April 6th, 2008

Nemesis

Can You Still "Do It"?

I know what you're thinking. We all know, those of us mobilized via wheeled chairs. We see the calculating glances, and hear the timid whispers. We laugh with the bold ones that are drunk enough to ask.

For some reason, the adult human brain always goes to this place. Little kids are different. They ask "How do you use the bathroom?" "Can you take a nap by yourself?" "May I push?" The inquiring minds of adults, though, want to know-If you're disabled, can you have sex?

Response: Some of us even have T shirts!



(That's not me, by the way.)

I can really answer only for myself. Short answer: Yes, I can. Yes, I do. And thanks for playing!

Speaking for those with spinal cord injuries at large requires a bit more thought.

It might help to know the statistics. 11,000 people are spinal-cord injured in the United States per year. 78% of those injuries are incurred by the male of the species. The predominant age group is 16-30. Now, think to yourself what you know about men of that age group, especially those with a risk-taking tendency. What would motivate such a crowd? Always, forever, world without end, amen, the answer is SEX.

Bear in mind, these guys aren't brain-damaged, or no more so than the average testosterone-fueled beast. They are people with altered bodies, still determined to live full lives. Spinal cord injury generally has a detrimental impact on a body's moving parts. Tragically, the devastation always seems to be directly proportional with the significance the owner places upon any given part. However, sex is a strong motivator, the pharmaceutical industry is dominated by men, and we are sexual creatures. There are pills such as Viagra and its stream of new-and-improved offspring. Cock rings, vacuum pumps, penile injections, even implants that are like peter-shaped Gumbys!

Odds are good, one way or another, the guy can get it up.

Sensation is another matter entirely. I don't know many of us that can claim to have the same level of genital sensation we enjoyed pre-SCI. Men are so visual that they can often have a mighty good time just watching some lady ride them. They may or may not be able to reach climax that way. I hope any curious young ladies out there, casting an eye upon a hot spinal-cord injured guy, will consider it a challenge. Some of those guys are my friends, and I like to see them happy. :)

We gals are a little luckier. Our successful participation is less critical; we can always lay back and take one for the team. Do it for England, right? It's not that hard to fake! Better yet, research has proven that an alternate pathway in women can have orgasmic results. That's right, ladies. The G-spot doesn't transmit via the spinal cord. We have a backup mode. It's like AM radio! Able-bodied women are 57% orgasmic, and our spinal cord injured sisters rank a respectably close 50%. (Shout out to whomever engineered that shit. Props, baby!)

It's also been said that with the loss of sensation from one region comes increased sensitivity in another. You can't prove it by me, but people claim to fully get off via stimulation of ears, neck, etc.

No declaration about spinal cord injury is final. Every single injury is different. Imagine a bundle of fiber optics supplying cable and internet to Houston. That is your spinal cord. Your brain is the transmission tower, your entire body is Houston. Taking out any lines is going to disrupt somebody's cable and/or their internet. With a spinal cord injury, terrorists bombed a waystation that distributes data to a neighborhood. Whether they impact 1 house, 1 block or a whole subdivision is the luck of the draw. Only by playing around with the switches will we know if we can still cyber via IM while watching Rock of Love.

If you have a new spinal cord injury, or your mate does, or you're checking some dude out, I recommend reading Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs and Declarations of Independence by John Hockenberry. For one thing, it will make you smarter. Also it is an unflinching account of one man's journey on wheels. It's amazing and it saved my life when I was in rehab. Just remember, progress has been made on the sexual front since he wrote it. Hockenberry now has 4 kids. Another great source: The Relationships and Sexuality forum at CareCure.org. You may have to wade through some crap but there is priceless info and mucho honesty to be found.

Little known fact: There is a breed of person that is attracted only to people with disabilities, or to their equipment. They might cruise the net looking for "skinny legs". They might want to wank on your wheelchair. They might be taking your picture at the mall. We call them "devos". Don't you feel special now?