We need to stop believing that people with disabilities can’t do these things.
In the age of interracial, transgender, and trans-generational dating, why is it still so easy to get a little freaked when you find yourself attracted to someone with a physical disability?
The answer lies with the many false assumptions and negative stereotypes about people in wheelchairs that continue to be prevalent in our society. On top of that, we also are frequently not portrayed in the media as sexy and desirable. Unfortunately, this misinformation may be preventing you from having the most amazing romance. Drawing from my history as a clinical psychologist, whose specialty is counseling people with disabilities on the topic of dating, sexuality and romance, as well as pulling from my own exploits as a single Manhattanite on the dating scene, I am going to debunk the five most common myths that are current today.
If you date someone in a wheelchair, you won’t have a fulfilling sex life, if you can have sex together at all.
This is probably the most common myth out there, and it is 110 percent false. If you have a body and a brain, then you can have great sex. Through the media, we are often fed the image of how sex is “supposed” to look, and that image involves people with perfect bodies engaged in rigorous porno-style sex. This is very damaging for everyone, disabled or not. Creative thinking, imagination and good communication are actually the key ingredients of having a completely satisfying sex life, and these are possible for everyone.
The date will be very awkward, and I will do or say something stupid or offensive.
This myth stems from the fact that many able-bodied people still view people with disabilities as essentially different from them. Not only are one in every five Americans affected by some sort of disability, but we also need to keep in mind that everyone has issues. For some, the issues are very visible; for others, the struggles are more internal. Having a disability is like dealing with any other curve ball that life throws our way. With these facts in mind, you will see how “normal” living with a disability can be, and that your date is just like any other.