Dr. Linda Mona
Dr. Linda Mona
Clinical Psychologist, Sex & Disabilities Expert
Question: I have a physical disability and just heard that Liberator Shapes can help people with sexual positions when they don't have much strength or mobility. Any ideas that would add some variety to our sex life?
Answer: Liberator Shapes can assist in spicing up the variety of sexual positions while simultaneously alleviating pain or pressure point areas for people with disabilities or chronic pain. People with limitations are often restricted to one or two sexual intercourse or oral positions. These amazing pillows can also help expand options for kissing, cuddling and basic "making out" positions.
With any form of sex play, pleasure and enjoyment of yourself and your partner are what is important. These are difficult goals to attain when one or both sexual partners experience physical pain and/or limitations.
If these barriers are lifted, people with these chronic health issues have an increased likelihood of REALLY experiencing sexual pleasure with few concerns about the restrictions that could interfere with their lovemaking. These issues can never be fully removed, but they are decreased when using Liberator Shapes.
People with physical limitations need to get used to communicating with partners about their bodies. This will always need to occur within the sexual relationship. However, the obstacles that were once in place now have strategies to combat them. Liberator Shapes are the first line of attack in lifting those barriers and providing people with more carefree sexual experiences.
Here are some ideas:
Ramp: Ideal for bending over for rear entry positions because it takes the weight off of your arms, hands and hips. It's also great for missionary position because it can assist with lifting up your hips so that your partner's weight is no longer directly on top of your body.
Stage: The simplicity of this design is one of its virtues. It is great to throw on the floor and will accommodate both you and your partner for a variety of positions. Stage gives you the extra cushion and height that the floor will never provide. Good for kissing, hugging, intercourse and oral positions.
Bottom line: Liberator Shapes are the ideal enhancement for sexual positions for those people who live with physical limitations. Nothing is perfect, but these pillows help with alleviating many of the barriers that have prevented people from enjoying a varied, spicy sex life.
Talking with your partner is still crucial and will greatly improve the quality of your sexual relationship. But, once the communicating is done, bring out the Liberator Shapes and let the fun begin!
Question: I just returned from active duty in the Iraq war and acquired significant burns across both legs. I am a 24-year-old guy and am worried that my sex life will be over because of the pain from my burns will prevent me from being with my girlfriend. Do you have any ideas for intercourse positions with cushions that may involve less friction to my legs?
Answer: Thank you for your service. I am impressed by your determination to move on with all aspects of your life given the traumatic events that you have endured. Burns are among the most common types of injuries suffered by returning service people from both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. We know that people who sustain severe burns typically have physical pain as well as some mobility-related difficulties due to skin healing. Here are a few thoughts:
To avoid a lot of direct skin contact with your legs during intercourse, engage in either standing or sitting positions. In either of these positions, your penis and pelvic can be readily accessible to you and your partner without too much contact with your legs. As one suggestion, have your partner place one knee on the Liberator Cube and the other foot on the floor. Lean over her and enter from behind to begin making love. Your penis can make direct contact with her vagina, you will have little contact with your legs, and your arms are free to caress her body. Or, sit on the edge of the thickest side of the Liberator Esse and then have your girlfriend face you and straddle your penis, her legs behind your back. You can also use the Esse in two other ways to avoid leg friction. First option: have your girlfriend lay down with her back in the lowest scooped portion of the furniture with her knees to her chest or up by her shoulders. Lower yourself down, facing her, and your butt will be resting on the back of the cushion. Your legs will be on the sides on the Esse completely free of contact with her and the cushion and you can then rock as hard or as gentle as you wish. Second option: combine the Esse with the Mini Scoop pillow. Place the Mini Scoop with the rounded curve matching the rounded curve of the Esse. Have your girlfriend lay her pelvic area over the highest part of the Esse, face down. Her stomach and torso will be hitting the flat portion of the Mini Scoop. With her legs separated and up in the air, enter her from the rear position. Your legs will be straddled over either side of the Esse and free of any contact. With your arms and hands on either side of the Esse, you will have good leverage for thrusting.
If you have any physical pain and use pain medication, make sure to take it 20 minutes to one hour prior to lovemaking. This may help with a more enjoyable experience. Good luck and happy body and sexual healing.
