Posts Tagged sex

[BLOG POST] Accessible Sex Toys for People With Disabilities or Chronic Pain

Sex is a basic human need, yet often people with mobility challenges or physical differences are left out of the conversation, from depictions in popular media to the design of sex toys. When considering the latter, most people view sex toys as a naughty bonus. For people with a disability or chronic illness, however, sex toys aren’t “just” for fun — they’re an empowering way to make sex accessible.

“Sex toys can not only give us pleasure but they are assistive technology just like a cane or a shower chair,” Eva Sweeney, sex educator and host of “Cripping Up Sex With Eva,” told The Mighty. “They allow us to explore and enjoy our bodies like everybody else. So many times toys are viewed as novelties or optional when they are necessary for many people with disabilities or chronic illness (and without).”

It’s easy to find enticing sex toys if you’re able-bodied, but it’s more of a challenge to find affordable options that people with mobility challenges or even chronic pain can use comfortably. “Most sex toys are very expensive and as we all know people with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty,” Sweeney said. “That’s the major barrier keeping people with disabilities from getting the toys they need.”

We gathered 15 accessible sex toys, wearables and devices that might just fast-track you to the big “O,” whether you’re looking for solo fun or a partnered encounter. And here’s a little extra advice from Sweeney: “Explore! Try different toys. Everybody is different.”

1. Tongue Star Pleasure Tongue by Hott Products ($5.65)

Tongue Star Pleasure Tongue by Hott Products

This toy lets your tongue do the talking during sexy times with this hands-free vibrator you can wear. It looks a little like a mouth guard, and that’s exactly how you’ll use it. The design reduces the vibrations you feel on your teeth when the vibrator is on. A small vibrator attached to the outside of the mouthpiece, meanwhile, lets you deliver what Hott Products calls “toe-curling thrills” to a partner.

2. Thigh Strap-On by SportSheets ($23.99; $15.36 on Amazon)

Thigh Strap-On by SportSheets

SportSheets’ thigh strap-on lets you give a partner an intimate experience with penetration even if your mobility restricts your pelvic movement. It’s hands-free for you, so while your partner grinds, you get to explore. The strap-on harness is sturdy and comfortable and can be a great solution for accessibility. “Harnesses can be really helpful for keeping toys in place,” Sweeney said. “There are harnesses for every body part and can be custom made,” so let your imagination run wild.

3. Mage Flexible Massager Vibrator by Intimate Melody ($29.95)

Mage Flexible Massager Vibrator by Intimate Melody

“I really like flexible toys because you can mold them in whatever shape you want and they usually stay like that so you don’t have to use your hands as much,” Sweeney told The Mighty. The Mage flexible massager vibrator delivers on this sex toy ideal. Made by Intimate Melody, this vibrator isn’t hands-free, but it’s completely flexible so you can customize the toy to what works best for you. That includes bending, twisting and folding the Mage and exploring its six massage modes at three strength levels.

4. Hollow Strap-On by Adam & Eve ($29.95)

Hollow Strap-On by Adam and Eve

A hollow strap-on can bring new energy into your sexual life if penetration is important to your routine. The hollowed dildo can accommodate an erect or resting penis, and if you live with erectile dysfunction, a hollow strap-on can provide the sensation of giving penetrative sex for you and a partner. The rippled shell will feel great for both parties. It’s a flexible investment because it can be used by any gender thanks to an adjustable, sturdy harness and an easy-to-clean dildo. You can also invest in a vibrating version of this hollow strap-on ($49.95).

5. Sex Stool by Kinkly ($60.99 on Amazon)

Sex Stool by Kinkly

Sometimes, you just need a little extra support. Enter the sex stool, a sturdy metal frame with elastic straps to support your body weight that gives you amazing access to a partner or sex toy mount. With a sex stool, you’ll use less energy and be able to focus more on pleasure and less on strain. It’s easy on the knees, and some users have reported extra tingles thanks to increased compression in your glutes as you use the stool.

6. HelixSyn by Aneros ($69.95)

HelixSyn by Aneros

For those who like to enter through the back door, Aneros’ HelixSyn prostate stimulator is the hands-free option you may be looking for. Advertised as having “velvet touch” silicone, the toy is comfortable for both beginners and advanced users. Its shape fits comfortably inside your body and causes friction in all the right spots as you contract and relax your muscles (a version of anal kegel exercises). HelixSyn’s design pivots as you move, so you’re in good shape no matter what position you choose. Plus, the handle won’t cause any pain and a comfort tab is designed to increase your pleasure.

7. Door Jam Sex Sling by SportSheets ($69.99; $35.11 on Amazon)

Door Jam Sex Sling by SportSheetsTo gain extra support and a lot of flexibility positioning with a partner, give this door jam sex sling by SportSheets a try. The sturdy sling has a seat, hand and foot straps, all of which are adjustable. At least one partner will need to stand. However, the sling can assist in bearing body weight as you try out new sex positions that might not otherwise be possible. Other sling options, like a simple sex sling ($35.99) or the Penetration Station that attaches to the mattress ($44.99), might also be worth checking out.

8. Fin Vibrator by Dame Products ($75)

Fin Vibrator by Dame Products

With Fin, Dame Products has taken the grip challenge out of vibrators. “Fin is a finger vibrator…that’s much easier to hold than most bullets because it has little fins almost that goes between your two fingers,” Dame co-founder, Alexandra Fine, told The Mighty. “It also has a detachable tether that can really tie the product to your hand in a way that a lot of people either with disabilities or arthritis or any challenges gripping something really like….The way it works with your hand, it feels more like a natural extension of your body.” Introduced in 2016 by Fine and Dame co-founder Janet Lieberman, Fin offers dual sensations and three speeds all in the palm of your hand. Also check out Dame Products’ flagship hands-free vibrator you can wear during sex, Eva II ($135).

