Hey Guys! I found this on a Facebook community, and since it’s very much in line with what I want to do, I figured I’d share it. This group is trying to put together a curriculum that promotes disability friendly sex ed, as well as community outreach. Read my post here and help me start a revolution!
First off, here’s a secret for you: disabled people have sex. Here’s another secret: disabled people like sex.
Yep. Shocking though it may seem, disabled people are just like, well, everyone, really. Sex is important. We all want to loved. We all crave a bit of intimacy from time to time. Like it or not, we are sexual beings. Take sex out of the equation and we will quickly start to feel insecure and unattractive.
How we judge ourselves is inextricably linked to how we think others perceive us. This is a problem because – and this isn’t much of a secret – disability isn’t sexy.
Open almost any magazine and you’ll find an article about what makes for an attractive partner. We all value different qualities – whether it’s intelligence, sense of humour, looks, or financial security. No one ever says disability. Whatever – who wants their disability to be a sexual commodity? The problem is, we never talk about disability and sexuality in the same sentence. And the result is that people often fear their disability is an active turn-off.
Everyone has at least one thing about themselves they would like to change. But when you have a disability, those insecurities are easily amplified. If it’s a hidden disability, such as a sensory impairment, you can tie yourselves up in knots wondering whether a potential partner will be scared away when you tell them. If it’s a physical disability, you can convince yourself no one will look at you twice when they have a whole world of Brad Pitts and Kate Mosses to choose from.
The media has to take responsibility for a lot of this. We need to see more ‘real’ people portrayed in a positive way. This means celebrating people for who they are, putting disabled people at centre stage, and not making people feel bad when they don’t fit in those tiny boxes reserved for ‘perfect’ people.
Disability might not be sexy, but the people with the disabilities are. We need a change in the way we think about what makes people attractive. Which is reason No.1 that we are Undressing Disability.
Whether it’s something that’s been present since birth, or whether it’s developed later in life, disability can have a profound impact on your sex life – on the way you do it, and also the amount you have it. There are so many barriers facing disabled people – from self confidence and self esteem, to finding a partner, overcoming physical and emotional barriers… the list is endless. In fact, all those same barriers everyone faces to having an active sex life, and then some. The difference is, no one seems to want to talk about sex and disability.
Targeted sex-education for young disabled people is practically non-exist. Support for couples coming to terms with disability and the impact it has on their relationship is thin on the ground. We talk to disabled people every day who are struggling to access basic sexual health services, such as STI screening. Which is reason No.2 that we are Undressing Disability.
So what do we want?
We are working with Brook and Family Planning to make sure that young disabled people have access to the same advice and support as their peers.
We want to see better access and provision for disabled people to sex education and sexual health services.
We want to change the way people think about disability and start celebrating people for who they are.
What you can do?
We have to stop the stigma. The best way we can achieve this is by talking. Openly, honestly and from the heart. Share your experiences of disability and dating with us.
There is woefully little evidence of any connection between disability and sexual health. Why? Because no one has bothered doing the research. Help us to show the government that they need to be thinking about this more by taking a survey.
There’s nothing more heartbreaking than waiting for a blind date to arrive, then seeing the disappointment on their face. Disappointment not because of what you are, but because of what you’re not.