Spinal Cord Injury Ontario

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Top 10 Adaptive Sex Techniques

array of colourful sex aids

Living with a spinal cord injury will likely mean getting a little more creative with your approach to sexual intimacy. Or, if you’re already the creative type, perhaps it means continuing down the road of experimentation. Either way, there are many adaptive techniques to consider that accommodate decreased or increased sensation, fatigue, and mobility challenges. If even one of these popular options increases the joy of your intimate relations, that’s a win for you and your partner!

  1. Fleshlights

A play on the word “flashlight,” Fleshlights have a similar overall look and portability but are designed to simulate the act of penetrative sex for men. They offer a soft-feeling and lubricated material for use alone or with a partner. Their size is perfect for those who have fine motor challenges.


  1. Plugs

These are designed for anal use and can offer vibration for more stimulation if desired. The versions that vibrate have various pulsing modes and, of course, different sizes and shapes. There is an option for every sensation need, from reduced to heightened.

  1. Vibrating ring

A vibrating ring goes around the base of the penis and holds itself in place. Different models have different surface areas and settings to stimulate the wearer and/or the partner. These can help to maintain an erection if that has become difficult.


  1. Vibrators

Some of these attach to a finger to decrease fatigue and others are larger and offer a thrusting motion which can help with mobility limitations. Yet others attach to a glove to make handling and use even easier.


  1. Feather

This can be fun for people who experience hypersensitivity in some parts of the body. Feathers provide a light, soft sensation to explore areas that may not often be touched.

  1. Lubrication

This is a great addition with a partner or with toys. It can top up a loss of natural lubrication  after an SCI or be used to avoid irritation. There are lubes of different thicknesses made with water or silicone, both of which are safe with condoms.

  1. Dildo

These are a popular option for the self or with a partner because of the variety of sensations they offer and styles available. They also eliminate the worry of achieving or maintaining an erection.

  1. Harness

There are all kinds of harnesses designed to attach something like a dildo to various body parts, such as a thigh or a hand, or to a larger object to stabilize their use. Harnesses offer support to those with limited dexterity and mobility.


    1. Tape

Like a harness, bondage tape sticks to itself but not to skin, making it easier to affix any object (like a vibrator or dildo) to the body or to something else in order to hold it in place. Also like a harness, it’s reusable.


  1. Clean up

Sometimes it’s nice to keep the clean up as easy as possible. Condoms can be used to keep toys clean. H20 blankets can cover a bed to absorb any liquid and be thrown in the washing machine after.

So there you have 10 adaptive toys and techniques to try out – self and partner willing! Your own sexual identity or your partner’s wishes may change over time, so if not now for some of these options, come back for a refresher when interest arrives.

For more information on Sex and Disability, join Cortree Disability Education Centre.

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