9. Wearable by Ohnut ($75)

Ohnut Wearable

The first intimate wearable, Ohnut’s creator and founder Emily Sauer wanted to address painful sex for people with a vagina. “I had been experiencing painful sex myself for my entire sexual life and when I had asked doctors for advice they really didn’t want to offer any help,” Sauer told The Mighty. “It finally got to a point where I had felt so isolated by my experience because I was too embarrassed to talk about it and [so I] came up with this crazy idea.”

Ohnut — comprised of four stackable, adjustable linking rings “that allow you to modulate penetration depth” — aims to reduce pain and bring fun back into the bedroom. The squishy, comfortable silicone Ohnut is worn by the penetrating partner or placed on a toy, and you can add or remove rings to personalize penetration depth. Orders placed on Ohnut’s website are scheduled to ship in early November.

10. BonBon Sex Toy Mount by Liberator ($85; $68 on Amazon)

Liberator BonBon Sex Toy MountA variety of pillows can make sex more comfortable and accessible. There are tons of pillow options out there, from wedges to ramps, lifts, sex toy mounts and center stages. From master sex-friendly pillow company Liberator, the BonBon sex toy mount pillow is a versatile investment. You can insert a toy into the mount for solo fun or you can use the BonBon on its own to find a comfortable sex position with a partner. It’s a two-in-one pillow combination for whatever you’re in the mood for.

11. Jive by We-Vibe ($119; $93.92 on Amazon)

Jive by We-Vibe

For a wearable, hands-free vibrator that delivers maximum G-spot sensation, We-Vibe’s Jive has you covered. Easy to manage, the Jive’s design prioritizes user comfort. Once it’s in place, you can deliver 10 modes of self-pleasure. Kick your fun up a notch because the Jive connects to a controllable app via Bluetooth, so you or a partner can control the toy from anywhere, and you can create custom vibes. It’s on the expensive side, and for any toy in a higher price range, Sweeney advised finding a cheaper version for testing before investing in the higher quality version.

12. Pulse III Solo by Hot Octopuss ($119)

Pulse III Solo by Hot Octopuss

Vibrators aren’t just for people with vaginas. The Pulse III Solo by Hot Octopuss brings hands-free vibration to those of you with a penis. It’s expensive, but this “guybrator,” as they call it, delivers oscillating stimulation backed by science to give you an orgasm without lifting a finger. You can adjust the Solo’s speed, and the expandable silicone wings wrap around comfortably for maximum sensation. In addition, Hot Octopuss’ research found that an erection isn’t required to use the Solo: “Tests have shown that used static, Pulse can lead to orgasm even while the user remains flaccid.”

13. Bi-Stronic Fusion by Fun Factory ($220)

Bi-Stronic Fusion by Fun Factory

Check out Fun Factory’s Bi-Stronic Fusion for hands-free penetration. It’s a multidimensional tool, providing thrusting, pulsing and vibrating all in one. Once inserted, it does the work for you. The Fusion is shaped to reach the G-spot and provide clitoral stimulation all at the same time, though some reviewers have said the toy’s larger size makes full insertion (required for the external vibrator to reach the clit) uncomfortable for some people. You can also test-drive the Fusion through 64 pulsation and vibration options.

14. Sex Machine by Humpus ($258)

Humpus Sex MachineHumpus, a U.K.-based company working to revolutionize hands-free pleasure, is nearly ready to release their Humpus sex machine. Made for any gender (or couple), the compact machine is worn around the waist with either a penetrative or sleeve attachment. With the click of a button, Humpus will do the stroking or thrusting, and you have the ability to adjust the speed or the attachment. They’re on the pricey side, and, according to a recent press release, the Humpus won’t be available until the holidays this year at the earliest.

15. Sex Chair by IntimateRider ($329)

IntimateRider Sex ChairDesigned by a person with C6-7 quadriplegia to add more choice to sexual movement, the IntimateRider chair smoothly glides to provide thrusting action. The seat of the chair is short so it doesn’t get in the way of the action, and its design makes it easy to transfer into and find the optimal position. IntimateRider swings into action with movement from your upper torso, or with assistance from your partner. You can also add a RiderMate ($169) or RiderMate Deluxe ($315) for additional positioning and support options for you and a partner.

Looking for some disability-inclusive sex positions? Check out our illustrated list

via Accessible Sex Toys for People With Disabilities or Chronic Pain | The Mighty

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[Abstract + Similar articles] Interventions for Sexual Dysfunction Following Stroke

Abstract

Background: Sexual dysfunction following stroke is common but often is poorly managed. As awareness of sexual dysfunction following stroke increases as an important issue, a clearer evidence base for interventions for sexual dysfunction is needed to optimise management.

Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to reduce sexual dysfunction following stroke, and to assess adverse events associated with interventions for sexual dysfunction following stroke.

Search methods: We conducted the search on 27 November 2019. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; from June 2014), in the Cochrane Library; MEDLINE (from 1950); Embase (from 1980); the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL; from 1982); the Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED; from 1985); PsycINFO (from 1806); the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro; from 1999); and 10 additional bibliographic databases and ongoing trial registers.

Selection criteria: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared pharmacological treatments, mechanical devices, or complementary medicine interventions versus placebo. We also included other non-pharmacological interventions (such as education or therapy), which were compared against usual care or different forms of intervention (such as different intensities) for treating sexual dysfunction in stroke survivors.

Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently selected eligible studies, extracted data, and assessed study quality. We determined the risk of bias for each study and performed a ‘best evidence’ synthesis using the GRADE approach.

Main results: We identified three RCTs with a total of 212 participants. We noted significant heterogeneity in interventions (one pharmacological, one physiotherapy-based, and one psycho-educational), and all RCTs were small and of ‘low’ or ‘very low’ quality. Based on these RCTs, data are insufficient to provide any reliable indication of benefit or risk to guide clinical practice in terms of the use of sertraline, specific pelvic floor muscle training, or individualised sexual rehabilitation.

