Disabilities can be hard to talk about. This is mostly because people don’t know enough about them to have informed conversations about them, meaning they feel uncomfortable bringing up the word, contributing to the taboo status disabilities have in our society. But we should be discussing them, and we should be learning about them, especially the ones that aren’t as “well-known.” Not all disabilities are visible. Did you know that there are a bunch of sexual disabilities out there? It’s true – there are several different sexual disabilities and dysfunctions that you should know about. The world is a big place, and chances are, you might stumble across a partner dealing with one of them. Or, hey, maybe you’re the one dealing with one.
There’s no rule book on how to handle living with a sexual disability or how to talk about it. It can even be hard t talk to a doctor about it. Sex is seen as a vital part of life, and to admit that something is wrong with your sex life can be embarrassing and upsetting. So, whether you’re struggling with something or you know someone who might be, you should be kept informed on these types of things. While I’m sure there are some I’m leaving out, here are a few sexual disabilities we should all know about:
VulvodyniaSigns of vulvodynia include a chronic burning pain or irritation around your vulva and vagina, especially during sex. Unfortunately, symptoms need to be present for more than three months in order to be properly diagnosed, which sounds like a very long time you have to feel incredibly uncomfortable for. Vulvodynia can be brought on by diet, genetics, or your immune system, but since treatment is varied and not all of the methods are successful, surgery may be an option for some women who are not responding to medication treatment, counseling, or changes in diet. Source: iStock
VaginismusAn involuntary muscle spasm that makes vaginal penitration difficult or painful is called vaginismus. This includes penetration by penises, sex toys, and even tampons. Something heads towards your vagina like it's going to go in? Your vagina forms a literal barricade/wall by clenching the muscles and spasming to block whatever it is. And yeah, it can be painful, even if you manage to get something in. If this has always happened, it's referred to as primary vaginismus. If it was brought on later in life by something traumatic like sexual assult or even childbirth, it's referred to as secondary vaginismus. Treatment can include dilators, but as this is a chronic condition, this disability is something you need to work around in your sex life on a regular basis. It doesn't mean your sex life will be unfulfilling, it just means you need to learn what works for you in order to enjoy penetration.Source: iStock
Post-Coital TristessePost-coital tristesse, AKA PCT, is what happens when someone feels sad, anxious, agitated, or aggressive after having sex. The sadness does not need to be particularly deep or full on depressive, but a general emotional dullness and malcontent. The sex can be enjoyable, you can even have an orgasm (or several, hey now), but after sex? Bye. It's sad time. So, just imagine having the best sex of your life... immediately leading into being incredibly uncomfortable and emotionally fragile in a negative way. Doctors have prescribed certain kinds of anti-depressants to treat PCT, which can negatively affect the enjoyability of the sex itself, but ultimately can prevent the emotional crash-out immediately following. Source: iStock
ChordeeChordee is a birth defect wherein the head of the penis curves sharply upward or downward. It may also be brought on by an intersex condition, complications during circumcision, or disordered sexual development. It's different than having a curve in the shaft of the penis, AKA Peyronie's Disease, which usually happens after sustaining an injury. Chordee means that the person will usually have difficulty getting a 100 percent straight erection as the skin near the head of the penis, which is taught around the area where it's curved, won't straighten all the way during an erection. It may be most obvious during an erection, but can be visible while flaccid as well. Source: iStock
Retrograde EjaculationInstead of going out the end of the penis via the urethra, Retrograde Ejaculation is what happens when semen instead gets expelled back inward to the bladder. Ouch. You heard that right. It sounds like it hurts, but semen can actually get expelled with urine the next time someone pees like it's no big deal, so if someone in your life has cloudy urine and isn't coming in their usual way after sex, they might want to get checked out by a doctor. It's relatively uncommon, but still worth noting. Prostate surgery, having diabetes, and high blood pressure medication could trigger this. You can tell this may be the case when someone has little to no ejaculate present at the time of orgasm.Source: iStock
Persistant Genital Arousal DisorderPersistant Genital Arousal Disorder is also called Weiss Disease or Restless Genital Syndrome. It happens when genitals are persistently and spontaneously aroused beyond your control. This may or may not come with genital engorgement or orgasm, but it can. Either way, becoming spontaneously and intensley aroused without knowing the causation or just being *that* sensitive has to suck. There are certain situations in life where it's weird to be aroused, and yet, here we are. This differs from hypersexuality or being a sex addict as it just involves sudden arousal as a chronic condition and it's not characterized by any one behavior.Source: iStock
Pelvic Floor HypertonusPelvic Floor Hypertonus, or Levator Ani Spasm, is when the pelvic floor muscles involuntarily spasm and cause pelvic pain, which obviously can translate to pain during sex since that's where your vagina is. The only discourse on Pelvic Floor Hypertonus is on people who have vaginas, so bear with. This can be the primary event of this kind of sexual disfunction or appear as a secondary condition to a larger sexual disability, like Vaginismus. Treatment can include pelvic floor physical therapy, electrical stimulation, and sex therapy. Your pelvic floor is another name for the larger muscle group called the levator ani muscles, so you can imagine having that whole system spasm without your control.Source: iStock
General AnorgasmiaOrgasmic dysfunction is described as having difficulty reaching orgasm... which sounds like more people than what anyone would consider an anomoly. Orgasmic dysfunction varies in degrees (only happens with certain sex acts, never had an orgasm, having trouble having one again), which again, sounds like most people. But, General Anorgasmia describes a condition wherein you can't achieve an orgasm no matter what. Under no circumstances, even when you're aroused, and you're totally stimulated and with-it enough for an orgasm to typically be present, it just... isn't.This can be frustrating for you and your partner, especially if you're trying to make things "work" and nothing's happening. Since the causes behind Anorgasmia differ, treatment can range between therapy, increased stimulation during sex, or simply changing anti-depressant medications.Source: iStock
Do you have a disability that effects your sex life? Did you ever hear of these conditions before? Let us know in the comments!
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