How Can You "Begin" Sexually Without an Emotional Connection?

Betty Dodson's picture
Tue, 02/24/2009 - 17:12
Submitted by Betty Dodson

I'm familiar with your work and your fame in helping people connect to their sexualities. Your name popped into my head as I'm feeling desperate for some wisdom. Now I know that romance is not exactly your main focus, but my problem with my emotions right now stems from both romance as well as sex. I also know that you mainly focus on women, and though I am a man, I ask your help. I am neither active nor experienced in either sex or romance. I am 20 years old living in college, surrounded by people with plenty of knowledge and experience with both. I have legitimately tried to connect with someone, and partially because of my physical disability, my attempts have failed. I have received mixed signals from both friends and prospective lovers about whether I need to focus on cultivating a relationship or getting laid.

My sexual inexperience brings in a lot of conflict to my life; at the same time I very much want to be in love, but I can seem to do neither. I feel like the place where I want to "begin" sexually would be too far behind the more experienced girls, would any of them actually allow me to have sex with them. The one time I actually met a sexually inexperienced girl I attempted to cultivate a relationship and failed miserably.

When I think about what I've tried to do and what I want it just doesn't add up. How can a person "begin" sexually without a loving and trusting relationship? How can love happen without first a mutual sexual attraction? How can sexual attraction happen when one of the individuals is crippled; which in our society suffers negative connotations in both sex and romance? I have never met a girl who seems to be sexually attracted to me, not that I would know how to pick up on that.

So if I can't properly find love, and I can't find a proper sexual partner to gain some experience with, then what can I do? I feel angry and lonely and terribly frustrated and I can't seem to find the answer myself. Can you help me?

Dear JP,

I hear you! Given our superficial society based on outward appearances, any person who has a physical disability will be at a disadvantage in the dating department. Meanwhile, I sincerely hope you are having sex with yourself. As for the romance part, I'd put that aside for now, and have a sexual experience with a knowledgeable woman, rather than an inexperienced girl. That would mean connecting with a sex professional, or finding a professional surrogate partner who would guide you through the basics. Otherwise two uninformed kids getting together usually ends up with the blind leading the blind which is often a disaster. Forget about finding "proper love" and a "proper sexual partner." Instead look for an experienced person who can teach you about sex.

A sex therapist could put you in touch with a surrogate partner. Or you could get a professional massage with a "happy ending" which would be a beginning. Or you could simply find a willing sex worker. In the UK there is an organization called "Sexual Rights for Disabled People." (use our search engine and check it out). They partner up willing sex workers with people who might not otherwise connect with another person. Although you didn't mention what kind of disability you are dealing with, it would make sense for you to seek others with something similar to overcome. Since your question and dilemma are so well stated, maybe you are the one who will create a group that meets on campus like "Dating for Disabled Students," a "Gimps United" sort of thing. Necessity is the Mother of Invention! Just remember, I'm rooting for you. Let me know what happens.

Dr. Betty


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Hi JP! *hugs*

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 23:40
Anonymous (not verified)

Although I agree that JP needs to find someone with sexual experience to help him out, I think that telling him that he needs to forget about his romantic concerns is far too one-sided and inconsiderate. What if he ends up falling in love with someone whose only concern is to teach him about sex and feels they can not reciprocate those feelings because it would not be professional?
Maybe the reasoning is that it is too much to handle trying to find both at once, but there is no reason why a guy who is looking for BOTH romance and sex (a quality quite rare, or so it would seem, amongst men in my experience) that he can't have his cake and eat it too. It's not fair that he should give up having a good first experience of either just because it is easier to look for one at a time.
JP, although you might not read this I hope you do, because I suggest that, if it's not too late for you to get started, that you try to persue a romantic relationship or deep love-like friendship with a potential partner (don't sell yourself short, a potential partner could be anybody that you want despite conotations surrounding someone like you), while you are having professional help sexually. If you do not wish to look for professional help (which I think was also not taken into consideration, because that should not be your only option if you would rather something more personal) then I would suggest that you go online or place an ad somewhere that says you are looking for both a sexual and romantic partner that is local to you, as well as describingyour condition. I know some people are skeptical of ads and stuff, but it could work for you! Besides, if there are people willing to take care of you for pay, then there must be a decent person near you who would have a relationship with someone who is disabled.
P.S. A few suggestions for the ad, if you choose to do that
don't JUST mention your disability. If someone is going to answer your call for a romantic relationship as well then you need to mention your interests and hobbies as well as what type of persons you get along with best. I would be wise about it and mention your disability only when you mention the sexual situation. Be breif but be sure to define your condition clearly and that you want someone who can work with this and try to find ways to enjoy sex with you, mention your drive and what you find attractive and that you know what feels good on your body from your own experiences (I would hope)and that you are willing to be flexible and patient about this. Try to focus more on what type of relationship you want (if you are looking for a girl) and how you would treat a partner, because that is what is going to get you a partner. If you advertise more on the sexual part, you are more likely to find a short-term relationship with someone who was amused or just curious and was not as sensitive to your needs as you... well, need. But be clear that the sexual part is important to you because you need the experience. Most of all, be sure that you make it clear that you are willing to keep the communication lines open in the relationship and that you will try not to let any insecurities get in the way, that you are willing to talk it through if you start to think you are not good enough and that you are willing to be encouraging just as much as you need to be encouraged.

I hope this helps <3