The latest edition of MDA’s InTouch Magazine finally broke the mould and took on the job of discussing one of the biggest elephants in the disabled room, sexuality.
I wrote a 3-part blog a couple of months ago about my personal journey to sex, and it was easily the most revealing and high stakes piece of writing I had ever posted on the internet. On a personal level, my sexuality has always been one of the biggest challenges that life with a disability has thrown me, and until I actually “achieved sex”, it was always a somewhat negative or worrying aspect of my life.
Now that I have had sex and discovered my body on a sexual level, it has now become a positive part of my life, and I have never looked back since.
What InTouch covered in their magazine about sex was absolutely spot on for the most part.
One of the most interesting pieces that the sexuality story discussed was certain myths and pre conceived ideas surrounding sexuality and disability.
One claimed that some parents of teenagers with muscular conditions may discourage the notion or decrease possibilities of their son/daughter striving for relationships and a healthy sex life, by limiting the opportunities to do so. It suggested that due to the progressive weakness the condition brings, the ability of the person to perform sexually may decrease also, and any opportunity to experience could bring about heartbreaking discoveries if things didn’t go well.
As was wrote in the magazine, teenagers with most disabilities develop sexual feelings and have increasing needs to intimacy in the same way as teenagers without a disability.
The stats prove it, many young people with disabilities go on to have a healthy sex life, I know I do, and many have gone on to have families of their own.
The biggest myth of them all is that people in wheelchairs cannot feel anything “down there”. Few disabilities can cause some problems sexually, but fewer still cause disruption of sexual function. Another myth is that with the gradual loss of ability, a loss in interest of sex will follow. I couldn’t disagree more, I think it will vary from person to person, but losing interest doesn’t have to be “the right way forward” even if you have a neuromuscular disorder.
It is all about that initial act of discovery, and while that continues to be very much a taboo subject in many areas, MDA’s piece in the latest InTouch is well worth the read.