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My question is about turning pain into pleasure. I really want to go further with a girl I met recently. I experience a lot of pain on a daily basis due to my condition, and wanted to know if there’s anything you recommend to help me turn that pain into pleasure? It’s scaring me a bit and I’m avoiding those intimate conversations.
Thank you for reaching out about turning pain into pleasure. You are not alone. Pain can be a problem for lots of people and it is understandably daunting having these conversations. The most important thing is to take everything at your own pace and take the time to explore what you do and do not enjoy.
My first piece of advice is to follow any pain management techniques provided by your doctor. This could be medication, a hot bath or knowing what time of day you may be at your worst level of pain. This will hopefully set you up to succeed in your bedroom adventures before you have even begun.
When people talk about turning pain into pleasure it is often assumed they are talking about inflicting pain and for many people this may be true. However there are many ways to turn existing pain into a pleasurable experience. This can be especially effective as the hormones released during sexual experiences have been shown to increase our pain tolerance levels. I have outlined some suggestions below and all of these can be enjoyed either alone or with a partner.
Whilst all these suggestions can be used in a sexual context it can also be used outside of the bedroom. Spending some time increasing your awareness of your own body may help reduce some of the anxieties around engaging in intimate conversations. It is also important you are aware of any reduced sensitivity or vulnerable parts of your body to avoid accidental injury.
Applying pressure can often distract the neural pathways conveying the pain, this could be applied to the area of pain or to any part of the body. Ways of doing this may be through a massage, being gripped or held tightly or being bound firmly with a restraint, rope, or clothing.
Using a blindfold or headphones to block out some sensory input can often make it easier to concentrate on other things. This can be used to help get past the distraction of pain and focus on the more pleasurable sensations created by whatever it is you or your partner is doing.
It’s common practice to apply heat or cooling to painful areas to relieve pain. This can also be applied to other parts of the body including erogenous zones to draw your attentions away from your painful sensations. It can also be used to induce a different type of pain than the one you experience daily if that is something you find enjoyable.
An important thing to remember is there are different types of pain and there is no set way to work out what each person will like as everyone is different. Some people may even experience sensations such as tickling as painful so these could also be tried. A rough outline is to create a dull pain you would be looking at large flat objects such as paddles, the longer and thinner the object the more it will be a stinging sensation. Scratching or prickling pains can be created by things as simple as fingernails, teeth or a device called a Wartenberg wheel or pinwheel. Finally things such as pegs or clamps can be used to create a pinching sensation.
I hope this has helped guide your exploration.
Have you got a question for our Love Lounge sexperts? Get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.
My question is about rebuilding confidence. I have a spinal cord injury and am a wheelchair user. Before lockdown, I was quite used to going out on dates (and it didn’t really matter whether I got a second one or not, I just loved the excitement of meeting people!) But now I’m starting to feel like I’m out of practice after months inside, and that I’m going to run out of time to find someone special. How can I regain my confidence and stop feeling the pressure?
Thanks so much for writing to us. It’s great to hear that you found confidence and comfort in dating as it means you can do it again! Lockdown has been a really strange and difficult time for many of us. I don’t know one person that hasn’t been affected either in some physical way, or mentally, by this.
And when we’re stuck inside, with so much time to think and feel lonely, it’s almost impossible not to feel like life is passing us. But I promise you that time is moving at exactly the same rate as it did before, we’ve sadly just not been able to enjoy it in the same way!
So, I’d recommend using the remainder of this time inside to think positively about what you’d like to achieve over the next 1, 3, 5 or even 10 years. You might want to write things down, or even create a vision board of your wants and needs. There’s not much that we have control over right now, but we can control our thoughts and desires, and what we do with them. If it is a relationship that’s a priority for you, why not ease yourself back in slowly and see if there’s an online dating event that you could get involved with? Funnily enough, we are running one soon… https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/virtual-speed-dating-with-enhance-the-uk-tickets-121709138309
That way, your confidence will start building again, and you’ll feel more in control by taking action, and the pressure will hopefully subside.
Wishing you luck, let us know how you get on!
You may also find these article useful.
Online dating when disabled. This is a very hot topic that we receive lots of questions about at the Love Lounge. We invited Ted Shiress, one of our sexperts, to share his thoughts, personal experience and advice. Ted, who writes from a straight guy’s perspective, offers these pearls of wisdom.
I met my partner on a dating website. In the five or so years before that, I changed from thinking of myself as a complete romantic write-off to someone who knows what they’re doing. My experiences of it arguably buck the trend of most things I read by disabled daters. But the reality is for online dating to work, you’ve got to put some effort in! My practical tips and honest advice are shared below.
Hi. How r u?
Hey. How’s it going?
Hello. What’s up?
Are you still reading? I hope so. Still, I can’t blame those who have clicked away. I have (at least on a non-ironic level) made no effort to arouse and sustain your interest. So it’s totally understandable if you’ve been distracted and turned to the flashiest thing on your screen.
Introductions are everything. So get creative. Send imaginative messages, but also make sure that your profile sells you well.
“Everyone’s superficial!” I hear you cry. Well yes, there are lots of people who are superficial on dating sites. Why are you wasting your time with them? Ultimately, if your entire message is solely saying “Hi. how r u?” they probably think you’re superficial too! That’s probably the same message they got from other guys who were panting like a dog in heat at a flash of cleavage. Not the epitome of feeling wanted!
