“I was shot during a bank robbery i n2006. I recently met a man. We kiss and cuddle but he wants more and I am soafraid. I cannot feel anything down there. Will I be a good lover and will Ifeel when we have sex?”

To understand your sexuality as a personwith a disability, it is important to remember that there is a whole lot more to you than just your ability to have intercourse. Your personality, mutual trust and respect, your loving nature expressed by reciprocal touch, caress andmassage are as important.

Your disability does however present youwith challenges when it comes to physical expression of your sexuality.Restricted mobility and loss of sensation in erogenous zones are just a few ofthe hurdles to overcome.

An orgasm (from Greek orgasmos ‘swelling organ’) is the peak of theplateau phase of the sexual response cycle, characterised by an intensesensation of pleasure. In both men and women orgasm is accompanied by quickcycles of muscle contraction in the lower pelvis that surround the primarysexual organs and anus. Orgasms often include other involuntary actions such asmuscle spasms in various areas of the body, euphoria, body movements andvocalisations.

An orgasm is achieved by stimulatingerogenous zones using fingers, the mouth and tongue, the penis, sensualvibrators or erotic electro stimulation. The arousal process can be aided byusing as many of the senses as possible (sight, hearing, smell, taste andtouch) and enhanced by fantasy and role play.

Erogenous zones are areas of the body that are sensitive and, when they arestimulated, produce erotic sensation or sexual excitement. Each person isdifferent but the most popular ones (apart from the genitals themselves) areears and earlobes, the mouth, the neck, breasts and nipples, belly-button,buttocks, inner thighs and loins, feet and toes.

You mention that you have no sensationdown there and this would then exclude most of the erogenous zones from yourbelly down to your toes as well as the clitoris and the U-spot (a small patchof sensitive erectile tissue above and either side of the urethral opening.)

However!! Research has shown that womenwith spinal cord injury at any level - even when they cannot feel stimulus totheir genitals - can have the same orgasmic response in the same area of thebrain as other women. This is because the vagus nerve provides a sensorypathway that bypasses the spinal cord and goes directly to the brain.

Many women who have no feeling experienceintact and satisfactory stimulation from the G-spot (Grafenberg Spot) - asmall, highly sensitive area about 5-8cm inside the vagina on the front orupper wall.

Another promising area is the A-spot (Anterior Fornix Erogenous zone) located just above the cervix at the innermostpoint of the vagina. Just as the clitoris is the female equivalent of a malepenis this patch of sensitive tissue is the female equivalent of the maleprostate. Direct stimulation of the A-spot can produce powerful orgasmiccontractions.

The cervix, situated at the top of thevaginal passage, has been reported to become more sensitive to stimulation inwomen with spinal cord injury. So the cervix, and its connection to the brainvia the vagus nerve, can become the ‘orgasmic epicentre’ despite the externalgenitalia having no sensation.

Set forth on an exciting journey ofdiscovery as you explore new areas of sensation in your own body that willbring pleasure to you both. Make time (and space) available to you and yourpartner for these expeditions of discovery. Create a relaxing atmosphere. Bepresent in the moment and start your journey using the information you now haveto discover that special place (or places!) that turn you and your partner on.

ri-dot