Question: I am a 45-year-old woman who lives with Fibromyalgia. I have regular chronic pain, body stiffness and fatigue. Having sex with my boyfriend has been problematic because of my difficulties getting comfortable giving and receiving oral sex in addition to having intercourse. If I have to hold my body in any given position for a long period of time, I have pain and begin to fatigue. Do you have any thoughts about what product might assist me in having more pain-free, enjoyable sex?
Answer: Statistics estimate that five to seven percent of the U.S. population lives with Fibromyalgia and that it affects more women than men. It is a chronic pain condition characterized by musculoskeletal aches, pain and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, general fatigue and sleep disturbances. Interestingly, the most common sites of pain include the neck, back, shoulders, pelvic girdle, and hands and thus it is not surprising to me that you would have some difficulties with the sexual issues you list above. The Whirl may be just what you are looking for to assist with your lovemaking positions to ensure an overall less painful and more pleasurable experience. Here are some suggestions:
Oral Sex: When giving oral stimulation to your boyfriend, have him lay down on his back with the Whirl directly under his knees. He should part his knees so that you can come in between his legs and reach his pelvic area. Rest your arms and elbows on the Whirl as you go down on him. When receiving oral sex, you can lay down on your back with the Whirl cushion directly under your hips so that your boyfriend can reach your vagina. Rest your knees over his shoulders for extra support. In this position, pressure is taken off your pelvic area (including your hips and knees) providing more comfort while you are on your back.
Intercourse: Try laying on your side with one leg draped over the Whirl. Have your boyfriend lay behind you (spooning position) and enter your vagina from behind. This position can help with taking pressure off all of your limbs and leaving your partner with ample space to touch your breasts and other parts of your body. If you are physically able to do the doggie style position, the Whirl is the perfect support to hold your body weight. Place the Whirl on the bed or the floor and lay over it (as if you were hugging it) resting your head to the side and arms around it. Your knees can be supported by the bed or extra pillows if you are on the floor. Your boyfriend can them come from behind to begin intercourse.
Thanks for speaking for the others with Fibromyalgia who have the same sexually related questions but are afraid to ask. You have definitely given a voice to this important issue.
Question: I am a 30-year-old woman who has been diagnosed with Leukemia. I'm currently going through various treatments and have watched my sexual desire and activity with my husband dwindle before my eyes. Do you have any suggestions about how to get through this difficult time without totally losing a sense of myself as a sexual woman?
Answer: I am sorry to hear that you are having such a challenging time. You bring up a very important yet often neglected topic in the field of sexuality. Sexuality encompasses many aspects of our lives, including body image, relationships with partners, the ability to experience sexually erotic feelings and the choice to engage in sexual activity. The diagnosis of leukemia and treatments for this condition can affect how you value yourself as a sexual human being and the ways that you experience physical sexual pleasure. Fatigue is a hallmark of your cancer as well as some of the treatments that accompany it. And, fatigue and physical pain are two of the biggest culprits in influencing sexual desire in people with chronic health problems. Thus, it is crucial that you be patient with yourself during this process and allow your sensual side to evolve at its own pace.
Given that sexual contact within the context of a relationship is a healthy and fun way of connecting, it is important to expand the definitions of what physical intimacy may include. Affection and sexual pleasure can be expressed in a number of ways. This is important to keep in mind given that your energy level may not be up to participating in sexual activity as you have in the past. Although it is probable that you can still engage in most of the activities that you enjoy, your mind and stamina might not be up for it. I would recommend focusing on ways of increasing physical and emotional comfort to "put you in the mood" to feel better about yourself sexually and ready to play with your partner. I would initially suggest the Memory Foam Topper and Mondo Pillow to help with facilitating comfort. These products are great for adding general physical comfort for lying on the bed and, in the case of the Mondo Pillow, on the floor or bed. The Topper cushions the body in all of the right places and makes laying in bed a very sensual experience. Use it for general comfort or for sex play. The Mondo Pillow, also comprised of memory foam, can help with finding comfortable positions on the floor...or throw this one on the bed as well for extra comfort during sex. For sexual positioning comfort, Liberator Wedge and Ramp always come through in assisting individuals with easier sexual positioning when their bodies are not at the optimal level of functioning.
Thanks for having the courage to initiate such an important question! Good luck with your continued healing process and remaining optimistic about your sexuality.
Question: I have Multiple Sclerosis and experience some physical pain when I engage in sexual activity with my partner. I have learned how to have sex in different ways so that I avoid uncomfortable positions. And yes, I do use the Liberator Ramp and Wedge regularly! At times I am bored with the same old position on the same old bed but feel constrained to the "usual routine" so that I don't disrupt my physical comfort level. I would love to vary the routine a bit. Do you have any suggestions?
Answer: I can understand that you would want to spice up things in your sex life but do not want to compromise your physical comfort. Pain-free sex is great, but using the same positions, on the same bed, and in the same room can become very old very quickly. Given that you already use the Ramp and the Wedge, you must be familiar with the soft pliable foam used within the cushions. The Liberator Escape "sex pad" may be just what you are looking for. This product is a large foam pad that can be used on the floor, outdoors on the grass, or any other creative place that you choose. It is two inches thick and provides a nice layer of thickness for you and your partner to stretch out on a hard surface. It is available in two different width sizes (e.g., 50" or 70"), which can be helpful, depending upon your size.
My hunch is that this comfortable pad can be used inside the house: 1) on the floor in your bedroom, 2) on the floor in any other room in the house. Outdoor use may include: 1) on your backyard grass, 2) at the park. Try using your Wedge and Ramp cushions on top of the Escape for extra comfort. Just be careful about engaging in sexual activity in public-we wouldn't want you to get arrested! But, I'm sure that kissing and cuddling would be just fine outdoors and saving the hotter sexual activity for when you arrive home.
If you have trouble getting yourself down to the floor or ground because of limitations, ask your partner for help or use a piece of furniture (e.g., couch or chair) to lower yourself down. Adding variety to sexual experiences is the key to maintaining great physical intimacy. Thanks for a fun question. Good luck!
Question: I have a skin condition that leaves my skin very thin. As a result, I often have cracks in my skin and am concerned about infections and cleanliness. I just stumbled on to the Liberator website and read about the moisture barrier throws. Do you think that I might find a throw to be comfortable on my skin and yet sturdy enough to wash after each sexual encounter?
Answer: The easy answer to your question is absolutely yes. I do think that one of the Liberator "Throes" may enhance your physical comfort during sex play and provide you with a number of other great features. Many individuals live with significant dermatological conditions that interfere with their ability to have good comfortable sexual experiences. However, there are ways of increasing comfort and cleanliness.
Any of the three choices of Throes would likely be comfortable on thin, irritated skin. Also, all three Throes have a built-in moisture barrier which means that the products can fully absorb fluid while keeping your skin dry. The Shag and Safari are very soft and comfortable to the touch and quite attractive in appearance. In your case, I would suggest the Posh Throe, which is made of microfiber. This material is very soft and yet absorbs fluids quickly, shielding both you and your partner from sexually related fluids or any fluid leakage from your skin. The good news is that all three Throes can be popped into the washing machine at any time. Try using these Throes on the couch, bed, floor, or any other place that you might need some extra comfort. The softness of the product, coupled with the unique materials available, make it a wonderful choice for all people seeking a bit of variety in their sexual activity.
Thanks for a great question. I hope that you are able to increase your comfort during sexual activity by using one of these soft, easy to clean Throes. In turn, your mind is also more likely to be comfortable knowing that this product can be washed repeatedly to maintain cleanliness and still have its very sexy appeal.
Question: My girlfriend and I are both plus size people and are trying to come up with some creative ways to have intercourse. We both carry weight in our stomach areas and you can imagine how this interferes with having sex. Do you have any ideas for us?
Answer: This is actually a very common question, although it is not asked very often. Some people feel sensitive about their weight while others simply feel that they live in a world that does not accommodate larger people. But, what remains the same is that extra weight in the abdomen can be challenging in terms of having penile-vaginal intercourse. I do have some thoughts for you.
