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Intimate not Intimidated:

Richard_Scope
Richard_Scope Posts: 2,927

Scope community team

The Open University asked 6 people with life-limiting conditions to join us for a day-long discussion on sex, intimacy and relationships. This film delves into the details.

Intimate not Intimidated: It's Time to Talk About Sex and Disability



[image of a woman in a wheelchair and non-disabled man smiling and about to kiss]
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Comments

  • DaddyBear
    DaddyBear Member Posts: 35 Connected
    I hope my first post is helpful. I have a number of different disability issues. One being I have CHD better known as Chronic Heart Disease. It is incurable and live shortening illness. I have found that the moment some people know I get the "on I am sorry to hear" or "how do you live with this". I have not been close to people because of this. I am worried that it would seem like a burden some people could not manage. I face the fact, no intimate closeness. It also causes in my case, erectile dysfunction. For those who find someone I am happy for you.
  • cat_hug
    cat_hug Member Posts: 147 Pioneering
    I have a life long disability that will never improve and has no cure, as well as other long term health issues, heart problems and neurological difficulties resultant of brain aneurysm and two strokes.
    My partner died suddenly about 5 months after my first stroke, which happened in 2010.
    The thought of being close to anyone else since his death and my health has worsened, seems like too big of an ask for anyone to be expected to deal with.
    The thought to me of getting close to somebody is terrifying,  but conversely, the thought of never sharing intimacy with another person, is equally (if not more) terrifying.
    I have got so used to being alone, I think it would be really difficult to share space with somebody.
    Then of course, the logistics of actually meeting somebody with whom I could envisage being in a relationship, make the probability, virtually impossible..
    I miss my dearly departed terribly. He was accustomed to my Narcolepsy and cataplexy, but I know he had difficulty processing when I had a brain aneurysm and stroke.
    It's the little things that you miss, cuddling up on the settee and falling asleep together. Laughing at something completely inane. Just being with somebody who 'gets you' and still loves you, despite all your defects and difficulties.
    I could not envisage being so fortunate as to meet a soul mate twice in this lifetime.
    Kismet.  I don't dwell on it too much, but I do still grieve the man I lost 11 years ago.
  • Geegeenumber1
    Geegeenumber1 Member Posts: 392 Courageous
    since my knee problems come about and mean i can no longer walk without severe pain and putting on a load of weight i have no desire to date (used to be on loads of dating sites) let alone have sex

    I have aalso been on long term meds for bipolar and no longer have a sex drive even though im no longer on the drugs

    i used to place priority on relationships so its a big change
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 6,151

    Scope community team

    I think a lot of people unfortunately experience that kind of sympathetic response from people, which can come across as a bit patronising @DaddyBear. I do think that there are people out there who could see past your conditions, and the erectile dysfunction too. These things can take time. Have you tried dating much?
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  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 6,151

    Scope community team

    I have got so used to being alone, I think it would be really difficult to share space with somebody.
    It's the little things that you miss, cuddling up on the settee and falling asleep together. Laughing at something completely inane. Just being with somebody who 'gets you' and still loves you, despite all your defects and difficulties.
    This is very true @cat_hug. Although you'll never meet anyone the same as your late partner, I do think it's possible that you could find a companion again. There's no rush though, and these things can come at the time you least expect them to. Hopefully you'll begin to feel a little better soon, and be able to get out and about a bit more. 
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  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 6,151

    Scope community team

    Priorities can certainly change over time @Geegeenumber1, and that's completely fine. Being single is absolutely fine, especially if it allows you to really focus on yourself and your health. 
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  • Geegeenumber1
    Geegeenumber1 Member Posts: 392 Courageous
    does anyone go on dating sites

    i was on a few for years and the same people stay on them

    i found most people sleazy and horrible i was the unlucky one

    anyone in a happy relationship to give us all ho[pe
  • cat_hug
    cat_hug Member Posts: 147 Pioneering
    @Geegeenumber1 I've never been on a dating site but I have friends who have. One of my friends tells me there are a lot of sleazy people out there, but also some who genuinely want to meet somebody for relationship/friendship.

