Friday, 17 February 2017

Let's Get it On: Sex and Disability


Last weekend a journalist came to my house and interviewed me on what it's like having a sex life whilst disabled. We spent almost two hours discussing this subject that seems to be one of the most controversial and taboo topics when it comes to disability. Obviously I don't find it unmentionable, or I wouldn't be writing this or have been interviewed. But disability and sex seems to be that forbidden juxtaposition that nobody wants to think about, let alone talk about.

But I don't like rules and I've opened the dialogue on this a while back so thought I'd revisit it.

Disabled people are left out of a lot of discussions, and when it comes to sex it's as if we don't exist. We're all clearly asexual and our disability makes us incapable of having sex...right? Hell no. Nope. Nada. Not true.

Similar to some people being shocked when a disabled person has an interest in football or skiing (the first two random things that popped into my head), as if we don't have personalities - we're all-consumed by our impairments, that must be the same for sex. How can a disabled person like things that an abled bodied person can? It baffles me that people believe that having a disability means that's all you are, that you're somehow inhuman. So, yeh, I like football, reading and shagging (not all at once). Oh, and I use a wheelchair. How's that hard to comprehend?

News flash, disabled people are sexual beings and have the same urges, the same desires and fantasies as any abled person. The assumption that sexuality and disability are mutually exclusive is a ridiculous one and I for one intend on talking about this a lot more.

Sex is a fundamental part of life and having a disability will not stop me from experiencing this basic need. And it shouldn't be surprising or disgusting if a disabled person is searching for the Big O. It also shouldn't be surprising or disgusting if an abled person beds a disabled person (as long as it's consensual, of course). I've seen far too many comments about how abled people are deviants or fetishists, when it's just not the case. Like I said earlier, disabled people are more than their disability; we're attractive, hilarious, intelligent...hang on, I think I just described me *wink* No, but seriously, they aren't enticed by the thought of fucking someone in a wheelchair (although if you are, you do you, boo), they're attracted to that thing that people are attracted to. For my boyfriend and I, I was all about his beard, and he thought I was beautiful (his words). There was nothing seedy or sordid, it was just two people liking each other, ignoring my shitty body as it was a moot topic. My disability didn't play a part in it at all. And although he knew about it and was aware I'm in pain 24/7, which means I'd have that follow me into the bedroom, it didn't kerb my sexual desires or his. We just have to be a little careful that I don't break. When you have a dislocating body like I do, it's always fun and games until I'm body-popping. And screaming in pain.

The hesitancy and doubt surrounding the discourse of sex and disability is such a grey area, especially when it comes to those with a learning disability. Do they know what they're doing? Is it right? Is it ethical? But really, is it any of your business? Everyone deserves love and to experience a sexual relationship, no matter what their disability.

We need the attitudes towards sex and disability to change, we need the barriers broken down and challenged, and we need disability to be included in sex education. Only then will archaic, restrictive constructs be removed from the conversation of sex and disability.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

30 comments:

  1. Such a good post. You've worded it perfectly. I honestly can't get my head around the fact that people assume because our bodies are a bit shit that we can't possibly be having sex. People baffle me.
    Beth x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such a good post as always!!! Being disabled has nothing to do with my sex life, other than possible risk of dislocations. It's the same as saying that you wouldn't sleep with someone who is ginger, likes to play computer games, or doesn't enjoy drinking tea

    ReplyDelete
  3. Brilliant post! Well done on your confidence and defying the laws of taboo subjects!

    Laura // www.dramaqueenconfessions.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Absolutely loved reading this. It was so honest and refreshing and I'm so proud of you ❤️❤️ Lovesss Izzy | www.ADoseOfChatter.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Loved reading this! So well written! Proud of you for writing this! Fab post lovely :) xxx
    Rachel | www.rachelxblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I admire you so much for not only speaking out about this but also for sharing your experience! You are absolutely right! People's attitude does need to change and you have definitely put people in their place chick! Fabulous post!

    Lots of love
    Charlene McElhinney
    @blogabtnothing1

    ReplyDelete
  7. Fantastic post! I'm so fed up of stupid comments & assumptions about my sex life just because I have a disability. I too have had comments about the fact I'm disabled & my boyfriend is able bodied. I couldn't agree with this post more. Fab!
    Kate x
    Www.kateiscoveting.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Really good post. I will be giving 2 seminar sessions at NAIDEX this March http://www.naidex.co.uk/speaker/david-miller/
    all about dating/sex etc. Hope some of you will come and attend.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Such an amazing post! So honest, open and well-written! You're incredible, keep doing your thing guuurl! Abi | ramblingsofablonde.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  10. So pleased to read your post. Lovely to hear someone talk openly about something we all enjoy doing. But very few actually talk about.

    I do think the discussion around learning difficulties is very different to the one around physical difficulties. But, again it's one to be had.

    Thanks for writing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. There's certainly a lot of other things to consider and no universal right answer since there's so much diversity when it comes to learning disability but I can only speak from experience.

      Delete
  11. Great post! Well done for starting to break the taboo!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Since having my ileostomy it think people seem to think my husband would be revolted at the thought of having sex with me, hell I must have had immaculate conception this time round! But it revolutionised our sex life as I wasn't in pain anymore. Ok we have a little more preparation before hand but no big deal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it works for you, that's all that matters

      Delete
  13. Sarah this is brilliant. This needed saying, I read the other day that the Maltesers advert that was on TV not long ago with the disabled girl in it was the most complained about advert. I can't remember in what time frame that was, though.

    Time the world got used to what is a crucial and vital aspect of being a human!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Yeh, I read that too, it's so fucked up.
      They really do! x

      Delete
  14. What an absofuckinglutely fantastic post! I loved it and agree with the message.
    PS: I know abled men who haven't hesitated hitting on a disabled girl (me). I have never taken it as a taboo but found it vastly amusing and yeah, encouraging.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
CUSTOM DESIGN BY PRETTYWILDTHINGS