Monthly Archives

October 2020

Styling It Out and Sweaty Pits

By | Disability, The Love Lounge

The Question

Hi,

Two things I need your advice on, styling it out and sweaty pits! One is fashion, the second is  less sexy. I’ve been single for ages, focusing on my studies and getting a job following a time of ill health. In the last eighteen months I’ve managed to lose the extra weight I had piled on after surgery.

I’m feeling confident about myself but have zero clue when it comes to clothes. I’ve either got work shirts or hoodies and want to look trendier than that. I see blokes with a bit of style and think they look cool but I’ve no idea how to put clothes together.

The more personal issue is that sometimes I get wet patches on my shirt when I’m having a sweaty day. I think it’s a side effect of medication I’m taking. I’m embarrassed by it. I prefer to layer clothes on my top half to avoid people noticing. And I’m going to see if there’s a stronger deodorant I can use as I don’t want sweaty pits when I’m dating.

Any tips on where I can look for style advice. My mates are as clueless as me.

Cheers.

Our Answer

Hi! Thanks so much for writing in to the Love Lounge.

It’s great that you’re feeling confident. That’s more than half the battle when it comes to fashion! I’d recommend going into a department store, like Topshop or River Island and taking advantage of their Personal Styling Service. It’s usually free and involves a staff member who specialises in styling going around the store with you. They’ll pick out clothes that suit your new body type, complement your skin tone and make you feel great. It’s a brilliant thing to experience as it’ll then provide you with tips to use when you go out shopping on your own. If that’s not for you then search YouTube for videos with titles like ‘BooHoo Try On Haul’ where the fashionistas suggest how to put outfits together.

A bit of advice. Don’t worry too much about what’s in fashion and what others are wearing. Instead, use that energy to focus on what makes you feel amazing inside. Good clothes have the ability to boost your mood internally, too.

Styling It Out and Sweaty Pits - a trendy young guy wears a burgundy velvet suit jacket with a patterned T-shirt underneath. He has a hipster beard, a man bun and sunglasses

Sweaty Pits

Regarding the wet patches, I’d recommend discussing this with your doctor. They may be able to change your medication to minimise this side effect. Layering clothes, experimenting with deodorants and even doing a bit of research on what colours and materials work best with sweat patches will all go some way in helping you feel comfortable. However hopefully there is a more permanent solution!

Wishing you all the best – you’ll be as stylish as can be in no time!
Em x

 

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Can our team help with a dating dilemma, sex or relationship question? Get in touch and we’ll do our utmost to find the answers you need. Follow us on Instagram @UndressingDisability and twitter @ETUKUndressing.
Worried About My Boyfriend's Behaviour - a woman sits leaning against the back of the sofa looking sad, her boyfriend wears a blue and white checked shirt, has dark hair and a beard and stares into the distance looking grumpy

Worried About My Boyfriend’s Behaviour

By | Disability, The Love Lounge

The Question

Dear Love Lounge,

I’m worried about my boyfriend’s behaviour. We met about 4 months ago and things have moved fast. We are crazy about each other and he has moved in. At first it was all very romantic, and he made me feel great. He complimented my appearance and was kind and generous and loving. My family are happy that I’ve met someone but wanted me to wait a while longer before he moved in, worrying I might get hurt as this is my first relationship. I dismissed their concerns as I’m 27 and wish they’d stop babying me. My mum was my carer until I got a PA and my own flat a few years ago, and she can forget I’m not a kid anymore.

In the last few weeks, my boyfriend has been short tempered and a lot less affectionate. Little things about me seem to annoy him. When we’re with friends and family he is fine but when we’re alone he frequently makes comments about my weight and has told me that I’m ‘stupid’ and ‘dense.’ I think he might also have used my bank card as it went missing from my wallet then reappeared. I have cried about this which made him more annoyed so I’m nervous of talking to him about his mood in case I make it worse. I know that couples can ‘have their moments’ as my sister so it may just be the norm?

Advice welcome.

 

Our Answer

Hi there, and thanks so much for writing in to us.

First things first, anything that makes you feel this upset and unhappy isn’t the norm.  Couples absolutely ‘have their moments’ but you are right to be worried about your boyfriend’s behaviour change. He is being neither kind nor respectful to you by the sounds of it, and this behaviour should not be accepted.

