But how? A guest blog on intimacy

As part of our Valentine’s Week stories on love and romance, we’re featuring a guest post by Katie Banister, the founder of Access 4 All, an organization providing disability education programs and presentations.

But How?

by Katie Rodriguez Banister

Disability or no disability, intimacy is more than just “tab A into slot B.” Intimacy takes courage, communication and creativity. It means stepping out of your comfortable zone and into a zone that can make you soar. I know this firsthand. The benefit of meeting the right person at the right time—a man who was willing to wait until I was ready to explore this delicate part of a relationship—was priceless.

When you see, hear or think about the word “sex” coupled with “disability,” one of the first questions that comes to mind is, “But how?” For me, a quadriplegic, and my husband, a nondisabled man, we can still become intimate the old “tab A & B” way, but I don’t derive the same physical enjoyment from that method that I used to before my auto accident. That accident took away the feeling in my nether regions, but I know the old “tab A & B” way pleases my partner, and I believe ya gotta be a team player.

Like other couples, especially those in long-term relationships, you can’t go wrong with a good shoulder massage or an awesome head-scratch. Want to make me really happy? Clean the house! (You neat-freaks like me out there in blogland know exactly what I’m talking about.)

Seriously, if you want to add some sizzle to your relationship, close the blinds, light a few candles around the room, turn on some R&B and chill. I meant what I said about the head and shoulders. They are the parts of my body that have become super sensitized. I concentrate on what feeling I have.

Sure, I miss the past. The past is gone, so I focus on the present. I keep myself pretty busy, but then my husband reminds me that all work and no play is not the way to live. So if you are honoring February 14th as a way to recognize the one you care deeply for, make time for them. Maybe a simple meal by candle light, with snuggles after. And if you are an independent heart? Recognize the love that you have for yourself, for when you love yourself, then love can come to you.


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  14. Katie Rodriguez Banister Says:

    I love you too Sarah and Jody, you too! Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and thank you for your warm and wonderful messages!

  15. Sarah Marquart Says:

    Katie I love you you are a strong woman one of courage and strength I know Katie personally and she has never been afraid to open up about disability and intimacy,neither have I as a woman living with CP but I look up to Katie and I strive to do what I can on my own If you know Katie and you know of her story this woman said she was not leaving rehab till she could put on her own lipstick and she now puts it on by herself each day she lifts my spirits each day and I am blessed to know her and Steve and to call them my friends Rock and Roll on my Friend

  16. jody Says:

    That’s my girl. I know Katie, and she is a testament to living well and challenged daily. My thoughts fall to you so much, your viger, humor and courage always shine inside of me. Friend

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