After Severe Accident, Man Receives Orgasms through Stimulation of His Thumbs
Rafe Biggs worked as a professional psychologist until a backpacking trip in India changed his life. In 2004, he tumbled off a roof terrace, an accident that broke his neck and severely bruised and contorted his spine.
Doctors informed him that he would likely become a quadriplegic, with little to no use of his four limbs. Facing life in a wheelchair, Biggs immediately wondered if he would ever be able to walk again. He said to the Huffington Post UK that his second thought was if he would ever have sex again.
With the use of a special diet and strength program, he regained some feeling in his limbs. However, he remained plagued by chronic pain and his insensitivity in his nether regions.
That changed a year after his accident. His girlfriend at the time gave him a hand massage, and he started to feel sensations like an orgasm when she rubbed his thumb.
"There is a medical term called neural plasticity which means the brain can retrain the nervous system through new pathways to create different behaviors," Biggs explained to the Huffington Post UK. "So essentially, I have learned to retrain my nervous system to experience orgasmic climax through my thumbs.
Lisa Skye Carle, a sex therapist, explains that, though the phenomenon may seem strange, it is not that unusual, calling it a "transfer orgasm". For many people who have lost use of portions of their body after trauma, the brain finds new ways to make connections.
She also says that orgasms occur not in the body, but in the brain.
Biggs says that the finger has become a surrogate penis. He explains that his right thumb is "more giving", while the left thumb prefers to receive. Receiving erotic massages, sucking the digit and penetrating a woman also help to give him orgasms.
Biggs has since founded Sexability, an organization that helps people with disabilities develop and maintain satisfying sexual lives.