Authors’ conclusions: Use of sertraline to treat premature ejaculation needs to be tested in further RCTs. The lack of benefit with structured sexual rehabilitation and pelvic floor physiotherapy should not be interpreted as proof of ineffectiveness. Well-designed, randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials of long-term duration are needed to determine the effectiveness of various types of interventions for sexual dysfunction. It should be noted, however, that it may not be possible to double-blind trials of complex interventions.

Similar articles

via Interventions for Sexual Dysfunction Following Stroke – PubMed

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[BLOG POST] Safe Sex After Brain Injury – HOPE TBI

, H.O.P.E TBI

sexbrain

Sex and Disability

Sexuality is one of the most complex aspects of life but, the sexual lives of people with disabilities have been disregarded and stigmatized. As a result, sexuality as a form of pleasure and an expression of love is not taken into account or even recognized for individuals with disabilities.

Sexual expression is influenced by cognitive and emotional processes and is dependent on functioning anatomical and physiological systems, in other words, our brains control our sexual organs and responses.

Before resuming sex with a partner, boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse, talk about it with your doctor or therapist and be guided by their advice.  Make sure you are clear and talk with your mate about your expectations, fears and feelings, including consent. Communication is key! Remember to not put too much pressure on yourself, focus on pleasure and not technique. You may need to change your same old lovemaking style and experiment with other sexual activities which can include

  • oral sex and mutual masturbation
  • utilization of sexual aids/toys/furniture
  • to increase intimacy, concentrate on boosting the romance in your relationship by offering lots of affection, complementing and saying nice things to each other and celebrating big and small occasions.

Importance of safe sex

After a TBI, it is just as important for you to protect yourself from unplanned pregnancy and from sexually transmitted disease as it was before your injury. Even if a woman’s period has not returned, she can still get pregnant. Here are some tips to help with birth control and protection from sexually transmitted disease.

  • Do research to help figure out what method of birth control and protection from sexually transmitted disease are best for you.
  • Because of changes in thinking abilities, it may be harder for you to remember to use protection or to remember to take it with you.
    • You can plan ahead by always carrying a condom or other method of protecting yourself and your partner.
    • For women who use birth control pills, or a device that must be replaced, using a calendar or alarm on a smart phone can help you remember to take the pills or change the device.
  • If you are unsure whether your partner has a sexually transmitted disease or has been intimate with others who have such disease, it is safest to use a condom.
  • If you have engaged in any risky sexual behavior, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases and get treated if you test positive.

Consent should not be assumed

Each of us is responsible for making sure we have consent in every sexual situation. If you are unsure, it is important to clarify what your partner feels about the sexual situation before initiating or continuing the sexual activity. Consent should not simply be assumed by:

  • Body language, Appearance, or Non-Verbal Communication: One should never assume by the way a person dresses, smiles, looks or acts, that they to have sex with you.
  • Dating relationships or previous sexual activity: Simply because two or more people are dating or have had sex in the past does not mean that they are consenting to have sex with you.
  • Marriage: Even in marriage, a person should not assume they have consent for sexual activity. Marital rape is as serious as any other sexual assault.
  • Previous Activity: Consent to engage in one sexual activity at one time is not consent to engage in a different sexual activity or to engage in the same sexual activity on a later occasion.
  • Silence, Passivity, Lack of Resistance, or immobility: A person’s silence should not be considered consent. A person who does not respond to attempts to engage in sexual activity, even if they do not verbally say no or resist physically, is not clearly agreeing to sexual activity.
  • Incapacitation: Alcohol consumption or use of other drugs can render a person incapable of giving consent. Alcohol is often used as a weapon to target individuals and is used by perpetrators to excuse their own actions.  Additionally, Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct laws apply to a perpetrator regardless of whether or not they were drinking. It is important to remember that sexual assault is never the survivor’s fault, regardless of whether they may have been intoxicated.

The term “sexual assault” means any unwanted, nonconsensual sexual contact of any kind (including kissing) obtained through the use of force, threat of
force, intimidation, or coercion.

Rape is unwanted, non-consensual sexual contact that includes penetration (i.e. vaginal or anal penetration, oral sex, and genital touching) obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion. 18% of all rapes and sexual assaults are reported to be committed by strangers, which means that most of these crimes are committed by someone the victim knows, is close with or related to (according to the 2017 Bureau of Justice’s).

Myths About Disability and Sex

  • Disabled people can’t have sex.
  • Disabled people have to pay for sex.
  • Disabled people aren’t sexy. 
  • Disabled people don’t want or need sex
  • Disabled people only have kinky sex
  • Disabled people can’t have sex
  • Disabled people only have sex with other disabled people
  • Disabled people can’t have kids
  • Disabled people shouldn’t have kids because they can pass on their disability
  • If you have sex with a disabled person you will catch what they’ve got
  • Disabled people are a burden on their partners
  • People living with a disability can’t have “real” sex
  • Disabled people need protection, like kids
  • Disabled people have more important things than sex to worry about
  • Disabled people are brave and courageous to try sex (no, it’s just adapting to a lifestyle)
  • All persons in wheelchairs are chronically ill, frail, or sickly

Facts About Disability and Sex

  • People with disabilities can be sexual and enjoy sex
  • Some people who use a wheelchair can still feel “down there”
  • Sex is not just all about each others “privates”, it’s about intimacy as well
  • Mobility aids can be a fun addition
  • People with a physical disability don’t just “lie there”
  • Disabled people can have sex and enjoy it
  • Disabled people sometimes choose to pay for sex like people who aren’t disabled
  • Disabled people are sexy
  • Disabled people can have sexual desires/needs
  • Disabled people can have kids and build families of their own
  • People with disabilities can identify as LGBTQ too
  • All people need to learn about and understand sex
Also check out our web page called Sex After Brain Injury and Trauma
disabilityandsex

Source: HOPE TBI

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[WEB SITE] What Happens During a Sexual Seizure? – Psychology Today

Orgasms and Epilepsy

By Amee Baird Ph.D. Posted Jan 11, 2020

Of all neurological diseases, epilepsy is the one that has been most frequently linked to sex. “Coitus brevis epilepsia est” (“Sex is a brief seizure”) is an ancient proverb attributed to Galen, the famous physician of the Roman Empire. In the 18th and 19th centuries, some doctors, including Samuel-Auguste Tissot and Edward Sieveking, argued that excessive masturbation could cause epilepsy. At the time, castration and clitoridectomy (removal of the clitoris) were reportedly performed on people with severe epilepsy.

