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Mik Scarlet

“How useful can I expect disabled dating sites to be?”

By Emily Yates, Lifestyle, Mik Scarlet, My story, The Love Lounge No Comments

Hello Emily,

First of all I think it’s a great campaign as disability and
relationships need to be open with increased awareness. I am 25 with mild
CP I enjoy skiing and going to the gym. I am slightly addicted to spin
classes! I have a small group on friends who all have girlfriends and
are slowly getting married. I have tried a number of speed dating
events including silent dating, blindfolded dating and online dating.
I have been honest about my disability in my profile, and have
received 0 messages I gave wrote about 50 I am not surprised by this.
I am wondering if you have any advice on where to meet women who would
be willing to overlook my slightly different walking gate? I am
finding it hard to accept people’s negative views and narrow
mindedness. I have been tempted to sign up to these dating agencies :
one has been used on the undateables on channel 4. Have you heard any
reviews of there usefulness? I have given up on online dating and the
use of tinder as they are so image focused. I look forward to hearing
from you.
Kind regards,

Hi Peter,
Apologies for the delay in replying – this one is tough as, unfortunately, we live in a very image conscious society ESPECIALLY when it comes to dating!!!
Great that you have so many interests and you’re getting yourself out there and doing what you love; that’s half of the battle!  Are you involved in any groups or classes that relate to your skiing or love of fitness? This is often a great way to meet people as there’s a mutual interest to focus on straight away.  What else are you interested in? Travel? Music? Volunteering? These are all great ways to meet people too!  I play wheelchair basketball, and made some amazing friends through that (and even had a couple of relationships….) Have you thought about joining a club near you?
I’m afraid I can’t comment on the usefulness of any particular dating sites, but I will say that you’re much more likely to be successful in your search for love if it is your personality that shines through first, rather than just the way you look/walk.
There’s been many ways that disabled people have played the game of online dating, many have even experimented to see how many responses they get when their disability isn’t photographed or mentioned on their profile at all.  I’m not suggesting you do this, but it is an option!
Maybe online dating just isn’t for you.  And that’s fine! But someone, somewhere will be for you, you’ve just got to keep trying (however tedious and lonely that can seem at times).

Let me know if you want to chat some more; I can even introduce you to your local Wheelchair Basketball team if you’re interested?
Hope this helps, and good luck!
Emily x


“My daughter is 18 and has been blind from birth…”

By Lifestyle, Mik Scarlet, My story, The Love Lounge No Comments

Tim: “My daughter is 18 and has been blind from birth. She goes to college in our local area and is generally quite independent all round. My wife tells me that now, she has started seeing a boy in her year at college. Part of me is happy but a big part is being protective father, especially because of her blindness. Should I just let her be a normal teenager?”

Mik: “Hi Tim, Arh the joys of fatherhood. Especially if you have daughters! It’s all worry worry worry! But lets face it Tim, you’d be worried whether of not your daughter was visually impaired. It’s your job, you’re a dad!

I hope you know the answer to your question at heart. It’s let her fly. She is an adult now, and is carving her place in the world. Part of that will be dating, no matter how much it hurts you inside. It’s time to face up to the fact that your little girl is growing up, and be proud of how well she is doing.

This is a red letter day really and proof of how well you have raised her. She is obviously a confident, independent adult who is having no issues with getting out there and building a life for herself. Don’t worry about her impairment, or what might happens with those pesky boys. Just support her, and wait to see if she needs a shoulder to cry on… if those aforementioned pesky boys do what teenage boys do and act like fools.

Don’t envy you though. I dread to think what I’d be like if I was a Dad!”


“Should I brave using my arm prosthetic on the first date?”

By Lifestyle, Mik Scarlet, The Love Lounge No Comments

Michelle: “Hey guys, I have recently started internet dating since after Christmas and had a lot of interest on my profile, which is flattering! However, I only have one arm after losing it in a motorbiking accident in my teens. I usually only wear a shoulder prosthetic and skip my arm prosthetic as it can be a real pain – but should I brave it when going on the first few dates to avoid any awkwardness? What are your thoughts? Thanks x”

Mik: “Hi Michelle,
I am a big fan of being up front, so I would go as you best feel comfortable. If you don’t feel yourself when wearing your prosthetic then that might get in the way of the date. To me if anyone isn’t keen on you because of your impairment then you’ve been saved from wasting time on a looser.

