Disability and Sex Toys: What to Consider in Making the Right Purchase for You

by Dr. Linda R. Mona

While the question of whether or not people with disabilities actually have sex may be a bit passé, the thought of individuals with varying physical abilities using toys for sexual pleasure may truly be a foreign concept. Do people with physical impairments really use sex toys? If so, which ones and how can they manipulate them?

Well, I am here to answer all of these burning questions that have not been addressed previously by many sex therapists, sex toy companies, and people with disabilities themselves. Yes, people with physical impairments do use sex toys and actually find them a great addition to their sexual activity.

Given physical limitations, people with disabilities often need to be more creative with their sexual repertoire to accommodate their bodies. Finding the right sex toy can be particularly challenging if you live with functional hand limitations and/or physical pain.

Compared to non-disabled individuals, people with disabilities need to consider different types of factors when choosing a toy. Some initial questions to ask yourself may include:

  • How easy is it to operate given my limitations?
  • What part of my body is most pleasurable to stimulate given sensation loss?
  • What feels good on my body without being painful?
  • What erogenous zones on my body can I reach on my own?
  • What materials are safe for me if I have allergies to latex and other materials?

Think about your impairment (e.g., pain, hand limitations, leg limitations, difficulties with strength and dexterityallergic to certain materials) and limitations (e.g., hard time opening packages, usually need assistance with buttons or switches) as you would with other products used for your regular life activities. Specifically, think about how you hold things (e.g., fingers, palms of your hands, backs of your hands, with your feet because you do not have hands), your strength (e.g., is it easier to flip a switch or turn a dial?), ability to move your body around (e.g., are you most comfortable sitting down, standing up, laying down), and/or the types of materials (e.g., latex, polyurethane, glass, silicone) that you typically use during the day.

Once all of the disability considerations are thought through, let the fun begin. Think about what turns you on sexually. What types of toys might interest you? Are you interested in products to use alone or with a partner? Some people with disabilities have faced barriers with finding sexual partners and may not have a lot of experience knowing what they like or the type of product that might work for them. Also, individuals may not be able to reach their genital area on their own, making solo masturbation difficult or impossible.

Just because you may not have had the opportunity to explore your body with yourself or a partner doesn't mean that you are clueless about your sexuality. Most likely, you know your body better than people without disabilities. Use this knowledge to help guide your search for toys. If you feel out of touch with your erotic or sexual side, try reading some sexually-oriented books or magazines or watching a sensual movie. Begin to notice what seems to pique your own sexual interest.

The ultimate goal is to blend your physical restrictions requirements with your sexual interests to find a product that will truly enhance your sex life.

Dr. Linda R. Mona is a nationally recognized expert, and well-known advocate, for disability rights. She has authored numerous presentations and papers on the topic of sexuality and disability, in particular, and often runs workshops on this very important topic. 

Information provided by MyPleasure, while accurate and factual, is of a general nature and is presented only for educational and informational purposes. MyPleasure is not in the business of providing specific medical services and should never replace consultation with a qualified health or medical provider. Readers should consider brand names mentioned only as examples and not specific endorsements or recommendations by MyPleasure. If you or a loved one is ill, please check with a licensed medical professional for personal diagnosis and treatment.