Monthly Archives

May 2019

Love Lounge Top Tips – Moving in

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

Picture the scene… the honeymoon period may technically be over in your relationship, but everything is still going swimmingly.  You’ve got through those awkward first dates and cringeworthy double-texting, and you still love being around each other.  You’ve met their relatives, they’ve met yours, and there’s even been the odd item of clothing or toothbrush left at each other’s places.  You decide it’s about time to have that first serious conversation – should you move in together?

Tip 1: Avoid assumptions and expectations

No doubt all of us have done this at some stage – got really excited and passionate about the possibility of something happening, only to be bitterly disappointed when someone doesn’t feel exactly the same way.  It’s no different with this conversation; try your best (where possible!) to start the conversation without judgement, assumption or expectations. Then you’re not setting yourself up for disappointment, your partner doesn’t feel a pressure to agree with your way of thinking and you can rest assured that you are getting their honest opinion on the matter.  If that opinion is the same as yours, perfect! If not, calmly ask them to explain how they’re feeling and work through the difference together in a positive and progressive way.

Tip 2: Accessible planning!

If you do agree to take the leap and move in together, fantastic! If one or both of you has a physical or sensory impairment, this may well be where the need for planning kicks in. Will you require a step free home, a larger bathroom to cater for personal aids, or even a dedicated space and garden for your guide dog to lounge and play? Often, it’s not just about the home itself, either; many disabled people would prefer to live near accessible bus stops or train stations, and nearby supermarkets or pharmacies can be particularly helpful if there is ever an emergency.  Once you do start planning, don’t be shy in asking for support with moving.  Call or email your local estate agents and see if they have any suitable properties to match your criteria, put your name on waiting lists with housing associations (many of whom have specific accessible housing available) and ask friends and family to help, too! This stage of moving in together can be stressful (and might even put a bit of strain on your relationship every now and again!) But the result is more than worth it.

Tip 3:  Enjoy all the good bits.

Once you’ve found the perfect place and moved in, it’s time to get on with all the more enjoyable parts of the process.  If you’re a Pinterest or Instagram fan, there’s nothing quite like searching for the perfect paint colour or most kooky furniture, and we’re sure we don’t need to even mention the joy of being able to have sex whenever you want, and wherever you want it..! Don’t forget to congratulate yourselves on taking the next step in your relationship, and we’re sure our invite to the house warming will be in the post soon 😉


Love Lounge Top Tips – Feeling Broody?

By | Disability, Emily Yates, Lifestyle, The Love Lounge

For many people, becoming a parent and having children someday is absolute #lifegoals, but it would be difficult for anyone to dispute that it is a BIG decision, not least for those of us who are disabled.  If you’re feeling broody, that’s not to say that it’s not possible to be a brilliant disabled mum or dad, but there might possibly be a few extra things to consider on your journey to becoming one.  If you see kids in your future, but don’t quite know where to start, this one is for you.

Tip 1: Have the conversation

First things first, if you are currently with a partner, do they feel the same way about having children? As scary as it may seem, having the conversation and knowing that you are both on the same wavelength, or have similar timelines in mind when it comes to parenting, can be really helpful and productive for both of you.  And it’s totally fine if you’re not ready, or the person you’re with isn’t, as long as you are both honest with each other and never make promises that you don’t have an intention of keeping.

Tip 2: Plan as well as you can

Let’s face it, parenting takes a lot of planning, and this is most definitely the case for us disabled people.  If you are a wheelchair user, you might want to think about how you are going to get your baby, a pram and your chair in the car, if your energy levels can get considerably low, it might be worth considering whether or not you will express milk and bottle feed your baby at night time, so your partner and you can share feeding responsibilities.  Find certain positions difficult and painful? You might want to make sure this information goes into your birth plan.  These are just a few examples, and there are plenty of things to think about, but just remember, whatever works for you is the best and correct decision, regardless of what anyone else around you is doing or suggesting.  There is never a perfect time to have a baby, but it is possible to plan and make it the best time for you.

Tip 3:  Hack your way through parenting life

When the baby does arrive, enjoy parenthood! It might be worth becoming a bit of a parenting engineer, too, and hacking your way through the first few months.  Perhaps picking your son or daughter out of their cot becomes tiring and tough, and you might find a way that’s much easier on your body by creating a side door on the cot, for example.  Maybe body slings will work much better for you than a bulky pram, or perhaps you’ll come up with an innovative way to be alerted to your baby’s cries at night if you are hard of hearing.  Whatever ends up working for you and your child, please share the information with the communities around you, on or offline.  There is sadly still a taboo and fear around disabled parenting, with many people being desperate to be a mum or dad, but worrying quite how they will manage or whether they will be good enough.  Knowledge is power, as they say, and let’s remember that sharing a hacking success might empower someone else to take the beautiful leap to becoming a disabled parent.