I had a mate at school who lost her arm at an early age and she never wore a prosthetic. She also never had any issues with guys. Her confidence was really attractive to us guys. Most of the men I know would much prefer someone who was happy with who they were than someone trying to be something they are not.

So I think my advice would be ‘Be proud and leave the prosthetic at home.’
Good luck and have a great time!”

“I have cerebral palsy and can count my sexual experiences on the fingers of one hand.”

By Disability, Emily Yates, Lifestyle, Mik Scarlet, My story, The Love Lounge No Comments

“You invite people to share their stories of sexuality.
I have cerebral palsy and can count my sexual experiences on the fingers of one hand. A psychiatrist once tried telling me this was because I was sexually deviant. I did not argue, but I felt he was mistaken and that he had no basis for advising me because he was not disabled and had not had any experience remotely related to disability.I would genuinely like to know how much you relate to this experience and its point of view. Thank you very much indeed.​” – James

Emily – “Hi James, many thanks for writing in.
From one with CP to another, I can absolutely relate to your story.Seeing as ‘deviant’ really means ‘differing from the norm,’ we’re probably all sexual deviants in our own ways, and this should in no way be seen as a negative thing.  The problem is, the psychiatrist that you spoke to definitely displayed it negatively!

As I don’t know the psychiatrist, I can’t tell you whether he was capable of advising you or not, but what is coming through loud and clear is that fact that he seemed to give you little option to define for yourself what you sexually ‘were’ or ‘were not’.  And that’s a problem that plagues society as a whole.
For example, society (in general) sees fewer sexual experiences as something to be ashamed of, society (in general) sees disability as an asexual concept, and these are the things that we are desperately trying to change.

In short, I sincerely hope that experiences like yours become fewer and more far between.  Do write back in if you’d like any advice on any other aspect of disability, sex or relationships. Wishing you a lovely festive season, Emily x”

Mik – “Argh James, the old “you’re deviant due to your disability” line eh? It is true that many non-disabled people seem to find the things that disabled people sometime need to, or want to, do disconcerting. They like to say it is because they consider what ever fantasy or sexual predilection we admit to as being kinky, but I really think it is because they are uneasy with us wanting to not have sex but enjoy it. Those in the medical and social professionals can be the worst, as they really think they understand disabled people as they have learned about us during their training. It takes a really skilled and rounded “expert” to be able to explore their own feelings around disability and sexuality, and to come out the other end being able to admit that we have all the same wants, dreams, desires and even fetishes as any non-disabled person might do. I would say never let anyone tell you are deviant, unless you are into some really weird shit.

 I have had the exact same experience just on a much more public scale. In the mid 90’s I was a well known TV presenter. I also sang in a rock band and we played on the fetish scene a lot. The Daily Mail ran a story “outing” me for being into kinky sex, yet only a year earlier the News Of The World ran a story with the headline of Wheelie Sexy, claiming they had found this new disabled sex symbol singer and presenter. What it seems is that if you appear sexual as a disabled person that’s fine, but if you actually have sex and know what you might want out of sex then that’s just sick. It taught me that the wider public really do find the subject of disability and sex frightening and confusing, but then they are a repressed bunch mostly.
As well as being freaked out if disabled people express an interest in experimenting with sex, many people find the fact that we might need to try different stuff due to our specific physical needs equally troubling. I have written several articles on how many of the techniques used by disabled people to enable them to have sex would be of benefit to the wider non-disabled community but they are only ever featured in speciality magazines. The mainstream press find the whole idea of us teaching them something to bizarre to accept.
Without knowing what exactly it was that caused you to be called a deviant, all I can say is if you really are into fetishism or any other left field sexual activity, why try visiting a local fetish club. It’s one of the few places where people accept you as a sexual entity, and you might find someone that thinks what you are into is perfect match for them.
I should also like to say that only being able to count your sexual partners on one hand is not a bad thing. I don’t know how old you are but until I was nearly 30 I could have done the same with fingers to spare. Even today I could only use both hands and I was a famous TV presenter. It’s not the quantity that matters, but the quality. I’d much rather have a few great nights to remember than a succession of crap shags.”

25, transgender with Cerebral Palsy

By Lifestyle, Mik Scarlet, The Love Lounge No Comments


“Hey my names Carl I am 25 with CP. I have had an extensive dating history some of which I am proud of some of which I am not. I guess we all have been there. I am transgender and only recently came out as such. Now bare in mind that I have done the whole internet dating thing as well. What I find is that you get some questions from people that make you question societies common sense in general like, “Have you ever had sex?” Like one, if I hadn’t had sex before would I tell you? And two, if that’s a good conversation starter and that’s your idea of a ice breaker I don’t think we will EVER have sex .

