To the uninitiated, a wired wheelchair exists simply for mobility’s sake—it’s necessary and life-changing, obviously, but possesses all the glamour and excitement of a toaster.
- Tim, 29, informed me of the ins and outs of wheelchair sex when I visited the east-Toronto apartment he shares with his 30-year-old wife, Natalie. Together, they run the Rose Centre, which promotes awareness of love, sex, and relationships in the context of disabilities. Natalie says it can be a tough sell—people get uncomfortable talking about either sex or disability, let alone both at once, so very few organizations are even trying to start that conversation. The Roses host events, present public-speaking engagements to professional groups, and are working on an online-video campaign to spread their message further.
- Turning a $35,000 mobility aid into a piece of sex furniture is not exactly a manufacturer-approved use, but Natalie tells me it’s more comfortable than one might imagine.
- For the Roses, wheelchair sex is an interesting way of mixing it up in a relationship where quickies aren’t particularly practical. Tim has cerebral palsy, a developmental condition that severely limits his movement; Natalie is able-bodied. For them, sex involves elaborate lifts just to get Tim into bed, so impromptu tear-your-clothes-off sessions aren’t really an option.
Sources / More info: Sex-and-disability education at Toronto's Rose Centre | The Grid TO: