Sexuality and Disability: Uplifting Story Of Hope

Sexuality and Disability: Uplifting Story Of Hope


Susan Bratton here, your trusted hot sex
adviser to millions, and I am here with my friend Tim McHale. Tim and I have been
friends for well over a decade, probably going on two decades. He had a tragic
accident in the time that I’ve known him which left him a paraplegic. As I
was talking to him recently, he was telling me about how he had found love
and intimacy and romance and pleasure again. For all the people out
there with disabilities, I wanted to have a conversation with my friend Tim who’s
gone through hell and come back to have a satisfying incredible relationship even though he has no working situation below.
So Tim, hello! Hello Susan, how are you doing? I’m wonderful and thank you so
much for giving me the opportunity to tell my story and I hope that it can
help others. What I’ve noticed is that a lot of people feel like they have
something “wrong” with them. They’re not perfect and so no
one will want them or they’re not worthy of love or what-have-you. It
could be disabilities, it could be some kind of an illness, it could be any
number of things. Maybe they don’t think they’re attractive enough. I
believe and you have found is that there are plenty of people out there who want
to love and be loved under many different conditions and that’s what our
conversation is about. So tell us the story of how you became a paraplegic. On
that fateful day, what happened to you? Well I went jogging one morning in the February of 2010. I had been visiting my ex-wife at the time and
I stayed over and went and dropped our daughter off to school. I wanted to go for a run before I drove back to New York or I would drive. So
the problem was it was cold and it was icy and I ran up the slope that I
normally run up and I fell on slipped on ice and I rolled down a rock
and I landed on a sharp rock and I broke my back. So 11 days later, I woke up. I
learned that I would never walk again. I didn’t believe what they told me. I
wiggled my toes just to check and they didn’t go back so I knew
that they were telling the truth. So from there I was now on the road to
having to learn how to do everything. One of the things you told
me was that there were some people who really helped you get through those all-important first two years of a massive change in your perspective, of
who you were in this lifetime. Just give me a short story about how other people
really helped you gain confidence to believe that you could have a life
again. Well, the first thing that I had to do was really reduce my expectations so
that I could manage and get through every single day. So I honestly had to
train myself not to think about anything more than what was in front of me in the
next 30 minutes. To ask the larger questions, the fact that you don’t even know how you’re going to support yourself or your
family or walk again was so overwhelming that I just focused on
what’s in front of me, what I had to do and in very much like a I’ll-worry-about tomorrow, I’ll drink tomorrow. I went to a reunion with a friend of
mine. I had a lot of value so I learned a lot from what I heard in the rooms. I also have a great amount of respect for nurses. Nurses are the soldiers of the medical profession. Doctors guess their way to solutions, but nurses are the ones who take care of and bring people back, hospital bed by hospital bed. They don’t
get anywhere as near as much credit. So I was very lucky to have some nurses who had empathy for my situation. Probably because I was more open to them, they probably wanted to tell me a little
more as well. So I was in rehab for about two and a half months after I learned how to live life in a wheelchair.
Once I was done, I rented an apartment for two years near the
hospital because I wanted to be close to the hospital. I was afraid
of everything and so I hired a male nurse, not because he was male but
because he’d be strong and I had a great fear of falling. So I knew that if I
fell, he could pick me up. Actually, Andre, because he worked at the rehab hospital, knew a lot more about what I was facing. I got hurt at age 55. I had
never spent a moment in my life in the hospital. I had been
visiting people. This was a first for me to understand how to come back
from the edge. He’s the one that recommended that I register myself on a dating site. That was critical because I never would have done that. He
actually sat down with me to help me fill out the questions which were pretty
simple but it was intimidating, especially because I had not dated anyone for 20 years. I also had to figure out who I was because I was a paraplegic. I was not the same person I
used to be and I had a second friend who’s a wounded warrior from Iraq and
he’s a good friend of mine. He introduced me to many of his army
buddies who had far worse injuries than mine and he gave me some great advice he
said “McHale, if you can get to your second year
anniversary, if you can, you will find that when you cross that second year
anniversary, all the unfairness and the why-me and fears of the future will dissolve and you’ll accept your new normal because you have to accept your new normal. You’ll get back on the horse and
you’ll just yourself off and you’ll get back out there again.” Sure enough, for
almost two years I kept waiting. I can’t wait till my second year anniversary
because it was murder, because I had such fear of the future, but after that my
second year anniversary had a big dinner party and I moved back to New York. Basically, I got back on the saddle and I lived my life albeit from a
wheelchair. So that was seven years ago after I crushed
my second year anniversary. So you did a lot of online dating and you told me
that one of the things you were the most concerned about was the fact that you
had no more erectile function left because there’s nothing going on below
the waist for you, and you found out some pretty interesting things about
people, about women, when you were talking to them online. What were those things
that you found out? Well, from a personal stamp with the first thing that I
learned about my new situation was that because I felt nothing below my
belt, also meant I actually had no nagging frustration from being
wound up sexually. There was nothing emanating from my lower body and there was nothing going into my lower body because my legs never listen to my
brain. Again, my spinal cord is cut. There’s a couple of questions there. I’m trying to break it down. What I learned was that women going through
online dating is just as perilous for women as it was for me in some ways
since I hadn’t been dating for a long time. When I started dating
women who were my age group, I realized that they were going through physical
issues like I was but they would go through menopause. Their whole body
was changing. So, for me that was something that I had not really
confronted at that point in my life. I learned that and I also learned
that we as adults haven’t really evolved much more than when we were in high
school. In some ways, online dating is like you’re in the big school yard and you it’s just like a high that has all
the thrills and chills of a high school dance, and it’s almost like
you’re back in ninth grade. So that’s a reality that you have to accept
