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  #1  
Old 11-18-2004, 04:32 PM
Incubus Incubus is offline
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How do quadriplegics/injured people relieve sexual tension?

Being someone with a pretty strong libido, I got to thinking that even if I couldn't move my arms and legs, I'd probably still have a pretty strong libido. The problem is, if I couldn't move, I couldn't do anything to ah, relieve that sexual tension.

So what do people who are paralyzed/bedridden do? I know this is probably the product of some 'doctor' fantasies, but I'm asking as a legitimate question here- I'm sure parlyzed people get horny too, it would such a drag if they couldn't do anything but lay there (no pun intended)
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Old 11-18-2004, 04:34 PM
Gangster Octopus Gangster Octopus is offline
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I have absolutely no answer, just wanted to say that this kind of topic is really what makes the SDMB the great place it is.
  #3  
Old 11-18-2004, 04:44 PM
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The short answer, is, unfortunately, not much. Most people who are para/quadrapelegic have spinal cord injuries that result in transection or destruction of the cord at the level of the injury. All sensory and motor function below the level of the injury is lost (with the exception of a few para/sympathetic fibers here and there). Since the genitalia are supplied by the sacral nerves, the lowest level of the spinal canal, there isn't usually any function left and everything is numb. As far as any activity left to the intact regions, well, I have no idea if anyone has been able to find "release" via other erogenous zones like the mouth, nipples, earlobes, etc. My WAG is you could probably find a case or two, but for the most part parapelegics lose sexual release.
  #4  
Old 11-18-2004, 05:40 PM
bughunter bughunter is offline
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The longer answer starts with a disclaimer of "we don't really understand sexual function that well." The enervation of the genitals hasn't really been an important focus of neuroanatomy, since the really sexy work (so to speak) has been on the central nervous system. And even there, it's nearly impossible to completely map all of the dendritic extends because they are vast.

A single cell can extend a dendrite from the brain stem all the way down the spine. Others go from the ganglia at the spine all the way down the leg. Some go from the brain down the trunk via the vagus nerve. And while the gross nerve bundles can be easily traced via dissection, it takes a full body PET scan to trace individual nerve cells... and the success rate is low, even with that.

Now, there is some evidence that the vagus nerve, responsible for a lot of involuntary function in the gut, also supplies the genitals, and that paraplegics still exhibit some sexual response. The evidence is spotty and mostly clinical.

There is a good summary of how this is understood to work here and a less rigorous treatment here.

But you can bet your cojones that it ain't like it was before the spinal cord injury.
  #5  
Old 11-18-2004, 05:44 PM
Si Amigo Si Amigo is online now
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In my junior year in college my neighbor got pregnent by a guy in a wheelchair. I had never heard or imagined it was possible but they did IT. She also informed me that he was quite "orally" simulating. :wally
  #6  
Old 11-18-2004, 05:50 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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Too bad Larry Flynt isn't a member.
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Old 11-18-2004, 06:00 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Si Amigo
In my junior year in college my neighbor got pregnent by a guy in a wheelchair. I had never heard or imagined it was possible but they did IT. She also informed me that he was quite "orally" simulating. :wally
The fact that he was in a wheelchair doesn't necessarily imply spinal cord injury. He could have had a problem with his legs, leaving the genital area unaffected.
  #8  
Old 11-18-2004, 06:21 PM
Incubus Incubus is offline
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Okay, I guess the more specific question was, if someone was able to feel pleasurable sensations, but couldn't move, how would they relieve sexual tension? Sure it would be easy if they are in a relationship/have a spouse, but what if they don't? Even single people can masturbate, but if you can't move, what then?
  #9  
Old 11-18-2004, 06:26 PM
Si Amigo Si Amigo is online now
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They surf message boards. . .
  #10  
Old 11-18-2004, 06:33 PM
davenportavenger davenportavenger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Incubus
Okay, I guess the more specific question was, if someone was able to feel pleasurable sensations, but couldn't move, how would they relieve sexual tension? Sure it would be easy if they are in a relationship/have a spouse, but what if they don't? Even single people can masturbate, but if you can't move, what then?
I'd imagine that this would be one of the responsibilities of personal nurses.
  #11  
Old 11-18-2004, 06:40 PM
UncleBill UncleBill is offline
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An neighbor of mine had her spinal cord severed in a shooting, and was a paraplegic. I do know she was sexually active, but despite her advances, I do not have first-hand knowledge of the intricacies of her specific case. Perhaps it is tied to emotion?
  #12  
Old 11-18-2004, 08:15 PM
kimera kimera is offline
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I can get myself off by just thinking about it. I read about it somewhere and I tried it and eventually was able to train myself into it. It is much better with a steady pressure against that area, but I can still orgasm laying completely still and not touching myself. I am a female, if that makes a difference.
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Old 11-18-2004, 08:56 PM
user_hostile user_hostile is offline
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I remember a Scientific American article in the last ten years discussing this. I believe it may have opened with a reference to the John Updike's "The World According to Garp" in which Garp's mother is impregnated by a paralyzed soldier who maintains an erection until he climaxes inside of her (I haven't seen the film since it open so I could be wrong in this description). The assumption was that this of course was fictional event.

