I am in my early 20’s and I have almost no sexual experience. I have a degenerative illness that means I use a wheelchair. I’ve heard some comments over the years that have made me feel quite insecure. I don’t think people really see me as a sexual person – hence my lack of experience I guess. I think other than the wheelchair thing I’m pretty normal looking and good company or whatever, I have guy friends. But I just don’t even know where to start with dating or sex. I know it might be more of a challenge for someone to be with me than to be with a non-disabled person but I also don’t want to be a 40 year old virgin. So what are your tips on life and sex and dating? Help a girl out.
This is a great question. Firstly, you are not going to end up a 40 year old virgin! You are very young – it may seem like everyone else but you is ‘doing it’, but believe us, lots of peeps have limited experience at your age. Lots, too, whatever their able-bodiedness, are not bounding about with sexual confidence – that does tend to come with age.
Unfortunately, we still live in a world that still seems to struggle with the sexuality of disabled people and it is clear that you have experienced some of this.
But that doesn’t mean no one is going to want to date you. There will be people who very much do, but, just like everyone else, you do need to get out there and find them!
The great news is there has never been a better time for any of us to do this.
There are specific sites for singles with disabilities and the brilliant Outsiders, a social, peer support and dating club, run by and for socially and physically disabled people. Or sign up for Tinder, OkCupid, or whatever app/site you feel most comfortable with – there is someone for literally everyone and they are all on the internet somewhere…
Internet dating is supposed to be fun, but, just like everyone else, you’ll have to grow a little protective shell and not take any swipe lefts to heart – remember the world is not your senior school and even those people will have grown up a little by now!
Sexual experience with other people might be a work in progress but sexual experience with yourself is something you can do right now!
Our advice is always to get to know your sexual self, before playing with others…
Yes we’re talking masturbation and there’s lots of reasons why this is a great time for solo play.
You’ll feel more confident (and confidence is often cited as one of the most desirable qualities anybody can process) as well as enjoy partner sex more, if you’ve already really explored (and explored some more!) what works for you.
Knowing how your body responds, the best positions for you, what you may find tiring or what thrills you to bits etc, will also mean you can give pointers to future partners…
We don’t know exactly how mobile you are but you can always find toys that work for you.
For example the Rocks-Off Ruby Glow Ride-On Clitoral Vibrator is designed so you can just sit on it and enjoy the sensations, totally hands free.
We’d also recommend the Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability. It’s a great practical guide to everything you might need to know about positions, toys, self image and communication.
We havent been able to cover ALL our tips on life, sex and dating, (phew!) but we hope this advice helps you get out (and stay in) there!
All names have been changed for the purposes of anonymity.