Skip to main content

Free Relationship & Sex Resources

This is our page for all things free and sexy. You’ll find all our accessible PDF guides, articles, free support and our very own online magazine here

Kelly wearing a hat and black underwear, posing for the undressing disability campaign
Downloadable PDF’s

#UndressingDisability: Sex Ed for Teenagers

At Enhance The UK, we believe more conversations around sex & disability need to be started. We’re not shy, we’ll discuss just about anything!

a wheelchair user being 'helped' up some stairs
Article Link

Frequently UNASKED Questions!

On the contrary, there’s many Frequently Unasked Questions about disability! People are often afraid to ask questions and worry about how to treat disabled people to avoid offending.

Go to page
Q&A’s

Your Sex Questions Answered

We receive a lot of curious questions from people with and without disabilities about sex. Here’s some of the most commonly asked questions.

Go to page

DON'T FORGET ABOUT
LIABILITY MAGAZINE!

Liability is an online monthly magazine published by us. It’s written by a group of women who all have disabilities and are not afraid to talk about them. They have a lot to say each month and topics covered range from sex and relationships to current affairs, politics and fashion. There really is something for everyone!

See this month's issue
Recent Blogs

There’s helpful information, questions and articles on our blog too…

Stress Impacts Your Libido - a face covered with hands and another two hands pressing down on the side of the head

How Stress Impacts Your Libido and General Health

By Disability, Undressing Disability

April is stress awareness month. So, we thought we’d take a look at how stress impacts your libido and general health.

What is stress?

When we’re feeling stressed, our body has a physical reaction which triggers the release of cortisol and adrenalin. These stress hormones send us into what is known as ‘fight or flight’ mode. Instead of being relaxed we are on edge, worried or overwhelmed. Everyone has different things that trigger stress but for the majority of people stress impacts your libido, your mental health, and your physical wellbeing.

Physical Symptoms of Stress

Stress is exhausting and lowers our tolerance for many things. Some symptoms of stress are:
• Sweaty palms
• Foggy mind and/or irrational thinking
• Irritability and/or low mood
• Rapid heartbeat
• Shallow breathing
• Insomnia

When stressed, we just don’t have the capacity to be thinking about others, only focussing on ourselves. A lack of tolerance for others, irrational thinking and even aggression can impact our relationships by pushing your partner away. In turn, the lack of closeness can lead to more worry about your relationship and perhaps lead to low self-esteem.

Stress and Libido

Stress can affect both men’s and women’s libido. The stress hormone cortisol disrupts your testosterone levels, which is responsible for men and women’s sex drives. It can also:

• Narrow your arteries, meaning men may experience erectile dysfunction
• Take you longer to become aroused and reach orgasm

When you’re stressed and have worries and thoughts running through your head it’s not surprising that your libido might decrease.
If stress is impacting your libido, trust that this can change. It doesn’t mean your sex drive will be low forever. It can fluctuate at any time and for many reasons. Intimacy may help reduce your stress too. So kisses, a loving cuddle or massage can alleviate your tension and stress. And with time, this may help your libido increase.
Masturbation can be a big stress reliever too, so it’s not just a partner that can make you feel good!

What can we do to manage stress?

When you feel stressed and are aware of the physiological changes, try and take control back by refocusing your thoughts. Ask yourself:

1. What is really going on in this moment?
2. How can I reasonably respond to the situation?

This isn’t easy and will take much practice to regain control of your thoughts.

Here are some tips:
• Slow down your breathing and breathe through your nose, deep into your belly, expanding your diaphragm. Release the breath slowly and forcefully, emptying the lungs.
• You can use mindfulness with your breathing too. Notice the air flowing through your nostrils and how your chest and belly rises. How does it feel? This exercise of thought focus will divert the panic response of fight or flight.

