Whether it is just for fun, to explore kinks, or express sexuality both disabled and non-disabled people use sex toys for all sorts of reasons. Disabled people may also want to use sex toys to help them achieve sexual pleasure and intimacy in ways they are unable to do without assistance. With so many choices out there however, it can be hard to know what products are right for you. That is why we have written the Sex Toys for Disabled People Buyers Guide!
First Things First
Every person is unique and we all experience sexuality differently. Similarly, each disabled person’s experience of disability is different. Sexuality and disability can be complex to navigate. It takes time to learn about our desires, needs, fantasies and limitations. It is important to remember there is no right or wrong way to have sex and experience sexual pleasure. As long as it is consensual and safe – what gets you off, gets you off!
When thinking about buying a sex toy, whether it is your first or your fiftieth, take time to think about:
- What do you want to get out of buying a sex toy? Maybe you just want a nice reliable way to achieve an orgasm. Perhaps you want to explore a kink or fetish. Or are you looking for a way to create intimacy with a partner?
- What physical considerations do I have? You know how your disability affects you better than anyone. Think about what you need a sex toy to do or what features you would like it to have to meet your needs.
Many people think that penetrative sex – putting a penis in a vagina – is the ultimate or even only way to have sex. This is not true! For some people penetrative sex might be difficult or even impossible. This does not mean that you can’t have a fulfilling sex life. Sex does not have to mean only one thing. It might just take an open mind, a sense of humour and perhaps a few sex toys.
Types of Sex Toy
There is a huge variety of sex toys available these days. From cheap and cheerful to high-end luxury there is something to suit almost every desire and budget. For those who are looking to buy their first sex toy, or wanting to try something new here is a quick overview of the most popular types.
Vibrators are the most popular and versatile type of sex toys around. They provide consistent stimulation in a way which hands (or other body parts) can’t. They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and can be used in lots of different ways. Not just for vaginas, you use a vibrator to stimulate whatever part of the body you enjoy including the penis, anus and nipples.
Dildos are non-vibrating toys which are designed for penetration. They also come in a huge variety of shapes ranging from super realistic cocks to fantastical ribbed and curved objects. You can use a dildo on yourself as part of solo play. They are also great if you want to penetrate a partner, but your anatomy isn’t suited for penetrative sex. Paired with a harness or held in a hand you and your partner can use a dildo to create a very intimate and thrilling experience.
Masturbation Sleeves, like the famous Fleshlight, are sex toys for people with penises. They are flexible sleeves which fit over the penis and are filled with all sorts of ridges and whorls to create exciting sensations. Some sleeves also vibrate, which can be great for people who have limited mobility or motor control as the vibration does the work for you.
Anal Sex Toys, such as butt plugs, anal beads or prostate massagers are designed for anal stimulation. The anus is packed with nerve endings and a lot of people enjoy sexual play with this taboo area of the body. Anal play can offer people a whole new experience to explore. For example, some people who experience loss of sensation in their genitals due to spinal injury may still experience pleasure and even orgasm through anal stimulation.
Position Enhancers may be one of the best sex toys for disabled people who have limited mobility or experience pain or fatigue during sex. Position Enhancers are products which support the body during sex, such as wedge-shaped pillows or padded straps. They can help you to get in to and stay in a comfortable position during sex.
Impact and Sensation Toys include floggers, whips, ticklers and blindfolds. They are not just about causing pain but heightening and exploring with your senses. Objects like feathers, silky fabric or scented oils can be incorporated in to sexual play. These can be particularly helpful for disabled people who experience a heightened sense of touch where a toy like a vibrator would be overwhelming.
Restraints such as cuffs, ropes and handcuffs are a fun way to explore trust, power and intimacy in the bedroom. With any sort of bondage play consent and safety are absolutely key. Always plan for how you can get someone out of a restraint quickly and communicate what your boundaries are. Agree a safe word which can be used to immediately end the activities.
Choosing a Sex Toy
Since every person’s experience of disability is different it would be impossible to create a guide that meets everyone’s individual needs. Instead what we have included are our top tips on things to think about when buying sex toys. If you would like more specific advice, please do get in touch with us at email@example.com to discuss your needs with our experienced staff.
