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SHAG Week - Disabilities and Sex

For SHAG Week your SU have written an article on Disabilities and Sex, including information on where to find support.

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Disabilities and Sex

Did you know that disabled people like to have sex just as much as non-disabled people? I know! Shocking! The stigma prevalent in our society surrounding disabilities and sex can have a profound impact on the life of disabled people. Mental or physical disabilities come with a whole host of challenges; sex shouldn’t be one as well!

Sex is important and feeling comfortable when your having sex is even more so. Disabilities can affect how often you have sex, and the way you have it. There are a lot of problems blocking disabled people from having an active sex life, be it finding an understanding partner, self-esteem issues, or overcoming physical barriers.

Although non-disabled or neurotypical people compete with similar issues, the difference is that sex and disabilities are hardly ever discussed in tandem. This can result in the fear that having a disability is an active turn-off.

Some barriers that disabled people may face include:

  • Sensory issues
  • Trauma triggers
  • Pain
  • Limited movements or positions
  • Sexual dysfunction due to medication
  • Access to sex education or contraceptive
  • Stigma on dating sites

The good news is that society is shifting (pretty slowly, but it is happening!). In recent years there has been a big movement towards body positivity and through that some disabled people have been able to break through into the mainstream and start to represent the community, showing that disabled people are just as sex positive as the rest of you!

There are some amazing resources out there that can help if you or your partner want a more active sex life. These include sexual aids designed specifically for disabled people, information on how to deal with impairment-related problems you might face, specific disabled matchmaking services, and general awareness and education that disabled people are just as deserving of love and intimacy.

The below websites have a whole heap of information, including links to online communities and podcasts.


Enhance The UK


Sexuality and Disability


If you have any questions or would like more information about any of the above, our amazing SU Advice team are always happy to help.  You can reach out to them at suadvice@essex.ac.uk.


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