Diminished mental capacity, how low would you go, sexually, with your SO?

I must have been having some pretty strange dreams last night, but I woke up with this question in my head:

Let’s say you and your husband/wife/SO are both adults. Let’s say about 30-ish. You’ve got a healthy, happy full-filling sex life.

Your SO suffers some sort of accident, the result of which is diminished mental capacity. Remember, your SO is still in a fully adult body, you’re married, or in a long term romantic/sexual relationship, still capable of sexual arousal/performance, and your SO still recognizes you as their SO, still loves you, has a strong attachment to you etc.

How low would you go, mental capacity-wise? Let’s say your SO is now at the mental level of a 16 year old. Would you still have sex? How about 14? 12? 8? 5?

How low would you go before you felt schkeevy about it? Think of say, Sean Penn in I Am Sam. If you’re a woman or gay man, and he had been normally functioning before the “accident,” and he was still your SO, would you have sex with him?

What’s the legality of it? If your spouse suddenly becomes, mentally, “underage,” can you still have sexual relations with them?

What if you had been planning on having kids? As a woman, would you go ahead and allow your mentally 8 year old husband to inseminate you?

I already knew I was a nerd, but the question now running through my head is, “can this really happen?” I know quite a few people with brain damage, but none of them has lowered age; they lost skills, but not the capacity to reason. One of the hardest things for their families to understand is that, even though Dad now can’t write or speak properly, Dad still thinks basically like he used to.

I think if it happened to me I’d need to know a lot about “so, how old is he now”, “will he ‘grow up’ or not”, etc. before making any kind of decision.

Ok, I’m weirded out. However, I would continue to have sex with my SO if he was at a mental age of 14 or 16. At 16 or 14 most boys think they want to have sex. If my SO’s mental capabilities were less than that, I might regard him as unable to consent because he would be unable to foresee consequences of actions. I’m not sure what I would do in the long-term. As I am not currently hoping for children, I would not have them under those circumstances.

I would have married for her mind anyway; so I would still take care of her as best I could, every moment remembering what she once was and moarning over what was lost. Eventually the loss/pain/hatred would drive all of my scientific research and life toward better understanding of the brain so that one day I could place my wife into a machine and have her download all the world’s knowledge.

Any age. I would still view her as the woman I love… just as long as she doesn’t gain any weight.

That was a joke. Probably around 16 for me.

No, based on that joke, I’d say your mental age is closer to 13. :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t know if it can actually happen this way either. I was just thinking that when someone suffers brain damage, you often hear the medical profession assign them an “age” that they are now functioning at. In reality, this may be a meaningless question.

I’m finding this hard to judge. Certainly no lower than late teens, but what do we mean by that? Would he be the nerdy, prematurely mature Thomas Mann-reading teenager he actually was? Or would he somehow be tragically transformed into…well I don’t want to insult any actual teenagers present, but let’s say, the sort of teenager that didn’t attract me even when I was one.

**brickbacon **stole my answer. :wink:

Seriously, that’s a good question.

Hard to come up with an answer, but I’d say probably in the 10-12 mental age capacity is about as low as I’d go, sexually. Not really sure though. Unless he wanted to, then I suppose I would if he were mentally younger. And if he didn’t want to at that or even a higher age capacity, then I wouldn’t. I’d stay with him for sure though. I vowed I would.

If we’d planned on having kids, and I still wanted one, then yes, I’d have his child, and take care of both of them.