Experience isn't everything

Many people with disabilities did not get opportunities to establish their sexual identities. Perhaps they spent their childhood and adolescence in an institutional setting; where staff did not want to deal with sexual activity between residents, much less provide any education. Or maybe their families did not support exploration of their sexual identity, afraid that they would be hurt by unmet expectations. And, unfortunate as it may be, people with disabilities are often discounted out-of-hand as sexual partners in a society that sees them as asexual by definition. For whatever reason, you’ve simply had less opportunity.

This just means that you’re getting a late start. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for you to catch up, to learn how your body responds, to get familiar with the dynamics of how people become intimate partners, to develop confidence in your sexuality. Your sexual nature is an innate and unchangeable part of what you are. You can overcome your inexperience
and develop this important part of your life and self-image.

Ask yourself what you’re afraid of. I can imagine your being afraid that you’ll be rejected, that you’ll make some kind of mistake or that you’ll touch on some strong, uncomfortable emotions in the course of being intimate. Perhaps you feel some embarrassment. Don’t allow your fears to cost you the chance to be with someone who is apparently interested in being close to you. Just be yourself. People come together because they like each other, not because they practice some complex art of seduction.

Most of all, don’t try to pretend that you have more experience than you actually do. There’s no way to maintain that, and the only possible result is that you’ll be found out! You have much more to gain by being honest from the start. Just let your partner know the truth, that you want to begin the long overdue process of embracing your sexuality, that you’ll need a little patience - and maybe some guidance - so you can make up for lost time.

Anyone who is considering an intimate relationship needs to ask if their potential partner is someone he or she can trust. Someone who is really interested in you, is attracted to you, cares about you and will accept the truth of who you are. If someone would reject you simply for your lack of experience, maybe they’re not someone you want to be with anyway.

Don’t allow your desire to explore your sexuality to lead you to choose someone who is not going to be compassionate. You may have never been kissed, but the person who gets the privilege needs to earn it! It might even be a real treat for your partner. They get to share your process of discovering your sexuality, your delight in new sensations. And they will be honoured to contribute to your growth and maturity as a person discovering and celebrating your sexuality. Rather than thinking of this in terms of loss and fear, consider that this experience could be a gift for you both. The bond you might share as a result of an experience this deep and precious could be part of a strong foundation for a lasting relationship. Or at least a great friendship.

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