Renowned neurologists John Hughlings Jackson and William Gowers did not consider sex to be the origin of epilepsy. Rather, they identified neurophysiological (brain-based) causes and laid the foundations for current views of the origins of epilepsy.

The notion that sex causes epilepsy has been well and truly debunked, but in rare cases, an association between sex and seizures does exist. Temporal lobe seizures can be triggered by an orgasm, or even cause orgasms. Orgasm-induced seizures occur much more commonly in women than in men and are usually associated with a right temporal lobe seizure focus.

Andrew Baird

Source: Andrew Baird

These seizures can be frightening for partners and have a significant impact on a person’s sex life. They can lead to a life spent avoiding sex and fear of orgasm, which can have a devastating effect on relationships. In one case, the husband of a woman who experienced orgasm-induced seizures was so frustrated by their sex life that he threatened divorce if neurosurgery to cure her seizures was not successful. 

In contrast to orgasm-induced seizures, seizures that result in orgasms may be savoured by those who experience them. Orgasmic “auras” (a feeling or warning sign that a seizure is about to happen) linked to seizures are also more common in women and typically arise from the right temporal lobe.

Case studies of women who experience these pleasurable seizures have found that they often keep them a secret from their doctors – for decades in some cases – even when they are undergoing investigations for epilepsy and know that orgasmic auras are part of their seizures. Some people have refused to have neurosurgery to cure their seizures out of fear of losing these unexpected orgasms.

Spontaneous orgasms might sound like fun, but these sexual seizures can occur suddenly and in unexpected situations. Imagine travelling on a bus during peak hour on your way to work, standing in the aisle jammed in between other passengers, and suddenly feeling a wave of tingling. You know what is coming, and you know that you are about to experience it in front of an audience of strangers.

Brain imaging studies of healthy men and women have found that orgasm, and its lead-up, is predominantly associated with activation (and, in some earlier studies, deactivation) in the temporal and frontal brain regions, including the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex; other regions involved in sensory, motor and reward processes are also implicated. It appears that if the neurons (the nerve cells) in those very brain regions are highly sensitive, perhaps due to scar tissue or other causes of seizures, such as hippocampal sclerosis, then a seizure can be triggered by the activation or stimulation of those exact regions that occurs during orgasm.

Apart from orgasm, there are other sexual behaviours that can occur during a seizure. Sexual automatisms (automatic behaviours that the person later has no memory of) include writhing, thrusting, rhythmic movement of the pelvis and legs, and rhythmic handling of genitals or masturbation. These are rare and occur relatively equally in men and women who experience frontal lobe seizures.

Sexual “ictal” manifestations (that is, those that occur during a seizure) have also been reported, such as erotic feelings, genital sensations and sexual desire; these have been found to occur most commonly in women with right temporal lobe seizures.

So although sex does not cause epilepsy, sexual behaviours can be associated with certain types of seizures that arise from the temporal (typically right-sided) or frontal lobes, brain regions that are critical parts of our sexual neural network.

This is an adapted excerpt from Sex in the Brain: How Your Brain Controls Your Sex Life (NewSouth Publishing, 2019; and forthcoming Columbia University Press, 2020).

References

Ozkara, C., Ozdemir, S., Yılmaz, A., Uzan, M., Yeni, N., & Ozmen, M. (2006). Orgasm‐induced seizures: A study of six patients. Epilepsia, 47(12), 2193–2197.

 

Rémillard, G.M., Andermann, F., Testa, G.F., Gloor, P., Aube, M., Martin, J.B., …  Simpson, C. (1983). Sexual ictal manifestations predominate in women with temporal lobe epilepsy: A finding suggesting sexual dimorphism in the human brain. Neurology, 33(3), 323–330.

 

Shorvon, S.D. (2011). The causes of epilepsy: Changing concepts of etiology of epilepsy over the past 150 years. Epilepsia, 52(6), 1033–1044.

 

Spencer, S.S., Spencer, D.D., Williamson, P.D., & Mattson, R.H. (1983). Sexual automatisms in complex partial seizures. Neurology, 33(5), 527–533.

 

Stoléru, S., Fonteille, V., Cornélis, C., Joyal, C., & Moulier, V. (2012). Functional neuroimaging studies of sexual arousal and orgasm in healthy men and women: A review and meta-analysis. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 36(6), 1481–1509.

 

via What Happens During a Sexual Seizure? | Psychology Today

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[WEB SITE] Disability and sex: let’s be frank about sex toys

Disability and sex: let’s be frank about sex toys

Disabled people use sex toys for the same reasons as anyone else: for pleasure, variety, sexual experimentation, kinky sex… the list goes on. But some disabled people also use them to assist with sexual difficulties or physical, mental or sensory impairments.

Sex isn’t always straight forward for anyone, and it certainly isn’t like in the movies. But sex can be just as mind blowing with the right assistance. I’m talking sex toys – dildos, vibrators, butt plugs, love eggs, strap ons… I could go on.

Disabled people often use equipment to help with everyday things, like a grip to hold a cup or hoist to lift them from a chair to bed, and the idea of useful aids carries on into the bedroom. Just because you can’t do certain things, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy sex. For example…

Men who cannot achieve an erection may use a strap-on dildo in its place, or strap it to their thigh, so that their partner can sit on it and play with their penis at the same time.

Men who can’t orgasm from penile stimulation, maybe because they have spina bifida can use a prostate stimulator to orgasm.

