BENT's own Bear
Everybody knows what bears do in the woodsthey
sit around telling each other their life's stories and giving one
another advice. What else would those big, hairy beasts do when
they get together for their Teddy Bear Picnics?
Inspired by the wisdom of my fellow growlers, I'm
here to give advice, when asked. So, if any of you have questions
you'd like answered by someone who's been around the block a couple
of times, please send them to Bear@bentvoices.org.
And in case you're worried that you might have to
censor your thoughts, please remember that my walks around the block
were often done while dressed in kinkwear and with a thought or
two about who I might encounter along the way.
So let me know what's on your mind. If it's a Big
Unanswered Question (or even a little one), let me have
a crack at it. It is, after all, what bears
My boyfriend takes a long time to
come. Sometimes he tries for 15 minutes or longer. He has CP and
therefore finds it very hard to relax his muscles. He feels very
frustrated if he can't perform because he worries that I'll think
it's my fault. l try to say it does not matter as our love for each
other can overcome this and l also tell him that if and when he
comes it will be wonderful, but this is not the same as performing
on demand. It doesn't help if I try to help him. He is 37 years
old. My partner has asked me to email you because he does not have
access to email.
Let me say first off that I do not claim to give anything that remotely
resembles clinical advice. To the extent that your partner is suffering
from problems that are essentially physiological, he needs to seek
sound medical advice, preferably from someone who specializes in
sexuality and disability.
about physically-based sexual difficulties, however, can manifest
themselves psychologically. That's one reason it's so important
to understand the basic mechanics and how disability may influence
them in your case. The fact that you both are questioning who is
at "fault" is understandable. The outward manifestations of CP are
hard enough for someone to deal with. Worry about being able to
achieve orgasm would be daunting for any man, let alone one already
living with a body that works differently than most. But don't get
tangled up in the "blame game."
to relax the mind or the muscles in order to reach orgasm at your
own pace is certainly not a concern limited to people with disabilities.
Anyhow, what's the rush? It was Mae West who sang, "A guy what takes
his time, I go for anytime. I'm a fast moving gal, I like it slow.
Got no use for fancy driving, want to see a guy arriving in low."
Okay, so maybe a languid pace doesn't have the same appeal when
your lover is trying to cap off the night's entertainment aware
that you are already finished and he still has fifteen minutes to
go. You didn't say if you are usually the first to shoot. If so,
your lover might feel anxious and guilty for keeping you active
well after the point where your body is coming down from a sexual
you are a quick shooter, then delaying
your own orgasm until after his might relieve some of the tension.
Either way, it seems like his will not be a quick and easy climax,
a situation which might require some imaginative manipulation on
a slow shooter myself, I am well aware that I might often be left
holding the bag, or other parts. A good partner will know what gets
me off and will do that little thing to bring about the inevitable.
For me, it's tit play or a man with a wonderfully filthy mouth.
Find out what drives your lover crazy, do it, and see if that will
bring about a quicker release. Or simply relax into the realization
that you will not only have foreplay, you will have afterplay. Try
massaging the back of his neck to help relax him. Whisper some filth
softly into his ear while you tweak his nipples. Try some foot play
if he's not ticklish. You would be amazed how relaxed a man can
get when he's staring down at you working on his feet with your
hands or mouth. Whatever you do, do it because you are enjoying
it yourself. Your pleasure might just help relax him to the point
where he will give up his seed in record time.
technique aside, remember that orgasm is only one very small and
brief part of sex. I know that most men don't want to hear this.
Years ago I went with a man who never climaxed when we had sex,
even though nothing physiological prevented it. He later told me
that he would have mental climaxes, something I never doubted once
I experienced them myself with him. For some men with disabilities,
this is the only kind of orgasm possible. But I have also been with
men with CP and have experienced a wide range of erectile/climax
variations, from nonexistent to nothing different than most mens'
ability to get hard and achieve orgasm. Both ends of the spectrum
were satisfying to me and apparently to my partners. I think a good
part of the satisfaction resulted from knowing that my partner might
not provide the "big bang" except in his own mind and, therefore,
of us entertain sexual expectations. Sometimes those expectations
need to be rethought in light of physical impairments. It would
have been wonderful if your boyfriend had been able to tell you
early on that he might experience difficulty in achieving orgasm
and that you should not blame yourself, but that kind of candor
is not easy. The fact that he is now comfortable enough to tell
you that he has trouble relaxing his muscles is a good sign. There's
no guarantee that any of the techniques you try will make a great
difference physically. But you can both change that fifteen minutes
of anxiety into a time when you hold him tightly or caress him gently,
tell him how much he turns you on, suck on parts that most men in
a rush to get their rocks off ignore, and let him know that time
spent helping him reach a climax is not time wasted but is perhaps
the most intimate time in your relationship.
feelings he might have about his body and your need to make sexual
accommodations for it, you should help him understand that it's
his body that you want to hold and
this question first came up in Disgaytalk,
we're pleased to be able to supplement Max's response with some
advice from a fellow CP reader. -ed.]
occurs to me that a lot of nondisabled boyfriends probably have
exactly the same problem. I'm not sure what kind of help or advice
you're hoping for, so 'll just share my first reaction as another
37-year-old guy with CP.
for CP and sex, I find that it is indeed hard to relax my muscles,
especially during sex. But in my experience, it doesn't at all affect
the ease or difficulty of coming. That's a very situational issue
for me. I do find that when I'm touched, I tense up, and I get self-conscious
because I fear that this involuntary response sends the wrong message.
I also tense up a lot and sometimes spasm when I come, and I know
my boyfriend's afraid of hurting me then (really, it doesn't hurt!).
don't think that taking 15 minutes to come is particularly off the
end of the curve either, disability aside. Perhaps you've just got
to get to the point where the sex isn't about the coming. Perhaps
you can learn to enjoy the fact that it can be more about the fun
you have getting there. Many people would give their eyeteeth to
make it last 15 minutes, or even an hour. But your boyfriend's self-consciousness
about this may be rooted in a host of self-image issues.
advice is just to try to enjoy yourself and let him feel how much
you enjoy being with him. Don't feel that you can or should personally
cure any fears or insecurities he may have. I guess I'm just at
a point where I've learned that it's better to build on the positive
(strengths, happiness, etc.) rather than to dwell on the negative
(weaknesses, fears, etc.).
you still insist on speeding your sex along, I recommend avoiding
too much additional, intense stimulation. Contractions may only
increase. Instead, try to prime the pump with foreplay, porn, or
other things you like. Those may speed things up too, but without
spastic reactions. Just my 2 cents. Ignore it if it doesn't feel
right for you.
© 2002 Max Verga
been an activist ever since getting a call from a friend reporting
that he'd been in a riot at the Stonewall Bar only hours before.
He began his activism with the West Side Discussion Group, later
became involved with its offshoot theater group, and was one of
the founders of Mainstream, a gay-disabled group. For more about
Max, see his longer biography.