spoonie sex, sex and disability, Lucy Rowett, sex coach

5 Secrets to Epic Spoonie Sex

spoonie sex, sex and disability, Lucy Rowett, sex coach

Headaches, brain fog, sore muscles, swollen lymph glands, bone-crushing fatigue, chronic pain or mood disorders.


Being a “spoonie”- ie living with a chronic health condition or disability is bloody tough.

And far more common than you’d think.

The term, “spoonie” was coined on the internet by Christine Miserandino entitled, when she wrote an essay called, The Spoon Theory.

In Spoon Theory, when you are healthy you have an unlimited supply of “spoons”, whereas when you have a health condition, you will have a limited and finite amount of “spoons”.

Every daily activity you will do- whether it’s taking a shower, cooking a meal, going to an appointment or standing on a train- will take away spoons.

And when they are gone, they are gone. 

Many health conditions are classed as “invisible illnesses”, where they are not immediately obvious and the sufferer can appear like they are healthy. You probably know many people who are spoonies, or you may be one yourself. 

I promise the spoonies in your life will not be telling you about half of the symptoms they are experiencing.

When it comes to sex and even just feeling sexy when you have a chronic health condition, that just takes extra spoons, doesn’t it?

People with disabilities are often because you’re being told that you should have more “important” things to be worried about.

I call bullsh*t.

As your sex coach, I’m here to tell you that experiencing your sexuality and having enjoyable sexual experiences is your birthright.

YOU, yes you reading this, deserve to experience epic sex. Period.

Your disability doesn’t need to stop you experiencing pleasure, feeling confident in your body or from being a skilled lover.

All it takes is a few adjustments, so here are my 5 secrets to having epic spoonie sex:

1. Adapt and adjust

Pain, fatigue, swelling or joint dislocation does NOT stop you from enjoying sex. Just because you can’t do some positions, it doesn’t mean sex has to stop altogether.

This is the perfect time to get creative! Find ways to modify positions with pillows, bolsters or specialist equipment. Use extra lube, use toys and keep water by your bedside.

I know it can feel really embarrassing. It means you have to admit that your body isn’t fit and healthy, and it may not work in the way it used to. 

Your body has changed, and as painful as that is to admit, this is your new reality. But….a changed body is still a SEXY body! A body that experiences pain is also a body that can experience pleasure, joy and juiciness too. 

Don’t let embarrassment and a belief that sex “should” be a certain way stop you from having real, enjoyable sex right now. 

2. Communicate what you need

Sounds simple, but it can feel really awkward.

Sex should just “happen naturally”, shouldn’t it?


Even with healthy people without physical limitations, good sex doesn’t happen without good communication because your partner is not a mind reader!

What do YOU need to make sex comfortable and enjoyable? Extra blankets? Extra cushions under your back in certain positions? Do you need to change position because it’s hurting?

Maybe you’re not in the mood for penetration but would really like a kiss and a cuddle. Whatever it is you need an want, your partner won’t know unless you tell them. 

So tell them! Ask for what you need and speak up if something is hurting. 

3. Take penetration off the menu

What’s the first thing you think of when I say the word SEX? Are you thinking penis in vagina/penis in anus sex?

Blame it on sex education where the only thing that “sex” is is penetration.

While penetration can be really enjoyable for many reasons, it’s not everything. Especially if you’re experiencing pelvic or vaginal pain, penetration may not always be easy or comfortable. If you’re not feeling it, it doesn’t mean that sex is off the menu! 

Get creative and try “outercourse”. Give a sensual massage, try playing with different sensation play, use sex toys or try out different ways of giving and receiving oral sex. 

You may not be in the mood for penetration all the time, and that’s ok! However, if penetration is something that is continually uncomfortable or even painful, read more below. 

4. Lube is your best friend

Luuuuube, glorious luuuube!

Ladies/vulva owners, if you’re struggling to get wet even when you’re super aroused, then lube is your new best friend. There are many reasons why vaginas become dry- it can be due to certain medication, hormonal changes, stress or just being over tired.

Also, if you haven’t heard of genital non-concordance, get clued up.

Desire doesn’t always match genital response, so if you’re not getting wet, it doesn’t always mean it’s because you’re not horny.

Why make sex something more stressful than it needs to be?

Keep a bottle of good lube by your bedside and enjoy slippery fun.

Pro Tips: You can use either water based, silicone based or oil based- but do NOT use oil based if you are using condoms because it will cause them to tear. Water based tends to be easiest to use as it washes off easily, doesn’t stain sheets and is safe to use with condoms and silicone sex toys. Make sure you choose a brand that doesn’t contain glycerin, as this will turn to sugar when it makes contact with oxygen.

Sugar + Vaj= No bueno

Brands I recommend are Pjur, Sylk, YES VM, Liquid Silk and Good Clean Love.

5. If it hurts, STOP!

It’s inevitable that living with a long term health condition or disability, you may be dealing with chronic pain. When your body is a battle ground that you are fighting every day, pain is exhausting leaving you no spoons to feel sexy too. 

While pain may be something you cannot avoid, sex in itself should not be something that causes more pain.

Whether it’s certain positions that are very uncomfortable or penetration itself, sex should NOT hurt (unless you enjoy consensual impact play and BDSM). 

This is where you need to speak up and communicate what you need. Do you need more lube? To change position? To put your leg in a different position? Or maybe you need to catch your breath?

Listen to your body and what it’s telling you.

For women and vulva owners: If penetration is something that is continually painful for you, or even impossible, this is a sign that you need to get checked out by a medical professional.

Intercourse should NOT hurt and you are not broken or dysfunctional if it does. Vulvodynia, dyspareunia and vaginismus are some of the most under diagnosed and under-treated medical conditions in women.

Do not suffer in silence, and don’t take no for an answer.

Sex should never hurt and it’s not as simple as “just relax and have a glass of wine”. 

Contact me for my best recommendations for treatment for vaginal/vulvar pain. 

I want you to be having the most enjoyable and PLEASURABLE sex you can so that you look forward to going to bed rather than dread it. If this is something you’ve been struggling with for a long time, it doesn’t have to stay this way. Whether you’ve been recently diagnosed or you’ve lived with it for years, you deserve to still enjoy a rocking and sex life. 

Book a free 30 minute Transformation Call with me and I’ll give you actionable tips you can try at home to enjoy sex again. 

More Sex and Disability Resources

The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability

Wheelchair Sex Positions

How to Have Super Hot Sex With or As a Disabled Person

Sexual Health and Disability Allowance

Chronic Sex

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