Liberator Shapes come in different heights and widths to cater to people of various sizes and shapes. They carry a series for "Plus Size Lovers" that are six inches wider than the standard Shapes. Place Liberator Ramp on the bed and lay back with your legs hanging over the edge of the bed. Have your partner straddle your pelvic area and simply sit down on your penis facing away from you. In this position, your weight can be leveled out a bit by laying back and your partner's stomach weight can be directed forward so that it does not obstruct the penis-vagina contact. Your partner can then thrust up and down and/or you can guide her body by holding on to her shoulders. You can also use the Wedge under your neck to increase your comfort. Another idea would be to use the Esse in a similar fashion. Lay on your back with your butt in the curvature of the furniture. Have your partner straddle your pelvic area, facing away from you. Your partner can then guide the thrusting. Another alternative would be to place the Cube on the bed. Have your partner lay over it with her chest resting against the pillow holding the headboard for stability. You can then enter her vagina from behind. Depending upon your size, you may want to lift up your stomach area with one hand while you direct your penis into her vagina with the other. Similar to the other positions suggested, this one avoids the stomach-to-stomach contact and may allow you to reach the vaginal area with more ease.
The reality is that having extra weight in the abdomen area will limit the number of intercourse positions available to you. However, using the Liberator cushions and a little imagination will go a long way with adding variety to your lovemaking.
Question: I am a very "young" 72-year-old woman with a question for you. When I am having sex with my boyfriend, I often have difficulties getting a comfortable position to perform oral sex. Even though my mind is young, my hands, arms and neck are affected by arthritis and it is difficult to hold onto his penis and suck and lick at the same time. Any thoughts about how to decrease my pain and increase my ability to pleasure him?
Answer: I'm glad that you asked this question for many reasons. Many older adults have an active and satisfying sex life, even though it is not often discussed in mainstream circles. Also, there are times when the body ages much more quickly than the mind and spirit. But, there are ways to adapt your body to your sexual routine as you age. The experience is likely to be different compared to when you were younger but, typically, just as fun and satisfying.
I have a few suggestions about how to increase your physical comfort while performing oral sex on your boyfriend. The Fascinator Shag Pillow (a memory foam pillow with a sensual cover) may be what you're looking for. Try lying on your back with the Shag Pillow positioned firmly under your neck. Then, have your partner straddle your face so that you are free to perform oral sex with your neck supported and with ample room to use your hands and mouth in a fashion that is easy for you. You may also want to use other pillows under your elbows to support your arms as you hold on to his penis. You can also use the Shag Pillow while you are lying on your side and have your partner lay his penis parallel to your mouth. Use a combination of licking and sucking strategies while performing oral sex. This will help give your neck and mouth a rest from time to time. If you are sucking continuously, you may find that your neck begins to feel too much strain from this sexual activity
Another idea would be to try lying sideways on the Liberator Ramp with your armpit comfortably hooked over the high end and your legs draped beneath you. Your entire body will be supported and you won't have to hold your upper body up with your hands and elbows (which is one reason oral sex can become tiring). Have your partner kneel beside the Ramp. Your head should be about pelvis-height in this position and he can move his penis in and out of your mouth without you having to use your hands at all! If needed, he can guide his penis in and out of your mouth.
I'm so glad that you were willing to share this question. Many people will be reassured to know that people in the 70s do have active, vibrant sex lives. Perhaps a little adaptation is needed at times, but this change serves to sustain satisfying sexual experiences. Good luck!
Question: I have a not-so-sexy question for you. I am a 43 year-old-woman, and after gynecological surgery I have some urinary leakage that is out of my control. I do have a regular sex partner who doesn't seem to mind that I have had a few "accidents" during sex, but it bothers me. We have the Liberator Ramp and Wedge, and I am wondering two things: 1) Will I damage the cushions with urinary leakage? 2) Do you have suggestions for positions to help decrease urinary leakage?
Answer: It may not be a very sexy topic but much more common that you might think. Both women and men experience difficulties with controlling their bladders. These difficulties can stem from a variety of conditions including urological problems, gynecological difficulties, spinal cord injuries/disorders and Multiple Sclerosis. However, individuals with these conditions can and do have active sex lives and find ways to adapt during lovemaking. It is also great to hear that you have a partner who seems open to work with you on this issue.
I would not worry about ruining your Liberator cushions. First, it sounds like you are talking about urinary "leakage" meaning perhaps a small amount of urine that is being excreted during sex. Remember, the Liberator covers are made out of microfiber, designed to withstand the wear and tear of bodily fluids. If you feel sensitive about the urine on the covers, I would recommend washing them after each use. To help preserve the material, remember to machine wash them in cold water with laundry detergent, then dry on low heat. If you are concerned about seeing the leakage during sex, why not try the Leopard print since it may disguise the appearance of the urine.
