Danielle is a clinical psychologist. She was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2. In her practice, the topic of sexuality and disability is often discussed; it’s a topic Danielle knows first-hand.
“I joke a lot that I’m Ms. Wheelchair New York by night and clinical psychologist by day. I’m on Tinder. I’m out there dating. It really supplements what I do as a clinician, because I know exactly what my patients with disabilities encounter.”
In her dating experiences, Danielle shares that she often faces awkward, even inappropriate questions about sexuality from people. She recalls a time when she’d recently moved to New York and was getting started on the dating scene:
“I was just, you know, being rejected, having inappropriate questions asked about me, like, ‘oh, hi, what’s your name? Oh, can you have sex?’ You know, you really don’t start out conversations like that.”
Danielle says that the root of these inappropriate questions is because people with disabilities are rarely seen in the media. In addition, “There are numerous stereotypes that are still associated with disability, being asexual, being unable to have sex, we don’t make good romantic partners,” she says.
She wants others to know – especially people with disabilities who may be hesitant to explore relationships – that “You don’t have to be able to do the standard throw-down notions of sex. Anything can be sexy.” It’s time to throw the taboo of sex and disability out the window. