sexual intimacy

sexual intimacy

Posted by Frank_2156367 on Jan 19, 2014 9:05 pm

I am a parapalegic from a car wreck in 2001.  I have a C6-C7 spinal cord injury.  I was married 1 1/2 years before the wreck and 11 years after to the same woman until she finally got tired of the lack of sexual intimacy and cheated on me with another man and then left me.  We were sexually active it just was done in a different way and not to her satisfaction.  I am engaged to be married again.  My fiance knows about the sexual difficulties and is willing to marry me anyway and work the sexual problems out.  My fiance and I have never actually had sex but I have discussed the situation with her.  I would like to get any advice possible on how to satisfy my soon-to-be wife sexually when we are married so she will not also be disatisfied and leave.

RE: sexual intimacy

Posted by Corey_2156401 on Jan 21, 2014 12:25 pm

I would say just remember that this is not your ex-wife or your past relationship. Trust and create open, honest and healthy communication about what you need and what she needs (desire) not only in the bedroom but as a friend and partner. If succeed in this you will be doing better than me, but the willingness and effort put in this direction will pay off even if you do not reach the goal. It is all about the process. 

RE: sexual intimacy

Posted by Bill on Jan 21, 2014 7:27 pm

I have found it best to work on oral skills.  In addition, I have sometimes incorporated toys that I control to use on the woman.

RE: sexual intimacy

Posted by Frank_2156367 on Jan 21, 2014 9:26 pm

That is right,Bill, I am glad you said that.  I found I could bring my wife to pleasure and sometimes orgasm with oral sex.  She enjoyed the stimulation especially on her nipples and I very much enjoyed giving it.

RE: sexual intimacy

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Jan 22, 2014 3:46 pm

Frank, I have had very similar experiences to yours. My marital history is almost identical to yours. Then I got involved with another woman who said all she wanted was oral sex. One year later I found out that wasn't true!
And it happened one more time. So I just figured I wasn't enough for a woman sexually.

And then I met a whole different kind of woman. She loves the way I can make love to her looking in her eyes, sending romantic texts. She has difficulty reaching orgasm because of the awkward position she has to be in, but she teaches me about a woman's sexuality and how orgasm and a successful sexual encounter are not necessarily the same thing. Not so for guys.

I have spoken with Joan about my history, my insecurity and my fears. Most of them are gone but every now and then I still feel shadows of: "what if…". Please your partner in and out of bed. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and tell her your desires, fears and insecurities. Often there is nothing more intimate than having a conversation between two people who are talking about things precious to each of them.

One last thing-my partner is always looking for ways to satisfy me. It's important that our women know that we are enjoying sex also and not just satisfying them.

Most important, happy for you that this woman is in your life

RE: sexual intimacy

Posted by Bill on Feb 4, 2014 11:47 am

I gotta find out where you guys are meeting these women.  I think my main difficulty these days is meeting women that would be open to such a relationship.  I am friends with a number of attractive women, some of whom I flirt with quite regularly.  However, it rarely goes beyond that, as I often get the sense that I am not thought of as a potential partner and stuck in the perpetual "friend zone."

RE: sexual intimacy

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Feb 12, 2014 4:50 pm

Hey Bill,

there is a chapter in my new book: "The Wisdom We're Born With…" Entitled "out of nowhere". In it, I describe how the wheel that broke my neck came out of nowhere as did my sisters cancer and my fall from my wheelchair.
On the other hand, every time I have met an interesting woman, that seems to have come out of nowhere also.

I just did an interview for this webpage about online dating for people with disabilities. That is always an option. When I did it years ago, I had to decide whether to say up front I was acquired or wait until we talked a few times. I decided to wait and most of the women I was chatting with became invisible. I was heartbroken.

And then I realized something. My heart has been broken dozens of times over the course of these six decades and every single time it breaks-it heals. Every time it hurts-it gets better. So we can all be less afraid of getting hurt and be more willing to take risks.

Bill, ask one of these women out on a date. Tell her the truth-that underneath all the playful flirting, you really do find her attractive. The worst thing that could happen would be for her to reject you. You might be embarrassed and you might be hurt. I know I would. But just remember all the other times that happened. You recovered.

We guys have been taught to be strong and not to show our vulnerability or our tender sides. Remember, this topic is about sexual intimacy. The only way you can be truly intimate in a relationship is to be vulnerable with one another. If you are strong enough and courageous enough to open your heart to her, it could scare her away or she could find it very attractive.

Enjoy the adventure bill!

Re: sexual intimacy

Posted by les on Mar 15, 2014 12:56 pm

Hi! I am new to this site. I just wanted to know how to get advice or help or pointers on whether or not to hang in there iwth this awesome man...parapelegic 9 years....Ive known 14 years....To me he is just as awesome as before. Is he leading me on or is he just not really knowing how to react. I guess you'd have to read my post...It's long!! I just reallllyyyy like him and I know he has missues that I can't understand...but how long can I pretend it's all ok and "wait" on him??? Gosh I think he'd be worth it...but I am so lonely and want so much morew from him......He just may not be ABLE TO GIVE IT NOW??? HELP!! 


Re: sexual intimacy

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Mar 19, 2014 3:51 pm

Dear Les,

thanks so much for posting on this site, you have come to the right place. With so little information, I am happy to offer you some generalizations, but I am happy to get more specific later.

Most relationships get hung up on problems with expectations. Your expectations of yourselves and each other. In general, these expectations are not realistic. You both might be expecting yourselves to be someone or something you just cannot be. This can create lots of stress and frustration.

It's always helpful to have an open honest conversation about intimacy and sexuality. Believe it or not, the conversation about intimacy might be even more difficult as it involves vulnerability and the kind of emotional openness that can be uncomfortable for everyone.

When I was first injured, I assumed I was unlovable. I was just too broken and dependent for any woman to love me. I was reassured, but that didn't help but a little bit. In hindsight, what I needed was someone to simply love me with her eyes and her touch and her understanding. I needed someone who was curious about my fears, frustrations and dreams. And when I think about it, isn't that what we all want from an intimate partner?

Like I said, I'm happy to get more specific with you but I will need you to tell me a bit more about yourself and the person you are in a relationship with.

And welcome!

Re: sexual intimacy

Posted by les on Mar 23, 2014 2:53 pm

Hi Bill,

Thanks for replying. No problem on getting more info on relationship. In fact this may be a LONG ONE.....Where to start!!! OK a little run down on him PRIOR to wreck. Vivacious, big as life, he had a presence whenever he walked in a room....he loved women!! He always said nothing is better than a woman and whiskey. Still says that?  Sex with women was big...and alot of them. He is extremely wealthy and as far as women extremely superficial. Big boobs, petite little blondes...Didn't care if they were smart or could even say his name correct. Women to him are supposed to be "women." He could have had any woman he wanted...and usually did. 14 years ago I meet him in my interview to work for him. Oh yes by the way he is my boss on top of it all!! He and I did fool around a little back then, but I saw his true colors and kept emotions in check and cut it off before my emotions took over. Luckily, it never interfered with employee/boss relationship. Anyways he has this Harley accident (9 years ago) that left him paralyzed from waist down. The wreck immediately killed his then girlfriend and mother of his now 11 y.o. son. He is extremely independent, even being in a wheel chair. Docs have said that as far as care he is a very unusually independent paraplegic. He himself has made the remark that he is so fortunate to be wealthy because he has the means to do whatever he wants or needs and so many people with disabilities do not have that luxury. He since the wreck is a church goer. He is determined to walk. Current situation is going to another country (India) for a procedure that could be thew one to fix him. He has dealt with this Doc and has been PUT OFF by this Doc. several times in the last couple years. He has put up close to 6 figures in this Doc and procedure.

Alittle history..I had worked for him for about 8 years.Started in 99, i was 32 he was 44. I left to pursue my own biz. I did some work for him. I was gone for 6-7 years. He would loan me money now and then. So we never lost complete touch. After a business failure and treatment for alcohol and addiction issues in rehab. I found myself at 44 yo having to start a new recovery and career, money....everything. I decide to go back to school for Architecture...I call him for a part time job. He said yes and he also got my car out of the impound for me because of a DUI. That bill was $$800.00. Also, I forgot this. Over the years I have tried to pay him back, he will never let me pay him back!! And he still won't!  So anyways,  Ive been answering the phones for him now since May of 2013. He has been so sweet and delighted at the fact that I am back working for him.  Got huge raise, he works with my school schedule! I forgot to add he is known as one of the most difficult man to work for in our industry.. So here this shrewd biz man accommodating, giving and sweet?? He continued to say to me how awesome it was for him to have me there because I am soooo different than I was before (recovery/rehab) he says I am a joy to work with and he enjoys me being there....He then started having me go with him to important meetings and personal errands.He drives but of course needs assistance in getting chair out.... I kept it ALL business. He then starts texting me. He continuously thanks me for helping him out and being nice to him. He says he's a changed man. So he starts texting me in December. I didn't pick up on him liking me for awhile. I also couldn't figure out why me??? Why did this man want to text me? OK so it becomes a little clear when he would text stuff like "you'll have to come down sometime and make pizza with me. Or cozy up by the fire and a couple were inviting me to watch a movie with he and his son. Ive always responded to the invitations in a positive way.."Yes I'd like that sometime.." He actually finally asked me to come to his house one time but it was like 8pm and he lives an hour away and my car was in the shop!!! OK so the texting continues, I still haven't gone to his house, but he started asking me to go to lunch. So we have had 4 awesome lunches together....I felt as if we were developing a relationship. HEAVY flirting has went on. Heavy discussions about sex. He has made it clear that he can not have sex. He also was perplexed and couldn't understand why I liked an "ole man in a wheelchair?" Many comments and questions about that. I explained to him that I had always been attracted to him...That the wheel chair isn't what I see. We kinda sexted one night....He wanted to know what I was like in bed....he let me know what HE LIKED....I would say stuff like...I want to kiss you really badly, and he would respond that sounds good, when can we start"...So, it is MARCH.... no kiss has occur ed. Nothing big on valentine. I got him a simple card. He did text me happy vday. I didn't expect much...So back to where he is up for getting this procedure done in another country. He called me at work one day, he had just left for the day. He asked me "would you go out of the country with me to get this procedure done?" SO I AM LIKE OMG, WHY IS A MAN LIKE THIS ASKING ME TO GO WITH HIM TO GET THIS POSSIBLE life changing procedure done??  He said I would be paid, he would pay for passport and visa. He said we'd be gone 2 weeks. He was sweet in asking me if it would be possible with me in school and all. He was eager for a response. So I checked with all professors...all said they'd work with me. OK here we are....passport in hand waiting on VISA. Text have come to a text every now and then and not as deep. He used to let me know how nice or good I looked....haven't had one compliment in a week and a half. No lunch date in a week and half. Texting as I said have went from sweet, flirty, intimate and consistent to one every now and then. No compliments. Not much flirting...Well, enough to keep me confused. I do not like to initiate the texting much. I guess I do not want to seem desperate...or needy. I did initiate the last few but ended up with nothing really. It is sooo confusing...He has went from saying "don't give up on me yet"  to just a lot of confusing signals...But yet he will do one Little thing to flirt with me or say something.... so that then tells me that he is still interested. I just do not know what he is with me....but out of fear of rejection or whatever I wont ask him whats up. I just cant.  I know he has made comment to me that his life may be to slow for me. I responded to him "I will decide that for myself" Has he backed off because he's no longer attracted? Why hadn't he kissed me in the last few moths, of course when we were in a great "talking" phase of relationship? Is he blowing me off because he can't have sex?  I HAVE NO IDEA IF I HAVE DONE SOMETHING...if he's lost interest?? I mean he has let me in to so many intimate things going on in his life. We laugh and have a great time when we are alone. His comments about being a changed man...I know there are so many other emotions and thoughts he has going on than maybe a guy who is not paralyzed. We both agreed in several conversations that relationships are different as we've gotten older. Companionship was more important than sex. We or I have talked about the ways he or we could be intimate without having to have sex. Ive let him know that sex was not a priority at the time....He even has rubbed on my thighs before while in the car. He asked me if I minded I said no....He rubbed my inner thigh and actually felt me up a couple times!!! But no kiss... Is he playing me? It is so frustrating. He has lead me on for a few months now....But all seems to be disappearing. I keep him updated on the visa. I got all that sent out Friday. He says stuff like "thank you for doing this." But overall he has slowed down everything else. I had even joked with him about "a woman can only wait so long!" lol.....that's when he said "don't give up on me just yet." I have assured him that I did like fact I told him I was crazy about him. Whats happened with the lunches? The compliments? 

