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Do disabled men get erections?

By Brian Muchiri December 24, 12:04 am
You assume all men can get erections, but that isn't always the case. And what happens when you're having sex with a disabled man?

The last Saturday of every month is 'Boys’ Night' for me and my friends. My friends are a bunch of loud-mouthed, no-filter guys. There are eight of us; men of different ages between 27 and 45. I am the youngest in the group, and also the newest member. The meetings have been going on for almost a year now, and all of us have a form of physical disability; five of us have spinal cord injuries.

Two Saturdays ago, we spoke about the frequently asked questions about our disabilities. Top on that list was, 'can a disabled man get it up?' In simpler terms, can a disabled man get an erection?

Sex and Disability is a topic that makes people ask many questions; with good reason, too. Sex is such an interesting part of our lives. If I was not disabled myself, I would want to know how paralysed people hit the sack, or if they even have a sack in the first place.

Before delving into erections and other hard things, let us first demystify a couple of misconceptions. The first is that disabled people are mostly asexual. Asexuality in this specific sense is taken to mean that we do not have sex, or we are not interested in it. This couldn't be further from the truth. For us, the experience is certainly different from the ‘traditional’ kind of sex you might be used to, but we partake in it enthusiastically, if and when we can.

The other misconception is that our minds and bodies are too fragile to engage in intercourse. Do not jump to conclusions before getting to know an individual first. And another one: not all of us are depressed and sad about our lives. Have discussions with us and be as inquisitive as possible.

 

And now, erections (how hard can it be?)

There are three types of erections.

Psychogenic

These are the erections that are achieved through entertaining thoughts that cause sexual arousal. These thoughts could be triggered by certain images, sounds, or watching pornography. You get a psychogenic erection without any stimulation to your penis. Just erotic thoughts. Men with high levels of spine injury cannot achieve psychogenic erections because the part of the spine that makes this possible is affected.

Reflexogenic

These are the erections that you get through physical touch or stimuli. They can be achieved through masturbation, massaging the region around the penis, and other erogenous areas in the body. Most men with spinal cord injuries can experience these kinds of erections, though it usually happens unintentionally. Everyday routines such as undressing, bathing, or catheterization can lead to the rise of the member down under. These erections may however not be completely hard or last long enough to sustain sexual activity. If anything, they can be a bit embarrassing because they pop up at the most inappropriate times!

Spontaneous

These are the erections that you get in the morning, or when you are really pressed. It is normal for most able-bodied men to get these kinds of erections a couple of times at night even as they sleep. Men with spinal injuries may experience spontaneous erections, but again, they might not be sufficient for sexual activity because they don't last long enough.

 

So, is our business still in business?

Well, the simple answer to this mysterious question is Yes and No. It is a yes, because it depends on the severity of the disability in question. For men with lower levels of spinal cord injuries, erections are easy. It is a no, because men with higher levels of spinal cord injuries most probably can’t get erections without a bit of help. Luckily for us, there are a few remedies for erectile dysfunction.

 Related: 4 Signs You Have Erectile Dysfunction 

How to make the hard times last

1. Medication

Viagra is possibly the most common drug in use when it comes to sustaining an erection. However, there are other types of medications that work just as well, such as Cialis and Levitra. Choice depends on individual preference and how your body reacts. For men with spinal cord injuries, it is very important to get prescriptions from a professional because most of these medications alter blood pressure, and can result in serious cases of autonomic dysreflexia (when your nervous system involuntarily reacts to being overstimulated).

2. Injection Therapy

This is quite similar to the method discussed above. The only difference is, rather than swallow the medication as a pill, you inject it using a syringe directly to your penis (don't worry, we have no sensation down there). Most men prefer this method because the medication takes a shorter period to take effect. The cost may vary depending on your choice of medication, but the erection can last for more than three hours.

3. Toys/Vibrators.

Most people believe that vibrators are only for women. Well, a lot of men with spinal cord injuries have reported success in penile stimulation and erection through using a vibrator. There are different vibrators. Some are specially designed for men with spinal cord injuries. Research shows that some men have been able to achieve ejaculation as well through using them.

Sex with a disability is an impossibility. It only requires communication, open-mindedness, creativity, patience, and most importantly, a good sense of humour. Take these lessons and use them to your advantage. Be safe, and don't fall off your wheelchairs!

 

What topics around sex, love and relationships do you and your boys talk about during ‘Boys’ Night’?

Did you learn something new?

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