People with disabilities have had to fight for basic human rights to be seen as humans with the same needs as the able bodied community. There is still such a long way to go in changing perceptions about ability diversity, especially in relation to sex. For most of modern history in the west we have ignored or silenced the sexuality of people with disabilities.
Barriers to Sex
People with physical and mental disabilities often face physical and practical barriers to fulfilling their sexual needs. As a specialist in disability and sexuality I seek to help overcome practical and physical barriers you may face in your fulfilling your sexual needs.
Some people benefit from hiring a trained sex surrogate. These are sex professionals who are trained to work specifically with people who may have physical or social barriers to accessing sex, sexual gratification or learning about their own sexuality. Sex surrogates may be sex workers with further training, or they may be sexological bodyworkers with further training. When you want to hire a sex surrogate in order to learn about your sexuality and your sexual ability, there is usually a triad model- meaning the therapist, the surrogate and the client work together sharing information and outcomes to increase the likelihood of the best outcome for you.
Living in a body that is not seen as 'the norm' in our current era/culture can be a systematic form of de-humanisation. People who are over/under a certain weight, under/over a certain height, people with features that are not recognised as 'normal' can become shamed into believing that they don't have the right to be loved or desired or even seen. This can make it difficult for us to then accept love and desire from others, and to hide our bodies away and not be able to experience the joy freedom and intimacy of sexual relationships.
Everybody has a body that deserves the loving nurturing, erotic connection of sex. If you feel that your feelings about your body are interfering with your ability to accept love, connection and be present to enjoy sex- you can ask for help.
Cultural ideals for bodies.
At the current point in time we are experiencing a unique montage of ideals about bodies, health, age, and sexiness that is compounded by media depicting photoshopped airbrushed stylised images coming at us every moment of every day. This can make it very difficult for us to see ourselves as worthy for love and respect and sex. The good news is that you can start to untangle and de-program your mind from these false ideals, and develop a relationship with your body and your sexuality full of acceptance and respect for yourself- and your body regardless of how it looks.
Body Dysmorphic Dissorder
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition that is characterised by an over emphasis on a particular aspect of your body that causes severe mental or social impairment. The most common is being overly concerned about your body shape (weight, height, hips/curves) but can also include excessive focus on a specific body part (nose, lips, hairline, ears etc...). If you are being treated for BDD there is a high likelihood that this disorder is impacting your sex life, relationships and sexual expression.
BDD and Cosmetic Surgery
One of the difficulties for the modern person is that not only are we bombarded and brainwashed to believe we should look a particular way, we also have the technological ability to alter our bodies in order to try to achieve this. Women for decades have been having breast enhancements for purely cosmetic reasons, and now there are butt lifts, lip fillers, permanent make-up, vaginaplasty, vulvaplasty, body lifts etc.... None of these things in themselves need to be bad, however many feel that because they can- they should. If your body is not causing you pain and discomfort, it is OK to be you. It is ok to have thin lips, or a flat bottom, or large labia minora.