Disability, Sexuality and Acting Like You Know What You’re Talking About.

Yeah, I’ll admit it, I’m one of those wheelies that speaks openly about their sexuality. Ask any of my friends, acquaintances, or some of the regulars at the mall–my sexuality is rather well-spoken for. Sometimes I blab loudly about my recent sexcursion on the bus. I wear crop tops. I dye my hair purple (what? Those things aren’t indicators of sexual activity? But this shirt cost me $5 dollars less than if it were a full shirt. Damnit.) So do you have a minute? I’d like to tell you how sexy I am.

As you can imagine, this “openness” can have many pitfalls. Presenting oneself as overtly sexual carries strong and often  erroneous assumptions about desire. As in, “you’re flaunting it, so you must want it, from whomever”. Add visible disability to the mix and you’ve got a bitter cocktail of misguided ideas or projections about what is sexually appropriate and/or wanted from a sexual partner.

As is such, I’ve gotten pretty good at swatting away direct (and weird) questions about my vagina, how my sex organs work, what positions I can do, etc ect, on and on forever. It’s not because a cat has my tongue, or because I’m bitter.  I shut down these questions for two reasons only: 1. I’m still unsure about myself down there, and 2. My “different situation,” is not a right of passage to ask me whatever the hell you’d like.

Reason 1 is strongly linked with Reason 2, in that perhaps I don’t know more about myself sexually, because I crush people with a dose of sarcastic angst before they’re able to…be intimate with me. Because, I don’t want you to ask questions I don’t have the answers to, and I sure as fuck don’t want to admit that I’m a twenty something who doesn’t fully understand what’s up down there.

Not long enough ago, I cried because I realized my sexual preferences/appetite, would never match my ability level. Ok, so I’ve actually lost my cool about this more than once. Paired with this revelation is this nagging voice that tells me my sexuality isn’t as valued, because it is dependent on someone else’s patience.

My whole life revolves around other people’s patience, and the bedroom is no exception, though in my experience, it is the place where people are most unwilling to possess it. (Besides maybe in the bus pass line– up in there it’s every asshole for themselves.). I guess then, my experience with my sexuality has been one that can be analogous to getting a job–You need experience to get experience. Which is hard to get when that experience relies heavily on someone  looking good and putting up with  all your unconventional unconventionality between the sheets. Needle in a haystack.

I’ve mentioned before that I became aware of my limited sexuality/ability level at a young age. When I was a kid, this sad fact was balanced with the hope of some patient knight seeing my inner beauty and climbing up my Rapunsel hair to our marriage bed. At my age, this rescue-plot is less appealing and more tragic than my current lack of self-knowledge.

And once again, you know way more about me than you knew you asked for.



  1. Have you ever been in the situation where the person you’re with is assuming you’re game for anything sexual with no regard to pain, pleasure, or desire? I wonder how many people with disability are raped in relationship to those who are not disabled.

    • Yes– that’s such a physically and emotionally difficult place to be in. It feels like your paying for someone else’s stereotype, where sexuality can only equal desperation and desperation equals, in tern grateful ness. I’m not sure the comparative stats (able bod vs disabled) for ppl in experiencing relationship rape, but on average, I’ve read that 90 percent of disabled (physical and/or intellectual ) will be raped in their lifetime. I’ve also read that disabled females are 4 times as likely to experience sexual assault, tho I should check for updates.
      Regardless, the numbers are tragic.

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