People with disabilities and their sexual needs are a taboo subject, but many stories show that such important needs must not be kept silent. You have to talk about them and break stereotypes. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.
– On one of the dating profiles I wrote that “if you want to meet me, invite me somewhere” – says Sylwia Błach. This is how seven years ago her relationship with Marcin began – more dates, conversations, relationship and sexuality.
– I can feel what a man who loves his woman feels – says Marcin, who sees Sylwia, not her illness, because a person with a disability is a man with an additional feature.
– I am the so-called “non-service person”, which means I need help in most of my daily activities – explains Sylwia. But in many cases Sylwia – an IT specialist by education – is Marcin’s support.
Renata has been supporting Paweł for 20 years. – People without disabilities have a problem with our sexuality all the time, because we know that we have sex – emphasizes the activist and social worker Renata Orłowska. Sometimes others – friends, parents – don’t want to know it. – We are not always perceived as individual individuals with character and sense of humor – he adds.
Lots of interest in the Avalon Foundation’s SexON conference
Sex educator Dr. Alicja Długołęcka points out that people with disabilities “are very often treated in a paternalistic, infantilizing way, with no place for categories of liberated sexuality”.
This approach keeps people at home for years – with no hope of improvement, no relationship, no closeness. That is why Avalon is sharing its knowledge at the next SexON conference.
The president of the Avalon Foundation, Krzysztof Dobies, says that the sexuality of people with disabilities is “a taboo subject, additionally covered with quilts, so that no one would touch on this topic”. Maybe that’s why tickets for the conference sold out in a few days. Dobies admits that there were reactions that “to those poor disabled people you show a sphere that is not for them”. – That’s what it is for them. This is something that is absolutely for everyone. Sexuality is a sphere that concerns every human being – she adds.
People with disabilities with difficult situations in gynecological offices
Everyone should decide whether they want to be in a relationship or not, and whether they are ready for love, sex, or parenting. – I had a very unpleasant situation with the first gynecologist, who discouraged me from examining myself for several years – says Sylwia Błach. – I heard that I will be examined like a nun: without asking if I have sex or want to have sex – she adds.
Katarzyna Rogowiec also states that the gynecologist she found “had no knowledge of people with disabilities”. – There were some suggestions, but how will it be in childbirth, that you have to hold your hands when pushing – he adds. Now Katarzyna Rogowiec, who lost both hands in an accident as a child, has a partner and two children. – First of all, talk to yourself and get to know yourself better – recommends people in relationships.
On the website of the Avalon foundation, you will find a map of accessibility and a list of offices where everyone is treated as a decision-making person, where the doctor addresses the patient, not the caregiver.