Disability and Sex, a topic that I know full well from experience, is in the murky water. If I had to be frank, the subject is something that I find occasionally bewildering, still to this day. Being a Hemiplegic (for those unfamiliar, it is a condition down the right side of my body where my joints become stiff and tight) I knew the topic of sex was going to be an awkward one with a lot of strange questions, most notably: am I doing it right? Or does it work properly?
I found these questions rather bizarre at first, yet I did expect them. It really was as if the whole point of sex education was not aimed at people like me, as it might have been assumed that people with disabilities were going to live quite miserable sex lives. And so, I thought sex education was a thing targeted at only able-bodied people who wouldn’t have these problems. This meant the concept of sex was something I had a difficulty with right from the start.
In my early experiences of sex, things were weird. I thought I had done all the normal preparation: the usual routine of having a decent shower prior to a night out, getting the essentials of condoms and flavoured lube and just hoping my nerve and dignity would remain. Sadly, it didn’t go according to plan. Like for many disabled adolescents, I had to wait slightly longer than most to go all the way.
Having not been in an active sexual relationship for some time, I did find university a new chance to reinvent myself sexually and within a more tolerant environment; I knew sex would become a little more hassle-free and perhaps a bit easier at uni, given the spontaneity of it all. My sexual experiences while at uni have overall been positive. I feel the confidence in my body and in my sex life generally has grown: I petered out the ignorance of previous sexual encounters, and focused on the intimate joy and pleasure sex can provide. From my current experiences and past ones, I can say my experience with sex as a disabled person has been far from ideal at the best of times, but I believe a disability is not something that should always hold students back from partaking in an active and enjoyable sex life.