It’s good to hear that everything was great at the beginning. Has anything changed dramatically for your partner since then? Big changes at work, with money or even with family and friends can have a major impact on how we behave. And whilst it doesn’t make what he’s doing right, it might explain the reasoning behind his behaviour.

It is worrying that your boyfriend is only acting this way when you’re alone. This suggests to me that he knows the way he is acting is not acceptable.

Communication is key here. You must let him know plainly and simply (without getting too emotional if you can) that you won’t stand for comments from him that are demeaning or degrading. You won’t accept comments that make you feel bad about yourself – no-one deserves that in a relationship.

At the same time, let him know that if there is anything going on for him that you can help with, you’d be more than happy to. And if you can’t help, you’ll support him to sort it out himself. Remind him that you love him and of how great everything was at the beginning. But to get back to that, he must change his ways and how he treats you.

Tread carefully regarding the bank card – he might have genuinely picked yours up by mistake – and if no money has left your account, it seems unnecessary to accuse him of stealing. Have a chat with him about everything. How he reacts will probably tell you all you need to know about the future of your relationship.

Good luck!
Em x

 

Send Us Your Questions

Can our team help with a dating dilemma, sex or relationship question? Get in touch and we’ll do our utmost to find the answers you need. Follow us on Instagram @UndressingDisability and twitter @ETUKUndressing.

 

Grip Issues - How To Spice Up Your Sex Life - A dark haired woman leans forward to touch her male partner, he kisses her forehead. She is laughing and there is a window in the background

Grip Issues – How To Spice Up Your Sex Life

By | Disability

I’m hoping to spice up my sex life with my boyfriend.  We’ve been together for 3 years and things have started to become a bit same-y in the bedroom. Have you got any recommendations of toys or equipment we could use? We’re open to anything, but my cerebral palsy means I struggle with grip, and going on top takes a fair bit of time and effort!

Read More
Losing my virginity when I have Cerebral Palsy - a young man and woman lie on a multi-coloured bed. They are wearing t-shirts and laughing and have their arms around each other

Losing My Virginity When I have Cerebral Palsy

By | The Love Lounge

The Question

Hi Ted,
I have cerebral palsy and I’m just about to go on a third date with a girl I really like. I think it has the potential to go somewhere. I’ve never had sex before, and wondered if you had any advice, as someone that also has CP?
Thanks,
A

Our Answer

Hi A,
Congratulations on securing a third date with the potential of going fourth base – not a mean feat indeed. The most succinct advice I can give is not to worry. First times are always messy, cumbersome and leave you wondering if sex is ‘all that’. But trust me, it gets better!

Practical Advice

However, as I have cerebral palsy myself I can offer some practical advice. Here are some little tips to point you in the right direction of how to make things as enjoyable as possible when you lack coordination. Firstly, I don’t know how important it is to you to unhook your first bra, but it may well be and you may well feel this is a task you cannot perform (most men, CP or not, struggle!). In this instance you could always ask her to unbuckle it while you hold it in place and then you get to perform the ‘reveal’ without the fiddly bit.
You could apply this to the other aspects of undressing so you can get the thrill of doing it yourself minus the need for the fine motor skills you may lack.

Manoeuvres

As for the actual act it’s important you don’t feel embarrassed about the things you can’t do. I really struggle crawling on a mattress (I fall into my own indent!!), so if you fancy a trip down south maybe think about other ways of getting there. Getting out of bed and kneeling could offer much more stability.

Taking Control

I would imagine that being your first time and accepting the restrictions of your movements she will ‘do all the work’ no questions asked. However if you build up a relationship with this woman you could have a think about and discuss ways you could take more control. That’s if, and only if you want to. I mentioned in a previous answer trying doggy style with a grabrail to help with stability, this could be a way for you to feel more in control.

Satisfaction

And lastly, a piece of advice not specifically centred around disability. Don’t forget that when the show is over (and this may take no time at all, which is fine!) there are plenty of other ways you can still ensure the satisfaction of both parties! So don’t worry about this at all.
Have fun!!
Best
Ted

Send Us Your Questions

Can our team help with a dating dilemma, sex or relationship question? Get in touch and we’ll do our utmost to find the answers you need. Follow us on Instagram @UndressingDisability and twitter @ETUKUndressing.

 

 

Turning Pain into Pleasure -A long haired bearded man in an open shirt bares his hairy chest whilst kissing a fair skinned dark haired woman

Turning Pain Into Pleasure

By | Disability, The Love Lounge

The Question

Hi,

My question is about turning pain into pleasure. I really want to go further with a girl I met recently. I experience a lot of pain on a daily basis due to my condition, and wanted to know if there’s anything you recommend to help me turn that pain into pleasure? It’s scaring me a bit and I’m avoiding those intimate conversations.

