The truth behind sex and disability
In this day and age, it’s important to remember that sex and relationships do not just extend to traditional male/female relationships. The topics surrounding sex and sexual health should be inclusive of people of all sexualities and body types. Shyam Morjaria, superintendent pharmacist at Nottingham-based UK Meds, is committed to making sexual health more accessible and open to all. Here, he explores and breaks down the myths that surround sex and disability.
He said: “Everyone should have equal access to quality sex education, sexual health services and wellbeing support. In 2020, inclusive relationships and sex education becomes a mandatory subject that will be taught schools, but unfortunately, it remains a taboo subject, with there being an even greater stigma when it comes to sex and disabilities. Quite simply, the topic isn’t talked about enough and this means that lots of people are missing out on valuable information and support.”
Sex between people with disabilities
“More than a billion people across the world live with some sort of disability. This makes up about 15% of the world’s population. Just like the rest of the world, there is no exact formula when it comes down to sexual preference and attraction. Unfortunately, there are a lot of preconceived notions about sexuality and people with disabilities that often put disabled people in a box.
“A common misconception is that disabled people prefer to have sex with other disabled people. The problem here lies with assuming a preference. Yes, some disabled people might prefer to have sex with other disabled people, but that does not limit their preference or desire to have sex with anyone they’re attracted to.”
Disabled people and relationships
“Social attitudes surrounding disability and relationships are often highlighted in terms of capacity, fertility and technique. The topic is usually fixated on and it seems as though we tend to ignore the relational aspects of disability and relationships. But disabled people can have the same happy, healthy relationships as everyone else. As long as all the partners involved are comfortable, safe and consenting, the possibilities of having successful relationships are limitless.”
Disabled people and children
“It’s reported that between 60-90% of women with disabilities desire to marry and have children. The idea that disabled people can’t have fulfilling family lives is, again, nothing more than a myth. Similarly to desiring relationships, it is a common and normal desire for disabled people to also want to have children.
“While the narrative surrounding sexuality and disabilities is changing, there is still work to be done towards normalising the disabled experience for everyone. A fulfilled relationship – as well as the freedom to explore it – should be available to all.”
For further sexual health advice, visit UK Meds at ukmeds.co.uk.