Thankfully, shows like “Sex Education “and “The L Word: Generation Q” are showing depictions of disabled and limited mobility pleasure-seekers being intimate.
But unfortunately, these kinds of depictions are rare.
As sex educator Andrew Gurza, chief disability officer and co-founder of Bump’n, a company that creates sex toys by disabled people for disabled people, says, “It’s very rare for publications to think about people with chronic pain and limited mobility when disabled when rounding up sex positions.”
That’s exactly why we put together this guide. Read on for 12 sex positions for people who have limited mobility.
There’s no wrong way to self-pleasure! But if you need a little creative jolt, you might try one of these positions.
If you have a caregiver or other aid and have the ability to masturbate but not the ability to clean up after making a mess, Gurza recommends being honest.
“Just be forthcoming about the fact that you just self-pleasured, released, and need help cleaning up,” he says.
For this sex position, you’ll need to check out the latest sex toy made specifically for people with limited mobility: Bump’n.
The lovechild of a foam roller and body pillow, Bump’n is designed to give people with limited hand and hip mobility the ability to use sex toys designed for dexterous fingers (like wands, bullets, and strokers).
“The bottom half of the toy has pegs that can hold sex toys,” explains Gurza. “So, you can put the toy into Bump’n and then get yourself into a position where you can self-pleasure.”
And if you don’t have a vibrator you want to use, you can rub yourself directly against the Bump’n.
Here, you’ll flip onto your belly with a stuffed animal, pillow, or roller t-shirt positioned between your legs. Now, use your hips to create a rhythmic pressure against your genitals.
To incorporate vibration into this position, opt for a palm-shaped vibrator, as the shape is optimal for grinding.
Frisky faucet play
The bath is a regular feature of many self-care practices. Well, it belongs in most self-pleasure practices, too.
To try it, simply set the temp to something you can handle. Then, lean back in the tub and use your faucet or detachable showerhead to bring yourself pleasure by positioning your genitals against the waterfall.
Another option is to invest in a disability-friendly plastic toy specifically designed to channel water right from the faucet to your crotch.
Just keep in mind that showers and baths can be slippery. That’s why sexologist Jess O’Reilly, PhD, host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast, suggests installing a grab bar.
“You’ll feel safer while you play,” she says.
A category of sex acts that involve any kind of hand, finger, or fist play, hand sex is hands-down (ha!) one of the most underrated forms of partnered play.
And after you try out one of the sex positions below we think you’ll be in agreement.
The sit & stroke
Exactly as its name implies, this position requires the receiver to assume a seated position on a bench, couch, chair, bed, or in their motorized or wheelchair.
The giver should kneel on the ground so that the receiver’s genitals are at eye level. (If this isn’t comfortable for the giver, another option is to sit beside them on the same or a second seat).
Next, the giver can stroke above or below the receiver’s pants, depending on preference.
If the giver has hand mobility limitations, an automatic stroker or finger vibrator may work well here.
Belly-down bum boinker
The belly-down bum boinker is an anal fingering position that requires the receiver to lay face down on a mattress or other soft surface.
Depending on their own mobility needs, the giver can either lie next to them or position their chair so that their partner’s butt is within arm’s length.
The giver should apply some lube to their finger as well as to their honey’s hole. Then, they can experiment with circling the entrance of the hole with their finger or palm or pressing into the hole with a finger or multiple fingers.
If the giver would be more comfortable using a toy, just make sure it’s a toy with a flared base.
No matter your specific mobility needs, it can feel really good to press your penis, vulva, or perineum against your person’s palm, hand, or fist.
Have your partner position their hand between your legs. Then, either thrust up or down into it, depending on whether or not you’re belly-up or not.
No oral sex position list would be complete without this classic option.
For this position, Gurza recommends that the less mobile partner lies on their back in what they call the “dead turtle position.”
“Once you’re on your back and comfortable, your partner can straddle your face so that you’re sucking their dick or eating them out,” they say
“If you’re the partner with limited mobility, it’s incumbent that your partner has great communication skills because they’re going to have to do a lot of the physical work required to get into position.”
Have you heard of a positioning chair? Designed to be placed over a partner’s hips or mouth, a positioning chair can help hold up the partner on top. These can be a great addition to sex for people with knee, back, and hip difficulties.
It’s absolutely possible to enjoy 69ing if you’re in a chair or have other mobility things to work around, says Gurza.
His suggestion: Have the less mobile partner lay on their back, and have the more mobile partner straddle their kisser.
If either partner’s neck mobility doesn’t allow them to comfortably go to Swirl City, you still might choose to get in this position so you can smell and see every intimate inch of your boo.
You might also encourage them to wear an insertable vibrator, like a rimming butt plug. Hands-free pleasure for the win!
Sideways 69 also allows you to simultaneously make love to one another with your mouths. But it doesn’t require quite the same degree of strength and mobility for one of the partners that regular 69 does.
