The sexual desire of people with disabilities is just as strong as anyone else’s – and for them, too, a healthy sex life is essential. Whether it is for sex with a partner or self-pleasure, the right sex toy can make a big difference.
“Sex for a person with a disability will be different. Sensations are different, the response is different, and even turn-ons might be different, but it doesn’t mean that self-pleasure and pleasure from a partner can’t happen. When it comes to masturbation, regardless of one’s physical limitations, it’s important to think about sexual pleasure as a journey, instead of being focused only on the end goal, or destination,” says sexologist Catriona Boffard.
There are also many associated concerns, such as medication that causes erectile dysfunction and limited mobility. South Africans are still very conservative when it comes to openly discussing sex and sexuality, and the ramifications of this attitude hit marginalised communities the most. For many people with disabilities, even speaking about their sexual needs to carers, partners or family members is not an option.
Désir, a leading adult toy retailer in South Africa, has launched its first dedicated online concierge service for South Africans with disabilities. Using the live chat function on the website, individuals have access to educated professionals who are able to discreetly address their concerns, so that they can find the right adult toy.
Fay*, a 46-year-old woman with cerebral palsy, needs a carer to help her shower and perform other basic functions. “I grew up in a household where sexual needs were never spoken about, and masturbation was frowned upon. I bought my first vibrator in my thirties, and it looked like a kitchen whisk! This year, I discovered the service.
“I was nervous, but their knowledgeable and kind staff made it easy. I discreetly received the toy, wrapped up and tied with a pink ribbon! I know I am not disabled in any way sexually, and I believe that masturbation is a gift to people with disabilities who are single without access to conventional sex. I am very grateful for it.”
The concierge service was designed to offer people with physical disabilities the opportunity to ask even the most intimate question without judgement or guilt.
*Pseudonym used to protect the identity of the customer.