I'm going on memory fumes, but this what I remember: the article describes that about a quarter to one/third of male quadriplegics are able to have spontaneous erections (and in some cases have fathered children!). The difference compared to normal males was that occurred much more quickly; this had something to with some autonomy with respect to the nerves responsible for sexual response (a la the response that occurs when you hit the area below your knee and get the jerk). The article said that analysis of this unexpected behavior was that the brain actually was wired to slow things down and went on to explain why this was significant (any woman care to comment on this? ).
  #14  
Old 11-18-2004, 09:33 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_hostile
I remember a Scientific American article in the last ten years discussing this. I believe it may have opened with a reference to the John Updike's "The World According to Garp" in which Garp's mother is impregnated by a paralyzed soldier who maintains an erection until he climaxes inside of her (I haven't seen the film since it open so I could be wrong in this description). The assumption was that this of course was fictional event.
Technical Sargeant Garp hadn't been paralyzed. Shrapnel had tidily lobotomized him. He eventually died after a gradual mental deterioriation, but there was no indication of paralysis.[/QUOTE]
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Old 11-18-2004, 10:11 PM
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My girlfriend's brother injured his spinal cord in a diving accident. He was a quad and she took care of him for several years after the accident.

I haven't asked her this question specifically, but she did share that he would get embarrassed at sponaneous erections when she was bathing him or touching him in a non-sexual manner.
  #16  
Old 11-18-2004, 10:19 PM
Mr. Blue Sky Mr. Blue Sky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_hostile
I remember a Scientific American article in the last ten years discussing this. I believe it may have opened with a reference to the John Updike's "The World According to Garp" in which Garp's mother is impregnated by a paralyzed soldier who maintains an erection until he climaxes inside of her (I haven't seen the film since it open so I could be wrong in this description). The assumption was that this of course was fictional event.
They didn't have this scene in the movie. Jenny yells what happened to her parents in a howling wind and you can barely make out what's she's saying. Fans of the book know quite well, of course.
  #17  
Old 11-18-2004, 10:23 PM
stockton stockton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_hostile
I believe it may have opened with a reference to the John Updike's "The World According to Garp"...
I'm going on memory fumes,..

John Irving will be extremely surprised to find out that Updike wrote his novel.

Perhaps the fumes are getting the best of you.
  #18  
Old 11-18-2004, 10:59 PM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is offline
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I do remember from human physiology that erection and ejaculations are functions managed by the autonomous nervous system (erection being sympathetic, ejaculation being parasympathetic). Thus, spinal damage wouldn't affect these functions. The penis would still "work as advertised" but the poor chap wouldn't be able to feel much sensation if any at all.