Managing relationships whilst stressed

If you recognise that you’re being snappy and impatient with your loved ones, don’t be too proud to admit it’s happening.
When you’ve got time to collect your thoughts, be honest with them. Say

‘I’m stressed at the moment and know I’m being irritable. Bear with me’.

This will help dissipate their bad feelings towards you, rather than you not admitting it, feeling guilty yet still displaying the unhelpful behaviours! Also just being open and chatting the problem over with them may help you. The old adage ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ is so true.
• Always remember – talk, reach out, use techniques, seek support! It’s out there.
• Speak to your doctor if stress is impacting your day to day life.

Useful Resources

The Stress Management Society – 30 Day Challenge

Mental Health Foundation – How to Manage Stress

NHS – 10 Stress Busters

 

Keep up to date with all our Undressing Disability chat by joining us on twitter @ETUKUndressing or on Instagram @UndressingDisability.

Different Sexual Tests - a bed with handcuffs and a vanilla ice-cream

Different Sexual Needs

By The Love Lounge

The Question

Dear Love Lounge,

My partner and I have different sexual needs. We are both disabled and before getting together had limited sexual experiences. We’ve been together for almost a year and are very open with each other and comfortable in our own skins. It’s fair to say we really love each other and want this relationship to last. The problem is that there’s one thing in particular that really excites her, and it is a complete turn off for me. I have attempted to go along with it, but she knows I’m not into it and it ruins the moment and causes an argument.

It’s becoming an issue and our sex life is suffering. How do we get over this?

Thanks,

Billy

(Billy’s name has been changed and he recieved a private response prior to this Q&A being published.)

Our Answer

 

Hi Billy,

It sounds like you have a strong, happy relationship despite your different sexual needs. I’m encouraged that you’re very open and comfortable with each other. This will hopefully set you in good stead for resolving this issue.

Sexual compatibility is about the shared feelings that you and your partner have about your needs, desires, wants and beliefs around sex.

What To Do When You Have Different Sexual Needs

Ultimately, you and your partner will have to discuss how far each of you are willing to compromise. This will involve very honest, open, frank discussions. And lots of trial and error. It is vital that each of you always feel respected and gives consent.
If you can work together towards a shared goal, this will help. Set some targets, keep giving feedback about how you’re feeling. It needs to be something that you both are keen to achieve, not something that will make you feel under more pressure. Currently it sounds like you’ve tried to fulfil her need but she isn’t enjoying the fact that you’re not enjoying it. That’s a good indicator that you want your love-making to be enjoyable for both of you and your partner isn’t being selfish about her needs.

The Dangers of Forcing The Issue

With different sexual needs, sometimes one person might think that if the couple tries a particular act many times, the other person will get used to it and enjoy it. This isn’t always the case. Doing this can cause trauma and irreversible damage.

So, the compromise, or solution, that you find together will be whatever you BOTH find acceptable, and perhaps fulfilling for both too. No one should be forced to do something they don’t want to and equally if someone is constantly sacrificing what they’d really want to do, it will build up huge resentment.

What If We Can’t Resolve It?

The key is to recognise that both of your feelings count. When in a relationship with another, your partner’s feelings are just as important as yours. By working within this frame, you will have mutual respect and are more likely to share your honest feelings with each other knowing they will be safe and valued. If your opinion of something differs, that’s ok, but to dismiss the other person’s opinion or feelings as not mattering, then begins a problem which will just push you further apart.

Ignoring the disparity between two people’s sexual tastes will never work. The problem will become bigger and impact on other areas of the relationship. If you are unable to find a mutual compromise, then therapy will help to repair resentments. It will offer a safe space for you both to share your feelings and concerns, without shame, accusation, or guilt. The therapist will facilitate each partner to be heard and will notice patterns and hidden meaning in what you’re both saying. (Learn more about what sexual therapy involves in this episode of Undressing Disability Podcast.)

How sexually different are you?

If it seems impossible to find compromise or your tastes are far too different, it may be time to call an end to a relationship. If you are both unable to satisfy each other, is it fair to stay in a relationship full of resentment, frustration, and angst?

