Monthly Archives

January 2019

Feeling sexy

By | Emily Yates, Sex & disability, The Love Lounge, Undressing Disability | No Comments

Typing the word ‘sexy’ makes me squirm a little bit, but it’s important! It sometimes seems that, by
not choosing us for films, adverts and campaigns, society is trying to tell us disabled people
something: that we aren’t desirable, or worthy of attention based on our looks. Excuse the
language, but that is utter bollocks. Sadly though, it can often have the desired effect, and we can
feel less-than in so many ways, not least sexually. So, how can we get our mojo back and ensure
that feeling fiiiine isn’t just for the non-disabled? Read on for some of my personal hints and tips
(and feel free to add your own!)

Tip 1: You are Enough
I read so many articles that encourage readers to focus on everything other than their impairment
when it comes to feeling attractive. There’s no need! Instead, we need to start believing that every
bit of us is sexy, even the bits that don’t work properly, or do the opposite of what we want them to!
First things first, take the time to appreciate the whole ‘you’, even the parts of your body or
personality that you’ve always been insecure about. It’s easier said than done, we know, but it really
does make quite the difference when you can look in the mirror, give yourself a little smile and think
‘yep, you’ll do!’

Tip 2: Unravel the attractiveness
One of the things that annoys me most about how many people view disability is weirdly also one of
the things I find most attractive about myself. I’ll try to explain… There is nothing that makes me
feel more attractive when meeting someone new on a night out than when they’ve all but cast me
aside because I’m a wheelchair user, and I ‘unravel’ other parts of myself – my interests, opinions
and humour – and can see the person that didn’t want to know a minute ago suddenly changing
their mind. Their initial narrowmindedness probably means that I won’t be going home with them,
but knowing that their mentality has changed just a little bit makes me feel so good, and powerful in
a way. Find what it is that makes you feel powerful and attractive, and work it!

Tip 3: Haters gonna hate.
And that’s okay, don’t let them grind you down. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea – none
of us are – but its important not to let one opinion define you. Change the things you want to and
can, and move forward loving the bits you can’t, because worrying about and apologising for who
you are and what you’re about isn’t sexy; owning it is.
Here’s to you, you sexy thing. Go get ‘em!

Communicating with a new sexual partner

By | Emily Yates, Sex & disability, The Love Lounge | No Comments

Bedroom antics with someone new are supposed to be exciting. Start watching any TV series on
Netflix, and the sex scenes will always be impulsive, passionate and steamy. It’s great when that
happens, but it happens much more rarely in the real world, especially when you’re disabled and
taking the next step with someone new! Many of us have to plan ahead when it comes to getting
intimate, as well as talking about our capabilities and limitations, likes and dislikes. All of this is more
than okay (and quite often makes us better lovers in the long run!) but if you’re still unsure of how
to navigate that ‘first time chat’, below are some tips that we hope will help you out.

Tip 1: Honesty is the best policy.
Wanting to get it on but feeling nervous about doing so? Just say. Are there certain positions that
are uncomfortable or impossible, or specific aids or equipment you need to use? Let your partner
know. Is there something they can do instead that would really turn you on? Tell them! Whatever
you’re feeling, don’t keep quiet and then let it get in the way of you having a good time. If you like
this person enough to be having sex with them, we’re pretty sure they’ll like you enough to learn
about your body and how they can best please you. Enjoying each other – after all – is what it’s all
about.

Tip 2: Stay open.
If you do decide to talk about sex before getting down to it, there may be a few questions that your
new partner asks. Whilst it’s important to try and keep the conversation light and playful (let’s face
it, no-one wants to feel like they are being medically examined), it’s also vital that you stay as open
to questions as possible, and answer them sincerely, as long as the person asking them is doing so
with the best of intentions. There aren’t many people out there who know a lot about disability
(and even less have gone to bed with one of us), so being respectful of each other’s questions and
answers is a huge step to ensuring that all worries and stresses can disappear before you get
intimate.

Tip 3: It’s not always about talking.
Our body language says so much about us, we often forget how important it really is! Some people
like to talk and reassure each other during sex, but an intense look, certain touch, laugh or moan can
also speak a thousand words and let your partner know how you’re feeling and if they are doing all
the right things or not. It goes without saying that you both have the right, at any point, to stop

what’s going on and not take it any further, but communicating openly with your body as well as
your voice can often do a lot of the communicating for you.

Good luck. Here’s to stress-free, satisfying sex for us all!

How to become a more confident dater

By | Emily Yates, Sex & disability, The Love Lounge, Undressing Disability | No Comments

Love Lounge Top Tips – How to become a more confident dater

With a dating history that I could count on two hands, I most definitely wouldn’t call myself a serial
dater. When it comes to dating, sex and relationships, I’ve had amazing experiences, as well as
some I’d much rather forget… but haven’t most of us? Those experiences have led to me gaining one
thing, though: dating confidence. I’ve now got a partner who I hope to be with for a very long time,
but if I was to go out on a date tomorrow, I’m pretty certain that I wouldn’t be too petrified or
anxious about it. Whether you’re going out on a date tomorrow, next week or next month, here are
some confidence tips that I hope will help you navigate the shiny (but often scary) world of dating.

Tip 1: Plan ahead.
It may sound obvious, but a first date is going to be much more stressful when it’s filled with
uncertainty. Uncertainty about how you’ll get there, when you’ll arrive and what you’ll say. Of
course you don’t want to seem inflexible or scripted, but it’s not a bad idea to have a think about
these things before date day. I’m a wheelchair user, so the venue and location of the date is really
important to me (the evening isn’t going to get off to the best of starts if I arrive at a restaurant with
5 steps up to it!) And I always have a couple of ready-made answers memorised in case I get asked
about my disability. Which leads nicely on to tip number 2.

Tip 2: Disclosure.
For those of us who are disabled, this is more often than not a BIG deal. It’s totally up to us whether
we choose to disclose our impairment to our potential lover before the first date or a couple of
months into the relationship. But you can bet it’s on our minds on the regular. Disclosing the fact
that I’m a wheelchair user (and really owning that, regardless of what the reaction is) has
undoubtedly made me a more confident dater. Yes, I’m in a strangely fortunate position that my
very visible aid with four wheels really takes that debate of when to disclose my situation right out
of my hands, but knowing that I’m comfortable with how that conversation might go down has really
made all the difference.

Tip 3: Have fun!
Smile, wear a bold lippy, be daring with a colourful outfit just to see what the reaction is. Dating is
supposed to be enjoyable, and even though it can be stressful at times, that stress shouldn’t take all
the fun away for you. I can 100% guarantee that no-one has a clean sheet of all-amazing dates; we
all have a few bad ones, whether we are disabled or not. But, you

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