As to what they do to relieve the tension... I have no idea. I have to imagine that there's something of a a black market on home-care workers who are willing to take some cash under the table to provide extra services "under the table."
  #19  
Old 11-19-2004, 02:00 AM
user_hostile user_hostile is offline
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Irving...not Updike?

Uh oh...

Curses!

I thought the film showed a young Garp with his mother as she explained to a conservative lady(?) how Garp was conceived.

I've already a few slices of humble pie before--ignorance on this board has a way coming back to haunt you again and again and again....
  #20  
Old 11-19-2004, 02:26 AM
Otto Otto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_hostile
I thought the film showed a young Garp with his mother as she explained to a conservative lady(?) how Garp was conceived.
The film includes a scene of Jenny explaining it to the principal of the school.
  #21  
Old 11-19-2004, 03:46 AM
Harmonix Harmonix is offline
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wet dreams like a 10 year old perhaps?
  #22  
Old 11-19-2004, 04:09 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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I have a cousin who married a quad and together they had three children. No, I don't know her well enough to ask for specific details.

John Hockenberry in his biography Moving Violations does touch upon the sex life of a paraplegic in a fair amount of detail without restorting to medical terminology. Some of the escapades were pretty funny.

Quadraplegic cartoonist John Callahan in his biography "He Won't Get Far On Foot" also discusses his sex life post-accident, including how he masturbates (he has very limited use of his hands/arms) as well as the episode where he was almost accidently killed during cunnilingus.

A spinal cord injury will definitely have an effect on your sex life, but it doesn't necessarially end it.
  #23  
Old 11-19-2004, 07:58 AM
running coach running coach is offline
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http://www.spinalcord.uab.edu/show.asp?durki=22405
  #24  
Old 11-19-2004, 08:39 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Ron Kovics's book "Born on the Fourth of July" has a section where he goes to a whorehouse that specializes in treating men paralyzed from the waist down.

In one of their last interviews, Christopher and Dana Reeve say "they still have a complete sex life," but don't elaborate. IThey also state they wanted more children.
  #25  
Old 11-19-2004, 08:51 AM
don't ask don't ask is online now
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Prostitution is largely legal in Australia. Most of the classier places cater for clients with physical maladies, some even have lifting equipment. Working women I have known have quite fond feelings for debilitated clients.
  #26  
Old 11-19-2004, 10:33 AM
Silentgoldfish Silentgoldfish is offline
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I was looking after a 15 year old quadraplegic guy in the hospital today. I'm not sure how the conversation got to it but he's really looking forward to eventually losing his virginity.
  #27  
Old 11-19-2004, 02:05 PM
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The HBO special "American Dicks" (a fascinating expose on the male penis) interviewed a man who was paralyzed from the chest down. He admitted that he did indeed masturbate: "The penis has weight to it, and it feels good in my hand." Obviously he couldn't ejaculate; and whether or not he actually got an erection, I don't remember if he said so or not.
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Old 11-19-2004, 02:51 PM
Green Cymbeline Green Cymbeline is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runner pat
From the site:
Quote:
Penile vibratory stimulation (PVS) can be used to achieve an erection, but its main purpose is to produce an ejaculate for those who wish to become fathers. A variety of vibrators/massagers are available for this purpose. Some are specifically designed with the output power required to induce ejaculation in spinal cord injured men. It is important to consult a physician before using a vibrator. One danger of using a vibrator is it could cause swollen or inflamed skin. If the male does not have feeling, the vibrator must be used very carefully to avoid any bruising, bleeding or ulceration.

