A disabled man who is in a wheelchair and his able-bodied wife have stripped down to their underwear while opening up about their sex life and the ignorant comments they receive from men who insist she can’t be sexually satisfied in their marriage.
Shane Burcaw, 29, and his wife Hannah, 26, reflected on their love story and the misconceptions they have faced as an interabled couple on the latest episode of StyleLikeU’s What’s Underneath: Couples series.
The YouTubers, who document their lives on their popular ‘Squirmy and Grubs’ video channel, shared that the validity of their relationship is constantly being questioned by strangers, particularly heterosexual men.
‘We definitely get a lot of comments from straight men thinking it’s not fair that I’m with Shane, and that I should be with them,’ Hannah told the cameras.
Shane Burcaw, 29, and his wife Hannah, 26, opened up about being in an interabled marriage on StyleLikeU’s What’s Underneath: Couples series
In the nearly 23-minute interview, Hannah removed both of their clothing, piece by piece, while sharing their love story and the misconceptions they have face
‘They perceive that I can’t have sex in their very limited, missionary, man f**ks woman [way],’ Shane explained. ‘They think that is the be-all-end-all of sex.’
Hannah noted these guys will often describe to her ‘in great deal’ how they would have sex with her because they assume Shane can’t be physically intimate.
‘Little do they know,’ he said.
Shane was born with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a neuromuscular disease that causes muscles to deteriorate over time. He has been in an electric wheelchair since he was two years old and can barely move his legs, arms, and hands.
Their relationship started nearly six years ago when Hannah reached out to him after watching a documentary that ‘The Office’ actor Rainn Wilson produced about his life.
In the email, the then college student complimented Shane — a writer and a public speaker — on his sense of humor and his writing before admitting that she thought he was very cute.
Shane was born with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a neuromuscular disease that causes muscles to deteriorate over time, and is in an electric wheelchair
The YouTubers, who document their lives on their ‘Squirmy and Grubs’ channel, said the validity of their relationship is constantly being questioned by strangers
‘Almost every email I received told me that I was an inspiration — and not in a good way,’ Shane recalled. ‘Hannah’s email didn’t reference my disability at all.
‘She complimented my humor and what we had in common. She used parentheses in her email in a way that like just did it for me.’
When Shane responded, he gave Hannah his phone number, and they started texting. He admitted that he ‘didn’t believe she was real’ at first because she was beautiful as well as funny and smart.
The couple got to know each other through text messages and FaceTime calls and eventually fell in love, despite living in different states.
Shane, who lived at home with his parents at the time, admitted he struggled with Hannah being at college and going to parties in Minnesota at the start of their relationship.
‘I felt like a cliché, like the jealous disabled guy who can’t be there and is worried his mega-hot girlfriend is gonna find a better mega-hot guy,’ he said.
Hannah explained they get comments from jealous ‘straight men’ who wrongly assume that Shane can’t have sex with her and think she should be with them
Shane noted that sex for them doesn’t ‘look like what you see in the movies,’ but he ‘can totally do it’ and is usually the one to initiate it
‘Our intimacy benefits from my disability,’ he said. ‘A big thing for me is that our intimacy is not just me enjoying it, and that relates to my burden complex
But he realized she was serious about him when she got jealous of one of his female friends. After four years of dating, they married in September 2020.
Hannah said she never had a serious boyfriend before she met Shane because there wasn’t anyone she ever wanted to spend a lot of time with.
While he dated in college, he explained those relationships all ended because his partners’ friends and family would convince them he was a burden, something he has been made to feel his entire life.
Shane told Hannah early on in their relationship that he needs help with almost every aspect of his daily life, and she made it a point to learn how to care for him — including taking him to the bathroom — so they could be alone together.
During the episode, she helped him take off his clothes piece by piece. When it was time to remove his pants, she lovingly carried him to a couch to pull them off before returning him to his wheelchair.
Most people assume that Hannah is either Shane’s relative or caregiver, and they are often met with awkward comments and gushing when they reveal they are married.
When it was time to remove Shane’s pants, Hannah lovingly carried him to a couch to pull them off before returning him to his wheelchair
Their relationship started nearly six years ago when Hannah reached out to him after watching a documentary that ‘The Office’ actor Rainn Wilson produced about his life
‘When I do say, “No, this is my wife.” People’s jaws hit the floor,’ Shane said, ‘and they say, “Oh, wow, good for you.”‘
Hannah recounted how one woman started crying and called her an ‘angel’ for being with Shane, which made her feel ‘super uncomfortable.’
‘That insinuates I am an angel because Shane is a terrible choice and I’m remarkable for choosing that,’ she explained.
Shane and Hannah said they have to deal with misconceptions like that on a daily basis, but they both try to laugh it off.
‘There’s a huge assumption that people who disabilities like mine don’t have any value, don’t have any quality of life, and would not be worthy partners,’ he said.
‘I developed a very thick skin early on. I think that’s kind of where my sense of humor and my sarcasm were born from because otherwise I’d be upset every day.’
The couple got to know each other through text messages and FaceTime calls and eventually fell in love, despite living in different states at the time
Shane told Hannah early on in their relationship that he needs help with almost every aspect of his daily life, and she made it a point to learn how to care for him
‘If my partner was someone who got very upset by those types of things, it wouldn’t work,’ he added.
However, Hannah admitted that she does get bothered by the online comments that accuse them of faking their relationship whereas her husband is able to shrug them off.
Shane noted there are also a number of people who believe they are a couple but assume ‘Hannah must be deeply damaged in some way to want to be with a disabled man.’
The couple insisted that their relationship — including their sex life — is fulfilling for both of them.
‘Our intimacy benefits from my disability. A big thing for me is that our intimacy is not just me enjoying it, and that relates to my burden complex,’ he said. ‘It doesn’t look like what you see in the movies, maybe, but I can totally do it.’
The couple has previously spoken about their desire to have children together, with Shane explaining in an old blog post that he is ‘perfectly capable of having sex.’
Shane and Hannah got married in September 2020 after four years of dating
‘I feel for the first time in my life like I am not a burden because Hannah is wholly there for me and doesn’t feel burdened by me,’ Shane said
In their latest interview, Shane said he tends to initiate sex more than Hannah does.
‘A non-disabled man might come up to Hannah and start rubbing her shoulders. I will just say, “Hey, you want to go have sex?” I know that would probably strike people as, “Oh that must be unromantic,” but take our word for it. After I ask that, we’re romantic.’
Communication is key in every aspect of their relationship, including when they are in the bedroom. If Shane wants to touch Hannah in a certain area, he has to ask her to move his arm.
‘We have a shorthand for all of these things,’ she explained. ‘You’re not saying, “Can you please put your legs up under my legs.” We just know. I feel like I know his body and preferences as well as I know my own.’
They both agreed they feel their sexiest when they are naked in their bedroom together, and like many couples, their biggest fear is the other person dying.
‘The best part about our partnership is the comfort that we have with each other,’ Hannah said. ‘I cannot overstate how like little space I need from Shane.’
‘I know that our life is and will continue to be hilarious and fun and full of adventure,’ he added. ‘I feel for the first time in my life like I am not a burden because Hannah is wholly there for me and doesn’t feel burdened by me.’