Myth busters – Tinnitus

By | Disability, Emily Yates

Can you hear ringing, buzzing, hissing or even a whistling sound when others can’t? You may have tinnitus, a widely misunderstood (and very common) condition that affects around 20%, or 1 in 5, of us. Tinnitus can affect you regardless of your age and experience, and several factors can cause it, including exposure to loud sounds, hearing loss due to aging and even problems with circulation.  Tinnitus can be inconvenient to some and extremely painful and even scary to others, but there are things that can be done to manage, and even improve it in some circumstances.  Below are some of the most common myths relating to tinnitus – but don’t take our word for it; it’s vital that you book in to see an audiologist or health professional as soon as possible and get checked out.  Not only can they properly diagnose your symptoms as tinnitus, they can also give you hints, tips and methods to handle it on a regular basis.

It’s never helpful when myths around certain medical conditions mask the facts.  We hope this myth busting guide on tinnitus will give you the knowledge and confidence to live your life to its greatest potential, regardless of what obstacles may appear along the way.


Myth 1: Your Tinnitus Will Only Get Worse

False! Don’t believe it! Symptoms of tinnitus can swap and change, just like our moods or routine can.  What you don’t often hear is that tinnitus symptoms can actually improve over time (and that can largely be down to those who have the condition learning how their body reacts to it, and changing certain routines or activities to mitigate as many negative variables as possible).  If you feel that your tinnitus is changing or worsening at any point, do go and get checked out by a professional.  Stress at work, tiredness and even too much earwax build-up can all be factors!


Myth 2: If You Have Tinnitus, You Will Lose Your Hearing

Plain and simple: tinnitus does not cause hearing loss. This misconception is one that is banded around a lot, and it really isn’t helpful to many people living with the condition.  Instead, it’s useful to think of tinnitus as a symptom, or effect, of another issue, like prolonged noise exposure, for example.  That’s not to say that tinnitus can’t create some negative outcomes; it can. Tinnitus can make it difficult to concentrate on a task that really requires your attention, and even get to sleep at times.  And what can tiredness, stress and anxiety do? Yep, you guessed it! Make your tinnitus worse (sorry to be the bearer of bad news…)

If you have tinnitus and are having trouble sleeping, it might be worth making a mental note of the food and drink you consume before bed that might not help this.  Too much caffeine, cheese or chocolate, whilst not being medically proven to worsen tinnitus, can sometimes affect your sleeping pattern, so these things might be best avoided when you are going through a particularly stressful time or feeling especially tired.  Don’t do anything too drastic immediately though if you are a committed coffee drinker; a study by Deafness Research UK revealed that suddenly cutting caffeine can actually worsen symptoms.


Myth 3: Tinnitus Is A ‘Lost Cause’

We often hear of people being told that there is nothing that can be done to help manage or improve their tinnitus, and they simply have to get on with it, regardless of how many issues it is causing.  Whilst it is true that a cure for tinnitus doesn’t yet exist, it equally isn’t a totally lost cause.  First things first, go and see a professional to discuss exactly how your tinnitus affects you and how it has changed over time, and then have an online browse of a couple of options that might just help you out. For example, noise machines have been created to ensure that you are listening to pleasant, gentle sounds like rain drops or waterfalls instead of your own tinnitus as you fall asleep (and they might even help you in falling asleep faster!) If a noise machine works for you, you might also consider wearing a tinnitus masker.  This sits in a similar way to a hearing aid, and ensures that those welcome sounds can become portable, wherever you are and whatever you may be doing.  Some people also find keeping a food diary helpful.  Some food and drink has been known to aggravate tinnitus, so perhaps keep one for yourself in order to manage yours.  Last but not least, don’t underestimate the emotional impact that a condition like tinnitus can have: meditation may help you in navigating any stress or anxiety caused by your tinnitus – give it a try, and good luck!






Love Lounge Top Tips – Taking the next step

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

Whether we’re going on a first date, sleeping together for the first time, proposing, getting married or having children, we can often feel a distinct amount of pressure when it comes to taking the next big steps in our relationships, and the amount of pressure is definitely no less for disabled people! Whether you’ve got to plan ahead for an accessible date, discuss painless sexual positions with your partner, or think about the practicalities of becoming a disabled parent, there’s undoubtedly plenty to consider! Here are our top tips for taking those next steps – good luck, and enjoy!