Women who cannot reach down between their legs to masturbate may use a Magic Wand, which has a long handle, to stimulate the clitoris.

Women with spinal injuries and others with neurological impairments may not lubricate naturally, so need lubricants in an accessible container.

Blind and visually impaired people may use audio erotica to excite them.

People who cannot move and want to pleasure their partners may be able to hold toys on them – vibrators or electrostim gadgets, to provide stimulation. People with arthritis or that have difficulty getting into the right positions for sexual interactions, might use sex swings or supports to make it easier for them.

People with spinal injury use strong vibrators such as Ferticare to have orgasms.

Some people with learning difficulties need toys to assist their stimulation to make it easier.

Masturbation to reach the big O

But the most pressing reason of all why some disabled people need sex toys is that they are unable to masturbate to orgasm, maybe because they have short arms, their hands get tired and weak, or they cannot move their arms.

Women are lucky that no-hands toys like the butterfly and vibrating panties can get them off. Some may have partners who will toss them off or go down on them. Some single people have the knack of persuading people they know, or meet, to lend them a hand, and this skill comes from building up enough confidence to be brave enough to ask in a relaxed, good humoured way.

Others have PAs or care staff willing to put a vibrator on their clitoris or masturbator on their penis, secure it in place, maybe even turn it on, and leave the room, coming back later to clear up and put the toy away.

All this shows that there are many ways to still enjoy sex and orgasms, even if you have a disability. But there are issues with some sex toys.

Sex toys are usually secured by tucking them into tight pants — which is totally unsatisfactory. Not only are they sometimes just shy of the right spot, but there is a chance it will dislodge itself and fly across the room just before orgasm is reached. However, I have invented a solution – Happy Harnesses.

Happy harnesses are bespoke harnesses that will fit to the wearer and hold the required sex toy, meaning the sex toy is not only in the right place, but it will also stay firmly in place.

Unfortunately, it’s currently only in the design stage as I haven’t been able to find anyone to actually create such harnesses — they cannot just be manufactured as they need to be made to measure to accommodate the required toy. Plus, as it’s such an intimate necessity, it would be nice if it were customised.

But think of this: a guy living in a residential home, with a night-time raging hard on, or a woman who wakes with a sudden horniness — they cannot just ring a bell in the middle of the night and expect immediate assistance. They just have to lie there and think of England, letting the desire subside. If this goes on every night and often in the daytime too, it’s extremely bad for their mental health. I want to change this so that everyone can experience sex toys at their desire.

Sex toys have come a long way

A few decades ago, when I attended the first ever sex toy fair in Frankfurt, all the people in the trade were gangsters. A manufacturer said to me: “Tuppy, I want you to see my new life-like toy. Poke your finger to the end and you will feel the clitoris”. I sighed and muttered; “that’s where the cervix is, the clitoris is not inside the vagina, but in front of it.” The sex trade was dire: sex toys were shabby, ugly, split and smelt of rotting cabbage.

My boyfriend said of Jacqueline Gold, owner of Ann Summers; “even their condoms are tight­” – they were made in the East where cocks tend to be smaller, but condoms cheap to buy.

Slowly, the gangsters moved out of the trade and the business men took over. I’m not sure who was worse. At the last sex toy fair I went to in Berlin, on a research trip for Spokz several years ago, my friend, Shiri Zinn, spent most of her time covering up her beautiful porcelain and exquisite fluffy toys on her stand to prevent people from taking photos.

It’s only in the last couple of years that designers and people with any sense of morality, intelligence or pride have entered the business.

And a couple of months ago, quite amazingly, I made a breakthrough. I was quoted in the sex toy trade journal, Erotic Trade Only, as saying; “I think disabled people who cannot masturbate are better off having hand jobs because none of the sex toys are much good for them,” also mentioning my frustration with Happy Harnesses.

A week later a letter arrived in the post from a design company saying I had really got them thinking. I phoned them up and learnt that they too want to create a sex toy that disabled people can use independently, with no, or as little as possible, need for support from anyone else. They recognised the need for spontaneity and privacy, and had been thinking along the lines of how people with no arms or arm movement can paint beautifully artistic paintings using their mouth or feet. I was over the moon.

So, in our bid to work together on this project, I pledged to ask all the disabled people I know who are unable to masturbate to tell us exactly what they might be able to use to operate a sex toy. I’d be thrilled if as many people as possible could get in touch to let me know what they think – I want to make this the best possible sex toy to suit everyone’s needs. You can email me at Tuppy@Outsiders.org.uk, or call on 07770 884985.

Sex toys available now!

And in case you want some other recommendations, here are some of the toys currently out on the market which I have recommended in my book on sex and disability, to be published by Jessica Kingsley later this year:

The Humpus
The Fleshlight (one version with a suction pad)
Rends A10 Cyclone
Butterfly vibrators
Vibrating panties
Venus 2000
The Sybian
Hitachi Magic Wand — look online for European imitations.
Ferticare
Liberator — manufacturer of support equipment
Silver Sex — furniture for people with arthritis
Literotica — audio erotica

Spokz stock sex toys for disabled people in the UK

Kinsters Paradise will adapt and create accesible toys, gadgets and furniture

TLC — the website for disabled people to access responsible sex workers and strippers

The Hold It —  a great gadget for people unable to hold books and ipads to read or write. They don’t have a clamp for sex toys but such a clamp could be attached

And do come along to the 2014 Outsiders Jamboree on Monday 21st July, noon till 6pm. The venue is The Lighthouse, 111 Lancaster Road, London W11 1QT.

The event is free of charge and features Tableau Vivantes, performances by the incredible Mouse, Mat Fraser, David Young and Jamie Willmott, with discussions, loads of networking and fun.

I hope to see you there!

By Tuppy Owens

via Disability and sex: let’s be frank about sex toys

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[WEB SITE] 5 saucy products to make your Valentine’s Day memorable

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day isn’t far away. And everyone, no matter what their disability, has desires and the right to express them. So, here at Disability Horizons, we’re using February as ‘love month’ to break down taboos around sex and disability, and to help you to enjoy sex and your body.