I could go on and on. In one way I feel like it has nothing to do with him being in a wheelchair, that I am simply getting blown off in the nicest way he knows to do it. I am acting no different. I mean Ive backed off as far as initiating any flirting. I have texted him maybe once this week and it ended up with a quick GN (goodnight" or "see you tom morrow. Just not like they had been. I know This is a lot of stuff. I guess I am desperate to have some idea as to what he is thinking!! Does he even know how he has lead me on? ANY THOUGHTS? I am so confused. Is there a way we can chat  on line? HELP!!  Thanks Dan, I truly appreciate your input. Sorry all this is sooo confusing....

Re: sexual intimacy

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Mar 26, 2014 1:51 pm

Hi there Les,

Well, you are correct on many fronts. Yes, it was a long and detailed response. And yes your bottom line is true that this has very little if anything to do with a wheelchair-certainly not on your part, anyway.

So let's begin with the detailed response part. I am grateful that you had the trust and courage to go into all the detail. I wonder what that must have been like for you while you were writing it. You see, I am of the firm belief that all of us humans want to be known, understood and accepted for who we are. You need to tell your story and have it heard. I am grateful that you've come to the right place.

You also said this is also confusing. Not really, the heart wants what the heart wants. Our minds make it confusing.

We can only guess what is going on inside the mind and heart of your friend. And I'm not sure that would be very helpful for you. But we can take a look at what's happening inside of your mind and heart. Your mind is confused by his inconsistent behavior. But if I was in your position, I would be feeling angry/understanding/ashamed and heartbroken.

You must decide what to do for yourself. I just wish you would decide based on what's best for you. I say this to anyone I care about: please don't go in the direction of hurt. Please go in the direction of kindness, wholeness and compassion. I don't know what that might look like for you, but I have the feeling you do.

Please keep us posted. And if you would like to communicate to me directly, my email address is:


Re: sexual intimacy

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Jul 16, 2014 12:43 pm

I've been invited to deliver  a keynote speech for the international conference on aging and sexuality  in October 2014 at Widener University outside of Philadelphia. The title of my lecture is: "I'm too sexy for my catheter". Anyway, I guess I have been reminiscing about my post accident sexual "education".
I recall, for example the detached clinical information I received from my physician saying: "you won't be able to do this, but if you do that then you may be able to do a variation…" Basically just a list of things I couldn't do.but always wanting to leave on a positive note, he said: "but this is an opportunity for you to be creative". Of course you understand how I wanted to injure his  genitalia and invite him to be creative,  but I was a good boy. Well, that day anyway.

A few days later I was with my physical therapist  who I was quite fond of (yes,  that way too) and I told her all about my difficult visit. She was great with this and very understanding and compassionate. She told me that although there was much I could not do, I was still a sexual being-at least as much if not more so  than before.

The following week we revisited  the issue of my  sexuality  and with tears in her eyes she explained that I would not be able  to ejaculate  and sperm would have to be removed surgically  if I wanted to have more children. She was so warm and loving it almost broke my heart to have to tell her that I had a  vasectomy the year before!

A sweet memory

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