A BENT/Disgaytalk Forum

Disgaytalk is the online discussion group associated with BENT, where cripgay guys talk about the issues that matter to them—funny, serious and everything in between.

From time to time, with the cooperation of the participants, BENT presents an edited version of an exchange we think will interest a wider audience.

Please let us know what you think by writing to BENT or by joining Disgaytalk.


Sometimes our most basic needs and desires are the ones that just don't get talked about when disability gets in the way. The Disgaytalk guys prove once again that they're willing to tackle any subject with candor, to the benefit of all. The following exchange got underway when a recently injured man posted a question about erections.

BILL: Here is my experience with inducing an erection. I am a T4 para, with no sensation from just below the chest. I have used something called Caverject. It comes in a box of six individually contained plastic containers with a syringe filled with water, a small injection bottle with a powder in it, and a couple of alcohol pads. You clean the top of the small bottle with an alcohol pad and inject the water from the syringe into the bottle. You shake it up a bit and then turn it upside down and suck the fluid back into the syringe. Clean your penis with the other alcohol pad and insert the needle at the appropriate spot. Thankfully, I have no feeling there, so inserting the needle is easy. Presto, give it about fifteen minutes and you'll have a nice fat chubby that you can be proud of. The erection can last up to an hour, but I've found that over time it starts to decrease.

For many people the answer is as simple as the magic pill, Viagra. I've tried it, but I prefer the injection. For me it works faster and gives a more intense erection. Lastly, although I have no feeling below the chest and I can't experience an orgasm when I stroke my penis or it's being worked on by someone else, it still has a kind of twitching potential. This works well because it gives my partner the sense that he is doing something right, and I'm getting off on it.

Any of you guys who might want to try this should have no fear about approaching your doctor or urologist about it.

MAX: This discussion about what can be done to stimulate an erection makes me want to say that an erection isn't always necessary to enjoy a man's organ, let alone the entire man. When I meet up with a guy who can't get an erection, part of the pleasure for me is seeing the pleasure on his face when he realizes that it doesn't have to be an issue. I'm a realist too, of course, and know just how sensitive an issue the lack of an erection or ejaculation can be. But I've met with too many men that apologize for what they do or don't have. Often, they have so much else to offer, but they can't seem to get past the one or two "limitations" that they've internalized.

I know that I am not the norm when it comes to this. But I just wanted to say that there are people out there who appreciate an organ for what it is, even if it's perpetually soft. And who appreciate the whole man, too.

STEVE: Having read lots about body-image issues, I thought I would write something from the able-bodied point of view. My boyfriend, sleeping beside me as I type, was very concerned about telling me about his incontinence problems before we began our now two-and-a-half year relationship. It would be phony of me to say that I wasn't a bit scared too. First contact with bags and piss is not easy for either party, but after the initial panic I can say that this element of his daily life seems as natural to me as making coffee in the morning. Less easy for me to accept is the number of glasses he breaks in the course of a month and my permanently bruised shins from his wheelchair!

I think if you find someone attractive and sexy, then something like incontinence isn't going to change that fact. It seems to me inconceivable that a guy would chat you up and then turn chicken at the first physical hurdle. In this context, I think that the hard prick issue is a bit of a red herring (sorry for the odd metaphor). Sex is, after all, about mutual pleasure. My boyfriend rarely gets a hardon, which bothers him more than me, but we have great sex anyhow. I talk to him a lot about this. He tried Viagra, but the presence of a rock hard dick all night long made us both laugh.

I am sure that he worries about erections more in terms of macho pride than for the real pleasure it provides either of us. Of course, when he does have an orgasm we are both happy. Sometimes these things are more exciting when they only happen occasionally . . .

JOHN: I've had a T12 spinal cord injury for eleven years. In my experience, there seems to be a very wide range of penile function among paraplegics. I am able to have a modest erection, ejaculate and feel (very) minor orgasm, and I don't need to be erect to come. I am not able to feel my penis at all; I am stimulated through other senses, especially touch (contact with my partner) and visual stimulation. I tried injections of papavarine (I think) and it caused a stronger erection the first few times. About the third time I injected, I missed the "sweet spot" and my penis swelled to proportions that completely freaked me out; I thought it penis was going to explode! Because I was recovering at my mom and dad's house, I asked them to take me to the emergency room. It was 10 PM at night and they had no idea I was even injecting; it was an awkward few moments! [grin]

At the emergency room, nobody seemed to take it too seriously. After thirty minutes of waiting to see someone who could tell me something, I started shouting to see a doctor. A doctor came in, looked, said It'll be alright, your penis is incredibly elastic (!), and gave me ice to reduce the swelling. My urologist was quite supportive, respectful and understanding throughout the process. He told me that my experience was not uncommon and resulted entirely from my hitting the wrong spot when I injected. He ended up moving his practice out of state and I haven't found someone with whom I'm as comfortable since. I guess that's proof of how important the right doctor is.