With regard to sexual positions, try options that do not place too much pressure on the bladder. In general, any deep penetration (e.g., you on your back with legs up in the air) may place too much pressure. Try using the Wedge by placing it on the bed and laying over it on your stomach. Do not raise your hips up or prop your arms upright. Instead, lay over it comfortably and let your partner enter your vagina from the rear. Similarly, try placing the Ramp on the floor and laying over it, keeping your hips low and having your partner enter from behind. Both of these positions will allow for less deep vaginal penetration but also provide for some direct clitoral stimulation from the Liberator itself.
Thanks for brining up this uncomfortable topic. It may not be a sexy question, but the reality is that sex play is not always glamorous and perfectly synchronized. Those of us with physical differences simply have to find more innovative ways to adapt our bodies for lovemaking. That actually makes for a good argument suggesting that people with chronic health conditions might make more creative lovers. What a concept!
Question: I recently had a hip replacement and am still operating under mobility precautions. The main issue is that I can't sit at a 90-degree angle for the next several weeks. Getting on and off beds, couches and the floor has been difficult. Surprisingly, my sex drive is still high, and I am raring to go. Any thoughts about using Liberator cushions to help me have some great sex and at the same time abide by my recovery rules?
Answer: Great question! Hip replacements have become quite common among people of all ages. While the recovery from such an operation can be painful, time consuming and filled with various restrictions, most individuals indicate that the original pain that they had endured prior to surgery lifts quite quickly, and after eight weeks they are ready to get back to life as usual. In fact, one of the biggest complaints voiced by folks with deteriorating hip joints is that their sexual repertoire becomes limited because it becomes too painful to get into certain positions for sex.
Right now, while you are still under your hip precautions, I would recommend using a combination of two cushions: the Stage and the Esse. Combined, these cushions will: provide you with the height you need to transfer and avoid the 90-degree bend; let you have a slight lift for leg positioning; and provide more stability for sexual activity than a bed or couch. By stacking the Esse on the extra long Stage, you can slowly transfer independently or with the assistance of your partner and get into a desirable position. Both intercourse and oral sex positions will most likely be easier for you with these products. Although these cushions tend to be on the larger size, many people use them as furniture around their house--and your guests will never know!
Your preparation for sex play may take a bit longer than usual, but it is a time investment that pays for itself. In the disability world, we call this "planned spontaneity." It is often well worth the extra time to plan a sexual interlude knowing that your body will be safe and that physical pain will be limited. Also, if you are taking pain medication right now, remember to plan your dosing around sexual activity, if that is possible. Just keep in mind that it sometimes takes 20 minutes to an hour for pain medication to take full effect.
Bottom line is to be cautious when transferring onto surfaces and getting into positions. Once you reach a comfortable and safe position, go for it! Having good sex with the option of different positions is a great rehabilitation goal. You can tell your physical therapist that I said so!
Question: I have sort of an odd question for you. I am a 38 year old man and have a girlfriend. Due to bone cancer a few years ago, I lost part of my leg (right below the knee on the left side) and am now an amputee. I am having some difficulties with balance when I am playing sexually with my partner. Intercourse and oral sex in some positions have been a challenge at times. What might I be able to do to feel sturdier during sex?
Answer: Not an odd question at all! Several million individuals in the United States alone have some form of limb amputation. Thus, you are not alone in your experience. In particular, cancer-related conditions can affect sexual expression in a variety of ways including lack of sexual interest and desire as a result of feeling ill from treatment methods or the condition itself. Similar to your experience, many individuals also end up with a chronic, disabling condition that affects all aspects of their life. Living with an amputation can affect balance with every day activities including sex. My overall response to your question is that cushions and walls are going to help you with feeling more in control of your body during sex.
For intercourse or oral sex positions where you would like to be kneeling, try placing the Wedge or Ramp under your stump to compensate for the height difference compared to your other leg. You may also want to position yourself close to the wall so that you can use one of your hands against the surface to assist with balance.
Sitting-down sex may also be a good option for you. Place the Cube against the wall to be stable and sit with your back against the wall. Your partner can face you and straddle your legs for intercourse. You can also have your partner sit on the Cube while you kneel on the floor to perform oral sex. Depending upon your height and the distance of your stump to the floor, you might try the Wedge to compensate for the difference in height and give you more balance. Another idea would be to use the Esse and position your stump in the curvature of the pillow to provide more stability.
