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The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability: For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain, and Illness

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  24 reviews
The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability is a long-overdue self-help sex guide for the millions of people living with disabilities and chronic pain and illness. For sufferers of ailments from chronic fatigue syndrome and spinal cord injury to multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and others, the book provides encouragement, support, and expert information on sex positions, org ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published December 2nd 2003 by Cleis Press
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Champa Sheltso It’s fairly queer inclusive. // A lot of it is basically queering up sex for folks who have been taught sex is one thing (penis/vagina whatever) but i…moreIt’s fairly queer inclusive. // A lot of it is basically queering up sex for folks who have been taught sex is one thing (penis/vagina whatever) but it’s not working out because of disability. But it is not trans inclusive (or intersex for that matter). Only binary genders exist in their world and the glossary entry for “transgendered” is hilariously out of touch. Apparently femme lesbians are also de facto part of the trans club because their gender is not of the “norm”? (less)

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Dec 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
The number of books written about sex, sexuality and disability is disappointingly low. I enjoyed this book because it definitely understands many of the challenges that people with disabilities face, especially when it comes to being taken seriously sexually. It was pleasantly surprising to see chapters on alternative sex, being queer, and spirituality. Many of the concepts in this book apply to non-disabled people as well. The section that lists resources, while out of date, is huge and many o ...more
Elf M.
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I wanted to give this book five stars, but I can't. Not because it isn't a fabulous book, but because the topic under consideration is just way too large to handle inside its 350 pages. The chapter titles sorta give away the story: each is about a particular kind of sex; after the first 70 pages, which deal with the emotional aspects of being disabled and still wanting sex, and the legitimacy of wanting sex when you're disabled, the rest of the book comes across as a mainstream how-to, along the ...more
This review was written for Happy Bodies and for the Carleton Gender and Sexuality Center.

A lot of things are tied up in sex. There are emotional considerations, the physical interaction, gender stereotypes, and personal pleasure (plus a whole lot more). There are also a lot of things tied up in disability. Physical and mental pain, fatigue, self-esteem, societal stereotypes, and day to day interactions with the world (again, plus a whole lot more).

Able-bodied sexual interactions can be plenty
Ann Alton
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well written, thoughtful, inclusive and non-judgmental, this is a must read for anyone working with folks with disabilities, or any one with a disability or chronic condition. The focus is to better know yourself, and to have the courage to ask for what you need, and put shame aside. Sexuality is one way to explore this world and and to pleasure in it. Determining what is right for you, safely and consensually is key.

I particularly liked that there was a whole chapter dedicated to assault and wo
Jan 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
i think this book is important and engaging for everyone to read, disability or not. the understanding and analysis of sexuality in this book is thoughtful and holds truth for everyone in my opinion. another great example where understanding, education and care for how a highly affected community relates to an issue (in this case a community extremely misunderstood, negatively affected, and often flat out invisible when it comes to sex) greatly expands and raises the understanding, education and ...more
This was a fabulously informative book. It's written for people with disabilities who might not otherwise have access to information about their bodies or sex so it was amazingly comprehensive. I even discovered some assumptions that I didn't know I had that were challenged by this book. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about sexuality, disabled or not. ...more
Sep 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Not a bad read, as I can relate to having some form of disability or setback.
But, nothing is written exclusively about males with mental disabilities such as
Asperger's or Autism. Deals more with physical disabilities....a good read if the latter type of disabilities affect you though.
Jan 25, 2021 added it
Pre-reading thoughts: This book was recommended by a few sex-affirming Occupational Therapists for being 1) specific to disability & sex as an Activity of Daily Living 2) queer-inclusive. Open to learning more!

Final thoughts: "Sex is often defined as a man putting his penis in his partner's vagina" pretty much sums up where I have to start unpackaging stuff for most (not all) clients, particularly when they've newly acquired a disability (temporarily or permanently). I've seen this conversation
I hoped for more. It's good that a book like this is written, and it had a lot of good information in it, but the title seems to be too ambitious for what it read like to me. Maybe it says more about me and the things I've read than about the book, but I didn't learn anything new from it.

The audio version didn't do the book good, all the interview fragments didn't stand out from the general text and I was often left with the impression, that I'm reading something from a person who is poor, man,
Heather Ross
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, found it informative and helpful. Having said that I offer a but, I was looking for specific helps, tips, positions etc and was disappointed. My partner and I each have physical limitations, and he has a degenerative condition. We were looking for things to add to our sex life without adding/ that might reduce, physical pain. Ah well, Such is life.
I will definitely be donating a copy to the local library because to me the information in this book is incredibly important!
Del Ruhdorfer
A very comprehensive guide, written in simple and accessible language.

The book could be updated to include some new concepts and to be more inclusive towards queer people, the sexual spectrum, and people with intellectual disabilities. Other than that, most people should read this book and it would be good to use this book as a teaching aid for highschool students.
Sep 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
More people should read these kinds of informative books. I think it will make people more aware of the disabled being just like everyone else with the same needs and desires.
Sep 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sexuality, disability
This is an excellent resource for people with disabilities as well as doctors, caregivers and, well, everyone! It challenged preconceptions and prejudices I didn't realize I had. ...more
Make Your Move! Missoula
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adults
This an incredibly affirming book about sexuality and intimacy. The authors are very cognizant of the trauma or hurt that may exist when someone is thinking of your own body, and its impact on your sexuality. Furthermore, the authors have really constructed a guide where each reader is centered as the expert of their own body, pleasure, and sexuality. Different ways to approach intimacy are normalized, as are a wide variety of relationships and kinks.

While it is impossible for any book to be an
Timothy Lo
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great source of information for all people, able or non able, to understand more about themselves and their relationship with their own sexuality. It is written in a welcoming, fun and informative manner that is suitable for all audiences.

Specifically, this book provides great insight into the needs and wants of those who live with disabilities and chronic illnesses/pain; There are many points that people who are able bodied may never even consider at all.

One thing to keep in mind
Very basic sex-ed, but with disabilities in mind. Maybe not great for people who become disabled at a later age and are already very familiar with their sexual health and don't want to read all the basics again. But I think exactly this is what makes it a good book for younger disabled people for whom 'regular' sex-ed has not been informative and inclusive enough. It can also be an okay resource for anyone working in healthcare to learn how to combat prejudices and how be more helpful.

I wish the
Alyson Lanning
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Very good beginner’s guide, dispels stigma and exploration. I wish it had included more on chronic pain conditions, sexual health conditions and mental health, but it does a fine job of addressing most other conditions and how sex can be and should be enjoyable, exploring pleasure, and defining what sex looks like for you.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it
very, very basic. i think if you needed a general introduction to sex or masturbation as any type of person, disabled or otherwise, it would be a good intro. but as a "disability" book, i was looking for more. positions to try if X. sex toy modifications if X. websites to look at for further advice (their "resources" section is pretty out of date as of 2018). ...more
Gabrielle Carolina
Some outdated stuff, but overall I'm glad I read this for my thesis. ...more
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: left
Excellent resource for sex-ed, for non-disabled people as well!
Radiolab asked listeners for their sex ed recommendations.

Jay, a Radiolab listener, says, "It has information not available anywhere else from an inclusive perspective about sex and sexuality from many disability experiences, honoring differences in culture, family, identity, and individual experience. It could use a little updating to be more inclusive of asexual/aromantic identities and some of the disability-specific information could be more broad and up to date, but it's a super important
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Good as an intro guide. Very body positive, and that's something I'm always looking for. ...more
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