In my experience the average woman on a dating site isn’t short of messages. So, she’ll have little desire to give a seemingly unimaginative message any attention. Here, you have two options:
1) Only message matches you can see genuine common ground with
2) Or maybe slightly overplay the potential connection to spark a rapport
Admittedly, the second is slightly shady, but sometimes potential takes time and exploration!
I see people focus purely on their disability when writing their dating profile. I’m going to be harsh but honest here. If someone has little to no prior experience of disability, they might be thrown off-kilter. So, write interestingly and positively to counter that. Write about your interests: the places you’ve visited, books you’ve read, and music you love. Pull the reader in and get them hooked on what you have to say, rather than the equipment you might use to navigate the world. That’s perhaps a more intimate chat for later on.
OK Cupid was my personal favourite dating site, and where I met my partner. This was because it gave me the most opportunity to go into detail and put myself across well. Honestly? It took a nudge from her housemate (Thanks Chrissie!) to get her to reply to my first message, but it worked! In fact, it’s not a bad idea to ask friends to help you write your profile. Together, you might create the perfect dating pitch.
OK Cupid also had a good matching system, based on values rather than interests. An endless bank of questions you could answer gradually built up a kind of moral profile of who you were. It then matched you in % to potential partners. Obviously, it was a vague estimate but I often found the matches in the 90%s the most easy to talk to. I think my partner Astrid rocked in at 95% – see, my dear, stats don’t lie!
So contrary to a lot of opinions, I say yes, online dating when disabled is worth it! Just don’t take it personally when you don’t get a reply. Your message is probably one of fifty!
More articles about online dating as a disabled person:
Hi Love Lounge. How safe is sexting? My boyfriend and I got together 3 months ago and enjoy an active sex life. We met at the gym and got talking as we both have lost a limb, him to cancer, me to a car accident.
Firstly, it’s brilliant that you’ve been honest about how you feel about sexting. The fact that it’s caused a row is not necessarily a bad thing, especially at the beginning of a relationship. Setting boundaries and communicating about why these exist, and what they mean to you is important. It’s how we learn to respect one another, appreciate each other’s values and show consideration.
Good question! Sexting is very popular amongst consenting adults. For me, it comes back to one main factor: personal identification.
Even if you don’t post photos that show your face, your body may be identified by:
I’d recommend you read this article on 7 Crucial Tips to Safe Sexting . It provides information on how to remove the data from any images you choose to send. Remember that screenshots can still be taken from video calls too, so be careful there – especially if your face is in shot.
This article provides advice on How To Sext Safely. It suggests which sites may be safer and the risks of using an app like Instagram which links to your identity.
Of course you should wholeheartedly trust anyone you send a nude to, that goes without saying. Try having an open discussion about your worries. Raise the points around the safety of sexting and what your boyfriend might do with the images (no need to argue!). Set some boundaries that you are comfortable with.
If he doesn’t understand or try to calm your worries by reassuring you, maybe he isn’t the guy you should be sending sexy photos to. Don’t feel under pressure to do anything you don’t want to do. Someone who respects you won’t put you in that position.
Hope this helps, and sending all best wishes,
My friends and I discuss our sex lives and I don’t know if it’s an age thing, or a long term relationship thing but I know I’m not alone in needing more in the bedroom than I’m currently getting. Any tips for approaching this topic in a way that won’t bruise my husband’s ego would be ace, thanks.
Hello. Boring, routine sex, as you put it, is not unusual for many couples. Especially if you’ve been together a while or have had a change in the circumstances of your relationship recently.
Communication of some kind is the only real answer here. Maybe you could change your approach to discussing this with your husband who is feeling defensive?
Instead of talking about boring, routine sex perhaps take it back to basics and ask him about what he likes in bed?
When we’ve been with someone for a while, it’s easy to think we know everything about them, including their fantasies and desires . As with anything in life, our tastes can change, and he might have felt unable to express this change to you. A more open, honest and positive chat might just do the trick.
If talking it through doesn’t go to plan then it’s time for Plan B. Ask yourself. What do I want from our sex life? Figure that out then make a move with something new such as:
Taking the initiative and spicing things up in a way that makes you feel sexy and in control might be the wake up call your husband needs to respond in the way you want and be more inventive in general.
Give it a go, hope this helps!
Got a question about relationships, disabled dating or sex and intimacy? Write to us and our sexperts will offer free advice.
I am male, I have Cerebral Palsy spastic quadriplegia, I am a full time wheelchair user. I have been married for nearly 8 years to an able bodied woman and we have a great sex life. My question is about doing it doggy style with CP.
Due to my disability I find certain positions difficult. I am eager to push my boundaries though. At present my wife will either go on top or we have sex on the side. I would however like to try doggy style or sex on top as I am keen to have more control.
I do struggle to get on my knees but can do it. It is then trying to stay stable and thrust.
I wondered if you could offer any advice?
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So, have a watch and see if this helps you at all.
Rejection, dating and disclosing disability.
After a couple of years break from dating site I decided to give it another go.
I’m happy with the direction that my life is going, I’m learning to drive, I’m at college and I’m hoping to have a job in the near future.
I feel worthless. Like no matter how much I have in common with someone they will never see me as someone to settle down with because of my disability.
It sounds like it’s difficult for you to look at these dating scenarios objectively, without putting the emphasis on your disability being the issue.
Don’t let the negative feelings of dating suppress your achievements. When you’re oozing confidence about yourself, this will spill out into the way you relate with others. Which leads me to another point…
Again, only do what you feel comfortable doing.