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Myth Busters – disabled people don’t, won’t and can’t have sex

By | Disability, Emily Yates, Lifestyle, Sex & disability, The Love Lounge, Undressing Disability

Disabled people don’t, won’t and can’t have sex

How often do you see disabled people ‘getting it on’ on tv, in films or even in porn? No, we don’t see it often either.  Society seems to think that disabled people don’t, won’t and can’t have sex, and that’s a myth that we are here to dispel.  Want to join us, whilst raising a bit of awareness and education along the way? Keep reading!

Myth 1: Penetration

Sadly, we appear to have the (very incorrect) opinion as a society that sex isn’t ‘real’ if it doesn’t involve penetration, and therefore disabled people that can’t have intercourse aren’t sexual people.  This is wrong on every level, and whilst penetration isn’t possible for everyone, it really isn’t all that sex is about.  The possibility to be sensual and sexual exists for absolutely everyone, and many people that struggle with penetration put other skills they might have to very good use…! Perhaps, if we changed our view of penetration, we would also be able to educate ourselves on the complexities and intricacies of pleasure, in all its forms.

Myth 2: A lack of desire

Another common myth when it comes to disability and sex is that disabled people don’t have the same sexual desires as non-disabled people – something else that is desperately untrue! Whilst it is correct that sex can be a little more difficult for some of us (and take a little more time, effort and planning, sadly meaning that one night stands aren’t always on the table for all of us) the desire to have sex and be considered sexy still exists for lots of disabled people.  So, the next time you see an attractive, single disabled person giving you smouldering eye contact, don’t talk yourself out of it by thinking they won’t be interested!

Myth 3: Attraction

This third and final myth is arguably the biggest one, and the toughest to dispel.  It is so unfortunate that disabled people are portrayed so negatively by the media in many ways, and we are almost told not to find disabled people attractive.  Many of our colleagues, friends and partners are disabled and, let us tell you, they are all smart, funny, sexy and drop dead gorgeous in their own ways.  Don’t ever allow the world we live in to prescribe what is attractive and what isn’t.  Sure, a night with a disabled lover may require a little more thought, but it will most certainly be memorable.

So, to set the record straight.  When it comes to disability and sex…

We do, we will, and we can!

The earth and clouds below, a plane cruising at high altitude and above, space

Living With The Unknown 

By | Disability, Lifestyle | No Comments

Living with the unknown is both scary and interesting at the same time. There is no one to scream and shout at as there is no support. In turn this makes the world a big and scary place, but this big and scary world can suddenly become a world of possibility!

It seems to be human nature to want a label for things. I am no different. Over the years of living with my unknown, it has gained many names and personalities. The main label which I have given it is “Harriet Little Syndrome”, but the most resent has been Mango disease. The main reason these names have been so vital and important to me over the years has been due to so many skeptics. By giving the unknown a name it has meant that when the skeptics (which have included doctors), who tell me its all made up, I’m able to keep going as I know they are wrong.

The hardest part, as well as having to deal with skeptics, has been all the challenges the unknown brings with it. There is no support for people who live with the unknown and many patients get left isolated, which leads to other problems in the long run. Due to the isolation, I have been very down. However, I have been able to push through it and come out the other side. Don’t let me give you all the impression that the unknown is all dark clouds and rain though – as its not! The unknown is much more like living with the English weather. Some days there is rain and other days there is sun and rainbows. Through living with the unknown I have been able to meet some amazing people and have heard some amazing stories! A lesson I have learnt, over the 10 years of the unknown, is to make the most of the sunny and rainbow days as they don’t happen all the time!

By making the most of my sunny days, and forcing myself to get up and keep going, I have been able to write this blog. It would have been easy for me to have curled up in the corner and given up with life. But by pushing the boundaries of the unknown, I have shot for GB in archery, started writing these articles and continued with life!!

The lesson that I have learnt, and the one you can gain from the film ‘The Greatest Showman,’ is that you have to accept what you have.  Accepting you for you is what will get you through life. If people criticise you for the way you are, you just have to say well… ‘This is me!’ The unknown will not stop me and nor should it stop anyone. Love the sunny days and enjoy the rainbows!!

A blue tennis court with white lines looking through the black netting

Never take things for granted

By | Disability, Lifestyle | No Comments

My name is Harriet. Up until I was 9 years of age I was the type of child that would want to be on the move 24/7.  My main objective was scaring my parents to death with all my sporting activities and mischief. However, at the age of 9 my world changed. This is when I became disabled. My disability was no-ones fault, it was just one of those things.

For the last 10 and a half years I have lived with a neurological condition which has left me with many problems, including bladder problems, impaired sight and becoming a neurological paraplegic. The newest of all the problems has been becoming semi-paralysed in my left arm. Though doctors are still baffled by what my disability is or what caused it, over the years the illness has been stable and then gotten worse and then become stable again. There have been many tests and investigations which have knocked me down. However, once I have been knocked down, I refuse for it to keep me down, and subsequently get back up and fight even harder.

One of the things which helps me get through whatever this disability is, or as I like to call it ‘Harriet Little Syndrome,’ is sport. Sport has had a big impact on me both mentally and physically over the years. Thanks to sport I have been able to meet some amazing people and do some amazing things. As well as sport, I have used volunteering work to aid me through my disability. My feeling is that if a charity has helped me then I want to give all I can back.

The last 10 years of living with the unknown, has had its highs and its lows. However, if I’m able to help guide or inspire another young person in the same situation as me, then its all worth it.

I am currently at university, and have already started to inspire and make a change for the better in peoples lives. The degree I am doing at uni is Sport, Coaching and Physical Education. This degree has never had a disabled student before. So as well as them teaching me, I am having to not only teach my lecturers but also my peers. Even though I’m in a wheelchair and have a disability I’m still able to do all what they can. The overall battle with universities and disabilities has just begun, but its one which future disabled students coming through will help change for the better!

So, this is just a very quick introduction about myself and a teaser of what future articles will be about.

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