I’m finally getting comfortable with online dating and really enjoying flirting again – though how can I stop thinking each problem is caused by my disability?
I’ve been trying my hand at online dating, especially hearing the hype surrounding Tinder and similar apps. But, I’m not sure how to bring my disability up…
I’m struggling to feel sexy in my wheelchair after my accident, how can I avoid becoming a ‘lights off’ kinda person? Click to read more…
I have an older brother who is pretty far in the disability spectrum and have been hoping for some advice. He has Hypoplasia of the cerebellum which has rendered him mute and unable to walk with I guess you can call autistic traits… that’s the best way I can describe it, it’s a pretty rare disorder.
Being the second child I’ve always acted as secondary caretaker next to my mom for my brother’s care, and having watched him grow up from an emotional teenage boy and mature to adulthood I’ve wondered about whether he’s missing out on those things that which carers shouldn’t speak of. I know because you guys have been covering this topic speaking out for this growingly public community of disabled individuals taking control over their lives on your website that this topic is at least coming to the forefront which is awesome given the stigmas.
But for those individuals that have a more difficult time communicating or are just farther up in the disability spectrum, do you have any advice? This is an extremely complicated topic I know.
He loves magazines and used to have a big crush on certain actresses, would it be weird getting him x-rated mags? I just recently started broaching this subject with my mother, who’s had a hard time in the past with doctors giving poor or entirely wrong diagnoses on my brother’s symptoms i.e. proclaiming he’s def despite loving music so for such a grey area it seems like a far fetched topic to broach with them. (more often than not doctors will answer inquiries from my mother with “really you know just about better than we do”) So we’re pretty much in the dark, there’s not much input out in the media yet and really it’s sort of a pioneering topic so I figured I’d send a shout out to you guys since you seem to have had some experience with this. I just don’t want to do something that might inadvertently freak him out or get him misguided since I don’t know how I can teach him whats inappropriate or not.
Any input helps, and good job to you guys for what your doing.
Thank you so much for your message and kind words. Firstly, it’s amazing that you are looking out for your brother and all of his needs, rather than just the ones that society deems appropriate! You couldn’t be more ‘spot on’ with what you say, and the way that disability and sex is portrayed needs to change… and quickly!!
In terms of how you can help your brother and what may be deemed appropriate, my response would be that that is entirely up to you as you also need to feel comfortable with what you are assisting with, too. Some relations and friends of people with disabilities do help them to explore their sexuality with x-rated mags or sensual videos, we’ve also had questions regarding masturbation and seeing sex workers. The answer is that there’s no right or wrong way to deal with your brother’s sexual needs, as long as both him and you are comfortable with whatever you decide.
In my opinion though, these magazines sound like they’d be the perfect ‘ice breaker’ for you, your brother and your family. If nothing else, you’re showing your brother that you are there for him and recognise him as a man with desires, and this is quite something when others can just see disability.
Have you seen our ‘Undressing Disability’ video? It can be found here and documents a really powerful story in a lovely way and I think you and your family may benefit from watching it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwSsPiCEI-0
Anything else I can help with, just shout. I’m always on hand to discuss these things further and in more detail if you’d like to do that. Fingers crossed for a great experience for all of you!
I just discovered your videos on youtube. I’m 29, female, been C5 tetraplegic for five years now since my accident, three years married and getting quite frustrated cause I still haven’t been able to reach orgasm after the accident. I love my husband and he loves me, but sex still leaves me just relaxed at most. We’ve tried different positions, I’ve tried “thinking myself to it”, but it won’t
help. I still have some minor feeling down there, but it’s like having sex while in a rubber suit really, so the sensations are nearly nonexistent.
I’ve almost lost hope, but after seeing your videos I’d really like to ask more about the techniques you use. I refuse to believe that I’ll never be able to come again.
Any ideas, suggestions or videos you could suggest?
Looking forward to your answer,
If you were approached in a bar by somebody with a disability how would you feel? If you really think about it can you in all honesty say that you would be 100% comfortable with it; many people admit that they experience a certain level of fear when considering dating a person with a disability, some of this stems from concerns of being more of a carer than a partner whilst others worry about being politically incorrect and offending their potential date. When you examine these worries though, many are often unfounded.
Being politically correct is something many people feel extremely tense about. These worries are often heightened when talking to a person with a disability. However language evolves all the time and what is deemed to be politically correct today when talking about disability may not be correct in a years’ time. One way to sweep any concerns under the rug is by listening to how the other person talks, and the language that they use when talking about their disability. When I talk to potential dates I’m often not politically correct, nor am I offensive. I use causal jokey language rather than medical jargon.
Will I be a Carer?
This is quite a common concern for people considering dating someone with a disability. However fretting about this and turning the question over in your mind is not going to do much good. The best way to get an answer is to voice your concerns. The chances are it won’t be your dates first time having this conversation, so relax. Everyone’s needs vary; many people value the independence they have or employ someone to care for them if they need extra help. They are looking to date you so try not be too worried.
Relax, breath and get to know the person behind the disability.