, scalp, the inside of the elbow, the breast area, even the line of where their injury begins to be stimulated. Also, for those with incomplete injuries, they may be able to feel patchy areas throughout their body. Try experimenting simulating these areas. To stimulate try massaging, licking, tickling or touching the area with something tactile, like a feather.

#5: Experiment with Temperature

In areas of the body that are still temperature-sensitive, contrast hot to cold any way you can. Experiencing a variation in temperatures can be pleasurable, even if you did not find it sensual before your injury. This is fun to try anywhere on the body where there is still a sensation, even if it is very high up. This can mean anything from lounging in a hot tub to dragging an ice cube on the neck.

#4: Try Electrical Stimulation

While TENS units have been used to help men ejaculate after a spinal cord injury, they’ve also been reported to help women feel more sensations in their vagina if they have a spinal cord injury. It is sometimes called "Electro Sex" and first became popular in the BDSM world. People with spinal cord injuries are now trying it to bring more sexual stimulation to their lives. It is not guaranteed but is definitely worth trying.

#3: Experiment with Pain

In areas you can still feel, try light pain-inducing things like hair-pulling or the pinching of skin (by your partner) to feel a sensation that still has the ability to stir you. If you do not enjoy pain, obviously this will not be pleasurable, but if you're on the edge and have enjoyed a little bit of hair pulling in the past, this may be something you can experiment with. Just remember to have a safe word with your partner so you can tell them when you need to stop.

#2: Massage & Cuddling

A neck and shoulder massage can have a whole new meaning when you have a spinal cord injury. This very well could be the most pleasurable sensation you can still have. This is true for quite a number of people with spinal cord injuries. Definitely try experimenting with different massage techniques. Cuddling, as well, can be a lot more pleasurable. Just to feel close to someone again can make a huge difference.

#1: Role-playing

For the ultimate escapism during sex to get your mind off dulled nerve-endings, role-playing can be one of the most important things you try. You must, however, open up your mind to rather kinky scenarios that have the ability to turn you on. If you aren't sure what you like, try watching different porn videos to see what captures your imagination. From stranger role-playing to medical-related role-playing, let your mind wander (and hopefully you’ll have a willing partner).

Sex truly is one of the best things in life even if you have a spinal cord injury. Hopefully, in time, you'll believe this as well. As someone who's been sexually active for over 20 years with a spinal cord injury, I can guarantee this is possible.

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Topics: Family & Relationships, Accessibility & Adaptations

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