A brain injury can have a significant impact on one's sex life and intimate relationship with their partner. It can lead to physical, cognitive, and emotional changes that can affect sexual desire, arousal, and functioning. But it doesn't mean that intimacy and sex have to disappear completely from one's life after a brain injury. With some effort, patience, and support, couples can rebuild their intimacy and sexual relationships and find new ways of expressing their love and affection.

In this article, we will discuss some tips and strategies for rebuilding intimacy after brain injury. We will cover physical, cognitive, and emotional factors that can affect intimacy and provide practical solutions for addressing them. We will also provide some resources and references for further support and information.

Physical challenges

One of the most common physical challenges after brain injury is the loss of motor control, sensation, or coordination. This can affect one's ability to engage in sexual activities, such as touching, kissing, or intercourse. It can also affect one's self-esteem and confidence, especially if they feel embarrassed or inadequate in front of their partner.

To address these challenges, couples can try:

Using assistive devices or adaptive equipment, such as a special bed, pillows, or straps, that can help support and position the body during sex. Occupational therapists can help provide recommendations and training on using assistive devices.

Experimenting with different types of touch and stimulation that are comfortable and pleasurable, such as holding hands, cuddling, or using non-genital erogenous zones, such as the neck, ears, or feet.

Communicating openly and honestly about their needs, preferences, and concerns. This can help reduce anxiety, misunderstandings, and disappointment and promote intimacy and closeness.

Seeking medical or psychological help if there are physical or emotional issues that are affecting sexual functioning. For example, medications, such as Viagra or Cialis, can help improve erectile dysfunction, while psychotherapy can help address anxiety, depression, or body image issues.

Cognitive challenges

Brain injury can also affect one's cognitive abilities, such as memory, attention, or communication. These can impact one's ability to initiate, sustain, or enjoy sexual intimacy and can create misunderstandings or frustration between partners.

To address these challenges, couples can try:

Using visual aids, such as pictures or diagrams, to help explain sexual activities or positions. This can help compensate for memory or attention deficits and promote clarity and understanding.

Breaking down sexual activities into smaller steps or components and practicing them separately. This can help improve motor skills and memory and build confidence and comfort.

Using clear and concise communication strategies, such as repeating key points, using simple language, and using non-verbal cues, such as gestures or facial expressions, to convey meaning.

Incorporating mindfulness or relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or guided imagery, to reduce stress and anxiety and improve focus and attention.

Emotional challenges

Brain injury can also affect one's emotional and social functioning, such as mood regulation, empathy, or social skills. These can impact one's ability to connect emotionally with their partner, express their feelings, or handle conflict or rejection.

To address these challenges, couples can try:

Identifying and expressing their emotions in a safe and supportive environment, such as therapy or couple's counseling. This can help improve emotional awareness, empathy, and communication and promote intimacy and trust.

Engaging in non-sexual activities that promote emotional closeness and bonding, such as sharing a meal, watching a movie, or taking a walk together. This can help build intimacy and reinforce the emotional connection between partners.

Seeking social support from friends, family, or support groups who can provide empathy, validation, and practical assistance. This can help reduce feelings of isolation, depression, or anxiety and promote resilience and coping.

Practicing self-care activities that promote emotional regulation and well-being, such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies. This can help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase self-esteem and confidence.


Rebuilding intimacy after brain injury requires patience, effort, and support from both partners. It requires identifying and addressing physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges that can affect intimacy and finding creative and adaptive solutions that work for both partners. It also requires a willingness to communicate openly and honestly, to seek help when needed, and to embrace new ways of expressing love and affection. With the right resources and strategies, couples can rebuild their intimacy and sexual relationships and find new ways of connecting and expressing their love.

Author's Bio: 

Read more from the Author Leon Edward at his website and blog TBILiving.com or book co written with Dr Anum Khan, "Concussion, Traumatic Brain Injury, Mild TBI Ultimate Rehabilitation Guide, Click Here

About the book's co-authors Leon Edward and Dr. Anum Khan

For Leon Edward, the past 35 years since the tbi left one lingering desire: the need to give something back, a way to provide something meaningful for the families and loved ones of patients who now, or in the future, will face the same painful disruption of their lives and the same long journey he had to undertake such a long time ago.“I want to be clear in the introduction that I am not a health professional as my co author Dr. Khan , but rather an engineer that has had a tbi" - Leon Edward

This book was written by one deeply caring brother for his brothers and sisters suffering the same or even a worse fate after surviving traumatic brain injuries – and with deep admiration and appreciation for their families and caretakers who will help to guide them.

For Leon it has become an ingrained part of his existence to help others enjoy life after suffering serious injuries, even if it only means that he can help others who are disabled or living alone with words of hope, encouragement of inspiration.

Dr. Anum Khan enjoys crafting health content that genuinely helps the readers in a practical and insightful way. She believes that a healthy life is everyone’s true right, and it must be taught in an easy and effective manner using the most authentic information and relatable voice.

Their book comes with the same intent: To help sufferers, families and professionals learn more about TBI with a holistic approach, and to equip them with all the knowledge they will need on this journey.

Click Here for a paperback or ebook or to read free with kindle unlimited .