What you should know about sex toys for people with disabilities
The sex toy industry is huge, but there is no denying that most of the products assume the user is valid.
However, there is also a growing market for products that are easier to use – and some specially designed for those who have difficulty using “standard” toys.
Electrical stimulation is one thing and we’ve tried it
Marketed as a ‘guybrateur’, it wraps around the penis and – if you buy the Duo version – also has an external vibrator so a partner can join you.
Rather than testing it myself, I passed it on to someone who could use their interesting abilities more.
Jane was unable to have penetrative sex after the surgery and was impressed with what the Pulse could do.
My partner was able to use it quite easily as a masturbation tool and there is a remote for the speeds, which I had full control of.
Using it as a couple took some getting used to – you need to make sure it’s in the right place and needs a lot of lube.
But once you get into the beat, it works fine, and I finally got so pissed off that I dropped the remote.
The Pulse helped us achieve the first simultaneous orgasm we’ve had in a very long time.
Dan found the Pulse was helping him when the drugs couldn’t.
I have had multiple sclerosis for 15 years and have been virtually powerless for the past five years. Not only erectile dysfunction, but also loss of sensitivity.
Viagra works, but I feel like I’m doing it with someone else’s material.
I did some research and came across (sorry!) The Pulse III Duo, which unlike regular male masturbators, works without the need for a full or even partial erection.
It has a pad the size of a coin, which sits under the penis and offers a range of pulse patterns.
And it works. I had forgotten how good this outing was and all the wonderful chemical and psychological changes that came with it. It really gave me back the physical pleasure of sex.
Hot Octopuss also produces the Queen bee – not only one of the strangest sex toys I’ve ever got my hands on (which means something), but also one of the most unique.
Its simple design means it is easy to hold and use by people with limited dexterity.
the Chronic sex blog – tagline “Because sexuality is not about ability” – called it “versatile, different and stylish” and suggested that it could work “regardless of gender,” as a lightweight alternative to a wand massager.
Retailers are realizing this potential gap in the adult toy market.
Francesca Cross was inspired to launch her online store The pleasure garden after realizing how many people were missing.
She told Metro.co.uk:
In 2014 I started working for a disability charity and the clear message that came out was that people with disabilities just want to be able to use the same stores etc. than everyone else, rather than “other” specialized resources.
I also started to be interested in the politics of sexuality and wanted to know more about sex and disability.
I haven’t found any sex shops in the UK that explicitly include people with disabilities, so I decided to do something about it – and that’s how The Pleasure Garden started.
I want to create a space where everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality or disability, can access the products and information they need to help them lead a fulfilling sex life. Sex and pleasure are an extremely important part of our lives and having a disability shouldn’t exclude you from it.
It is important to recognize that people with disabilities want – and want – to have sex, buy sex toys, are naughty, are homosexual and all other nuances of sex and sexuality, just like people without disabilities. .
It’s important not to cater to “other” people with disabilities, which is why I wanted to make sure the store was as inclusive as possible, instead of creating something specifically for people with disabilities.
Pleasure is for everyone.
There are some practical ways to make your life easier when you have mobility issues.
Liberator have long sold their wedge cushions to a market eager to enjoy a comfortable positioning for those intimate moments.
Or if you have the space – and sturdy door frames – maybe a sex swing could help?
They are generally of fairly decent quality these days – this Simply Pleasure Fetish Fantasy Swing can support up to 350 lbs and allows additional mobility.
Tabitha rayne describes herself as an ‘exciting romance writer’.
She invented the award-winning Ruby glow after looking for something to keep her entertained while writing erotica – it wasn’t until later that she realized how useful it could be for people with limited mobility.
She told Metro.co.uk:
Initially, I designed the Ruby Glow simply as a way for me to go out while writing sex scenes without disrupting the creative flow.
I then developed it further because I realized that this kind of non-penetrating hands-free device could allow other women to achieve orgasm.
Because the two vibrating pads are held in place by your own body, you can use your weight to rub against the pads as hard as you want without having to use your fingers.
It was Rayne’s own experiences that further shaped the toy.
A few years ago, I suffered from a severe attack of viral arthritis. It was agony and left me weak throughout my body, but especially in the wrists. It really opened my eyes to how people with limited mobility or with chronic pain have to find so many impossible tasks.
For many months, I could barely lower my underwear, let alone deal with my own orgasms. It was just too painful to apply the right pressure, and the vibrations from the clitoral massagers made them very difficult to hold in place. It was a frustrating time – physically, emotionally and sexually.
When I thought back to that time, I realized that the Ruby Glow would have been a fantastic vibrator for me back then. My symptoms improved over time, but the experience gave me the determination to examine the design of sex toys and how they can be more accessible, inclusive, and easy to use for everyone.
Because the Ruby Glow is essentially two vibrating bumps that you slide between your legs while seated, there is no penetration, only pressure. Which means you can even use it while wearing clothes and during your period.
I just wish I had invented this damn thing a few years ago.
So you see, whatever your physical limitations, the advice and equipment is almost certainly there to help. Everyone deserves the sex life they want.
Violet Fenn is a freelance writer and blogger. It can be found at Sex, Death, Rock’n’Roll.
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