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2 min read

Identifying Stigmas Around Intimacy in the IDD Community

It is often assumed that if you have a disability or disorder, intimacy does not happen or that it is unwanted. However, this is typically not the case. This is among the many stigmas that the disabled community faces in society. These stereotypes can be hurtful and dissuade disabled individuals from searching for happiness that can come from intimacy. While their definition of intimacy may adapt to their situation, they still want and deserve love the way anyone else does.

Here are some of the leading stigmas surrounding this concept. 

People with physical disabilities are unable to engage in intimate activities

While some physical disabilities may cause limitations depending on the condition, individuals with physical disabilities are still typically open to intimacy. This may not always be traditional if there are physical impairments, but intimacy can still exist in a relationship with one or both parties having disabilities. For example, if the person is in a wheelchair, they can discuss ways to express their feelings to each other. Another way to see which romantic practices are safe for them to engage in would be discussing concerns with a healthcare provider. 

Individuals with disabilities are not interested in romantic relationships 

We often assume in society that if someone is not exactly like us or does not adhere to social norms, they do not have the same interests as us. This is not only false, but in fact, many disabled individuals have many things in common with non-disabled people. Sharing common interests is one of the foundations of a relationship or getting to know someone. Everyone wants to be valued and cared for, including those with disabilities. They should not be excluded from love or romance if they don’t fit in with the conventional relationship. Even with physical disabilities prohibiting some movement, intimacy is more than what we often think. It could be something as easy as strong eye contact or holding someone’s hand. 

People with disabilities are unable to find partners for a relationship 

Similar to the assumption that the disabled community has no interest in romantic relationships, is the idea that if they are interested, they won’t be able to find a partner. There may be some obstacles in finding a partner, such as physical limitations, however, individuals in the disabled community can find romantic partners just like anyone else. Some communities hold events specifically for the disabled population where they can meet people like themselves who may find challenges in meeting others. There are also secure online apps and websites where the disabled community can connect virtually with others, make friends, and work towards more meaningful relationships. 

For more information on how the disabled community can find new ways to safely interact with others and create new friendships and relationships, check out https://hello-itsme.com/ today.

 

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References 

Harano, Lauren. "These Are the Most Common Misconceptions Around Intimacy in the Disability Community." POPSUGAR, 1 Oct. 2021, www.popsugar.com/love/misconceptions-around-intimacy-in-disability-community-48530695. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.

Collier, Lorna. "Seeking Intimacy." American Psychological Association, 2023, www.apa.org/monitor/2017/12/seeking-intimacy. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.

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