Historically society has overlooked the sexual needs of those with impairments. The topic is either completely ignored or brushed aside as being irrelevant as disabled people have been considered to be almost non-sexual. However, the sexual needs of the disabled are very much a reality and there is an urgent need to address them in todays world.
Physically, the nature of the impairment itself determines how sexually active the person can be. Many impairments affect men more than women. With sexual arousal and libido being affected negatively, impotence is a common complaint. Women, on the other hand, may find their fertility completely unaffected by their disability.
The mental effects of the disability however are far reaching. Every culture has always had standards pertaining to how men and women should look and behave to be considered beautiful and attractive. These images almost always strongly stress a certain appearance and way of dressing.
People with disabilities often do not fit into this mould. This leads many to consider themselves ugly or unattractive because of their impairment. For those who have suffered the impairment later in their lives, feelings of inadequacy in comparison to the past are common.
Persons with disabilities, whether mental and/or physical, often question their sexual desirability. Performance, sexual positions and enjoyment of the act itself are issues of common concern. It is also natural to wonder about whether they can maintain a long term relationship and have children. These feelings of inadequacy make it difficult for impaired persons to express themselves sexually and thus impair their functioning further.
Today society has woken up to the fact that the issue of sexuality and disability needs to be addressed in a positive manner. It has acknowledged that creating awareness and providing more information on the issue will lead to a better understanding of the needs of the disabled and this will benefit society in general.
Various organisations and bodies have taken steps to ease the problems being faced by the disabled. Resource books addressing concerns like fertility and sustenance of long term relationships have been published to provide support and advice.
The numbers of disabled dating sites are also increasing rapidly. These offer dating services and tips as well as information and advice. Further, adult chat rooms allow patrons to interact with others. Some sites also document the experiences of those who live with disabilities, both their own as well as that of a loved one.
By aiming their services both at persons with various disability types as well as those who are interested in dating disabled persons, the disabled dating websites are helping disabled singles connect with potential partners.
Further they are also spreading awareness about issues that were hitherto not spoken about openly. All these efforts are contributing towards the creation of a more tolerant and understanding society.
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