Monday, November 18, 2013

Sex When You Have a Service Dog

I started to title this "Sex with a Service Dog."  Then I thought, people are going to find this blog by googling some really icky stuff.  So I changed the title.

A while back, I wrote a post called "Dating with a Disability and a Dog."  But what about sex?  I'm gonna try not to be too graphic but, well, if discussions about sex make you uncomfortable, stop reading.

Someone asked me a question today, and it was a good question, and it was a question I actually had myself when I first got Isaac.  And I couldn't find an answer anywhere.  I couldn't even figure out who to ask.

The question was how Isaac would react if he was present when I was being sexual with someone.  But I have to be a bit explicit here to explain why this was even a question, I think.  If you're talking about nice, quiet, under the covers lovemaking, that's one thing.  What about more, um, enthusiastic sexual activity?  What if it's loud?  What if it gets a bit rough?  Consensually, of course.  What if you're into something like spanking?

Gosh, I hope I'm not shocking anyone.

But I wondered how Isaac would respond to things like that.  Would it upset him?  My cats never liked any kind of sexual activity that was loud or shook the bed or anything like that.  It disturbed them and and they would leave the bedroom.  But cats are different than dogs.  Would it bother Isaac?  And if so, would he just leave the room?  Or would he bark?  Would he mistakenly think my partner was hurting me and try to protect me?

I am pretty open about most things.  But I felt awkward and uncomfortable asking Isaac's trainer about something like this.  So I didn't ask.

Mike and I split up around the time I got Isaac.  So I didn't have to worry about it right away.  But eventually I had to figure it out.  Here's what I've got so far.

When a visitor comes to my home, whether it's a new person or someone Isaac's seen before, Isaac wants to say hello.  For Isaac, this means he wants to climb on the person's lap, bring them some toys, get petted, get talked to, sniff them really well, and maybe give a few kisses.  It takes more than a few minutes.  Then he calms down but he likes to stay in whatever room I'm in and he will frequently come over to check on us.  He sees what we are doing, sniffs around a little, gets a pat on the head or an ear rub, and goes to lie down again.

He does not seem disturbed by, or even interested in, sexual activity or sounds.  No more interested than he is in anything else, I mean.

I can shut the bedroom door, and Isaac is OK with that for a while, but then he seems to get worried he's missing something and he'll start to whine and then bark at the door.  He does that whenever I am in one room and he is in another and a door is closed between us.  Doesn't matter what I'm doing.  So it works out better to let him in the room.

Isaac is not protective at all.  He's not supposed to be.  Service dogs aren't supposed to be.  There are a number of reasons for this.  Maybe if someone was really hurting me, maybe he would try to protect me.  I don't know.  He definitely doesn't think he needs to protect me during any type of sexual activity, though.  He doesn't mistake it for someone being aggressive or violent or anything like that.

Service dogs are trained to take a lot of things in stride.  They are trained not to be phased by loud noises or strange sounds or people doing strange things.  Apparently, at least for Isaac, that includes sex.

And I guess most of that would apply to any dog, not just a service dog.  It's not like I need Isaac to assist me when I'm being intimate with someone.


  1. I've been worried about this as I try to find a service dog, and I'm so glad you made this blog post. Thank you, you've really helped ease my worry.

    1. Glad I could help a little. I was worried about it when I got Isaac and unsure who to ask because it felt like such a personal question. Now that a lot of time has gone by, I am comfortable that Isaac will not be disturbed by anything I am doing with a partner. He is also OK with the door being shut for long periods of time, but if he is in the room, he just snoozes on the floor. Apparently he finds it very boring.