Disability and sexuality
I want to start off by disclaiming that I am not disabled in any way. However, for the last two and a half years I’ve been in a relationship with a disabled, wheelchair using man. This article has been written with his blessing, support, and endless amount of help.
Far too often people hear the word “disability” and make judgements. One of the judgements that is most common, is that those with a disability are not, or cannot, be sexual. Whether it’s a physical, mental, or invisible disability (such as lupus), it’s perfectly healthy and normal to want to be involved in consensual sexual activity.
I think that society has a huge role to play in the desexualisation of disabled people. In mainstream sex education, the topic of sex and disability never comes up. Children are not taught that those who are less abled may still have the ability to have sex, so it isn’t something that they necessarily think about as they grow into adults.
Even with my own boyfriend, he shares stories with me from his past where people have outright asked him how he’s able to have sex if he’s in a wheelchair. I’ve also heard tales of his ex girlfriends’ friends drunkenly asking how they have sex.
A real taboo or a secret fetish?
The topic of disabled sex is taboo. Even my own friends have discreetly asked me if I’m dating my boyfriend because I have a fetish for wheelchairs or disabled people, which is not the case at all. Usually that’s followed by giggling and asking if I have to go on top a lot.
Although they’re asking because they genuinely don’t know, it bugs me that in 2016 you are still expected to have a fetish or a special attraction to disabled people in order to have a sexual or romantic relationship with them.
From the side of someone who has a disability, society repeatedly tells them that no one wants them in a sexual way. That isn’t right. I firmly believe that everyone should be able to engage in consensual and safe sex if they want to, regardless of health conditions.
Due to that fact, it’s quite common for disabled people to seek out sex workers in order for them to have sexual experiences. Seeing a sex worker is a way to have a fairly anonymous, judgement free encounter with a professional who, in all likelihood, has seen a disabled client before.
Being a camgirl has brought me into contact with people with various kinds of disabilities and I would wager that most of us have had disabled clients/customers at some point. There are even sex workers who specialise in disabled sex.
Even in the adult industry there are disabled sex workers. For those who choose online sex work like webcam modelling or phone sex operating, it’s a way for them to earn money while not physically over exerting themselves. For physical sex workers it can be a way to earn money whilst also getting to rack up a list of sexual experiences. While this is a positive way to look at it, there is a more dark side to it.
For some disabled people, sex workers or not, they’re viewed as a ‘freak fetish’. Their disability is what turns people on and what drives them to enter relationships with them or use their services. They’re seen only as a disability and the real person behind that is never seen or thought about.
Help is out there
However, some members of society are actively trying to change the way that disabled folks’ sex lives are viewed. Organisations such as the TLC Trust are one example of this. The aim of TLC is to provide disabled clients, their family/friends, and carers with information about various types of sex work service providers.
The group checks every sex worker they work with to ensure that they’re completely reliable and professional, as well as suitable, for taking on disabled clients. TLC’s goal is simple- to help disabled people “enjoy the same pleasure as anyone else in the privacy of their own home”.
When me and my boyfriend were creating porn for me to sell on my clip sites earlier in the year, we’d discussed filming a video in his wheelchair. Not only because it would be easier for him physically, but also because I want to produce porn that says ‘hey, look, I’m dating a disabled guy and we’re still totally able to have sex’.
Breaking the disability taboo
I want it to not be taboo if I release content with a disabled man. Normalising disabled sex and introducing the concept of a sexual relationship with someone who has a disability, I think, is a sure fire way to tell people that disabled folks are here and they’re just as horny as abled bodied people.
It’s also important to remember, however, that sometimes it doesn’t always work out. Sex can have its off days with everyone, not just disabled people. If a position isn’t working, or you get tired easily, or simply aren’t up to it, that’s more than okay.
Though it is frustrating to want to and have a block like that, it’s healthier to accept the fact that sometimes there will be problems, rather than holding it up and being upset over it. Even though it may seem a little embarrassing, talking to a doctor about what options are there to assist you with sex is a good idea.
For disabled men, sometimes maintaining an erection during sex is difficult. Doctors can prescribe viagra or such like to make sex easier for you. Sex books can give you ideas about various positions that may be suitable, too.
If you’re reading this and you are a disabled person, please know that society is changing. It’s changing its attitudes all the time. There are people who know that you’re here and you’re horny. Your sexuality and needs are very much valid.
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