This is my -- slightly late! -- contribution to a Valentine's Day collection of blog posts about sex/sensuality and disability; links to all of the posts here, at Chewing the Fat.
The S.O. and I have always had a slightly atypical sex life, as one would expect of a relationship between two eating-disordered trans boys, one of whom is an incest survivor. We go through phases, really. Sometimes we fuck like bunny rabbits and sometimes we aren't comfortable with anything more than cuddling and kissing. Up until my rheumatoid arthritis got more intrusive, though, it was a matter of willingness, not ability. We still go through the same mostly congruent phases of desire, but it's harder during the phases when we both want sex, and as much as we can get. I can't have it any time I want just because I want it.
We've found [EXPLICIT] ways to get around it, to a degree. Sex toys for days when I can't use my fingers for any fine-motor-skill sort of task, kissing him while he gets off for days when I don't have the grip to use sex toys, and dirty talk when even molding myself against him enough to get at his lips with mine is next to impossible [much less explicit hereafter].
All of that helps, but it doesn't fix the problem: I can't have sex when I want it just because I want it. I'm in my early twenties, in a relationship with someone to whom I desire very much. If I weren't disabled, if I didn't have chronic pain, we could just carry on as our friends do in their relationships. That we can't is frustrating as hell. It seems to me that it would help if both of us could alter our already-atypical idea of what sex is, if we could make it something, sometimes, that doesn't necessarily involve vibrators, or penetration, or orgasm. Try as I might, I can't twist my mind around that just now, and until I'm comfortable with another definition I'm not going to ask my boyfriend to adopt it.
That's where I am right now with all of this -- it doesn't come up as often as it might, because the times when we're both willing are more rare than those when one or both of us isn't. When I'm willing but unable, it bothers me for days. I'm not sure whether it bothers him as much. I'm not sure whether I shouldn't just come to terms with the fact that there will be times when I want to fuck but can't. I'm not sure whether this is a problem to be solved by redefinition. I'll keep pushing and pulling at it, and if I ever magically reach some point of acceptance -- if I am ever okay with knowing my disability alters my sex life irrevocably -- well, I'll be surprised.
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