Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Being Disabled Is Sexy

People generally have a set image on what is considered to be a sexy person. Being disabled generally is not considered a quality that people would normally associate with being sexy. When it comes to sex and disability, the truth hurts. Yet we need to examine some harsh attitudes before we can challenge them. These are some myths that need to be debunked by society:

-People with disabilities aren't sexual beings. People tend to think that people with disabilities are different. Worse, if somebody is being treated like a child - as in being unable to take care of themselves - then we can't see that person as sexy. Let's not forget, people with disabilities have bodies, brains, feelings, libido...all of which make them incredibly sexual beings. We want sex just as much as anybody else, disability or not.

-People with disabilities are undesirable. Between the planning, patience, communication, and emotional support required, people who have a disability are labeled a burden when it comes to sex. Furthermore, society holds that if you can't perform a certain way, then you're no good. People go to great lengths when they love someone to express that love and realize its full potential. Nobody or nothing is considered a burden when you want it badly enough. It's well worth the effort.

-Good sex can only be spontaneous. If you can't have sex on the fly - if it requires planning and taking your time - then your sex life is chalked up as bad. Try telling that to a Tantric sex practitioner, right? Good sex comes in all forms - and many will tell you that spontaneity can become overrated.

-People with disabilities can't have 'real' sex. People are stuck on this notion that sex can be "true" sex only if it involves certain positions or maneuvers. What makes for real sex is often based on our preferences, values, and attitudes. For some it might be that they actually made love or that they felt present or that it had a certain outcome.... You create your own sexual experience, so don't let anyone dictate what qualifies as intimacy for you.

-People with disabilities shouldn't worry about sex. Why fret over your sex life when you have bigger things to worry about? Sex is a luxury one with a disability cannot afford. Sex is important to almost everyone, no matter what your condition. Almost everyone worries about sex at one point or another since we're all sexual beings. Having a disability doesn't trump that.

-People with disabilities aren't sexually adventurous (or if they are, they're perverted). It's unfair to expect someone with a disability to be sexually passive. This person can desire, initiate, and thrive in the moment. People with disabilities enjoy everything that an "abled" person does, and perhaps even more! Many of them have learned that your brain is indeed your biggest sex organ. And they like to keep it turned on!

-People with disabilities shouldn't have sex. If you're bedridden or need assistance moving around, society seems to think that you should be celibate. The lack of privacy is the biggest indicator of the disrespect we have for the sexual needs of those with a disability. A hospice, for example, may have no locks on the doors, or a nursing home may require that doors be open at all times. How is this different from people trying to have sex in public places like the beach, an alleyway, or any other public place? What's great is that some people with a disability will still try to get a little bit of lovin', no matter what the consequences are. They should be applauded instead of shamed for their efforts.

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