Rectal Probe Electroejaculation (RPE) is an option if PVS is not successful. RPE is when a doctor inserts an electrical stimulation probe into the rectum, and the controlled electrical stimulation produces an ejaculation. When sperm cannot be retrieved using PVS or RPE, minor surgery can be performed to remove sperm from the testicle. Once sperm are collected they can be used in artificial insemination.
WOW!
  #29  
Old 11-19-2004, 05:40 PM
King Friday King Friday is offline
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There was a guy on Howard Stern that had no arms. He would go to the fruit stand, purchase a watermelon, get it home in a duffel bag, cut it in half (somehow), and make love to it.

And I get pissed when I don't have a tissue within arms reach.
  #30  
Old 11-19-2004, 06:26 PM
The Scrivener The Scrivener is offline
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The movie The Waterdance deals explicitly with this very subject.
  #31  
Old 11-19-2004, 07:01 PM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Anecdote alert:

When I was about 10 years old, my grandfather had a stroke (as in the brain seizure type of stroke, before you pun-meisters leap on it!).

After that he was in a nursing home for two or three years before he died. He was confined to his bed and paralysed down one side.

I distinctly remember on one occasion visiting him and noticing, in the waste-paper basket in his room, empty condom packets!

I was about 12 at the time, so believe me, I knew what I was seeing. Now, at the time I thought - "My god, the nurses are... doing it with grandad!".

I guess, as he was only fully paralysed on one side of his body, he might have been doing it himself and the nurses provide the condoms to save on mess, but who knows?


NB, in the event there is an afterlife: sorry, grandpa, for speculating on your masturbatory habits on a public message board. I'm going straight to hell for this one...
  #32  
Old 11-19-2004, 07:59 PM
Si Amigo Si Amigo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon
NB, in the event there is an afterlife: sorry, grandpa, for speculating on your masturbatory habits on a public message board. I'm going straight to hell for this one...
Better to believe that grandpa was irresistivly sexy and that the nurses couldn't keep thier hands (or other parts of thier anatomy) off of him! With any luck it might even run in the family. Now your grandfather would be smiling down on you!
  #33  
Old 11-19-2004, 08:12 PM
Brynda Brynda is offline
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I spend time practically every day talking to paralyzed young men about their sex lives, so if there was ever a question made for me, this is it.

I am a psychologist on an SCI unit in a hospital, by the way. The brochure runner pat linked to is the one I give my patients. I have also seen (and shown) a film called Sexuality Reborn that shows men with SCI having what looks to be very enjoyable sex. They report that they feel sexual tension and release in other parts of their bodies; for example, one quad is shown clearly enjoying being caressed on his neck. Viagra is effective for most of the men who cannot have erections the usual way, so intercouse is possible.

As for masturbation for those who cannot find a way on their own, as others have mentioned, prostitutes, friendly caregivers, and umm...devices figure prominently.
  #34  
Old 11-19-2004, 09:33 PM
Carnac the Magnificent! Carnac the Magnificent! is offline
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I've forgotten most everything of calculus, Spanish and Russian history from college, but remember a 15-year-old news story involving a paralyzed (or double leg/arm amputee) older veteran.

Apparently, he still had quite the libido and somehow managed to convince the nursing staff to manually bring him to orgasm every once awhile, just to relieve the tension. Anyway, this went on for some time, perhaps by only one nurse (can't recall), and somewhere along the way, someone spilled the beans, as it were.

The nurse was brought before a disciplinary board, fired, and IIRC was stripped of her license. She characterized her actions as compassionate, maintaining that the man needed it and doing this for him made his--and the nurses--lives much easier. They didn't buy it. She also said she derived no satisfaction from her actions. YMMV, of course.
  #35  
Old 11-19-2004, 09:50 PM
Ignatz Ignatz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas
Ron Kovics's book "Born on the Fourth of July" has a section where he goes to a whorehouse that specializes in treating men paralyzed from the waist down.

In one of their last interviews, Christopher and Dana Reeve say "they still have a complete sex life," but don't elaborate. IThey also state they wanted more children.
"Forrest Gump" addresses this also with Gary Sinise's character.

