Mobility issues can make it difficult – or sometimes impossible – to masturbate independently. Yet as a society we’re rubbish at talking about it – sex and masturbation tips in magazines often focus on the incredibly flexible or the downright superhuman. When the topic of sex and disability comes up, people shuffle awkwardly and are often too embarrassed to engage. But it’s an important subject, so we want to redress the balance a bit.
Whether you have limited mobility due to problems such as arthritis or join pain, or conditions such as cerebral palsy, here are our top masturbation tips, and some advice on tools and further support.
Masturbating if you have limited mobility
If you’re unable to masturbate because you can’t get the right grip, angle, or reach, then there are plenty of sex toys that are designed to help. Sheaths – silicone sleeves which you put your erect penis in – can make it much easier, as they don’t require you to cling as tightly as manual masturbation. They do, however, require a bit of manoeuvring to get inside, and you’ll need to be able to get – and keep – a pretty solid erection.
The PULSE II SOLO is a next-generation masturbator which was designed with mobility issues and erectile dysfunction in mind (although of course it can be used by everyone!). The toy itself has silicon ‘wings’ which grip around the penis – and this works whether you’re flaccid or erect – then the oscillating vibrator stimulates you to orgasm. The bonus of toys like PULSE II SOLO is that they don’t require a lot of hand movement – you can simply put the toy on your penis, adjust the vibration to suit your mood or sensitivity, and let it do the work for you.
The key – as with the best sexual things – is experimentation. Testing out which positions work for you and, if you’re using a vibrating toy, which settings work to stimulate you best. If you can’t use your hands to change the pace and intensity, test out the different vibration patterns on your PULSE II SOLO. They give you different bursts of gentle and intense stimulation, and you can change these at the press of a button.
With positions, angling yourself differently on the bed or chair can make a huge difference. On a budget, cushions are of course your best friend. But if you want to splash the cash, you can buy a range of sex furniture that’s designed to make it easier to get into certain positions. Usually designed for partnered sex, these can also be a great help if you’re on your own – particularly if your main problem is reach or angle.
Masturbating if you have severely limited mobility
If you do a quick Google search around masturbation and mobility issues, the most common questions that come up are a variation on this one: “I’m unable to masturbate – which physical needs can and should my carer help out with?” While many carers are comfortable seeing to sexual needs, others aren’t, and it can naturally be a difficult topic to broach.
There are options, though. If your carer is happy to help you work a sex toy, then toys like PULSE II SOLO, which work without hand movement, can simply be put on and set to go. There are also some sex workers who specialise in working with disabled clients. Hopefully with a bit of exploration, you can work find the best option for you. If you need a bit more encouragement or just something to kick off a discussion, check out one of our favourite customer testimonials – from a carer who works with a guy who has severe mobility issues:
“My client has a very involved degenerative muscular disorder. He has also had several strokes and heart surgery. The only part of his body he can move independently is his head. He is able to breathe on his own, but has a tracheostomy tube, feeding tubes and catheters. I feel his ability to masturbate successfully is important to his dignity; one thing he can do that brings pleasure into his life and that he doesn’t require other people to do for him. A member of staff sets him up and then he is on his own. It is probably the most privacy he has in his day.”
Sex Not Stigma
Part of our #SexNotStigma campaign involves encouraging more people to talk about their sexuality, and how it intersects with other things in their life. Problems such as erectile dysfunction, for instance, which often accompany severe mobility issues, are often brushed over or ignored. We think the first step to overcoming these problems is talking about it – whether that’s with your family, friends, carer or online, where you can share tips and advice with other people.
Here are a couple of recommendations to get you started:
Enhance the UK is a fantastic UK charity that does some great work to undress (pun very much intended) the myths and misconceptions surrounding disability and sexuality. Their forum – The Love Lounge – is a great place to see other people’s stories and get advice from sexuality experts.
Disability Horizons is a treasure-trove of great information – we spoke to them about PULSE in August last year and alongside advice on great tools for people to use, they also offer advice and opinion on dating, sex and relationships.