When it comes to s*x and disability, there’s a whole slew of myths and misinformation. But there’s no excuse not to educate yourself and get the facts straight. In celebration of July being Disability Pride Month, we asked s*xually active members of the community to dispel some myths so that everyone — even fellow disabled folks — can better understand that people with disabilities most definitely have amazing s*x lives.
Here are eight myths about s*x and disability, debunked.
1. Myth: People with disabilities do not have s*x lives at all.
Fact: People with disabilities enjoy, want, and engage in s*x.
Syd Chasteen, a full-time wheelchair-user with spina bifida and the author of the Bif In Medias Res blog, tells O.school, “The most damaging myth about disabled people and s*x is that we don’t have it, can’t have it, or don’t want to have it. When in reality, disabled people are just as desiring and capable of having a fulfilling s*x life as non-disabled people.”
“These kinds of ableist, small-minded stereotypes hurt the disabled community and kill our self-esteem,” writer and disability activist Kristen Parisi tells O.school. Parisi, who is parapalegic, adds, “These attitudes have contributed to my own battles with depression.”
“It’s sad and frustrating that disability and s*x are still almost a novelty subject,” Parisi continues, saying “Back when going to bars was still possible, I had men regularly come up to me saying things like, ‘wow, so do you ever have s*x? Can you feel it?’ I’ve even had the question posed to me by other women at professional events.”