I’m Susan Bratton, your trusted hot sex adviser, and I want to tell you that your sexuality and disability can exist together. I am with my friend Tim McHale. Tim and I have been friends for well over two decades. He had a tragic accident in the time that I’ve known him which left him a paraplegic. I spoke to him recently and he told me how he found love, intimacy, romance, and pleasure again.
For the people out there with disabilities, I wanted to have a conversation with Tim who’s gone through hell, and come back to have a satisfying incredible relationship even though he cannot feel any sensation below.
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I’m Susan Bratton, your trusted hot sex adviser to millions, and I am with my friend Tim McHale. Tim and I have been friends for well over a decade. He had a tragic accident in the time that I’ve known him which left him a paraplegic. Recently, he told me how he found love, intimacy, romance, and pleasure again.
For all the people out there with disabilities, I wanted to have a conversation with Tim who’s gone through hell, and come back to have a satisfying incredible relationship even though he has no working situation below.
[Tim McHale] Hello Susan, how are you doing? I’m wonderful and thank you so much for allowing me to tell my story and I hope that it can help others.
[Susan Bratton] I’ve noticed that many people feel something is “wrong” with them. They’re not perfect and no one will want them or they’re not worthy of love or what-have-you.
It could be disabilities, an illness, or any number of things. Maybe they don’t think they’re attractive enough. I believe you found that there are many people out there who want to love and be loved under different conditions and that’s what our conversation is about.
Tell us the story of how you became a paraplegic. On that fateful day, what happened to you?
[Tim] Well, I went jogging one morning in February of 2010. I had been visiting my ex-wife at the time and I stayed over and went and dropped our daughter off at 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 icy and I ran up the slope that I normally run-up. I fell and slipped on ice and I rolled down a rock. 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 but 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.
[Susan] You told me that some people 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 helped you gain confidence to believe that you could have a life again.
[Tim] The first thing that I had to do was reduce my expectations so that I could manage and get through every single day. 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 I’ll-worry-about tomorrow.
I went to a reunion with a friend of mine. Previously, 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 take care 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. 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.
Andre, because he worked at the rehab hospital, knew a lot more about what I was facing. I hurt myself at 55. I had never spent a moment in my life in the hospital. This was a first for me to understand how to come back from the edge. He recommended that I register myself on a dating site. That was critical because I never would have done that.
He sat down with me to help me fill out the pretty simple questions 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. A second good friend, a wounded warrior from Iraq introduced me to many of his army buddies who had far worse injuries than mine.
He gave me some great advice. He said, “McHale if you can get to your second anniversary, you will find that when you cross that second 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 get 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 anniversary because it was murder. After all, I had such fear of the future, but after that my second anniversary had a big dinner party and I moved back to New York.
I got back on the saddle and lived my life albeit from a wheelchair. That was seven years ago after I crushed my second anniversary.
[Susan] You did a lot of online dating and told me that one of the things you were the most concerned about was that you had no more erectile function left because nothing is going on below the waist for you. 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?
[Tim McHale] From a personal standpoint with the first thing that I learned about my new situation was that because I felt nothing below my belt, also meant I had no nagging frustration from being wound up sexually. Nothing was emanating from my lower body and nothing was going into my lower body because my legs never listen to my brain.
I’m trying to break it down. I learned 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. I never ever thought of that.
I also learned that we as adults haven’t evolved much more than when we were in high school. In some ways, online dating is like being in the big schoolyard. It’s just 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. That’s a reality that you have to accept with online dating. But it can also be a lot of fun. 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 up for a match but I had no idea. Much to my surprise, I started getting dates. All I was interested in was dinner. I wasn’t interested in a first date.
I was married and divorced twice. So I wasn’t looking for a long-term relationship or to remarry. 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 end of my first year.
When I started getting lonely, it triggered me. The loneliness 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 enjoyed it.
I had no expectations 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.
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 looking for was to just have dinner and enjoy the company of women.
[Susan] 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 are ecstasy and passion like for you?
[Tim] Well, this did not happen overnight. I was dating for about five years. Again, I had moved back into New York so I had my ID and my career. I got back to work. There was a sense of normalcy in my life. I came full circle, I was dating, and I met some amazingly lovely ladies, some of whom I just enjoy their company after about five years. It was probably because it was much better than when I was in my early 20s.
I no longer focused on 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 for 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 in my age bracket, 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 my brain. Because nothing was 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 we are together, I get so much more involved.
Seeing her intimacy visually stimulates me mentally even more rather when I used to shut my eyes more when we were making love. Kissing has always been romantic to me. I love when my girlfriend nibbles my neck. It drives me 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 backbeat and the rhythm. As a drummer, that was your job. I never really listened to the lyrics. So after I became a paraplegic, 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. I still love music and I’m still the same person, but I now looked for different things in a piece of music. 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.
The quality of life and the intimacy means things like talking at 3:00 a.m. 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 of the universe did it, enabling 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 mostly because I gave up on myself, but everyone else around me didn’t give up on me. They 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 I’m looking for in a relationship have 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. 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 a testimony to that point.
[Susan] Tim, thank you so much for your willingness to come on to my channel and share your inspiring story with other people. Many people keep themselves shut away for no reason other than their 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 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.