Let's face it, for most people the idea of disabled people having sex is a turn off. We just live in a society where sex is only OK if it is involving beautiful people and disabled people are not really considered to fit into that camp. I totally disagree with that, especially as there are now more and more young disabled people breaking into beauty obsessed industries, such as fashion and modelling. Even when I was a youngster there were disabled people in the media who I would describe as dead sexy. Model and actor Shannon Murray, actor Matt Fraser and my good self to name a few. But as well as focusing on our society's obsession with perfection, I also think it is time we re-examined some commonly held myths about sex and disability.
With this in mind I recently wrote and presented a short video with the Wellcome Trust's science based magazine Mosaic, to run alongside an article exploring the subject written by Katherine Quarmby. I wanted to take the top ten myths around disability and sex and explain the truth behind them. I must say I am really proud of the result. Far too often now the media only focuses on the difference. Disabled people have become the stars of successive freak TV shows and these reinforce the stereotype that we have different experiences around sex and love. I cannot agree with this, and I feel it is our sameness when it comes to the joys of the flesh that we should be focusing on.
However that is not to say that disabled people are all exactly that same as non-disabled types when it comes to fun in the sack. While most have no issues around sexual function, some of us do. But this is not a bar to an enjoyable sex life, and I myself helped develop a technique that enables anyone with loss of sensation or function in the genital area to regain the ability to orgasm. Typically while recording the myth busting video the production team where so enthralled by the idea of this technique that they asked me to also record a short video explaining it. You see it has always been plain to me that the non-disabled community could actually learn some handy sex tips from disabled people. That is why I was happy to divulge this handy method for creating orgasmic zones anywhere on your body.
I currently give advice to disabled people who are having issues around sex and love through an online advice column called the Love Lounge. What does sadden me is how many young disabled people still feel that a happy love life is out of reach. I started using my wheelchair at the age of fifteen and at the time I was sure I would never find love. I slowly found out this was not the case and since then I have had a happy and fulfilled love life, leading to me now being very happily married to the wonderful Diane. It is amazing to think that nearly thirty five years after I became a wheelie disabled youngsters still feel as unsexy or unlovable as I did at their age. This has led me to begin a series of short online vlogs doling out advice on ways of approaching life in a positive manner, called Mik's Tips.
I feel it is so important that we all fight to break the taboo around disability and sex, taking it out of the freakish territory and making normal and mainstream. Disabled people have all the same dreams, hopes fantasies and desires as the rest of society and just because we are disabled should not be a reason why we are not seen as sexy or lovable. I really hope that the Mosaic article and my videos start a discussion that leads to a world were the next generation of disabled people are not seen as other, but instead as being just like the rest of society. Let's face it, we also need to break this monopoly of perfection as it doesn't help any of us. Perfection is much broader than our media paints it to be, and it's about time we reclaimed the concept. I am perfect, my wife is perfect and everyone I know is perfect. Perfectly them, which makes them perfect in my eyes. I am sure you all feel like that about everyone you know. So why do we allow society to pigeon hole perfection as meaning so few of us?
Anyway, enjoy the videos, read the Mosaic article and I hope you see that disabled people want, need and enjoy sex just like anyone else.
Videos included by permission.