When I tell people that I blog about sex for a living, I get a variety of responses. Most people laugh—a lot. Some people say things along the lines of, “Really?! Nooooo.” And while I’d like to think that their disbelief comes from a place of respectful awe or maybe even from a place of embarrassment with regards to their own sexual hangups, I know that much of the time their reactions are shaped by the fact that I have a visible disability.
The prevailing view about disability is that it’s extremely unsexy—everybody knows that. And yet here I am, a direct example to the contrary. (That’s right… I said it!) Lots of people with disabilities are confident about just how sexy they are, and as a result have kick-ass love lives. Of course, there are a few things that can really spoil the mood for us, so for those of you who are interested in dating a lady with a disability, you might want to keep the following things in mind.
Never Assume Our Limitations
Even though she might be seated in a wheelchair or pushing a walker, I can assure you that your date has her shit under control. These devices are not adult strollers. Those of us who use them are grown-ass women who spend our days doing what we need to do for ourselves. And although we might appear to struggle, it doesn’t mean you need to jump in to save us.
By all definitions, I’m awkward and clumsy most of the time. What the casual observer might not notice, however, is that I’m a finely tuned machine, designed to handle each of the many physical challenges that make up my daily life. When someone I’m dating fails to recognize this, it’s a huge turn off. If you’re out on a date with a lady who has a disability and you really feel the need to help her out with something, it’s best to ask. If she says she’s fine, leave it at that. Don’t make a big deal about how “independent” she is, or worse yet, insist that she accept your help.
Be Mindful of Accessibility Requirements
I live in a city that takes its accessibility bi-laws way too lightly. That means there are a ton of restaurants with stairs leading up to them and basically zero fucks given about the fact that people with disabilities might not be able to patronize them.
If you’re hoping to make a good impression on your date, make sure to plan ahead and choose a destination that will accommodate her specific needs. It’s embarrassing and even a little insulting to be out on a date and feel hobbled by a set of stairs or a narrow doorway. If this happens to me, I get angry, mostly because it draws attention away from my extreme hotness and shifts the power dynamic in ways that aren’t conducive to me feeling relaxed and open to intimacy.
Be Open to New Ways of Doing Things
This point is perhaps most suited to those of you who’ve dated a lot of women. Maybe you really liked it when all those women did that thing where they squatted over top of you in a kind of upright crab-walk position… yeah, I can’t do that. But I can do other equally amazing things, and chances are the lady you’re hoping to seduce can too.
There’s a valuable opportunity in having to rethink the usual way of doing things, especially when it comes to sex. Think about it.