To kick off, we’ve rounded up five products in our DHorizons Shop to make your Valentine’s Day and beyond pleasurable, whether you are in a relationship or single.

There’s no way around it, when we get down to the nitty-gritty, our disabilities can sometimes make things in the bedroom tricky… or kitchen or living room for that matter, depending on how adventurous your love life is! You may experience pain, have issues with stamina or find a range of positions impossible.

So, to enhance your sex live, or even open up your experiences in the bedroom, we’re showcasing five products to help you get more pleasure.

1. The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability book – £15

Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability

This book is packed full of resources for anyone who lives with disabilities, chronic pain or illness, whether you are single or coupled up. It’s written by Miriam Kaufmann MD – a paediatrician, adult health specialist and associate professor at the University of Toronto – and her cowriter Cory Silverberg M.Ed, a founding member of Come As You Are, an education-based accessible sex store.

It covers a wide range of topics, including desire, self-esteem, penetration, positions, yoga and Tantric sex. Each chapter also contains exercises at the end for you to try out. While the book is aimed at disabled people themselves, health professionals may find the information useful, too.

We feel that this is an extremely comprehensive resource, and that most people will find at least one thing in it to enhance their sexual pleasure.

Visit the DHorizons Shop to buy this book and all the other products in this article.

2. Multifunction Sex Position Enhancer chair – £43

Multifunction Sex Position Enhancer chair

If you are limited in the sexual positions you can achieve due to a lack of strength or poor range of mobility, then this simply-designed, high-strength chair could be the answer. It is flexible enough to allow you to enjoy a myriad of new, and possibly otherwise unattainable positions, and capable of bearing up to 300 lbs.

The manufacturers claim that because it takes some of the effort out of sexual positions, it can prolong the duration of sexual encounters, whilst at the same time improving the pleasure for both parties. It comes with quite a variety of suggested positions and even has some very tongue-in-cheek ideas for locations to try it out in.

The only criticisms we could find was that some users initially found it tricky to put together. But other than that, all its reviewers seemed to universally agree that once used, it enhanced their sex life.

3. Love and Vibes wireless wearable dilldo – £44

Love and Vibes wireless dildo

This discreet, wearable dilldo is a totally feminine sex toy. Once in place, the remote allows you to use a wide range of vibration modes. It’s also wireless, making it useful for people with a variety of conditions, such as muscle weakness or joint pain, that would usually inhibit their pleasure.

It is 3.25 inches long and 1.25 inches wide, and is ribbed and textured for added pleasure. The vibration function works both along the shaft of the dildo, and at the base, for greater pleasure and versatility. It is also fully rechargeable, so you don’t need to replace batteries.

4. Flashlight Turbo Thrust blowjob masturbator – £36

This discreet device is designed to look like any other torch. However, when the cap is unscrewed, it reveals a realistic feeling, easy-to-use simulator of oral sex for him.

It is made of durable, phthalate-free soft material, so should be hygienic, and has a comfortable insertion depth of 25cm. For those of you with progressive muscle weakness, joint pain or restricted limb movement, it’s a fantastic option for both tension relief and pleasure. So, whether you use this solo or as a couple, this toy will make achieving orgasm for him completely effortless.

5. We-Vibe Rave bluetooth smartphone-controlled G spot vibrator – £84

We-Vibe Rave bluetooth smartphone-controlled G spot vibrator

 

 

The best thing about this quiet and discreet G spot vibrator is that it can be control via an app on your smartphone, removing the need for arm strength or co-ordination. The app comes preloaded with 10 vibration modes, plus the ability to create your own to fit your personal preferences.

Whether you use the app yourself to help you achieve orgasm, or give control to your partner, this device could add some interesting options to your sex life.

Head over to the DHorizons Shop to buy any of these products. You can also see all the other assisted living items we sell to make your life easier.

Keep your eyes peeled for more advice, product picks and valuable tips from Disability Horizons this love month. 

More on Disability Horizions…

via 5 saucy products to make your Valentine’s Day memorable

 TagsDisability and Sex,disability sex,sex toys for disabled people

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[BLOG POST] “Can you have sex?” and other common disability and dating questions

We all know that there are a number of preconceptions about disability. One of the biggest is around dating – some people still don’t believe that disabled people date, have relationships and, yes, have sex! For a different perspective on the topic, we’re sharing a blog post from Becky, who isn’t disabled herself but is dating wheelchair-user Dan. Read on to find out how she deals with misconceptions about disability, and her answers to people’s common questions. 

Hi! I’m Becky. I’m a pretty average 23-year-old from the West Midlands. I’ve been a registered veterinary nurse for the last four years and have my own furry clan of horses, a dog and a cat. I’m happiest when I’m outdoors with my animals or exploring with Dan and my friends.

Dan (my better half, significant other, partner in crime….) is 28 and works as a data analyst. He’s a big music fan so loves going to gigs. Like me, he’s always busy and enjoys it being that way.

Dan has Friedreich’s Ataxia, which is a rare genetic, degenerative disease that causes coordination problems, a loss of sensation in the arms and legs, and impaired speech. As a result of this, Dan is a wheelchair user.

From the moment that Dan and I started dating, people have asked me what it’s like to date someone who has a disability. I use my blog, Head over Wheels, to answer their questions, and to share our reviews and stories about places we visit and their accessibility.

Here’s my post on some of the big questions people have…

“What’s it like dating someone in a wheelchair?”

This isn’t hugely different from asking: “What’s it like dating someone called Dan?” The obvious answer is, well, no two men called Dan are the same. Everyone is different.

Ok, so accessibility needs to be considered when dating any wheelchair user. But even that aspect differs from person to person. The rest is just like going out with someone who doesn’t have a disability; first date nerves, worries about awkward silences, excitement if you get on, the fluttery chest if you fancy them.

