As we are sure you know by now, the Love Lounge isn’t just for disabled people. It is a platform for everyone, disabled or not, to gain awareness of, and learn about, dating, relationships, sex and love in a thoroughly accessible and inclusive way. Sadly, disabled people don’t yet have the voice that they deserve when it comes to these issues. We believe that encouraging everyone to educate themselves so that they too can ‘fight the good fight’ can only be a good thing. In light of this, we are regularly contacted by non-disabled people who, very often, all have one question in common: ‘how can I let my disabled acquaintance know that I want more than a friendship? I’m terrified of saying the wrong thing, or doing something to offend them!’ If you feel this way, or know someone that does, you might want to read on.
Tip 1: Think about why you feel differently
Why do you like the person? Are they funny, gorgeous, smart, stylish, kind, passionate about what they do, or a mixture of all of the above? They certainly sound like a catch to us, and the fact that they are in a wheelchair, Deaf, visually impaired or struggle with communication shouldn’t take that away from them. Disabled people are sexy, too! Are you terrified about what they will think if you let them know how you feel, or are you actually worried about other peoples’ opinions? As the famous saying goes: those who mind won’t matter, and those who matter won’t mind. There’s no doubt about it, you’ve (sadly) got to have inner confidence and strength to go out with a disabled person in today’s society, but that makes you a bloody good catch, too!
Tip 2: Good intention is everything
For so many people, worrying about patronising or offending disabled people is a real issue, and of course it’s something that you don’t want to be doing when you’re asking someone out, on a first date with them, or even about to get it on. That’s why good intentions go such a long way; don’t worry too much about slipping up or saying the wrong thing if you truly mean well. Us disabled people have a bit of a sixth sense when it comes to intention, and can often easily ‘weed out’ the people who we know are trying to mock us rather than show a genuine interest. Other than that, why should what you say to a disabled partner be any different to how you would address a non-disabled one? Unless you’re discussing the most accessible hotel to stay in during a romantic weekend away, or new sexual positions to try that you want to ensure are inclusive to the both of you, there’s no need for disability to even really be a factor.
Tip 3: Enjoy the ride!
Don’t let your worries or lack of knowledge around disability stop you from having what could be an amazing date, night between the sheets or long-term relationship with a disabled person. If you meet a disabled person that you find attractive, go for it! Who knows what adventures you could both go on together?
Join us on Instagram @UndressingDisability and on twitter @ETUKUndressing. Learn more about sex and disability by purchasing our ‘Undressing Disability’ ebook priced at £5.99. All proceeds go to support our charity.