Disabilities and sex: Taboos around sex limitations for specially-challenged
Maybe the taboo can be broken if non-disabled humans accept imperfections of themselves and others and respect it.
While sex remains a taboo, the disability culture in context to sex is even more restricted. In an article The Guardian, it was found that only 7 per cent of disabled people date non-disabled ones. There is no appropriate sex education to meet their needs.
According to the report, Penny Pepper, a writer and activist for sex and disabled, said even disabled people are willing to have sex. A lot of people due to disability have resigned themselves from the sex game. The activist feels that specially-abled humans are denied of humanity to the fullest and are marginalised.
In a documentary ‘Meet the Devotees’ Emily Yates says, “We end up being one of two things – infantilised or hyper-sexualised – neither of which help with the normalisation of the disability and sex arena. I don’t want to be treated like a child or a ‘bucket list’ item, just the wheelchair-using woman that I am”.
But in recent time with mainstream media, a lot of taboos are brought to the limelight. Hence, dating and sex for people with disabilities are seen now common. There are now accessible sex toys available and a lot of specially challenged models are seen on the runway and ad campaigns.
Though media is not for much credit, it has still helped in forming communities through blogging and social media that allow them to get a hold of their lives. Leandra Vane, a blogger who was told she can never have sex due to her spinal cord issue, writes about breaking myths and myriad ways of enjoying sex from “thinking herself off” to kink, and says “visibility is the key to bringing about mainstream change”.
Charities are also helping in spreading awareness by offering online advice on disability and sex. The creator of #DisablePeopleAreHot, Andrew Gurza, took a step forward to make it go viral.
A lot of popular you tubers and influencers also helped the cause. YouTuber Jessica Fozard brought customised mobility aids into fashion to celebrate disabled style.
The sex toy industry is also working to bring about more accessible toys for them keeping in mind the disabilities and health as a priority. While this being said a few companies create this saddening notion the people who cannot be penetrated or need help positioning are just not too sexy.
It just seems unfair not only to disabled but also to the people who have health issues that affect their sex lives. Pepper told me: “If a non-disabled person says, ‘Oh no, a disabled person can’t have sex’, well that really says more about that person’s lack of imagination [than anything else]. Sex isn’t just being penetrated with a dick.”
The approach to these issues should be more accepting and sex-related issues should be critiqued keeping in mind the marginal crowd along with the normal. Be it anorgasmia, vaginismus or erectile dysfunction or sexual traumas and ageing all should be handled with utmost care.
The article suggests that maybe the taboo can be broken if non-disabled humans accept imperfections of themselves and others and respect it. Not only that but are more open to exploring new sexual possibilities without being ashamed about it, being more imaginative and creative.