To try it, have both people lie on their sides in the spooning position, but so that their heads are in opposite directions.
From here you can use your mouths to pleasure one another. If one or both of you find that giving *and* receiving at the same time isn’t a vibe (fair!), an oral sex simulator toy can be helpful.
Maybe you enjoy feeling full. Maybe you enjoy thrusting. Maybe you simply like the intimacy of being inside someone or having someone else inside of you.
Regardless, if you like penetrative play, you’re going to want to keep these positions top of mind.
Sex swing satisfaction
Don’t sleep on sex swings and slings, suggests Yael R. Rosenstock Gonzalez, founder of Kaleidoscope Vibrations and author of “An Introguide to a Sex Positive You: Lessons, Tales, and Tips.”
These devices are designed to help the receiver’s body into positions that are perfect for reception.
So, unlike positions like doggy style that require the receiver to physically hold themselves up, positions that utilize these tools do not.
“The partner with limited mobility needs to sit on the edge of a flat surface like a bed or table,” explains Katie Lasson, a clinical sexologist at Los Angeles-based sex shop Dimepiece.
The penetrating partner can then position themselves between their legs.
“From here, the partner with limited mobility can then either rest their ankles up on their partner’s shoulders or on a chair behind their partner,” says Lasson.
Lift and lay
Yep, another twist on missionary has earned a spot on the list. And for good reason!
“Missionary variations all allow you to make eye contact with and kiss your partner,” says clinical sexologist Diana Nadim with Vibrator Guru. “It also frees up your hands for touching, rubbing, and holding a vibrator, and it doesn’t demand a great deal of hip flexibility.”
Her suggestion: Have the receiver prop their pelvis up with a comfortable pillow. “Elevating your buttocks alters the penetration angle, allowing your partner to penetrate deeper during vaginal sex,” she says.
It also makes the anus more accessible.
The sexual preferences of people with limited mobility are as varied as the preferences of those who are able-bodied.
So, your pleasure preferences, physical and emotional needs, and sexual partner(s) should dictate exactly what your Sexy Time looks like.
Still, there are some general tips you might want to keep in mind.
Allow yourself to expand the definition of sex
“The way we’ve been taught to conceptualize sex is super limiting,” says Gurza. “It limits our pleasure, and fun, and our ability to connect with one another in an intimate and sensual way.”
Instead, they recommend thinking about all the acts that feel more connected to yourself, or your partner(s) and allowing those things to qualify as sex, too.
That means sex could be anything from a shower to slow dance to oral play.
Hot take: Lube is the most under-utilized sexual tool for people all across the ability and mobility spectrum.
“It’s essential for all bodies,” says O’Reilly. Designed to increase the amount of slide-and-glide present during skin-to-skin, genital-to-genital, and genital-to-toy contact, lube helps replace unpleasant friction with pleasurable sensation.
So, if you’re planning to have sex that involves skin or genitals, she says you’re going to want to have lube handy.
If you use a mobility aid, use it to your benefit
If you have a wheelchair, cane, walker, or other mobility aid, Gurza recommends finding a way to ~eroticize~ it during sex.
“If you use a wheelchair, for example, you can treat it as you would any other kind of sex furniture,” they say. Your partner could grab onto the armrests while kneeling in front of you to pull you closer, he adds.
And in the case that your chair reclines, you can utilize that to put your body in the most comfortable position for play.
Don’t shy away from sex furniture and positioning aids
Don’t have a mobility aid you can repurpose as a positioning aid? Consider investing in an actual positioning aid such as a sex pillow, sex chair, or sex swing.
“Sex swings and benches can alleviate pressure and allow you to try new positions and angles without the pressure of holding yourself up on a bed,” explains Jess. “Wedge pillows can offer support beneath your knees, hips, neck, or other body parts.”
This guide on sex furniture can help you figure out exactly what you should invest in.
Keep consent top of mind
Quick consent PSA: If you’re sleeping with someone who has a mobility aid, you need to ask permission before touching it!
Some examples of what you might say:
- “Baby, can I help you recline your chair?”
- “Can I straddle you on your chair?”
- “Can I put your cane off to the side?”
Sex is for all people who are interested in having it — including those who have limited mobility.
“What’s most important is your comfort,” says Jess. “So whether you’re having solo sex, oral, or penetrative sex, find a position that feels comfortable for you and your partner(s).”
And be open to adjusting and moving around if you get sore, tired, or experience any discomfort, she says. The best sex, after all, is sex that’s fluid, pleasure-driven, and uninhibited by social scripts of what sex “should” be.
Gabrielle Kassel is a New York-based sex and wellness writer and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. She’s become a morning person, tested over 200 vibrators, and eaten, drunk, and brushed with charcoal — all in the name of journalism. In her free time, she can be found reading self-help books and romance novels, bench-pressing, or pole dancing. Follow her on Instagram.