Paraplegic Jon Voight character gets it on "orally" with Jane Fonda in "Coming Home", directed by Hal Ashby.

Timothy Bottoms played an almost limbless quad in the 1971 "Johnny Got His Gun", directed by Dalton Trumbo.
  #36  
Old 11-19-2004, 11:37 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon
After that he was in a nursing home for two or three years before he died. He was confined to his bed and paralysed down one side.
Did he also have no feeling on that side of his body? 'Cause wouldn't it have been interesting if he had sensation in one side of his penis, but not the other.

Seriously, how does that work?

(Sorry, Colophon's granddad! Inquiring minds, and all that.)
  #37  
Old 11-19-2004, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Friday
There was a guy on Howard Stern that had no arms. He would go to the fruit stand, purchase a watermelon, get it home in a duffel bag, cut it in half (somehow), and make love to it.

And I get pissed when I don't have a tissue within arms reach.
Why?

Do you have to blow your nose?

  #38  
Old 11-20-2004, 02:36 PM
Hostile Dialect Hostile Dialect is offline
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Originally Posted by ava
I can get myself off by just thinking about it. I read about it somewhere and I tried it and eventually was able to train myself into it. It is much better with a steady pressure against that area, but I can still orgasm laying completely still and not touching myself. I am a female, if that makes a difference.
I once read about a girl having an orgasm without any sort of stimulation or even particularly aiming for it, apparently due to the influence of inhaled nitrous oxide. I was a little skeptical. Then I introduced a female friend to nitrous and, on about the fifth whippit or so, literally saw her have an orgasm. It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen! We were fully clothed, in my car in seperate bucket seats, not touching or (AFAIK) even thinking about each other sexually, but she had a full-fledged, boat-rocking orgasm. I actually haven't seen such an orgasm in my sexual experiences either. She was a little embarrassed, but in the end we agreed that the whole episode had been thoroughly awesome.

(I'll note here that, although I've seen and read about lots of nitrous oxide use in females, these are the only two cases of unstimulated orgasm. Also, I did nitrous several times with the same girl since--a few times with more interesting stuff going on at the time--and haven't seen that response again.)
  #39  
Old 11-20-2004, 02:38 PM
Hostile Dialect Hostile Dialect is offline
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Originally Posted by fetus
....these are the only two cases of unstimulated orgasm.
I meant to say that those are the only two cases of unstimulated orgasm I've seen or heard about (other than ava's narrative above, that is).
  #40  
Old 11-21-2004, 11:37 AM
Burrido Burrido is offline
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Saw a documentary in pysch class a while back about quadriplegic men who visit strip clubs. It went on to explore about how much of sexuality was based on visual stimulation and for the men it was how the relieved some of the tension.

For me, I'll quote Adam Corrolla, "If you cut off my arms and legs, I would evolve an appendage and still be able to masterbate."
  #41  
Old 11-21-2004, 12:15 PM
dotchan dotchan is offline
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This may count as anecdotal, but I can turn myself on without touching anything as well.

It's called reading and writing fanfic.

(Seriously, the mind and body are more connected than we'd like to think! The dreams I have during menarche make me blush just to think about them! )
  #42  
Old 11-21-2004, 12:41 PM
Fuji Kitakyusho Fuji Kitakyusho is offline
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Obligatory punchline:

"...same problem, better medical plan."
  #43  
Old 11-21-2004, 01:48 PM
KidCharlemagne KidCharlemagne is offline
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Originally Posted by fetus
I once read about a girl having an orgasm without any sort of stimulation or even particularly aiming for it, apparently due to the influence of inhaled nitrous oxide. I was a little skeptical.

If you take the antidepressant clomipramine you may be one of the lucky ones that has an orgasm just from yawning.

http://www.snopes.com/risque/aphrodis/yawn.htm
  #44  
Old 11-21-2004, 03:16 PM
Si Amigo Si Amigo is online now
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While this has been a very interesting topic and I have learned many things that I had never imagined before there is one aspect here that we are missing. They don't achieve a sexual relife at all, it's called suffering.

