The Mighty Logo

The Reality of Being Sexual When You Have Cerebral Palsy

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to cerebral palsy is that adults like myself can’t have sex or any sexual interaction. Another misconception is that we don’t have the desire to have that type of physical interaction with our significant others, when indeed we do.

I consider sex to be one of the most challenging things for me in my womanhood. I want to experience it like an ordinary woman in my age would. I want to explore my sexuality, myself and all that entails. I want to grow as a person in all aspects of my life, see what I can accomplish and understand more about who I am.

We all become aware of our sexual desires at different ages. The first time I had an urge to have sex was five years ago, when I was 18 years old. I had just started to date my current boyfriend. At the start of our relationship, I wasn’t expecting to start wanting to have sex with him. And then before you know it, we were sexting and having cybersex daily.

You would probably say, well that has to be perfect, right? That is definitely not the case. I was bombarded by anxiety about the present and the future. For a long time I didn’t know how to express it or explain it but today, I am. It’s time to bring awareness to sex and disability.

Cerebral palsy does affect my sex life and sexual feelings. I become incredibly nervous when thinking about having sexual interactions because I feel like I will not be able to satisfy any man with my condition. I’m highly aware of my disability in situations like this. I wonder how I can overcome it, and how to move forward with my limits and what I can do.

Since I’m not able to do the same things as a non-disabled woman would be able to do to please a man sexually in the bedroom, my biggest fear is that if I do decide I want to have sex in the real world, I wouldn’t please my partner. Now, I suppose a lot of us share that in common, but for someone like myself, there are a few differences because of my disability.

The biggest issue and fear is, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to satisfy a man when it comes to the genital area in a relationship. It may be a little TMI but for me, the reason is because of my spastic cerebral palsy, my windswept legs and their inability to open up or bend. I worry that I won’t be able to experience sex in an enjoyable way to the full extent.

What if my partner gets turned off by my cerebral palsy while having sex? It’s a recurring thought. I think that’s why it’s the most pressing thing that affects my life with cerebral palsy. Fear is  powerful and consuming, and I constantly worry that I won’t be good in the bedroom with my partner. It is something I’m going to have to work on, and hopefully I will be able to not be afraid of that anymore. I just want to have pride in the bedroom regardless of my cerebral palsy. I’ve become an advocate for those with cerebral palsy, and by being open about these fears and truths, I hope I can continue to help others.

I believe the most important thing for us women and men to remember is to treat our body as a precious gift that God gave us. And to respect it while we explore and go on our adventures through life. While some of us have disabilities like cerebral palsy, we can still do a great many things. We might have to do them differently, but we can do them!

Getty image by Wavebreak Media.

Originally published: June 27, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home