I am 10-years post SCI T2/3 complete. I have been blessed with a very supportive family post injury. Of recent months my wife has started to wilt siting she needs a man for sex. She says she still loves me but needs something I can’t give her, I’m not comfortable with this scenario but to a degree I can understand her situation. We have tried different methods with little success. I would appreciate any shared experiences or suggestions. Many thanks.
That's a really interesting and challenging situation. This makes me think of a few things.
First, it's great that you're acknowledging your wife's needs. I'm sure that you can understand the longing and need for a type of sex that you can't have anymore. It's far too common for people to consider the need for sex as frivolous, and it affects more than just us (the injured).
Second, what are things that you've tried? Penetrative sex is obviously difficult if you're experiencing erectile dysfunction. I imagine that you've tried the usual interventions (i.e., vacuum pumps and medications) and they haven't worked. Have you considered any surgical interventions? There are internal inflation devices that work pretty well, and some insurance plans cover them. If penetrative sex is part of what she misses most, there are toys that you can get.
Third, as you well know, sex can be about more than just the physical. Emotional intimacy is a part of the whole experience as well. So, I have to ask a difficult question, are you having difficulty with intimacy in other areas of your relationship? How's your communication and how's your connection outside of the bedroom? In able-bodied folk, when sex suffers it can be a symptom of a larger issue with the relationship. Post-sci relationships are no different.
Fourth, and finally, there's more than one way to have a sexual relationship. If it's a physical issue for your wife (i.e., she really just misses penetrative sex), it's not for everyone, but there are plenty of couples that lead successful non-monogamous relationships. Obviously, this is not for everyone. And, it might be a non-starter for the two of you. There's lots of reading and books about the lifestyle that you might want to check out. There are two books that you might want to read: "Sex at Dawn" and "The Ethical Slut." I'm not saying that non-monogamy is the answer, but it might be an option to consider.
And thus ends what I'm sure can be a very controversial post.
Just my 2¢
"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you." --J.P. Sartre