According to the charity Scope, two-thirds of Brits say they feel awkward around disability, and some people feel so awkward that they avoid disabled people altogether. That really needs to change!

When I was younger, my grandparents worked at a day centre for people with disabilities and learning difficulties. I occasionally spent time with them there and went to a few of their summer fetes and fundraising events.

I think that that helped to shape my attitude towards disability from a young age. I’m also used to working closely with people who have disabilities as I have treated several guide dogs and assistance dogs in my job as a registered veterinary nurse.

As I was getting ready for my first date with Dan, I’ll admit, I did start to feel anxious. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about his disability at all. I wasn’t sure whether to ask him more about his ataxia, or not to approach it at all. I didn’t want to unintentionally say or do the wrong thing.

But honestly, within the first 10 minutes of our date, all my worries had dissolved. I got completely wrapped up in the easy conversation and Dan’s charm – the wheelchair and his disability became insignificant.

Becky and Dan

“How much do you have to help him? Do you have to push his wheelchair?”

I didn’t have to help Dan at all on our first date. He suggested where we should meet, which meant that he knew what the access there was like. Dan put it bluntly on his dating profile bio: “I’m not looking for a carer, I have my independence.” He drives, has his own place, and works full time.

For our first date, we met at the café and bar at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. When I arrived, Dan asked what I wanted to drink, then said he’d go in to get it for me. I sat at the table outside wondering how he was going to manage to carry it over. A few minutes later he came back out with a waitress who was carrying my drink.

Knowing that he couldn’t carry it back himself, he easily could’ve sent me to get my own drink, but he didn’t. It might seem like a trivial thing for me to mention, but I think it shows what sort of attitude Dan has.

There are some things that I have to help him with, but he also has to help me out too (like by reaching stuff from the top shelves in the kitchen cupboards! Yes, he can stand…!).

“Will you still be able to experience dating ‘normally’ and fully? Will you miss out or have to make any sacrifices if you’re dating someone with a disability?”

Our first date lasted four and a half hours! Considering that I’ve had more than one first date that didn’t even last an hour, I think that speaks volumes. I’d never clicked so well with someone the first time I’d met them.

After a drink at the café and having a looked around the Ikon Gallery, we went for a drink at a bar in Brindley Place. Even after that, we hadn’t had enough, so we went for dinner.

When I met Dan I was getting my life back after being in an abusive relationship. I was enjoying dating and meeting new people. For a few years, I’d missed out on a lot due to being in a toxic relationship and struggling with anxiety. People close to me just wanted to make sure that I didn’t miss out on anything else, hence this question.

A few months after the end of that relationship, I developed a new-found zest for life. I decided that whenever and wherever possible, I was only going to spend time with people whose company I genuinely enjoyed. I realised I had a lot of making up to do, places I wanted to visit and things I wanted to see.

Dan is honestly the funniest, most determined, and kindest person I’ve met. Within the first couple of months of dating, I’d been out-and-about and had more fun and laughter than I’d had in a really long time. It was quite the opposite of having to ‘make any sacrifices’. He’s brought so much to my life. Ew, gushy.

For just one example of what we’ve been up to so far, you can read my Zip World post.

Becky sitting on Dan's lap in his wheelchair in front of a fountain

“Can you have sex?”

I spent a long time pondering over whether or not to include this in my blog. Initially, I was uncomfortable with putting the blog online at all. So I’m sure you can imagine how I felt about answering this question!

But, the purpose of my blog is to be open and honest, and to address any stigmas. Plus, people really do seem intrigued. So much so that Dan felt the need to mention it in his dating profile – at the end of his bio, he simply put: “And it works…”

So… the answer is yes, we can. And we do.

Dan was the first one to broach the subject when we started dating. He anxiously told me his concerns, and I told him mine. Of course, it’s a bit of an awkward and embarrassing conversation to have when you’re in the early stages of dating. But we both had ‘baggage’ so it was important that we talked about it.

At the time, I was having treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and was dubious about opening up to Dan. When you’ve been in an abusive relationship, or if you have a disability, sex can be a much bigger deal than it is for a lot of people.

However, there was no pressure from either side, and luckily we were both on the same page. We agreed that we just had to figure out what works for us both.  It wasn’t easy at the beginning, but sex wasn’t a deal breaker for us. Controversial? But maybe more common than you might think.

There’s a huge list of physical and psychological reasons why sex might be either a problem or just not be that important to someone. We’re all different, and having a disability definitely doesn’t automatically mean that someone doesn’t have a sex life (I can guarantee!). Likewise, being ‘able-bodied’ doesn’t mean your sex life should be amazing and massively active.

Dan and I have found our patience and honesty with each other to be totally worthwhile. So, to summarise, dating someone with a disability doesn’t mean that I’m missing out on anything at all. In Dan, I’ve gained my other half and my best friend.

Oh, also, his wheelchair and lap provide a pretty useful portable seat for when I’m waiting in queues. And I mustn’t forget the parking spaces.

In an attempt to help #EndTheAwkward, I’m happy to answer any other burning questions you might have! Just leave them in the comments section of this article.

By Becky – read more of Becky’s posts on her blog Head over Wheels.

via “Can you have sex?” and other common disability and dating questions

 

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[WEB SITE] Canadian documentary “Picture This” takes an honest look at sexuality and disability – Video

The sexuality of people with disabilities is something that is underrepresented—or not represented at all—which can lead to people with disabilities feeling either invisible or treated like an anomaly when it comes to their sexual lives.

However, a Toronto advocate has been raising awareness about sex and disabled people, and a Canadian film about him and his work is now available for online viewing.

On November 19, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) released Jari Osborne’s short documentary Picture This for free online streaming. (Osborne’s previous NFB documentaries include Unwanted Soldiers and Sleeping Tigers: The Asahi Baseball Story.)

The 33-minute film profiles Toronto disability awareness consultant and podcaster Andrew Gurza, who identifies himself as a “queer cripple”, as he prepares for the second edition of a sex-positive play party, which has been labelled a “handicapped orgy” by the media and garnered international coverage.

