A QUADRIPLEGIC who feared he would never make love again has rediscovered sex – after stumbling across his SURROGATE PENIS.
Rafe Eric Biggs, 43, was left paralysed from the chest down after falling off a roof terrace in India.
The psychologist, of Oakland, California, spent years in rehabilitation centres as he struggled to come to terms with his accident.
But the once sex-loving American was given a new lease of life when he found a perfect penis substitute – his thumb.
When touched, Rafe claims his thumb feels like his penis used to feel. He can even reach orgasm with the help of a hand massage.
Now, after several years exploring his startling find, Rafe is looking to get a thumbs-up from others.
He has set up Sexability, an organisation that aims to combat the myths of sex and disability and help disabled people around the world transform their sex lives.
Rafe said: “A lot of people have this idea that those with a disability aren't interested in sex or can't have sex. It's not true.
“I'm trying to change that perception and generally support people, whatever their disability, to create intimate, loving relationships.”
Rafe was travelling around Asia with a group of friends in April 2004 when his life changed in an instant.
He said: “We were on a patio rooftop and looking at the stars. I picked up a candle and started to walk towards the edge of the roof.
“All of a sudden, the candlelight blinded me for a split second. I stepped off and fell.”
Rafe knew it was serious straight away – he couldn't feel anything from his chest down.
“I had no feeling or sensation whatsoever,” he added.
Rafe was taken to a local hospital where it was revealed he had broken his neck and that his spine was contorted and severely bruised.
He would need a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
“I'd wake up in hospital and think I was having a terrible nightmare. It took a while for it to dawn on me that this was reality”, Rafe recalled.
“The first thing I thought was ‘will I ever walk again?' The second thing I thought was ‘will I still be able to have sex?'.”
After being transferred to the Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, Rafe had surgery to fuse together two bones in his spine.
Two weeks later he was stable enough to fly back to America.
He spent the best part of a year in a rehab hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, before moving to a holistic health institute in Southern California in 2006.
With a program designed to improve his diet and strength, Rafe started to get some minor movement back in his limbs.
But he was still plagued by chronic plain and frustrated about the lack of feeling down below.
It was during Rafe's three years at Awakenings Health Institute, however, that he finally found some relief.
Rafe was being treated to a hand massage by a post-accident lover when it suddenly got orgasmic.
It was his thumb. It felt similar to his manhood!
With his genitals out of action, Rafe was shocked to have found his surrogate penis.
Rafe said: ‘We were just exploring around one day and she started massaging my thumb. It was really, really sensitive. She would suck on it and it would feel amazing.
“I never thought it would be possible, but the more I played and practiced the more erotic it was. It was like my surrogate penis.”
Inspired, Rafe was determined to reclaim as much of his sex life as possible.
He dedicated time to researching around the subject. And the results were arousing.
Rafe said: “There's research that suggests your body is much more orgasmic than you think. It's not all in your genitals. It occurs in the brain.
“The word I use to explain my situation is neuroplasticity. [After an accident] the body wants to heal. Your nervous system wants to find new ways to make connections.
“I started to discover these things about myself and use my body to experience other states of orgasm.
“When I experience erotic pleasure the chronic pain I have just goes away because I'm being flooded with all of these endorphins.
“I think sex is therapeutic. It can really help people with disabilities.”
With more practice, Rafe found that his right thumb is more ‘giving' while his left thumb is more of a ‘receiver' of sexual energy.
He also practiced tantra and spent time with a sexologist to explore his sexual energy.
Soon, Rafe was able to benefit from a partner's orgasm too.
“I can feel some of my girlfriends' energy when they orgasm. I'm like a tuning fork,” he said.
Armed with his findings, and his background delivering leadership and team building sessions for Silicon Valley companies, Rafe started to spread the word.
In 2010 he set up Sexability, a company offering sex-inspired counseling to other disabled people in the US.
But next month Rafe, who is currently single, is set to expand his work to help people in the UK and further afield.
He is launching an eight-week course that will explore everything from the self identify and self esteem to more heated topics such as self pleasure and energetic orgasms.
“We're trying to support people, whatever their disability, to be more self-expressed in their sexuality,” Rafe explained.
“Sexual energy is more than just a sensitive thing and about erogenous zones. It's more than just touching.
“Since my accident my body has changed to a whole new level. I may have lost some feeling, but I've gained feeling in a different way.
“Sex can be so much more than what we think it can be if we open our minds.”
Visit sexability.org for more information.
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