I am hoping that these suggestions assist you with feeling more balanced and in control of your body during sex! Thanks again for raising an important issue that I am sure will help others in the same situation.
Question: I am 6 months pregnant with my first child, and my husband and I are having problems finding comfortable positions for lovemaking. I would appreciate any insight or suggestions on this issue.
Answer: Congratulations on your pregnancy! I do have some thoughts about how you might be able to maintain an active sex life during pregnancy while simultaneously attempting to minimize any physical discomfort as your body expands. For those who are undergoing a normal healthy pregnancy, there are typically no restrictions placed upon the sexual positions that you may want to try. However, as the pregnancy progresses to the third trimester and your body starts to change, some positions are likely to be more comfortable or "doable" than others. Here are some suggested positions, as well as ideas about ways in which Liberator may assist with these activities.
Spoon: If lying on your side is a comfortable option, then this may be the ideal position because it places little to no pressure on your abdomen and tends to be comfortable at all stages of pregnancy. Lay on her side while your husband enters from behind for intercourse. You can use the Wedge in this position in two ways: 1) under your belly to lift your abdomen up a bit during later stages of pregnancy or 2) to separate the lower legs (place cushion in between your knees) to ease strain on your back and your belly.
Rear Entry: Lay on the bed with your legs spread wide, knees bent, leaning forward as your husband enters from behind. Use the Wedge or Ramp to support your weight with your arms or elbows. This allows you to place your weight forward without having your belly pressed against your partner on the bed.
Sitting/Bending Over: Straddle your husband (facing him) while he is sitting on a sturdy, comfortable chair or on the edge of the bed. The Cube is also a great alternative for sitting sex. This position allows all of your weight to be on your partner and you both can decide how close to hold each other-leaving ample room for your tummy to grow during pregnancy.
Remember, talk with your doctor about sexual activity throughout your pregnancy should questions or concerns arise. Good luck with experimenting. And, have fun while you can because you may be finding less time for sex after your new bundle of joy arrives!
Chronic Back Pain
Question: I live with chronic back pain from an injury that I sustained years ago. I am trying to find a way to enjoy sexual intercourse more without physical pain. Any suggestions?
Answer: One third of all Americans over age 18 have had a back problem in the past five years severe enough for them to seek professional help. Your difficulties are common, and there tends to be more discussion about sexual expression and back pain than any other disability. However, one big problem is that many couples have beds, couches and other furniture that prohibit them from trying new positions for sex. Very low beds, couches or chairs may actually put more pressure on the back, preventing the ability to try out new moves.
Here are some intercourse suggestions for reducing both back pain and strain in heterosexual couples using Liberator cushions:
Stage and Wedge: (This position alleviates back strain for both parties.) Female partner lies flat on her back on the Stage with the Wedge strategically placed under her hips. Her knees should be bent. Male partner then faces her with his knees bent underneath her hips.
Cube: Place the Cube securely in front of a bed or wall so that it has less of a tendency to move backwards. Male partner sits on the Cube facing his female partner. She wraps her legs around his waist. To decrease back pain or strain, both should keep their knees higher than their hips. Depending upon his height, they might use extra bed pillows under his feet on the floor.
Stage: Use some caution when bending down and transferring to the Stage (bend with your legs and not at the waist). Try a rear entry position with the woman's knees bent and the man's knees also bent, cupped below the back of her knees. He will need to lie further below her hips for vaginal penetration. Another idea is to have the female partner scoot down to the end of the Stage, then lie on her back with her feet flat against the short side of the cushion. Her knees need to be higher than her hips for back pain relief. Her partner kneels on the floor between her legs and thrusts freely for intercourse. You may need to stack two Stages on top of each other to get some extra height-be sure to brace them against a wall or bed for stability.
Be sure to ask your medical doctor about whether or not you have any particular restrictions before trying any of the suggested positions. It is not always an easy conversation to have with your physician but well worth it. Gather any information that you can online or from medical professionals. Then, begin shopping for the tools you need to start having pain-free and enjoyable sex once again.
Dr. Linda Mona, Clinical Psychologist