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September 2019

Love Lounge Top Tips – Deteriorating conditions and intimate care

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

It’s fair to say that there’s an element of care in all relationships (or there should be!) But, for many disabled people, the amount of care received from friends, parents and lovers is often a little more than would be expected in a relationship between non-disabled people. Whether it involves something as simple as standing to barricade a toilet cubicle door when a wheelchair using friend just ‘needs to go’ and an accessible loo isn’t available, or something a little more intimate like helping a lover to clean themselves and their surroundings up when their stoma bag bursts during sex, that care element is undeniable.

In many ways, this kindness and care that is required should be celebrated; it can build incredibly strong, intimate bonds, especially in a romantic relationship, when teamwork means so much more than just being able to put up a tent together at your local campsite! But it can be equally frustrating for both parties when things go wrong, or conditions worsen, and pressure, dependency and expectations rise.

So, what to do if you are concerned that your new, or deteriorating condition is affecting the amount of care you require, and perhaps the way your partner sees you, as a sexual being as well as one that requires support?

  1. Check in.

One of the biggest mistakes we make in our relationships, be they platonic or otherwise, is keeping our worries strictly internal and failing to discuss them.  Talk to your partner about your concerns and discuss the solutions together.  It might be that you need to think about bringing some external help in, so that you can concentrate on building on the passionate parts of your relationship, rather than the practical.  Maybe it’s just reassurance that you need – along with someone to show you how sexy you still are, and always have been to them.  But, sadly, we aren’t mind readers, and we are unable to solve problems for our loved ones that we never realised existed.  Talking, however difficult it may seem, is always the answer.

  • Adapt.

One great thing about us human beings? We are pretty versatile, adaptable and resilient creatures! Our impairments differ, adapt, worsen and improve, too, and it’s vital that we learn how to grow with them, rather than get overwhelmed by them.  If, for example, you now have a stoma bag and didn’t before, maybe its time to invest in some crotchless knickers that keep your bag in place whilst not deterring from the fun.  Need a hoist and feeling pretty rubbish about it? It can always be made into a sex swing… thank us later 😉

Regardless of what you’re going through, you’re still gorgeous.  Don’t forget that! 

Love Lounge top tips – Love languages

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

When it comes to relationships, we all have our checklist (whether we like to admit it or not!) Whether it’s someone to laugh us into bed, with an accent that’ll make us swoon, or a sharp style that will knock us off our feet (or send us head over wheels), every one of us is on the lookout for a particular something that floats our boat.  But, what about after we’ve got into said relationship? Don’t we still have preferences, needs, and even a particular way to communicate that might be different from someone else’s ‘checklist’? Absolutely we do! If you’re interested in finding out more about love languages, and even working out what yours are, keep reading!

  • The 5 Love Languages

There are five Love Languages, or ways that we communicate our love and commitment within relationships, and like our partners to communicate the same to us:

  1. Words of Affirmation – communicating our love verbally.  This might be by saying ‘I love you’, or telling our partner they look great in that outfit, for example.
  2. Acts of Service – When actions speak louder than words, whether that means cooking a delicious meal for your love, or booking a trip to their favourite European city.
  3. Receiving Gifts – Simple really – some people just love to be spoilt with a thoughtful pressie!
  4. Quality Time – Giving your partner love and attention in a way that’s special to the two of you.
  5. Physical Touch – A kiss and a cuddle, or something more.  For some people, nothing is more important than physical affection.

These Love Languages make a lot of sense and, in reading them, it’s probably quite obvious to you which of the Love Languages relate to you the most (it’s not unusual to have two main Love Languages that really ‘speak’ to you).  So when we have that knowledge, what do we do with it?

  • Remember: our Love Languages are rarely the same.

If you’ve discovered your Love Language, ask your partner to do a bit of research and find out what theirs is.  Your Love Language relates to how you feel best loved, and what your partner can do to best show you that they care.  So, it’s important that you’re also aware of your significant other’s Love Language(s) so that you can return the favour in a way that will really mean something to them. What does your partner most ask of you? For a cleaner home? More quality time together? More affection? If they are asking for something in particular, you’re probably not catering to a certain Love Language of theirs, so discuss it and be creative with how you show your love next time!

Wishing you the best of luck on your Love Language journey: may it help you to better understand your partner (as well as your own needs and desires!) and lead to a relationship that’s all the more wonderful for it!

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