Tinder, POF, eHarmony, Bumble and God knows whatever else, online dating is EVERYWHERE. Meeting people in cities seems increasingly impossible unless you’re looking on your phone. Going up to someone and introducing yourself seems almost alien, and does anyone really fancy you unless they’ve ‘super liked’ you?! Regardless of what we think about online dating, it’s here to stay. Here are our top tips on navigating the world of swiping, sexy selfies and aubergine emojis…
Tip 1: Think about Disclosure
If you’re online dating as a disabled person, one thing is often on your mind more than anything else: disclosing your impairment. When, where and how you choose to do it (and whether you choose to disclose at all) is totally up to you, but before you start online dating, it might be a good idea to think about what suits you best. Disclosure doesn’t mean shouting from the rooftops, either. Mentioning that you play wheelchair basketball, or suggesting that you go somewhere with a little bit more light than a basement nightclub are all statements that could lead to fuller disclosure. Whether you are proud of your impairment or still taking the steps to come to terms with it, knowing how to have conversations around it in a way that makes you feel most comfortable is never a bad thing.
Tip 2: Bucket Lists and Fetishists
We all have preferences, things that excite us and things that we simply just want to try when it comes to sex. As a disabled person who is online dating, you will, without doubt, come across people who want to sleep with you because they are an admirer of your impairment. And also people who want to get you in the sack so they can add a nice, big, fat tick to their sexual bucket list. If you’re cool with this, and want to try some new experiences yourself, who the hell are we to stop you! Having an awareness and educating yourself around these issues is highly recommended, though. Have a little google of disability devoteeism. And always beware of someone who goes straight onto their group WhatsApp after a shag to announce the news!
Tip 3: Teach where possible
Dating, both on and offline, is supposed to be fun (and flipping sexy, too!) Whilst we don’t want to ruin that fun for you, remember that you may well be the first disabled person your new interest has ever spoken to, never mind dated! They may well say the wrong thing at the wrong time, ask awkward questions and not quite know what to do with themselves at the best of times. If you like them and they have the best of intentions, there is nothing wrong with taking the time out to educate them around disability, the requirements you have and how best they could help you if and when you need it. Sharing is caring, as they say!
Good luck in that crazy, complicated but ever so fun world of online dating. Should you ever have any questions or concerns, we are here to help.
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