We’ve all got ‘Sex-ability’!

We’ve all got ‘Sex-ability’!

16th-22nd September is Sexual Health Week and this year, we’re aiming to get everyone talking about ‘Sex-Ability!’

Spectrum’s ‘Sex-Ability’ campaign demonstrates our belief that everyone has the ability to form and enjoy intimate relationships, including people with disabilities. We’re aiming to challenge common myths around sex and disability and promote better access to sexual health services.

Challenging the myths

Disabilities shouldn’t hold anyone back from having intimate relationships. Yet the topic of sex and disability isn’t often discussed publicly – something which allows misconceptions to thrive. Spectrum’s ‘Sex-Ability’ campaign will tackle common myths about sex and disability, including:

 That people with disabilities don’t need or want intimate relationships

  • That people with learning disabilities can’t consent to sex
  • That people with disabilities aren’t able to have sex
  • Sex education isn’t necessary for people with disabilities

To challenge these myths, we’ll be sharing positive stories about disability and relationships through social media, signposting people to support organisations hoping to spark conversations about sex and disability. Love doesn’t discriminate – so why should we?

 Raising awareness of support services

Yearning for companionship is universal and we all want to enjoy being close to another person. Yet research shows that only 3% of adults with a learning disability are in a relationship, compared to 70% of the general population.

These statistics show that people with disabilities face more barriers in finding and forming intimate relationships than other people; and in turn, this can mean that they struggle to find relationship advice or talk openly about love and sex. Even for adults who are in a relationship, lack of inclusive sexual health support can make it hard to find important information – including how to access contraception, prevent unplanned pregnancy or avoid risks such as STI’s, grooming and sexual exploitation.

Belinda Loftus, Head of Sexual Health Services for Spectrum, said, “Having a disability shouldn’t hold anyone back from pursuing intimate relationships but more needs to be done to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the support they need. We are committed to providing inclusive sexual health services and welcome anyone with queries about sex and disability to get in touch.”