If we accept that sexual expression is a natural and important part of human life, then perceptions that deny sexuality for disabled people deny a basic right of expression.. The perception of people with disabilities as non-sexual can present a barrier to safe sex education, both for workers who may be influenced by these views, and for disabled people themselves in terms of gaining access to information and acceptance as sexual beings. As one physically disabled woman wrote:
"How could you do it?" was a question which had many nuances and was put to me by many people during and after my pregnancy. The GP wondered how I could have had intercourse in my "predicament" . . . you see, not only was it immoral to be an unmarried mother, it was doubly immoral to be an unmarried mother AND a severely disabled person . . .
For paraplegic and quadriplegic people, a loss of sexual function does not mean a corresponding loss of sexuality. Sexual function may be impaired but can, like other functions, be increased, although fertility is usually lost for men. After spinal cord injury the spinal centre for sexual function is generally intact; it is the communication from the brain to the spinal centre that is usually disrupted. Unless some sensation in the area of the sexual organs remains, the usual sensation of orgasm is lost, but phantom orgasm elsewhere in the body may be experienced. However, the physical and emotional aspects of sexuality, despite the physical loss of function, continue to be just as important for disabled people as for non-disabled people.