with the online dating. But it can also be a lot of fun. So for me the big surprise was to even find women who would be interested in dating
a guy in a wheelchair, because I had such low confidence. I had no confidence that anyone would want to meet me so I went
through the motions. I signed to them, signed up on match but I had no
idea, and much to my surprise, I started actually getting dates. All
I was really interested in was dinner. I wasn’t interested in a first time date. I had
been married and divorced twice. So I wasn’t looking to get back into a
long-term relationship or get remarried. I just wanted some companionship and
this took several months by the way. This didn’t happen overnight because I didn’t
even think about companionship or anything for almost until the the end of
my first year. What triggered that was I started getting lonely, and it was
the loneliness that made me want to get out there more
simply because we’re social beings and I figure I’d rather get turned down. At least I’d get communication. I was just watching TV and being isolated.
So I actually enjoyed it. I had no expectations and in some ways it sounds crazy but because I couldn’t, because nothing worked
below me, and therefore because I couldn’t get an erection, I didn’t have
any pressure to perform. So masturbation and all was gone. So I found that just being with a woman was enjoyable and I liked the physical intimacy. By reducing my expectations, my outcomes became much higher, because all I was really looking
for was to just have dinner and enjoy the company of women. One of the things that I think I appreciate the most is that you have
found ways to have passionate intimacy. You have experienced ecstasy in your dating life without the need to have intercourse or erections.
Tell us what is intimacy? What is ecstasy and passion like for you? Well, this did not happen been overnight. I was dating for about five years and
again I had moved back into New York so I
had my ID and my career. I got back to work. So there was a sense of normalcy
in my life. I came back from the edge. I came full circle and I was dating and I met some amazingly lovely ladies, some of who
I just enjoy their company. after about five years, and it was
probably because it was much better than when I was in my early 20s. I was no
longer focused on just the physical attraction that I might have had to a
woman. So my criteria for the kind of women I was looking for had changed. It
was more about interpersonal skills and how we would get along, because number
one I didn’t have the same urges. I realized I had the same passion and
desire of the intimacy, but it was no longer coming from my body. It was all in my head. I had been dating and I had relationships with women. I was more selective with my relationships and I started dating only women who were in my age bracket and who had been married and
divorced and had kids. So we had a lot more lifestyle and life issues in
common. I’d mellowed a little. Here’s a very important one. When I had to learn how to live life in a wheelchair, my brain was not expecting this. So in some ways, I had
to unconsciously or subconsciously rewire in my brain. Because there
was nothing emanating from my lower body, other aspects of my physical intimacy
grew. For example, for me, the physical connection of keeping my eyes open
with my lover when were together, I get so much
more involved. Seeing her intimacy visually stimulates me mentally even more rather when I probably used to shut my eyes more when we were making love. So obviously kissing has always been something that’s been romantic to me. I love when my girlfriend
nibbles my neck over here. It drives me absolutely crazy and I don’t know how
that ever happened. This happened in other aspects of my life
too. For example, I used to play the drums for about 40 years. So whenever I listen to a song, I always
listen to the back beat and the rhythm. As a drummer, that was your job. I never
really listened to the lyrics. So after I became a paraplegic, I guess I
must have become more intellectual because I didn’t listen to the beat
anymore. I started being much more curious about the lyrics and the
meanings of the songs. That still has stayed with me. So I don’t know how that
changed. I still love music and I’m still the same person, but what I
looked for in a piece of music is different. So I equate them with my relationship, with my girlfriend or any of the
women in my life who I met after my accident. I’m not the same. I’m wired
the way late 20th century baby boomers were wired. So
the quality of life and the intimacy means things like talking at 3:00 a.m. in the morning with the lights off. So because my whole perception of life changed, one of the very
unexpected aspects that came about and I can’t take credit for it, somehow
my subconscious or mother nature or the universe did it, enabled me to experience ecstasy. I experience intimacy in more powerful ways than before my
accident or even when I was 19 years old practically. Trust me this is
something I never would have expected. I used to think “You’re done. Just roll me into the nursing home because no
one’s ever going to want to work with you. No one’s ever going to want to be with you.
You’re a cripple.” I was in it was mostly because I think I gave up on myself, but everyone else around me didn’t give up
on me and they really grabbed me and pulled me through those first two years.
I could never have done it myself. So I learned to become
an interdependent man from being an independent man. My criteria for what
what I’m looking for in a relationship has changed dramatically. I’m also 64. So
let’s hope I learn something in four years and so I’m glad that I can
talk about this. I hope that some other people get some value from
this and if there’s any big lesson it’s that things are never going to go back to the way they were, but that doesn’t mean that you still can’t have a quality of life experience, even with a major
disability. I’m testimony to to that point. Tim, thank you
so much for your willingness to come on to my YouTube channel and share your
inspiring story with other people. There are so many people that keep themselves
shut away for no reason other than their own fear of rejection or not being a perfect thing. We all have so much love to give and so many people are
losing out on love because they don’t take that risk. You’re a beautiful
example of starting over after a tragedy. It’s just been so great to see your metamorphosis. So, thank you so much for being with us. You are my friend
Tim McHale. I am Susan Bratton, your trusted hot sex adviser. Thanks for being
on my Better Lover YouTube channel. I appreciate all the wide variety of
things I get to talk to you about. Don’t forget to subscribe to my video and give
this video an extra thumbs up. Feel free to comment below if you have
any comments that you’d like to add. Share your story of overcoming
challenges or just let us know that we’ve touched your heart today. Thank you
so much and I’ll see you on the other side.

11 comments

  1. I absolutely LOVE this video and its content. SOOOO needed! Thanks so much for doing this for all of us! and, thank you, Tim, for your courageous share!

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