Hi Emily,

I’m writing for some advice. I’m really struggling to feel sexy in my wheelchair after my accident, and feel like everything ‘girly’ and feminine about me is fading away. I don’t want to become that girl that always needs to have the lights off….!

Please can you help me?

Thanks

Stacey, 29

 

 

Hi Stacey,

Thanks so much for writing into us at the Love Lounge. Coming to terms with a new impairment, and therefore a brand new body, that moves and functions in different ways, can be really tough! Especially tough, in fact, if you can’t do all those things you used to do – and that definitely translates to being active in the bedroom, too.

Let’s face it, mainstream society rarely sees disability as sexy and attractive, so it’s hard for those of us with impairments to see ourselves as such! There’s a dependability that often comes with disability, and this can feel cold and clinical rather than flirty and fun!

However, it’s important to make sure that spark is still there, not just sexually for you and your partner, but for your own self-esteem. Look at yourself in the mirror and focus on the things you like about yourself. Is it your hair, your smile, your chest or the way your back curves? Then flaunt them! Equally, the stuff you don’t like, you can hide. My feet turn horribly when I’m sat in my chair, so you’ll never see me in sandals or flip flops. In fact, long flared trousers or gorgeous long skirts almost hide them completely, so they are perfect for a day when I’m not feeling so confident. Having my hair freshly coloured and wearing a bright pop of lipstick always makes me feel good, so I make sure to do that whenever I can!

Ultimately, this is your body for the foreseeable future – if you don’t love it, no one else will! As for sex and intimacy, talk to your partner and discuss what works and what doesn’t, tell them how you feel and say that you want to feel confident and sexy again, but you’re going to need some extra TLC and support in order to do that. And hey, if you get really confident, wheelchairs, shower chairs and handrails all make great sexual aids…. I’ll leave that bit to your imagination!

Wishing you the best of luck,

Em x

 

 

Dear Love Lounge,

I’ve been trying my hand at online dating, especially after hearing all the hype about Tinder and similar apps. I have cerebral palsy which affects my walking and speech, and I’m not sure how to bring it up to any matches. It’s not something you can see in my photos, and putting something on my profile like ‘I’m wobbly and my speech is weird’ isn’t really going to get me anywhere I don’t think! Do you have any other suggestions?

Gaby, 25

 

Hi Gaby!

Love the humour in your message, and thanks for writing into us. It’s clear that you have a great sense of fun, so that can’t be a bad start, right?! I definitely wouldn’t feel obliged to put anything in your profile outlining these things; it’s not something about yourself you should feel the need to advertised. Similarly, though, it’s not something you should be afraid to hide, either. It is, after all, part of who you are, and any potential match that is right for you will recognise and accept that. Once you get around to messaging your matches, maybe mention that it’d be good to meet somewhere that’s relatively quiet and accessible, so that you and your match can have a good chat (without the need for you to repeat yourself over loud music every minute), and you won’t struggle with the walking distance. If they stop talking to you after that suggestion? They’re just not the right person for you. And hey, remember that online dating isn’t everything. Get yourself out there; someone might catch your eye when you least expect it!

 

Happy dating!
Em x

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