I can imagine few things as tragic than becoming a Quad after living an active, fullfilling life. To not be able to travel, date, shop, cloth, or even wipe yourself. I can easyily imagine that many of them are either depressed or borderline insane due to lack of being able to live out there own dreams. Dreams themselves may only turn into dissapointment upon awaking. Christopher Reeves was THE rare exception: rich, famous, and married to a devoted loving wife.
  #45  
Old 11-21-2004, 06:20 PM
Carnick Carnick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Si Amigo
While this has been a very interesting topic and I have learned many things that I had never imagined before there is one aspect here that we are missing. They don't achieve a sexual relife at all, it's called suffering.

I can imagine few things as tragic than becoming a Quad after living an active, fullfilling life. To not be able to travel, date, shop, cloth, or even wipe yourself. I can easyily imagine that many of them are either depressed or borderline insane due to lack of being able to live out there own dreams. Dreams themselves may only turn into dissapointment upon awaking. Christopher Reeves was THE rare exception: rich, famous, and married to a devoted loving wife.
Nothing turns me on more than condescending pity. Then again, I'm borderline insane.
  #46  
Old 11-21-2004, 06:21 PM
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While in the rehab hospital, my roomie was in much worse shape-he was paralyzed from nipple level downward. His wife worked with staff (no pun) learning how to care for him upon his release. There were several occasions when the conversation from beyond the curtain indicated it was time for me to hop in the old wheelchair and go for a ride so as not to intrude on their moment. I just couldn't make the 'LA LA LA LA' in my head loud enough.
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  #47  
Old 11-21-2004, 06:30 PM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dotchan
The dreams I have during menarche make me blush just to think about them! )
I imagine *something* strange must be going on if the first period of your life is happening every month. Must be some sort of sci-fi fanfic?
  #48  
Old 11-21-2004, 10:08 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Si Amigo
I can imagine few things as tragic than becoming a Quad after living an active, fullfilling life. To not be able to travel, date, shop, cloth, or even wipe yourself. I can easyily imagine that many of them are either depressed or borderline insane due to lack of being able to live out there own dreams. Dreams themselves may only turn into dissapointment upon awaking. Christopher Reeves was THE rare exception: rich, famous, and married to a devoted loving wife.
I don't think Mr. Reeves was a happy person after his accident, even if he had some happy moments. If you get past the sound bites into some of his longer statements it's quite clear he absolutely hated the physical consequences of being a quad.
  #49  
Old 11-30-2013, 02:31 PM
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When I was 10 my spinal cord was severed at C1 C2 in a bad accident leaving me 100% paralyzed from the middle of my neck down. I'm almost 19 now and have very little sensation but can still get erections within seconds. I get very powerful urges for needing "sexual relief" and I hate to tell you this but you'd be in a world of hurt. At least 3 times a week I feel like I've been kicked in the nuts throughout the entire day. Apparently it's illegal for your caretakers to help with that where I live.. There's "autoblow" sex toys out there but they're complete junk and definitely not worth the $150.. So unless you're lucky enough to have a girlfriend/wife, lots of money to pay a prostitute $200 every time you need it or live in Japan where they offer services for this exact situation then say hello to severe sexual frustration. After almost 9 years of this crap has gotten me to the point of wanting my testicles removed or to put a "hit" out on myself since I obviously can't do it. The moral of the story is that the rest of your life will be constant torture along with frustration of extreme proportions and depression. Those all combined will literally make you lose your mind.

This was completely written by ME with my Quadjoy and on screen keyboard so don't even bother trolling me.
  #50  
Old 11-30-2013, 02:44 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Since this thread is more than 10 years old, and there's a more recent active thread on the same topic, I'm going to close this and refer further replies to the other one.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=665339

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