Lisa's Friday Top 5 - SCI and Sexuality

1.   Can I still have sex?

Yes, but it will likely be different from what it was before.  An SCI can change how you express your sexuality and how you act on it.  For many people, the change or lack of feeling in the penis or vaginal areas is a loss.  This doesn’t mean you’ve lost the ability to be sexual and experience sexual pleasure.  With time and practice you will discover new ways of giving and receiving pleasure.

2.  Who can I ask about sex?

Sex is a natural part of your life and changes to sexual function are a part of your spinal cord injury.  You can talk about your sexual health concerns with your nurse, doctor, social worker, psychologist or anyone on your treatment team you feel comfortable with.   

3.  When should I start thinking about sex again?

Some people think about sex the first day they are injured.  Others may wait months or years to experiment.  Everyone is different.  Being and feeling sexual again can take time, don’t feel rushed take your time.   

4.  Is it normal to feel afraid of sex?

Fear is normal when things change or are different from before.  People may be afraid their partner will leave them, or they may be afraid that no one will want them as a sexual partner.  If fear is stopping you from being sexual, it might help to talk to someone about your feelings.

5.  Will I respond the same way as before

There are no rules about how your body may change after an SCI.  Generally, if you have changes to bowel and bladder control or sensation you will probably notice changes to genital sexual response.  These changes will be different for every person and depend on many things including level of injury, whether their injury is complete or incomplete and medications.