Tip 1: Ensure you are comfortable

This first tip might sound a little obvious, but peer pressure and societal pressure play a big part in the direction that many of us take our relationships in, and the speed in which we develop them.  Whatever you do, don’t take a leap into commitment because that’s what all your friends are doing, because you’re at the age where you ‘should’ be doing these things, or because a family member has told you to hold on to the non-disabled ‘saint’ your partner is often viewed as.  There is no right or wrong way to move through a relationship, and certainly no right or wrong time to do it.  As long as you feel utterly comfortable and confident in your decisions, you will know that you are doing the right thing for you.

Tip 2: Research your Support Network

If you still live in the same town as your supportive parents and long-term friends, that’s brilliant; you might have all the support network you need.  But, for a lot of disabled people wanting to live independently or have children, a bit of extra support has got to be found, especially if you live somewhere different to where you grew up. If you think you might require personal care when living alone, or the help of a nanny or child minder when you take the next step of having children, make sure you do your research and are happy with the choices you find.  There is no shame at all in asking for help, especially when that help is going to ensure your own safety and care!

Tip 3:  Don’t get so caught up in planning that you don’t enjoy the ride.

As disabled people, most of us are real planners.  Let’s face it, we’ve had to be from a young age, and everything from driving to going on holiday and getting work has taken extended time and effort.  When it comes to making big decisions in your relationship, though, make sure that you save some time to enjoy yourself, too! Planning an accessible wedding or an amazingly romantic weekend away is great, but is it really any fun if you spend all your time worrying rather than marvelling in the next step that you and your partner have taken together? Remember, all the best journeys are ones that you can look back on with love for every single step.

Love Lounge Top Tips – Accessible sex positions

By | Disability, Sex & disability, The Love Lounge, Undressing Disability


It’s no secret that not everyone can master every single position in the Karma Sutra, but there’s no reason why us disabled people can’t create our own! Whether you’re looking for inclusive tips for the first time you’re getting down and dirty with a disabled partner, or you’re a disabled person looking to spice up your sex life in a more accessible way for you both – we’ve got you covered.  If you like the idea of adding another position or two to your repertoire, in the most stress and pain free ways possible, let us introduce you to our pick of accessible sex positions.  You can thank us later.

Tip 1: Accessible Oral

Oral sex sadly gets left out of far too many sexual experiences, but it’s really pretty easy to make accessible for all! Having a go at a 69 is a great place to start – there’s an opportunity to lie flat or go on top, depending on your strengths, and who doesn’t like receiving pleasure whilst they’re giving it?!  Wheelchair users can also give oral whilst staying seated (and receive it too!) If your partner is able to, just make sure that they’re positioned in a way that works for you.

Tip 2: Spooning and Cowgirls

Sex whilst spooning can be really great; you can use the bed or sofa to stabilise yourself, and don’t be afraid to try different entry angles before you start getting into it – 90 degree spoon sex (whilst not technically involving any spooning anymore) feels amazing! For those of you who are desperate to be cowgirls, but can’t quite straddle far enough with tight leg muscles, have you tried the crouching reverse cowgirl position? It’s like the reverse cowgirl, but you can put your legs under your partner’s, rather than having to straddle them.  Leaning forward so your head is in line with your partner’s feet, you can then ease yourself back onto them, strain and pressure free! And if you struggle to muster up the strength to ‘bounce’ up and down, and your partner to help by grabbing a hold of your hips.  Try it, it’s a real game-changer.

Tip 3:  Using the Resources around you

We’ve mentioned this before in previous Love Lounge articles, but don’t forget to keep up to date with the inclusive sex toys that are on the market – they can make a sex position you’ve been doing for years all the more exciting – how about trying doggy with a bullet on your clit, or missionary with a butt plug in? Great sex doesn’t mean having to totally change up everything you know and love, it just means thinking about positions differently and maybe even stepping out of your comfort zone once in a while.

Here’s to satisfying and fulfilling sex for us all, regardless of ability or preference. Enjoy, and do please let us know if you have an inclusive position that works for you; it might just change someone else’s experience behind closed doors (or in front of them!)


Love Lounge Top Tips – The fine line between lover and carer

By | Disability, Sex & disability, The Love Lounge, Undressing Disability

It’s been a hot topic in the news recently: when does a partner become a carer, and is it okay for that boundary to be crossed? For those of us who are disabled, this issue can feel difficult to address, and even raw at times.  We want romantic and sexual relationships just like anyone else, but we’d also be fooling ourselves if we didn’t admit that we need a little extra help with the more practical side of things too, sometimes.  If this is a subject you’d like to bring up in your relationship, but you’re not quite sure how to, please do read on and we will do our best to advise.