I find now that I am more confident in my self and how I am with others, but as soon as I went over to Mars and left Venus behind ( a little trans joke ) I find that I struggle with dating. Like I was the cool hot girl that was good at video games and good at fixing cars … now I don’t know I am a lot more guarded. I don’t know I just feel like something has changed, I was guarded about guys wanting me as a fantasy lay.
Now its that plus the added pressure of “do they want me Carl or the women side of me because I am pre op and not on hormones so I don’t know is it me am I putting my foot in the water too soon? Or am I just too jaded or think too much ?


A toughie Carl. I know I once went out with someone and when they discovered I could have sex they were rather pissed off. They imagined I would become a nice little love slave, giving out the pleasure but needing no attention in return. So I get the whole unsure of what people are looking for. I cannot deny I have little experience of Transgender issues, although some of my friends do. I kind of don’t really care and I wonder if that’s the approach you might adopt around dating? If you like someone and they like you, should it matter if they want your Venus or Mars? And even after reassignment, you will still have both as part of who you are. I know I am very happy with being feminine, even though I know I don’t look it physically. I might be straight and a male, so I inherit the world kind of which makes it easy to be in touch with my feminine side, but I know that it is the whole of me that my partners have found attractive. I would advise you to worry less, while ensuring you keep yourself safe as we all know what tossers some straight men can be about this subject, and explore the new you with people you like as people, and who do the same for you. I would also try to find a support group near you, and get joining asap. Talking to people who are going through the stuff you are will really help and allow you build your confidence for the future.

I will also have a chat with my Trans mates and see if they have any pearls of wisdom I can pass on. Until then, I think it’s best to be cautious at first but not too let that prevent you from dating. Be up front and honest, and let that new found confidence shine through. Hope that helps somewhat?

Have either of you tried online dating?

By Lifestyle, Mik Scarlet, The Love Lounge No Comments


Have either of you tried online dating? do you think you need to be upfront about your disability (and risk putting people off!) or should you hide it, and surprise them later on?”


Hi James, I am so old that online dating didn’t exist when I was on the prowl, so it’s an unknown concept to me I’m afraid. However I have always been proud of my impairment and cannot see that that would change online. I know that is because I use a wheelchair so it’s not exactly something I can hide, but I also feel it is part of how I am and as I like myself I am out and proud. As a teenager I wasn’t so upfront, but found that I had to have “that chat” about what did and didn’t work on my body. Some of my partners reacted badly, and as I got older I found that being upfront from the start was easier for all concerned. So if I was single today, in the world of online dating, I would choose the open and direct approach. Who wants to go on a date and see “that” face, of someone who discovers you are disabled at a point when they feel they have to smile and be fine about it no matter what they really think. I mean, who wants to date someone who is put off by disability? Gonna be an awful date, if nothing else.

If I’m honest I have always seen my impairment as a filter that saves me from dating some people who would have not been, shall we say, a good match (polite eh?). We are disabled and if someone finds that a turn off then not being with them is better for all concerned. So if you use online dating, be upfront and that way you will only get those people who don’t really care. Sure it will cut down the number of responses but is that bad thing?

Us oldies can count ourselves lucky. We met in clubs and bars face to face. We could over come the stereotypes around disability in person and so it wasn’t such a big deal. One bit of advice I would give to anyone is that was the best way of meeting people. If you can creating an active social life leads you to situations where you meet people in an environment that allows relationships to form around who you are and not what you are. But that could just be the old man talking. Whatever you try, good luck and have fun. If you approach it as a laugh and not some serious search for love then you can’t loose.

Is sex really all guys in their 20’s are looking for?

By Lifestyle, Mik Scarlet, The Love Lounge No Comments


“Hi Mik, Just over 6 months ago, I came out of my first relationship. It was an amazing time in my life, ok maybe relationship is the wrong word, we were dating for two months. The breakup hurt, but it wasn’t disasterous. He’s not talking to me but that’s fine, he obviously isn’t ready to be friends.

However, since that time I’ve been on a few dates and had quite a few guys said they were interested in me. They’re sweet, and funny, and seem genuine; until they turn around and tell me they are only interested in sex. Now I guess I kind of feel flattered, I’m a 24 year old woman with mild cerebral palsy, but I haven’t crossed that hurdle and I want to mean something, and for me to mean something to the other person, when I do decide that’s what I want.

