To me, being sex and body positive is – in essence – celebrating difference. The fact is that all bodies can be confident, and it is that confidence that makes sex positivity such a powerful force. Growing up with what many would call a non-traditional body, my journey to find that positivity has been a defining part of who I am.
Being fortunate enough to be born with a significant physical disability, cerebral palsy if you want to get technical, has meant that I do most things differently from a lot of people. I get out of bed differently, shower differently and even answer nature’s call differently. I have always liked that I do things differently, because it makes me at least somewhat differently. Then there’s sex. For years I thought there was only one way to do it, and my body’s limitations meant that I wasn’t very good at that one way. To be honest I didn’t enjoy it. But then I realized that I do that differently too, and not only did I enjoy it immensely…I was damn good at it.
This light bulb moment for me when I decided to stop dwelling on the limitations that my disability presented to my sex life and started focusing on the parts of my body that I’d been already relying on for years. I have full vocal range, meaning my tongue is more than capable. I also have the use of two fingers on my left hand, and when used right…well, you know. My disability also means that I have regular use of what I consider to be the ultimate sex toy; a power wheelchair with a reclining seat and many other bells and whistles.
In many ways, my disability has been a huge advantage to a great sex life. Firstly, it forces creativity, which is never a bad thing in my book. I’ve been creative my whole life, and the bedroom is no different. Second, it leads to increased communication with me and my partner. We had no choice but to talk, which led to better and more intimate sex. Lastly, my disability has taught me to never take anything for granted, and to enjoy giving pleasure as much as getting it. Again, another one in the positive column if you ask me.
Now, I will be the first to say that my journey from ‘eek, not loving this’ to ‘damn I’m good’ has not been easy. It took a lot of me time and a partner who was willing to explore the pleasures of different, non-traditional sex with me. But through that I suddenly figured out the unavoidable truth about sex and sexuality: do it your way. Nope, I can’t do missionary, and that’s cool. Yeah, my preference is oral, so what? There’s no manual for great sex. Reframe sex to make it work, whatever your limitations, and you will have unlocked the ultimate secret.
I grew up embracing my physical difference. I have now learned to embrace my sexual difference as well, and have learned to celebrate those differences every time they come in contact with each other. I am a firm believer that my disability has been a huge boost to my sex life, and I’m proud to write that. So here’s the takeaway line from this. Whatever your difference, love it…’cause it’s so much more fun that way.