Andrew Gurza with model
Andrew Gurza with model
JESSICA RAE

Gurza previously held a discussion in Vancouver in 2016, in conjunction with Vancouver queer organization Health Initiative for Men, that was filmed for and is featured in the documentary.

Among the topics Gurza discusses in the documentary, he describes the awkwardness and discomfort he has witnessed potential sex partners have been unable to hide (not to mention his own heartbreak) once they find out he is disabled. In addition, he also talks about the challenges of being both gay and disabled.

Picture This can be viewed below, or at the NFB website, and is also available on iTunes and Amazon.

https://www.nfb.ca/film/picture_this/https://www.nfb.ca/film/picture_this/embed/player/

 

Picture ThisJari Osborneprovided by the National Film Board of Canada

 

via Canadian documentary Picture This takes an honest look at sexuality and disability | Georgia Straight Vancouver’s News & Entertainment Weekly

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[Abstract + References] Changes in sexual functioning following traumatic brain injury: An overview on a neglected issue

Highlights

  • Sexuality has a significant impact on interpersonal relationships and psychological well-being.
  • Up to 50% of patients with moderate to severe TBI report sexual problems.
  • Sexual disorders in TBI are closely dependent on the damaged brain area.
  • TBI patients and their caregivers should be provided with information useful to achieve a better sexual health.

Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is any damage to the skull and/or the brain and its frameworks due to an external force. Following TBI, patients may report cognitive, physiological and psychosocial changes with a devastating impact on important aspects of the patient’s life, such as sexual functioning. Although sexual dysfunction (SD) occurs at a significantly greater frequency in individuals with TBI, it is not commonly assessed in the clinical setting and little information is available on this crucial aspect of patients’ quality of life. As the number of people with TBI is on the rise, there is a need for better management of TBI problems, including SD, by providing information to patients and their caregivers to achieve sexual health, with a consequent increase in their quality of life. Discussing and treating sexual problems in TBI patients enters the framework of a holistic approach. The purpose of this narrative review is provide clinicians with information concerning changes in sexual functioning and relationships in individuals with TBI, for a better management of patient’s functional outcomes and quality of life.

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via Changes in sexual functioning following traumatic brain injury: An overview on a neglected issue – Journal of Clinical Neuroscience

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[ARTICLE] Epidemiology of Traumatic Brain Injury in Europe: A Living Systematic Review – Full Text

ABSTRACT

This systematic review provides a comprehensive, up-to-date summary of traumatic brain injury (TBI) epidemiology in Europe, describing incidence, mortality, age, and sex distribution, plus severity, mechanism of injury, and time trends. PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, and Web of Science were searched in January 2015 for observational, descriptive, English language studies reporting incidence, mortality, or case fatality of TBI in Europe. There were no limitations according to date, age, or TBI severity. Methodological quality was assessed using the Methodological Evaluation of Observational Research checklist. Data were presented narratively. Sixty-six studies were included in the review. Country-level data were provided in 22 studies, regional population or treatment center catchment area data were reported by 44 studies. Crude incidence rates varied widely. For all ages and TBI severities, crude incidence rates ranged from 47.3 per 100,000, to 694 per 100,000 population per year (country-level studies) and 83.3 per 100,000, to 849 per 100,000 population per year (regional-level studies). Crude mortality rates ranged from 9 to 28.10 per 100,000 population per year (country-level studies), and 3.3 to 24.4 per 100,000 population per year (regional-level studies.) The most common mechanisms of injury were traffic accidents and falls. Over time, the contribution of traffic accidents to total TBI events may be reducing. Case ascertainment and definitions of TBI are variable. Improved standardization would enable more accurate comparisons.

Introduction

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is among the most severe types of injury in terms of both case fatality1 and long-term implications for survivors.2 Treatment of TBI can be complex and expensive.3 Upon clinical examination, TBI is most commonly sub-divided into mild, moderate, and severe, according to the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS).4,5 Such categories have been found to be predictive of a patient’s long-term outcome,6 although other measures and models also have been tested.7,8

A previous review of the epidemiology of TBI in Europe concluded that the leading causes of TBI were road traffic collisions, and falls.3 Consequently, in a densely populated and economically advanced area such as the European Union (EU), the potential for prevention of morbidity and mortality is great. The variability in incidence and mechanism of TBI, which may be observed on this mainly contiguous land-mass with a well-developed road network, is also of scientific interest, as it may lead to better prevention of TBI. Countries within the EU adhere to certain multi-national laws and agreements, but nonetheless retain their own law-making and enforcement responsibilities.9 This may add further complexity to the understanding of TBI epidemiology, for example, in the contributions of varying road speed limits or the legal restrictions on the availability of firearms. More generally, the issues relating to the contemporary demographic and lifestyle characteristics of the similar countries or regions suggest that epidemiological trends from EU countries also may be applicable to other high income countries.

Considerable variability has been observed between national rates, largely attributable to significant variability in data collection, case ascertainment, and case definition. This has led to calls for standardized definitions and data collection in population-based studies, and an associated paradigm shift in studying TBI and its impact.10–12

In order to improve the understanding of causes of TBI and the scale of the problem, it is important to analyze the current situation and time trends, using good quality comparable observational studies. One comprehensive systematic review of the epidemiology of TBI in Europe was published nearly ten years ago.3 A recent systematic review,13 published as a follow-up to Tagliaferri (2006),3 addresses similar issues but was more restrictive in dates of publication (1990–2014) and has not been set up as a “living” systematic review (i.e., it is not expected that it will be kept up-to-date as new research is published).13

The overall objective of this systematic review was to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date summary of TBI epidemiology in Europe by reviewing all relevant observational studies. Specific aims were to determine the incidence, mortality, age, and sex distribution of TBI in Europe, along with the severity and mechanism of injury and time trends. […]

 

Continue —> Epidemiology of Traumatic Brain Injury in Europe: A Living Systematic Review

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