Here at Scarleteen we view being a sexual person and having a disability, or two or three, as just as normal as any other human variation.
We also know, though, that there isn’t a lot of disability-positive material out there, and even less material related to sex ed.
As an educator and advocate of healthy sexuality, who also has some disabilities, I think it’s pretty important for people to have accurate information, but also to see themselves and their experiences included in the conversations we have about sexuality.
We get a lot of negative, or vague messages about sex, and people with disabilities often get left out of the conversation completely. Both topics—sexuality and disability—have loads of social and psychological complexities around them. So, I’ve put together a list of resources that put people with various kinds of disabilities smack dab back in the middle of the conversation.
You’ll notice that a lot of the information is the same as the standard material on sexRead more...
This is our fifth installment of stories and photographs from I'll Show You Mine, a book by Wrenna Robertson and photographer Katie Huisman, and by all of the women featured in the book, collectively. To find out more about the book, Wrenna, and why we think this is such an important project, check out our interview with her here. Or, you can visit the website for the book to find out and more and get a copy for yourself.
If you'd like to ask the person whose body and words are featured in each entry any questions or have a conversation with her, most of the subjects have agreed to make themselves available here in the comments for discussions with our readers. As mentioned in Wrenna's interview, so many people never get the opportunity to talk about genitals in an honest, open and safe way with others, so we encourage you to avail yourselves of the opportunity, and are so grateful to the women involved for making this kind of conversation available to Scarleteen readers.
We're alsoRead more...
I'm seventeen and partially paralyzed from the waist down. I injured myself and got a spinal cord injury about a year and a half ago. I can move my legs, but not all of my muscles work. I've been going out with my incredible boyfriend for a while now and we have started having vaginal sex. One of the downsides of a spinal cord injury is that everything from the waist down has a little less feeling than normal. It's really hard for me to get anywhere past feeling turned on, and I think it has something to do with my numbness. I make sure my boyfriend is really careful to not hurt me and communicate with him pretty well. Are there any lubricants or other products that I could use to make sex a little more pleasurable for me? It usually doesn't hurt, but I have a hard time feeling anything. I see commercials for stuff, but I don't really know if they work. Thanks!
I know it's only so much consolation to you right now, but the older I get, the more I notice how much easier having a positive body image becomes. I know that's clearly not the case for all older women: after all, plenty of women my age and older are getting sliced, diced and Botoxed to within an inch of their lives. However, it's also not just me. I often notice that women I'm friends with also seem to have a good handle and perspective on their body image, despite the diversity of our bodies. Usually a much better one then they had when they were your age.
But you know, what I wish I knew then that I do know now is that most of my body image is totally up to me. Just like it is now, so it was when I was in my teens: I have control over how positive or negative it is. And that's something you'll find many older women wish they had known back when. You don't have to wait until you're in your 30's, 40's or beyond to get to a better place with yours. You can start doing that rightRead more...
I am 17, and I have a 15 year old sister who is Autistic. I also come from an EXTREMELY Catholic family. I never got a sex talk - I straight-up asked my dad what sex meant when I was 9 or 10, and he gave me some very unhelpful answer about a gift that God intended to be shared between a man and a woman in marriage. I, however, had enough resources like gurl.com and, you know, friends with older sisters to eventually get the full picture. My sister does not.
Katie knows about menstruation and deals very well with it, but at last check she barely knew what her parts were and she does not appear to be receiving any meaningful sex education in school - that's my school district through and through. But Katie is physically mature, and I'd bet almost anything that she's experiencing age-appropriate sexual feelings.