Power and Controls
If you have a disability which affects motor control in your hands you might want to think about how your sex toy is powered. Battery powered toys tend to be cheaper, but they can be less powerful. Some battery powered sex toys also us small batteries which can be fiddly to insert and replace. If you choose a rechargeable toy, check what type of plug it has. More and more manufacturers are using magnetic charging clips which easily snap in to place. These are great if you want to avoid any fiddling about.
You might also want to think about how you control the toy while you are using it. Check out the size and placement of any buttons. Some sex toys have quite small buttons which can be tricky to push – particularly when you are trying to focus on other things! If you have limited reach you might want look for toys with longer handles like the Doxy Wand or Womanizer Plus Size. Alternatively, those with limited reach or motor control, remote controlled sex toys might be for you. Brands like We-Vibe and Vibease have created some great toys which use remotes or mobile phone apps to control their toys. For added fun you can also hand the controls to a partner!
Positioning and Mobility
When you are choosing a sex toy, think about how you want to move it against your body. Do you want an insertable toy for g-spot or prostate stimulation? Do you need it to do the moving, while you lie back and enjoy yourself? Handles, finger loops and grips can make toys easier to hold and move. It is also worth considering the weight of the toy. If you fatigue easily, a heavy sex toy may be more exhausting than exciting.
If moving a sex toy with your hands might be difficult can it be used in a different way? For example would it be comfortable to lie or sit on top of the toy and grind against it (make sure you can also safely get off it again). Some toys have suction cups which let you attach them to a smooth surface. There are also sex toy mounts which are specially designed to hold sex toys for you. The Hot Octopus Pulse III is a great example of a masturbation sleeve that doesn’t need to be moved at all to be effective – you can just sit back and relax.
If you are looking for sex toys which can be used completely hands-free – check out our guide to Hands-Free Sex Toys.
Some disabilities can result in increased or decreased sensation. If you are thinking about buying a vibrator you might want to consider the strength of the toy and the types of sensations you are looking for. As a rule of thumb battery powered sex toys tend to be less powerful than rechargeable ones and sex toys you plug in to the mains are the most powerful of all. Vibration is also often described as buzzy or rumbly. Buzzy vibration is a lighter, higher frequency surface level sensation. Rumbling vibration tends to be a deeper level vibration which travels more through the body. ‘Rumble’ has become a bit of a buzzword so if you aren’t sure check out independent product reviews to get an unbiased opinion.
All of our senses are important when it comes to sex. Don’t be afraid to explore how scents and sounds can turn you on. Rough and smooth materials, gentle stroking and thudding slaps can all be incorporated. Glass or Metal toys can be gently heated or cooled to create new sensations. These experiences can be arousing for everyone, but may be particularly sensual for those who have sensory loss.
A note of caution – if you experience decreased sensation please take care when using powerful toys or impact toys like paddles. Be mindful of your body and watch for signs you could be causing harm you can’t feel.
Still not sure?
Why not browse the wide variety of different types of sex toys we have in stock at The Pleasure Garden. You can use our product filters to identify disability friendly products. If you have any questions or you are still not sure what products would work for you send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
Want to find out more more?
These are some of our favourite bloggers, reviewers and writers who write about sex and disability:
- Andrew Gurza is a queer disabled content creator who writes and podcasts about disability and sexuality.
- Pillow Princess is a sex toy reviewer and disabled cancer survivor.
- Chronic Sex is packed with great resources for people with chronic health conditions.
- Hedonish is a blogger and sex toy reviewer who is living with chronic illness
If you prefer a traditional paperback:
- The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability is a complete guide for people living with disabilities, pain and chronic illness.
Some other useful websites include:
- The Outsiders Club is a UK based social, peer and dating club for people with disabilities.
- The School of Sex for Disabled People has a wealth of resources about sex, sexuality and disability
- Enhance the UK is a charity working to change perceptions of disability. They host the Love Lounge where disabled people can ask experts any questions they have around sex.
Note on recommended products:
We have chosen the products to recommend in this guide based on user reviews and feedback, not at the request of manufacturers. We aim to stock as many of these products as possible at The Pleasure Garden, but where we are unable to currently stock them we will provide a link directly to the manufacturer. We do not generate any income from these external links.