  • cat_hug
    cat_hug Member Posts: 147 Pioneering
    I've been alone for nearly 11 years now @Geegeenumber1 so have kind of got used to it. I like my own space and think there would be nothing more lonely than being in a relationship with somebody who 'wasn't right for me. 
    I agree with you though, it does give you hope when you see or hear of people who are happy with their significant other xx
  • tru88le
    tru88le Posts: 215 Member
    There are surgical options for ED, such as a pump system where a few squeezes of a bulb and your ready for action...
    I thougt pump n jump would be a good name for it.
    Theres also newer medication than Viagra such as Verdanafil with less side effects.
    Remember an erection comes from three parts of your body, your spine, your brain and the penis, so you probably have two thirds of what is required functionjng normally, why give up when you only need to sort out a  part of the problem.
    I'm curious how many people with ED wake up with an erection, thats one good sign that the issue is easily fixable.that men ignore the significance  of.
  • kosh77
    kosh77 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    I am 63 now and have never had a girlfriend or a relationship. I do have some physical issues with sex but it never really gets that far, as when you are single and alone, sex, love, intimacy are are just fantasies. So i have ever been that concerned about it  as it is not really an option for me.
  • Jean Eveleigh
    Jean Eveleigh Member Posts: 156 Pioneering
    I have been with my Mr since 2008 but it has been difficult as my health has got worse my sex drive has diminished about 5 years ago it disappeared completely this has caused serious issues in my relationship and we have technically split up.

    He moved out 4 years ago coinciding with his father having a stroke and spent the next two years splitting his time between me and his father (we live about 175 miles apart).

    Then at the beginning of 2020 SS said I needed 24/7 care but they couldn't pay for it at home, either someone moved in to help me or I had to go into a care home his father was recovered so he moved back in as my lodger and carer - I also get 16.5 hours care paid for by SS.

    What our relationship is now I have no idea how to define it there is no physical contact but he provides care needs for me (cooking, cleaning, dishes, laundry, walks the dog, pushes my manual wheelchair, etc.). We plod along together day to day.

    I have no sex drive and no want in any sense for a physical/sexual relationship but I do miss kisses and cuddles, he cannot do any of that without wanting more than that - I just accept this is my life and the priority is to keep me breathing and safe.
  • tru88le
    tru88le Posts: 215 Member
    Cant help but think if your up for a kiss and cuddle there's nothing that cant be improved with time and patience by that little smouldering ember.
    If he rethinks his ideas about things he might see he'll be better of in the long run taking it as it comes. (no pun intended😳)

  • tru88le
    tru88le Posts: 215 Member
    kosh77 said:
    I am 63 now and have never had a girlfriend or a relationship. I do have some physical issues with sex but it never really gets that far, as when you are single and alone, sex, love, intimacy are are just fantasies. So i have ever been that concerned about it  as it is not really an option for me.
    Why do you think  you accepted being single to a point where you give up all hope  yet it appears you regret that.
    Its easy to get into a rut and time goes by and by and large after all that time it must be worth a look around for people in a similar spot.
    But if your happy as it is fair enough.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Member
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  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 6,151

    Scope community team

    I'm sorry to hear that you were abused as a child, and that you also had an abusive partner in the past @bekindalways. Thanks for sharing this with us. I can imagine that this must bring up lots of difficult thoughts and feelings at times. 

    I'm glad that your current partner seems to be supportive, understanding, and loving. 

    The NSPCC have a good page on non-recent abuse that could be worth a read. If you feel as though you'd like to talk things through with someone who understands what you've been through, you might like to get in touch with NAPAC.

    I'd also encourage you to speak to your GP about the possibility of accessing some therapy to help you process the more recent abuse you experienced, as well as the childhood abuse you experienced, if you feel able to do so.
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