The mechanics of how you have sex can change as a result of physical and mental changes from combat and combat injuries. You may have had no warning about these changes, and it’s possible that none of your health care professionals ever brought it up. You may think you simply have to live with things the way they are. You don’t.
Just as you’ll learn to adapt to everyday changes in your life, you can also adapt to the sexual changes. In fact many people who live with disabilities say that adapting to sex with a disability led them to a better sex life. Here are a few examples of how your injuries may lead to differences in how you physically have sex.
Changes in your body due to amputations, paralysis, pain, and range of motion can mean the sex positions you were used to pre-injury don’t work for you anymore. If intercourse is a part of your sex life, you may need to get creative with sex positions. If you have a brain injury, this can affect your coordination and balance and some positions may not work for you anymore.
Changes in how and what you can move may require new or updated sexual techniques. If you can’t do as much with your fingers you may want to make better use of your tongue. If moving your hips doesn’t work for you, you might want to use your upper body more. There is no one way to have sex, but for a lot of us it takes a forced change to discover this.
Pain and Fatigue
Both of these can impact how you have sex and what kind of sex you have. There may be times when you can’t engage in as strenuous sex as you want to, but this may be a matter of timing or positioning. If you’re taking medication for pain this can also impact your sex life, particularly your desire or interest in sex.
Sex as a Trigger
If you’re experiencing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) it’s possible that a particular sex act, or smell, or something your partner does during sex (facial expressions, talking, moaning, etc…) could trigger you. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever have sex again, it just means figuring out how to have sex differently to reduce the chances of being triggered.
Communicating During Sex
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can affect the way you communicate during sex. If you or your partner were the kind of people to talk a lot during sex, you may need to find other ways to express what you want or how things are going. Of course if you’re in bed and having sex already there are many other ways of telling your partner you want more or less of what’s happening.
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