You Need Help: Getting It On After Hip Replacement Surgery

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Q: You guys are the only people I can think of who might be able to help with this! My wife is going to have hip-replacement surgery soon, and obviously we aren’t going to be having sex for a while. Are there any lesbian orthopedists or other doctors out there who can provide lesbian-specific advice for how to ease back into sexual activity? Anything besides, “If it’s uncomfortable, don’t do it”? Thanks!

A: Hello there! I am not a doctor or an orthopedist, but I do know a thing or two about getting it on safely. I welcome any lesbian orthopedists and doctors to jump in with advice in the comments. Is there a queer orthopedist in the house?

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Oh, good. Great. There you are, Dr. Torres.

Firstly, I am so happy for your wife that she will have a new hip soon! Once she is all healed up, there is a good chance this hip replacement surgery will actually improve your sex life! A successful hip replacement surgery can make everything feel almost brand new and pain free, according to people I know (OK, it’s my dad) who have gone through it. So sex after everything is healed up could look pretty much exactly like it looks now, or better. That is something super exciting to look forward to for both of you!

I think it goes without saying that you shouldn’t interfere with the recovery process. If the doctor or physical therapist says not to mess with something, don’t. Honestly, your wife may not really feel up to it anyway, what with all the swelling and physical therapy and sleep-inducing drugs and whatnot. After the 6-8 week period of recovery ends and your wife’s doctor gives you the go to resume normal activities, including exercise, you should be able to resume sex as usual.

During the recovery period and after, it’s important not to dislocate the new hip. So of course, yes, if it isn’t comfortable, don’t do it. But let’s dig a little deeper into some ways to make sex fun for you both.

Let’s start with what sex is. Sex can be a lot of things, right? I can involve mouths and fingers and genitals and sex toys and fantasy and sexy talk and lots of other thing. Sex can result in orgasm for all parties involved or for one person or for no one. There are lots of ways you can have sex or do sexy things (especially during the recovery period) without putting stress on the your partner’s hips.

Sexy Things with Very Little to No Hip Rotation Involved

First comes kissing, then comes facesitting. via Shutterstock

First comes kissing, then comes facesitting. via Shutterstock

  • Be the Queen:

Queening or face-sitting is the sex position where you position your genitals over your partner’s face so they can provide oral-genital stimulation. Their hips are completely safe!

  • Touch Yourself:

Mutual masturbation or watching each other masturbate can be really, really sexy. Especially during recovery, it’s a low risk way for you and/or your partner to get off. Dirty talk or watching porn together can make it especially hot.

  • Dirty Fun Stuff:

Stripping, hair-pulling, light tickling, nipple play, upper body massage, basically anything in the category of foreplay or teasing.

When you do start resuming your normal sex life after recovery, take it slow and follow these tips.

Tips for Sex After Hip Surgery

  • Warm Up:

Stretching before sex will help relax your partner’s muscles. If you tease them a bit while they are stretching (kissing their neck, touching them lightly, etc), it could even become part of your foreplay.

  • Use pillows and supports:

You can spring for a fancy sex support cushions like the Liberator or just use regular pillows and rolled bath towels to provide extra support to your partner’s hip during sex.

  • Watch Her Knees:

Right after hip surgery, you don’t want to dislocate the hip, so try not to move your partner’s knee past hip level or cross their legs at the knee. Open knee positions, where the knee opens the the side of the body, are usually fine.

  • Legs on the Inside:

Find positions where your partner’s legs can be on the inside and she doesn’t have to rotate the hip too much.

  • Side by Side:

Laying in a spoon or facing-each-other position with your partner’s hip on the bottom (possibly supported by pillows) can work if missionary doesn’t.

  • Good ol’ Missionary:

Missionary-style positions, either on the top or bottom, are not too hard on the hips. So you should be able to go down on your partner or have any kind of penetrative sex without difficulty.

I mean, I know that you know this, but just take it slow at first and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Honestly, post-hip replacement sex is probably not going to be very different. For a lot of people, sex is more comfortable after hip replacement than it was before!

I hope your partner has a speedy recovery and you are back to sexing each other up real soon!


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KaeLyn is a 35-year-old (femme)nist activist, word nerd, and queer mama. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, over-caffeinating herself, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, eating carbs, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Rochester, NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a xenophobic cat, and a rascally rabbit. You can buy her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 198 articles for us.