DON: I am so glad this topic came up. Y'SEE, at age fifty-two and on a number of medications, I can't count on an erection whenever I want one. I've found that a vibrator, held against the right nerve-concentrated areas produces intense pleasure and orgasms/ejaculations. My GEE!!-spot is just under the glans. Where the base of the penis meets the scrotum, the testicles, and underneath the scrotum are also great. But remember, you can buy a vibrator on the web for several hundred dollars, or you get one (or three, or......) at the Dollar Store, AA- batteries included! The cheapest date and best sex, ever. I couldn't have discussed this before I met you guys, so thanks, everybody.

STU: I've been a T12 para for five years, with no sensation below the waist. I have tried various things, but I've found the vacuum pump the best tool. Unlike other methods, it involves no drugs or side effects, which with drugs might vary from one individual to the next. The pump can be used many times during the week to good effect.

I'm finding Viagra a good alternative, too, although I've heard that many SCI men have reported negative side effects. IMPORTANT: Always seek expert advice.

BOB: Can somebody explain a little about spinal cord injuries? Blind guys like me can be pretty ignorant about other disabilities, since we can't see them and it's not always easy to read about stuff like this in Braille.

RC: Simple enough, Bob. The wires have been cut. While each spinal cord Injury is different, everybody with an injured spinal cord is messed up in a pretty profound way. If you think of the nerves in the spinal cord as a big ol' wad of wires that branch out to the various organs and limbs and stuff on the way down the back, then it is easier to get a sense of. It is very hard to generalize about guys with SCI, but it's pretty safe to say that with the exception of really profound high quads, quadriplegics are less messed up over more of their bodies, and paraplegics (like me) are more profoundly messed up over less of their bodies, since the "bundle of wires", so to speak, has gotten thinner the farther down the back it goes, and is easier to cut all the way through.

I have no control over bodily functions, and I can't feel my dick at all, Nor does it work. At all. It's dead. Can't feel my balls, either. I can feel the ligamenture they are hooked to, but it doesn't feel good. Ditto for my ass. So . . . wires cut, can't jack off. Unfortunately, the desire is still very much with me, and I remember it well and fondly. Sadly, I don't dream much, and to my doctors' dismay, don't have wet dreams. I don't know why that surprises them. I would think that if I could DREAM an orgasm, then I ought to be able to THINK one up. Gone with the wind, as it were.

Now I have one for you, Bob. When you were a kid, living at home with your family, how did you know for sure, when you were jackin' off, that nobody was watching you? [grin]

BILL: Don't everybody be too quick to write all of us paraplegics off as not being able to perform or jerk off. Like I explained at the beginning of this exchange, I'm a paraplegic with a completely severed spinal cord at the T4 level. (The thoracic, middle part of the spinal cord.) This level is just below the chest for me. I consider myself very fortunate because I have full use of my upper body. I'm able to transfer myself to and from my wheelchair, live mostly independently, drive with hand controls.

I, like RC, don't have control of my bodily functions, but this is a very manageable thing. Even though I can't feel my dick or balls I still have hands and I feel my dick and balls every chance I get! They feel just like they used to, too. [grin] Granted, it's only a one-sided sensation, meaning I feel it in my hand, but I don't feel my hand on my dick. But it can still slide in and out of Rosy Palm just like it used to!

Like RC said, you still have the desire. And when you can't quench that desire, it can drive you crazy! I can't say that my dick is dead. In fact, it still has a mind of it's own. I'm not gonna get hard anymore just by seeing something that turns me on, but if I'm in the mood for a good jerkoff session, with a little coaxing and some lubricant, I can get it up for a bit. And what's even better, there are drugs for this. Viagra works wonders for me. But my preferred method, which works quicker and has even better results is Caverject, which I mentioned earlier. Granted, I can't have an orgasm, but I've noticed that since I became disabled, my nipples are more sensitive, and don't you dare try to kiss me behind the ears without warning. Now I admit, it has been far too long since I've been sexually active with anyone (three years) but I assure you that when the chance arises I will be more than prepared to show them just how good "Egore" can be. Not to mention my cock-sucking skills. Take care, everybody.

© 2001 BENT



BENT: A Journal of CripGay Voices/September 2001