My question is, is sex really all guys in their 20’s are looking for?

I have a really close relationship with a guy I met when I was on holiday in Florida when I was 16, but he lives in Australia, so that’s not really possible. He’s the only guy, at 26, around my age who I have actually had interested in me who’s not just interested in sex. I’m just wondering if I’m giving the ‘come try me’ signal but avoiding it entirely. I don’t want to apologise for being me, but I feel like this seems to be such a big draw for men.

Any sage words of advice would be greatly appreciated!”


Arh Lizzy, the age old question. Are boys in their 20’s only interested in one thing, sex? The short answer is no, but that’s not to say that they will admit that they want more. I was an aberration as I have always sought out a relationship rather than sex, which really freaked out some of my partners when I was in my 20’s. It’s also not just men who are interested in sex. My wife freely admits she went out with me at first as she fancied me and wanted to have sex with me. The relationship came out of the sex… tee hee.

So, what would I advise you? Well firstly, is it so bad that these guys are being truthful? I know that many women end up with broken hearts when they discover that the guy they thought wanted a relationship only wanted sex, and with these guys telling you like it is, you at least know what you’re getting in to. I also wonder is it such a bad thing to start out just having sex? As I said, that is how my marriage started and it’s getting stronger every day 26 years later. As well as not knowing if it will grow into something more, if you really fancy a few of these guys I wonder if a few nights of sweaty fun might not a good idea. Make some nice memories at least. Sure there’s the reputation issue, which is so sad in the 21st Century, but I would hope they weren’t the kind of guys to kiss and tell. Always an important thing to gauge before you jump into the sack.

As for your worry about that signals you are giving, I know your pain. My wife might have only wanted sex but I fancied her to bits. Apparently I was such a flirt she was sure I’d love her and leave her, so that is how she went in to the relationship. Luckily I trapped her with my charm and wit (?), but she was still attracted to how I was and I couldn’t have changed if I wanted. Please don’t over think the way you act with these guys. Be yourself and they will love it, or leave it, either way you win.

Actually, don’t over think it all. Men might say they want sex, and of course we do because we are mostly horny little devils, but we aren’t really that different from you ladies. We also want to be loved and secure and happy, but we just aren’t brought up to be able to say it. In a way their honesty shows how much they like you. If they really wanted just to have sex with you they’d say whatever they thought would get you in bed. Men can be bastards! Go out on a date with them, maybe even tumble into bed and see what occurs. It might turn out they were trying to be cool and they want as much from you as you think you want from them. If not, make sure the night was something to remember when you are old and past it!

To be honest, it’s so great to get a question from someone who is not finding their impairment isn’t a bar to finding love, sex and flowers. Get out there and let the world take you where it will, and enjoy the ride.

My wife and I are very adventurous sexually and are keen to try attending swingers parties…

By Disability, Lifestyle, Mik Scarlet, My story, The Love Lounge One Comment

James, Milton-Keynes

“My wife and I are very adventurous sexually and are keen to try attending swingers parties. However, I have MS and am a wheelchair user. Can I expect the swinging scene to be equipped to deal with and accepting of my disability?”


While I haven’t ventured onto the swinging scene, I have many friends who have. I do know that from my contact with them that disability is not really an issue. To be honest I kept finding myself being told that I would “enjoy” myself on that scene as many of them have a tick list, or a list of things they want to try.

Sex with a disabled person is high on that list apparently, so if you don’t mind that idea then it might be fun. I would check out your local scene and see if you like the people, which I would imagine is pretty important if you intend to sleep with them! Of course some people might be arse holes, but that is life. I should say that please go it into with your eyes open. I know many relationships that have been torn apart by trying swinging.

It may sound fun, but will either of you be able to cope if one partner is more popular than another? Jealousy can kill a successful relationship, and while it is a not fashionable emotion I personally feel it is part of really being in love. Having said that, I also know couples who have a great time and swear it has brought them closer together. So if you really fancy it, go for it. Trust me, as far I as I understand having a disability is not bar to swinging your socks off!

My spina bifida means that my body looks different to everybody else’s…

By Lifestyle, Mik Scarlet, My story, The Love Lounge No Comments

Kelly, Bournemouth – “My spina bifida means that my body looks different to everybody elses. I’m almost too anxious about it now to go clothes shopping and try them on in the changing rooms. How can I get some confidence?”