Thanks

S

Our Answer

Hi S,

Thank you for reaching out about turning pain into pleasure. You are not alone. Pain can be a problem for lots of people and it is understandably daunting having these conversations. The most important thing is to take everything at your own pace and take the time to explore what you do and do not enjoy.

My first piece of advice is to follow any pain management techniques provided by your doctor. This could be medication, a hot bath or knowing what time of day you may be at your worst level of pain. This will hopefully set you up to succeed in your bedroom adventures before you have even begun.

When people talk about turning pain into pleasure it is often assumed they are talking about inflicting pain and for many people this may be true. However there are many ways to turn existing pain into a pleasurable experience. This can be especially effective as the hormones released during sexual experiences have been shown to increase our pain tolerance levels. I have outlined some suggestions below and all of these can be enjoyed either alone or with a partner.

Whilst all these suggestions can be used in a sexual context it can also be used outside of the bedroom. Spending some time increasing your awareness of your own body may help reduce some of the anxieties around engaging in intimate conversations. It is also important you are aware of any reduced sensitivity or vulnerable parts of your body to avoid accidental injury.

1. Pressure

Applying pressure can often distract the neural pathways conveying the pain, this could be applied to the area of pain or to any part of the body. Ways of doing this may be through a massage, being gripped or held tightly or being bound firmly with a restraint, rope, or clothing.

2. Sensory deprivation

Using a blindfold or headphones to block out some sensory input can often make it easier to concentrate on other things. This can be used to help get past the distraction of pain and focus on the more pleasurable sensations created by whatever it is you or your partner is doing.

3. Hot/cold

It’s common practice to apply heat or cooling to painful areas to relieve pain. This can also be applied to other parts of the body including erogenous zones to draw your attentions away from your painful sensations. It can also be used to induce a different type of pain than the one you experience daily if that is something you find enjoyable.

4. Pain

An important thing to remember is there are different types of pain and there is no set way to work out what each person will like as everyone is different. Some people may even experience sensations such as tickling as painful so these could also be tried. A rough outline is to create a dull pain you would be looking at large flat objects such as paddles, the longer and thinner the object the more it will be a stinging sensation. Scratching or prickling pains can be created by things as simple as fingernails, teeth or a device called a Wartenberg wheel or pinwheel. Finally things such as pegs or clamps can be used to create a pinching sensation.

I hope this has helped guide your exploration.

Kat

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The word Confidence in a dictionary highlighted in green marker pen

Finding the confidence to date again

By | Disability, The Love Lounge

The Question

Hi there,

My question is about rebuilding confidence. I have a spinal cord injury and am a wheelchair user.  Before lockdown, I was quite used to going out on dates (and it didn’t really matter whether I got a second one or not, I just loved the excitement of meeting people!) But now I’m starting to feel like I’m out of practice after months inside, and that I’m going to run out of time to find someone special.  How can I regain my confidence and stop feeling the pressure?

Thanks

Our Answer

Hi K,

Thanks so much for writing to us. It’s great to hear that you found confidence and comfort in dating as it means you can do it again! Lockdown has been a really strange and difficult time for many of us. I don’t know one person that hasn’t been affected either in some physical way, or mentally, by this.

And when we’re stuck inside, with so much time to think and feel lonely, it’s almost impossible not to feel like life is passing us. But I promise you that time is moving at exactly the same rate as it did before, we’ve sadly just not been able to enjoy it in the same way!

So, I’d recommend using the remainder of this time inside to think positively about what you’d like to achieve over the next 1, 3, 5 or even 10 years. You might want to write things down, or even create a vision board of your wants and needs. There’s not much that we have control over right now, but we can control our thoughts and desires, and what we do with them. If it is a relationship that’s a priority for you, why not ease yourself back in slowly and see if there’s an online dating event that you could get involved with? Funnily enough, we are running one soon… https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/virtual-speed-dating-with-enhance-the-uk-tickets-121709138309

That way, your confidence will start building again, and you’ll feel more in control by taking action, and the pressure will hopefully subside.

Wishing you luck, let us know how you get on!
Em x

 

You may also find these article useful.

Online Dating – Is it worth it? 

Online Dating As A Disabled Person

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