Monday, December 22, 2014

My Disability is a Huge Cock Block



I was born with Lipomyelomeningocele. I live with a visible, physical disability. My sexuality has, inevitably, been affected by this. So I decided today (even though I own a vagina, not a penis) I would write about how my disability can be a huge cock block. And before you jump on me for being a negative ninny, this post follows “7 Ways My Disability Makes my Sexuality Awesome.” Sometimes, however, things aren’t so fantastic. So let’s get cracking.


1. My bladder is not made out of bladder.


Definitely the least sexy and most aggravating, having a nervous bladder and bowel makes the top of the list. For me, my bladder was completely reconstructed using my small intestine and I still get bladder spasms at terrible times. I pretty much always have to veto sex when my bladder isn't cooperating. I have more control over my bowels but sometimes, well... The best way to explain it is, I just don't know. So on those occasions I really don't feel like getting down because it will mean getting dirty in a very unpleasant way. This can be infuriating when either I or my husband are really in the mood or we know we won't have another opportunity soon.


How I deal: Sometimes instead of having sex we can substitute sex toys or other sex acts as we feel comfortable. Sex toy companies make waterproof blankets in convenient sizes because any sex can get messy. Many times though we just have to admit that there will be plenty of opportunities to have sex when my body is cooperating and it will be much more fulfilling. An article regarding bladder and bowel control during sex can be found here.


2. I have to keep it together to have a job AND have sex?


Besides the problem mentioned above I also have bouts of inflammation in my back/hips, migraines, braces that tick me off, and nerve pain. Some days it's all I can muster to make it through a day of work and managing to get chores done and errands run. And then my husband wants sex?? Are you joking? On bad days I sometimes get really overwhelmed and feel like I'm grasping at a thread to keep it together as a productive adult and I don't feel like making sex a priority at all. And then I feel like I'm letting myself and my husband down by turning what should be a loving intimate moment into one of pain and complaining and hurling my frustration at him. And it never ends. Sure I have clusters of good weeks but we both know my body won't ever not be disabled. The incessant strain really gets to me sometimes and my sex life is particularly vulnerable.


How I deal: I take a deep breath and acknowledge that my relationship is important and safe. Sex shouldn’t be a resentment. It’s something special that I want to invest in. Sometimes I have to say no to sex. But most of the time I consciously make sex a priority. The rewards have been worth it. 


3. There's shit my body just can't do.


Yeah there are loads of great things about my body but the truth is some of my nerve endings don't speak and I have Titanium holding my spine together. There are types of sex I will never have. There are moves and positions and things I just can't do. And some of those things bum me and my husband out.


How I deal: By acknowledging there's shit my body can't do. Yes, I can focus on all the fantastic and wonderful things my body can do, but that’s not enough. Some people get all uppity like, “Nooo your husband must not admit parts of you disappoint him, boo!” But the fact is there are things about my body he doesn’t love and there are definitely things he can't/ won't do that disappoint me. But – they aren't deal breakers for us and we don't use them to guilt trip each other. We admit them and acknowledge them and talk about them constructively instead of keeping it all in to build up as resentment. Some things we find solutions for, others we don’t. Bottom line is there are things about my disability both I and my husband dislike and talking about it shouldn't be taboo.


4. The "wow you look different in pictures" complex.


Since I’m not traditionally dating anymore this isn’t so apparent but it definitely drove me crazy in college. Guys would flirt with me online, compliment my pictures, set up a date and change their mind as soon as they saw I was disabled. One night a guy started flirting with me on facebook. I thought it was weird because we had a class together and he had never talked to me. The next day I mentioned our spicy facebook chat. He got all choked up and admitted he hadn’t realized it was me he was talking to. I finally got sick of it and the moment any guy messaged me on a social site I would shoot them down, “Well you wouldn’t even talk to me if you saw me in real life so F off!” Not very healthy and definitely a hangup I had to get over.


How I deal: I mostly connect online and in person through kink and sex positive communities where standards of beauty are not so stark. Once you realize that there’s more to sex than perfect bodies a lot of opportunities open up. And if people still have the gall to comment on how my body shouldn’t be sexual, well, I’ve explored enough sexual outlets that it doesn’t hurt my feelings any more. Back then I would have snarled something snarky if someone told me my own attitude had a lot to do with it, but, really, my own attitude has a lot to do with it. I’m confident and don’t need approval. There are plenty of fabulous people who think my body is plenty sexy.


5. Messing up my routine sucks.


In order to function and have a job, I need to keep to a fairly strict schedule. When my sleep or eating patterns get messed up my whole body revolts.  So making it to kink play parties or dates sometimes seems impossible, especially when just making it to something as simple as a family Christmas dinner is like epic stress. I feel like a complete flake having to cancel plans and I always have to say I’ll go to a kink event “depending on my body.”


How I deal: I go when I feel good. I’ve had to be firm with this boundary. If I push going to a play party when my body isn’t doing well, I run the risk of making the party but missing work on Monday. I can’t do that. So I have to really enjoy the good times and understand saying no other times is better for me in the long run. If anything, strong boundaries are crucial to having a satisfying sex life with a disability.


These are just a few things I have run into. How about you? How is your body a cock block and how do you deal?

Read more in my book Trophy Wife: Sexuality. Disability. Femininity.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry that you have to deal with so many complicating factors.

    And I thought I had it rough!

    I am fortunate not to suffer from any physical disabilities. My only problem is that my sexual urges don't fit very well in the confines of my professional and social position. I'm a lawyer by trade, highly experienced and well respected. I have been married 3 times and have a young wife and twins who turn six years old today.

    Four years, I led a double life. One was respectable. The other one wasn't.

    I try to keep myself in check these days, amusing myself through bawdy on line postings.

    It's been a couple of years now since I spun out of control.

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