Love and Sexuality

Everything you’ve always wanted to know…

The following passages were prepared by Stéphanie Lebrun, sex therapist, during her internship in sex therapy (2011-2012).

Puberty: ”What’s happening to me?”

The start of adolescence is often closely tied to puberty. It’s a stage of life when the body starts to mature sexually and to become ready for reproduction. Girls become women (their breasts start showing, they start growing hair and begin to menstruate, etc.) and boys become men (their penis increases in size, they start growing hair, their voice changes, etc.).

Puberty is also a time when we start becoming more keenly interested in sexuality. We can start having fantasies and feel desire towards another person. These changes are caused by hormones being released in the body. Changes in our mood can also take place: irritability, mood swings, feeling misunderstood, etc.

In the case of some neuromuscular disorders, taking certain medications – like Deflazacort or Prednisone, for example – can delay the onset of puberty. If this delay becomes worrisome, see your neurologist. This specialist can provide information and explain these delays and what to expect next. Don’t be afraid to ask questions since that can help alleviate many of your concerns.

Remember that puberty is a normal stage of life that every person goes through: each one of us has to face it sooner or later. It can be comforting to talk about what you’re experiencing with a caring person: a parent, a friend, a counsellor, a doctor, etc. These people can give valuable advice since they’ve already gone through it. Also, you can always talk to someone anonymously and confidentially. Several help lines and chat lines have been set up to that effect. Here are a couple:

  • Tel-Jeunes: You can call them toll-free at 1-800-263-2266 or ask questions via their Website
  • Kids Help Phone: You can call them toll-free at 1-800-668-6868 or ask questions via their Website

For more information on the changes that occur during puberty, please go to the Website sexualityandu.ca under the heading “All About Puberty”.

In conclusion, know that puberty is an inevitable stage of our life and that all the changes that come with it are NORMAL. They signal the end of childhood and the beginning of adolescence and adulthood.

Pornography: the science fiction of sexuality

First of all, let’s say it loud and clear: pornography is IN NO WAY a depiction of reality. We could even say that these videos are the science fiction of sexuality, in the same way that Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings are science fiction. In short, one must never use these videos to compare or assess our sexual performance. Remember that pornography is still make-believe, with actors, writers, directors and cameramen; and, of course, there’s a whole lot of video editing that takes place!

Just like at the movies, actors play a role; they can do several takes for one scene, they have rehearsals, etc. Sometimes, a five-minute scene can require days and days of filming and complicated video editing before it’s ready. So if you’re asking yourself if the actress in a movie really did have dozens of orgasms, ask yourself the following question: “Did Leonardo Dicaprio really drown in Titanic?” Of course not.

Of course, some people can watch pornography to break away from the routine, to get inspired by certain scenarios or to get sexually aroused. However, you must never take the content of a pornographic movie as a model of excellence for lovemaking. Remember that it’s science fiction!

In conclusion, remember that there is no set guide on how to make love. Lovemaking is a very personal thing. It’s a way to discover your partner, to please and be pleased, to express your desire and to feel your partner’s desire. It’s also an exchange of cuddles, kisses and feelings. Making love is about more than just penetration. It takes place in the head and, mostly, in the heart. In other words, making love is above all a matter of feelings.

Pornography can probably have a positive effect on sexuality when people use it to get inspired and try new things. However, it must be viewed as entertainment and not as a definitive authority on sexuality.

Technical aid: gadgets and devices for my particular situation

In virtually all cases, people with neuromuscular disorders will need to use technical aids. Whether it be for mobility, for eating or more specific tasks, various types of aids are already available.

But what about sexual needs? Are there devices available for my particular situation? The answer is YES! With a little bit of imagination and the help of some specialists, you can find some toys and gadgets that will help you get closer to your partner and/or explore the sensations of your own body; there are solutions available.

Some online stores like Come as you are (“Venez Tels Quels”) offer personalized service to people with a physical disability and can suggest many assistive devices. Interesting, isn’t it? Among other things, you can find toys with a suction cup, lightweight and ergonomic vibrators, as well as various strap-ons.

Also, some specialists like occupational therapists can be excellent resource people. After reviewing your physical capabilities, an occupational therapist can suggest various solutions regarding sexuality. Obviously, seeing a sex therapist can also help you manage your sexuality and your physical disability, but most of all, it can help show you how to have a fulfilling sexual life.

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