There's something about sex and disability/chronic illness/visible difference. That it's assumed people with disabilities are not sexual beings. That we have never had sex, that we don't want sex, that no one would find us sexually attractive. There is the deeply personal question that strangers feel comfortable enough to ask: "can/how do you have sex?". There's also the idea that we may only want to or be destined to have sex with other disabled people. Maybe that's why I avoid the topic. Because none of those things apply to me, and I don't think they apply to the disabled people I know.
I don't talk about sex with my female friends like they do on Girls (how good is that show by the way?! I'm late to the Girls party, and finally watched the whole first season on the weekend. I love it - especially how open the characters are about sex. And I love the music. And Lena Dunham is so talented. I digress.). When it comes up in conversation, I tend not to look at the person I am talking to, and then hope the topic changes. The last person I properly discussed sex with was the last person I had sex with. And that discussion wasn't verbal, it was through text, so I didn't have to awkwardly avoid eye contact. And I have certainly not discussed sex with my Mum. Unless you count that awkward conversation back in 2003 when I have her a receipt with a petrol voucher on it and she read the receipt, noticing I had bought condoms. And that's been the extent of our discussions about sex.
So when sex therapist Doctor Gabrielle Morrissey spoke for a lengthy period at about the benefits of sex for our health, it was certainly an interesting experience. Ordinarily I would have quietly taken it all in, but my Mum was at the table with me. And I tweeted my way through the weird situation. Others did too - like Jessica Gottlieb.
I can't even.
Anyway, I popped out to the loo to avoid five minutes of going redder than usual. And then I tweeted a little, had a little fun. Doctor Gabrielle talked about red lingerie being the type that men most want a woman to wear. So I figure it's probably ok for me to go naked. Right?
She spoke at length about sex toys, and cleverly linked this into blogging.
ABC Radio National's Life Matters. I also wrote about skin hunger a few times. It's definitely something that I'd like to discuss more with Doctor Gabrielle Morrissey.
While awkward, the session was enjoyable. Doctor Gabrielle had the audience laughing, which is probably the next enjoyable activity after sex.
This is my second Healthivate post, more to come. View my first one here.
How do you feel discussing sex? Is it something you're comfortable with?