This week, Chiamaka Ejindu takes a look at some of the different sexual positions that disabled persons could engage in.
Disabled bodies get overlooked in a lot of conversations. As a result of (able-bodied) privilege and social conditioning, many of us often assume or behave in manners that suggest our bodies function the way everybody else’s does. I am guilty of this behaviour myself. Before having this topic of conversation with my editor, I had never considered what kinds of positions were comfortable for people who do not possess the entirety of their physical mobility.
Many of my partners have been able-bodied. if anything, the difficulty I usually encounter comes as a result of not being able to wear my glasses during sexual interaction. This makes certain instructions or movements hard to follow and I find that my partners who have good vision barely notice my discomfort around these things, as to them it would be the simplest task. I suspect that this is how people who have limited mobility would also feel around partners who do not have physical impairments. It is important to consider the complete well-being of not just ourselves but also our partners while engaging in sexual activities. This makes the experience memorable and enjoyable for all.
The positions that I would discuss below are best suited for people who have physical mobility but are limited to some degree. This would also include people who experience chronic pain and as a result, prefer to engage in less strenuous activities. While some of the positions listed could be incorporated towards queer couplings, they are majorly for partners who are interested in vaginal penetration.
One of the many positions that are suitable for partners with limited mobility is the ‘side-to-side’. The angle allows for easy access to pleasure points and erogenous zones such as the nipples or the clitoris. Side by side could be face-to-face or face-to-back. A great feature of the side to side is that if one partner has more mobility than the other, they can place pillows under or beside the partner with less mobility that would support and balance them properly during sexual interaction.
‘Priests’ Missionary’ is another position, one that I would refer to as a ‘goated’ position. This is because the placement can be enjoyable for all kinds of partners. Queer couples experience pleasure in missionary and so do heterosexual couples as it allows the genitals to be accessed very easily. The phrase essentially signifies missionary that is straight to the point. No legs up, no legs on the waist, no placing legs on shoulders. None of that. The partner on top would have to have some mobility so as to settle in comfortably. In this position, vaginal penetration can be slow, calm and well-timed. Intimate kissing, nipple play and scissoring (for queer couples) can also be the star attraction of the show.
Some disabled people might forego positions that are engaged towards vaginal penetration, especially in the event where either partner finds mobility very difficult. In this case, I would recommend ‘toys’ as the next best bet. There are support benches, stools and arm support that are sold as accessibility devices and tailored towards disability access for bathrooms or high areas that could very well be enjoyed by people with limited mobility for situations that do not include accessibility if you get my drift.
Regular positions could also be modified in order to accommodate limited mobility, such as collapsed doggy style instead of the regular doggy where one partner remains on their knees. In collapsed doggy, the stronger partner or the partner with less pain would have to be at the bottom. This is also because they will end up carrying most of the weight of their partner that is on top.
As I earlier mentioned, I am able-bodied and so are the majority of my partners. This means that I still have a fair way to go regarding my knowledge of limited mobility and other disabilities in general. While I received some background knowledge in learning disabilities during an internship, I do not have the same knowledge in physical abilities. It is important that we all get educated on these topics as we could easily encounter partners with mobility issues or generally need the knowledge to encourage open discussions about these topics. This would make our language inclusive, which is important even for sexual conversations and otherwise.