If your different sexual needs were a matter of frequency, and you’re near the desired target of your partner, then compromise would probably be easy to achieve. However, if your partner is into kink and you’re into vanilla and neither are wanting to compromise by doing a bit of both, then it will be much harder to make it work.

Both could set each other free to find a partner whose sexual tastes are more compatible. And therefore, you may be more fulfilled in a different relationship that matches your needs. This wouldn’t be an easy choice and would be the last resort, but sometimes the gap is just too vast.

With your desire to stay together and your openness and love you have for each other; I feel you will manage to have the important talks. Respect for each other will be key here.

I wish you the best of luck in finding a compromise!

Zoe

 

Got a question our Love Lounge team can help with? Get in touch.

Keep up to date with all our latest Love Lounge questions, podcasts, blogs and campaigns by joining us on Instagram and twitter. #UndressingDisability.

My partner hates my vibrator - red and black lacy knickers with a black vibrator positioned on the top

Partner Hates My Vibrator

By The Love Lounge

The Question

Hi Love Lounge,

My partner hates my vibrator and well, I love it and don’t wanna to give it up. I also don’t wanna give up my boyfriend as he’s kind and funny and genuinely a good guy. I have limited mobility in my fingers and have always used vibrators, they hit the spot every time.

I’d never really mentioned it to my boyfriend, but he found one in the bedside drawer and was very annoyed about it. He says I shouldn’t need it now that I’ve got him and stropped off in the huff.  He’s usually pretty laid back, so I laughed thinking he was joking but no, deadly serious.

He isn’t a talker and I’m struggling to understand the issue here or how to approach it with him. Can you help me out?

Thanks, Lisa

(Names have been changed for anonymity and we send a private answer prior to publishing here on the blog.)

Our Answer

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for getting in touch with us. First up, you are definitely not alone! ‘My partner hates my vibrator’ are words we hear regularly at the Love Lounge.

The main reason for this is that a partner can feel inadequate or jealous if you are able to orgasm with a toy easier than you can with them. They might think that you prefer the toy to them. The size of vibrator you use could also make them feel self-conscious about how they physically compare.

The first thing I would suggest is to try and talk to your partner about it. Explain why you like using a vibrator but reassure him that it is not a replacement for him. Explain that you use a vibrator because of your mobility issues and that it makes masturbation easier and more pleasurable.

The next step then could be to introduce sex toys when you are having sex. For example using your vibrator whilst your partner watches. The other option is to invite your partner to use it on you which may help him feel more involved and less threatened by it.

Couples Toys

You could also try a couples’ toy. Here are a few examples of products that you could use together.

The Hot Octopuss Atom Cock Ring is very powerful cock ring and enhances pleasure for both partners.

The Satisfyer Double Joy is a great product that can be used whilst having sex. It can also be used for Solo Play with your partner controlling it using a Smart Phone App.

You could also buy him his own Sex Toy that he can either use on his own or you could use on him.

A good product to start with would be the Tenga Egg Masturbator. The super stretch material gives the user a different sensation when masturbating. There is a wide range of different textures available but this one has little hearts embossed on it.

Another product is the Fleshlight Stamina Unit which is a great Sex Toy for someone with a penis.

Stay Connected.

If you have a dating dilemma or question that relates to sex and disability get in touch. Follow us on twitter @ETUKUndressing and on Instagram @UndressingDisability. You can also join our Undressing Disability Hub for free. It’s a friendly network of experts, researchers and people who have an interest in learning more about sex and disability. There’s free resources to download too.

 

The Love Lounge

 

ASK THE NON-EXPERT
SEXPERTS ANYTHING...

If you feel alone and need to talk to someone, get a bit of down to earth advice or need some practical tips on sex, relationships and flirting, please come and talk to our resident love non expert sexperts!

Explore The Love Lounge
Top