“I have been in a chair for a year now and I have a new girlfriend. I sometimes get spasms when we are having sex and it freaks her out because she thinks it is her fault. Is it bad for my health if I get spasms?"

Why do I get the spasms? Is it maybe because we use the wrong position? I lie on my back and she sits on me but we are getting bored with that too. What other positions can we use?

For many people with a spinal cord injury (SCI) spasms (uncontrolled muscle movements or tremors) of the legs or arms are common and happen regularly. They can be caused by stimuli and may seem totally unpredictable. The excitement of sexual stimulation may set off spasms. On a positive note, spasms facilitate blood circulation, especially in the lower limbs, and provide muscle movement that is not possible otherwise.

Having a spasm during sex does not have to be a negative, unless it causes discomfort, embarrassment or pain - but do make sure your partner is aware that spasms may occur. Putting weight on the affected limb can reduce a spasm and your partner could do this for you. Changing positions may also help.

You can use spasms to enhance sexual pleasure such as placing the area in spasm on the clitoris. I have also heard of leg spasms being used to make powerful, pelvic thrusts not normally possible otherwise. If spasms become too severe during intercourse do consult your doctor, as medication is available to address the problem.

Positioning depends on sexual preferences and the degree ofmobility that you are able to achieve. Do not be afraid to try new positions! Most men with an SCI find that being on the bottom with the female partner making thrusting movements works best. Entering the partner’s vagina from the rear in a side-to-side position also works well.

If it is important for you to remain superior sit upright on the bed with your back against the wall or headboard. Your girlfriend can then position herself on her back between your legs with her own legs drawn up and her vagina close to your penis. If you have sufficient arm strength you can insert your penis and pull her forwards and back. She could assist this motion by gripping your legs with her arms. Another benefit of this position is that, after orgasm, you can leave your penis in her vagina to allow the ejaculate to empty into the vaginal cavity.

You can also practice wheelchair sex! Most modernwheelchairs have easy to remove armrests, swing-away footplates, foldingbackrests and locking brakes. Some people with SCIs describe their wheelchairsas their “legs” so it becomes a part of their sexuality. Paraplegics rely onupper body strength to perform adventurous wheelchair sex positions.Tetraplegics rely on their partners to do the same. Sliding the paralysed person’sbottom to the front edge of the wheelchair seat provides greater access forsex.

The Intimate Rider is a seating option that provides a smooth rocking motion when used. At about R6500 it can open a whole new world of possibilities!

Enjoy your sexuality and, as our cheeky picture shows, your enjoyment of sex is limited only by a lack of imagination!