Tip 1: Be practical

Before starting any conversation with an existing (or potential) significant other, it’s important to be honest with yourself and consider what assistance you require that might be classed as outside of the ‘relationship realm’ of duties.  Perhaps it’s help vacuuming the floors, tying your shoe laces, or getting dressed and eating in the morning.  Do these needs change depending on your changing impairment, and how confident do you feel asking for help when it’s required? All of these factors are ones that you need to be knowledgeable about before discussing them with a partner; it’s much easier for anyone to get on board with something that they can clearly understand.

Tip 2: Set boundaries

It’s important, when thinking about this lover/carer dynamic, to remember what qualities and support you can provide in a relationship.  You might be a magician when it comes to emotionally supporting or encouraging your partner, or you might be a total whizz with budgeting, bills and finances.  Make sure to set boundaries with one another, though, so that you don’t each forget to lend a hand in other areas of your relationship when you can.  There’s nothing wrong with agreeing to openly ask for help when it’s required, and even explaining if too much assistance ever becomes a hinderance.  As long as those boundaries are there and understood by both parties, it will be difficult for either one of you to take advantage of the other (something that’s vital in any partnership, whether you’re disabled or not!)

Tip 3:  Check in

Conversations about a dynamic as fragile and as difficult to navigate as this aren’t ones that you have once every three years.  However difficult it may be, it’s so important that you both check in with each other on a regular basis.  Ask if your partner is happy with the responsibilities they have in your relationship, and if there’s anything they’d like to change.  If anything significant happens, such as a big change in your needs or a new job for your partner, for example, discuss your options as both lovers and carers.  Perhaps it might be time to hire someone to help with dressing and feeding duties in the morning, or maybe your partner can start work a little later to allow for you both to still have that time together.  Whatever works for you both is the right way to do things, but communication, as always, really is key.


Love Lounge Top Tips – Pain, pleasure and letting go

By | Disability, Sex & disability, The Love Lounge, Undressing Disability

On the Love Lounge, we regularly get asked questions regarding pain and positioning in the bedroom, and it’s not unusual for disabled people to write in and ask us how they can get in touch with their kinkier sides, whilst staying safe and keeping their pain levels in check.  So, if you’ve always wondered how you can explore the less ‘vanilla’ side of sex as a disabled person, keep reading!

Tip 1: Let’s talk Limits

First things first, what are you into, or turned on by, and what does absolutely the opposite? Like most things (including disability!) kink encompasses so many things, so before you start discussing it, know what you’re keen on, what you’re willing to try, and what’s a hard ‘no’.  It might be worth thinking about how you want the experience to make you feel, too. Many disabled people spend their time planning hospital visits, interviews and how to get from A to B, so might want kinky sex to provide an avenue of escape from being in control. For others, it’s about the importance of gaining ownership over their bodies, or exploring sex that doesn’t necessarily have to include penetration to be really, really hot.  Once you know whether you want to take control or let go, and what particular things you’re into, then you can start venturing into this big, wide world of kink.

Tip 2: Types of Pain

For those of you among us who manage pain on a regular basis, the thought of being tied up with rope, or spanked with a paddle may not sound like escapism at all! Well, you’d be surprised.  Many disabled people who manage pain and/or fatigue have mentioned that certain elements of BDSM allow them to have a focus that actually alleviates their everyday issues. From relieving pressure on joints to feeling nice on other areas of the body that don’t usually have their attention, pain really can turn into pleasure for some disabled people.  Our advice? Go slow with someone you trust, and always feel comfortable enough to stop the situation if it is no longer serving you at all.

Tip 3:  It’s all about Trust

Usually, we absolutely don’t buy into this ‘only have sex with someone you love and/or trust’ myth, but trust and respect is especially important if you’re wanting to try out less ‘vanilla’ sex.  If you’re going to be pushing your physical, emotional and mental boundaries with anything from pain and positioning to mind games and escapism, please make sure you do so with someone who you know will respect your limits, stop when asked and who will keep your fantasies and desires close to their heart, wanting to please you rather than let everyone else know what you’re into.  There is no harm in exploring to find out what you like and what you don’t, and doing that with someone you know you can have a giggle with along the way can be a really beautiful experience.

Good luck on your kinky journey – enjoy!