Mik – To me this issue is one of the biggest that many disabled people have to contend with. However much we might outwardly appear confident, and claim to be proud of our impairments, we live in a society that is obsessed with perfection and let’s face it, we are only human. We cannot help but be influenced by this growing need to be beautiful and perfect, and measure ourselves against the images that fill our media. It is a remarklable person, disabled or not, who is not touched by the dream of being perfect. I know that when I was a teenager, back in the early 80’s, I found myself so sure of my unattractiveness due to my disability that I developed an eating disorder. Even today what I see in the mirror and what I understand everyone else sees is very different. However, I will give you the advice I try to give myself every time I find myself looking at the mirror and seeing a monster, fuck em! You are the most perfect you ever. OK, you may not fit the stereotype of what beauty or perfection is, but who say that is right? Mostly a bunch or fat man who work in the press, or aging women in the fashion industry whose obsession with youth is driven by their fears over the passing of time. Disabled people wear their strength and individuality on the design of their bodies, like an amazing work of art. We challenge society to see what biology can actually achieve, and how robust the human form can be. Don’t let the non-disabled world make you feel less because you do not look like they do. It’s them who should feel inferior. So from now on when you get up, look in that mirror and know you see beauty and perfection. Your own totally individual form that no other person can achieve. Be proud of that, and if anyone dares to challenge it then they can go f**k themselves. As for finding clothes, I always advise find a style that works for you. Fashion is our enemy, as trends change so quickly. Instead experiment with style until you find one that fits.. and stick to it. Sure you can follow fashion, but make sure you model it to suit the style you have created. I used to wear loads of leather, not only as it looked great but because it was hard wearing and made me look like an injured biker. The alternative scene has always been less judgemental that the mainstream crowd and so I found my outrageous clothes allowed me to become part of scene who didn’t seem to care if I was disabled, or sky-blue pink!. So best bet, scan the fashion mags plus books on the history of fashion. Find a look you like and that you think will work, and THEN go shopping. With a look in mind, you are already half way there. And if you find a shop without a changing room, remember the Equality Act demands that they have one. So get shouting…. “I know my rights!” If you need any styling tips, drop me a mail, maybe with a pic or two, and I’ll see if I can help. Believe it or not, I actually studied fashion as a overly trendy new romantic youth so I do know what I’m on about!

I haven’t been on a date in well over a year and am finding it increasingly hard to meet women…

By Lifestyle, Mik Scarlet, My story, The Love Lounge No Comments

Peter, Bath – “I haven’t been on a date in well over a year and am finding it increasingly hard to meet women and get out of the house because of the pain of my early onset osteoporosis. How can I get myself motivated and out the house?”

Mik – Dear Peter, I also know the joys of chronic pain and how debilitating it can be. I have tried everything to fight it, both conventional and alternative, and I might suggest trying Mindfullness. It’s a meditation technique thatmight sound a but hippy dippy, but I have found it really works. Not only as a method of counteracting the pain but also to give you back some feeling of control. That feeling of being the captain of you own ship is the thing that will help with motivation, so it really important to get the ball rolling. Ask your GP or at your pain clinic about Mindfullness and for advice on controlling your pain. If you aren’t being seen by a pain clinic, that must be top of your list. Even before you start out on the road of finding methods of fighting your pain I would suggest allowing yourself to feel down, ill and angry. We always get told to keep your chin up and other such arse, but until you have felt real chronic pain it is difficult to understand. While it can stop you from doing anything, and I know in my past I have spent years lying on my sofa unable to sleep for days wishing I would just pass out to have some release, I would advise you to start small. Little trips out, doing things you really enjoy. Imagine it is like a little baby, trying to learn to walk. You make short trips, not pushing yourself too hard, and then build up to longer and longer ventures into the outside world. It’s a balance between reclaiming your life from your pain and not making it worse. But you will win. If for no other reason that you eventually get used to it. However try to get your medical team to understand how bad the pain is and get them to do something for you, as it can be controlled. I have my daily pain medicine, and then something stronger for break through. With the Mindfullness to help me when it gets really bad or when I know I need to spend days at work, I have a full arsenal to fight and defeat pain. With the right help you can too, and then you control it and not it you. Once you reach this point you will look back to now and see how far you have come. Trust me, it is possible. Good luck, and if you need any more help please get in touch.