Disabled sex in the time of pandemic has saved me. Sexual pleasure is a way I love my body and my whole self. It’s soul-nourishing. It also motivates me to continue the hard work of life.
Sex helps me understand how I’m doing. I notice where my mind goes, how my body reacts to stimulation today. I evaluate my energy level, hormonal cycles, mood, pain level, how my muscles are feeling, and I check in with my entire health, during sex.
My disabilities are part of my sexuality, as my sexuality is full-body, and my disabilities are too. Sexual pleasure is a way for me to know myself through time.
Sex alone is important. Touching myself tenderly in bed can be friendly, sweet, sexy. Whether I’m masturbating to orgasm, gently caressing my own hips, or touching my own nipples for a brief moment, sexual pleasure is an important comfort. It helps me emotionally regulate.
Sex is a way that my spouse and I enjoy one another and reset our relationship. We’re both disabled and inter-dependent. Living together in close quarters through a pandemic, we have different stress than before, which leads to different conflict. Without some of our pre-pandemic coping strategies, and without much in-person support from other people, being kind to one another is even more important.
Sex is a way we’re kind to one another. The intensity is different from regular life. We go into another mode and do different work together. Caring for one another, we collaborate on an experience together that reduces our stress and delights us.
Sometimes with humor, sometimes with intense BDSM power and pain dynamics. Filled with languagey ideas, or simple and quiet. Sexual pleasure helps us continue to know one another and build a life together, in addition to our individual lives.
Sometimes disability means I want to retreat into my head and abandon my body. Taking care of my health is so much work–too much work, with too little support. Disability is not well understood, let alone respected.
But sex helps me balance out difficult bodily experiences with ecstatic bodily experiences. Sex makes all the work I do caring for my body worth it. I’m on earth to come.
Sex is grounding, a treat, a learning experience, and relationship-nourishing. I’m grateful to have all this good disabled sex in the time of pandemic and always.