Sex With a Disabled Person Is the Most Intimate Kind
The world tried to squash my sexuality, but they were missing out on the best sex of their lives.
As a disabled person, growing up in a hypersexual society always hasn’t always easy for me. Though I identify as non-binary now, I went through puberty as a girl inside a Catholic family in the Midwest. Not only that but I was born with a rare neuromuscular condition that has caused my voluntary muscles to deteriorate over time. Because of this, I’ve used a power wheelchair since the age of three and have always needed assistance with all aspects of my day-to-day personal care.
Being disabled was never an issue for me, but it certainly was an issue for others. This was none more apparent than when I entered the world of dating and sex. In middle school, when many began to explore their sexualities, I only faced rejection. I remember asking out a boy for the first time who replied, “Well, I would date you, but everyone would make fun of me.” The first time I went on a date, I heard my brother from the other room admit to my mother that he “couldn’t imagine who would want to have sex with someone like that.” While these statements might sound outrageous now, they were common. These comments shaped the way I viewed myself as a sexual being and, for a long time, most of my relationships were online where I could choose to share my disability after trust was gained.
It wasn’t until I moved out of my abusive parent’s house and lived independently that I was able to begin dating in the real world. At the time, my internalized ableism had me utterly confused. I loved my body, but I kept hearing that no one found the 400-pound wheelchair underneath me attractive. I decided to try online dating anyway and quickly realized that not everyone was as ableist as the people I grew up around.
Having Sex With Me Requires Intimacy
Finding someone to have sex with me as a disabled person wasn’t hard, especially since I was interested in sleeping with men. Getting them to stay has always been the hard part. I lost my virginity on a one-night-stand, and most of my sexual encounters after that followed the same equation for a very long time. Any person can learn to lift me out of my chair, and push through the awkwardness of moving my body for the sake of getting off, but it’s impossible to get close to a disabled person without getting intimate.
After my initial run of quick and fast, one-time sex, I found a partner to sleep with regularly. I had never had sex quite like it before. The act of talking in-depth about what felt good, what didn’t, and then problem-solving positions all made for better sex, as well as a deeper connection. This person had a magnetic attraction to me, and I believe now that the act of taking someone as they are is a recipe for intimacy. They never once judged me, and in return, I never judged them. It allowed for honesty.
Still, this person couldn’t get past their toxic assumptions, and things fizzled out. After this, I entered a nearly two-year relationship with a narcissistic man who only faked intimacy. It was the most confusing two years of my life, but after the breakup, I jumped back into the world of casual sex. It was then that I had my first sexual encounter with another disabled person, and the intimacy was palpable.
I Started Dating Only Those Who Saw Me For Who I Am
For the first time in my life, I could put words to the things I was feeling. Sex with a disabled person isn’t just different because of the help I need physically moving my body. Disabled people are better communicators and more creative in the bedroom. Ultimately, sex with a disabled person creates an intimacy that can’t be found elsewhere. To have sex with a disabled person is to set aside what society tells you about disabled bodies, and see them for what they are—beautiful.
The world tried to squash my sexuality, but after sleeping with a disabled person myself, I realized that non-disableds were wrong all along. They were misguided and scared to be seen in the way that disabled people aren’t allowed to hide.
This realization allowed me to put my whole self into dating once I was ready to get back out there. It was so easy for me to see who valued me and who had preconceived ideas about me this time around. It wasn’t long before I found someone that truly saw me for who I am. We talked about disability from the beginning and they weren’t weird about it. They were excited to talk about disability justice and cognizant about their own ableism.
Loving Myself Healed My Internalized Ableism
Sex with my partner today is the most passionate, intimate sex I have ever had. I believe it’s because they don’t see my disability as awkward or a burden, but an asset. They find it so sexy that we have to communicate about our sex, and they see my body as beautiful. My partner is demisexual, so they only have sex with people with whom they connect. Pair that with a disabled person who can only have intimate sex, and you have one of the strongest connections there is.
I didn’t start here. To begin with, the world told me for a long time that I wouldn’t find a partner. They told me that my body was broken, undesirable and that disability was a bad thing. As cliche as it sounds, it took loving myself before I could see my own desirability. I have always known that I am sexy and lovable, but it took getting real about sex to realize that others can see me that way, too. Now, I will never be ashamed.