Sex And Spinal Cord Challenges: 6 Things To Bear In Mind

Hi Doc,

I recently started a romantic relationship with a friend of mine – he’s physically challenged and we’d been friends for years before transitioning to the relationship stage – he’s got Spina Bifida. The thing is, from his waist downwards, he’s got sensations and actually gets erections, but I’ve been thinking alot about ways his physical challenge could weigh in on sex with him. Doc, thinking of this alone causes me anxiety as I’m very much looking​ forward to sex being pleasurable with him, and while he’s got no issues with me asking questions regarding this, still, I want to make sure I’m not shocked by whatever surprises a sexual encounter with him throws my way. What are the things I need to know regarding having sex with people suffering this condition Doc? Please help, he’s a real good man, I don’t want our moment ruined.



Hello Chinwe,

Firstly, let me say, I’m absolutely wowed by the level of maturity with which you’ve decided to approach your relationship! Whether or not challenges are involved, responsible and caring romantic partners make use of ample time to discuss relationship matters – likes and expectations, for instance.

Have it at the back of your mind that it is highly possible to experience an absolutely enjoyable sex life with a man suffering​ Spina Bifida (SB). And yes, your thoughts are right, there are specific steps you can take to get yourself all set for physical intimacy with someone suffering this condition. Alot of the below suggestions are rooted in the fact that SB is characterized by decreased sensation to touch in sufferers:

1. A huge percentage of SB sufferers experience incontinence. To avoid awkward situations, be sure he pees before and after sex.

2. There’s a huge possibility he suffers UTI. To avoid this, you both should clean up with water before and after sex. Passing urine before and after would also be helpful​ to you both.

3. A small percentage of sufferers have issues experiencing orgasm. To prepare against this, communication ought to be the first step, enquire about this from him. If it turns out he’s got the issue, you both should focus more on foreplay, slowly savouring all sensations that come with it – do not head in straight for thrusting.

4. Allergy to latex is quite common amongst SB sufferers. So, keeping this in mind, it’ll be​ better you set your sights only on latex free condoms.

5. Even though your man feels sensations from his waist downwards, there’s still a possibility of him slightly losing this sensory ability in future. Should in case that ever happens – that is, if ever you find that he’s starting to have issues gaining and keeping an erection, certain suggestions are open to you – drugs, vacuum devices, internal prostheses etc.

6. Your choice of lubricants should be water soluble – in order to avoid irritations.

In all, I’ll have to state something though – you come across as being highly sensitive to your man’s needs and one can easily tell you’re very much sexually aware too – that, to me – is enough sexual self-confidence, which definitely has set the ball rolling for sexual fulfilment between you and your man. I believe you’ve got this already. The world needs more people like you.

Please, do endeavour to write back to me as regards the turn out of events in your relationship.

To be human is beautiful.

Best wishes.

Dr. Cum

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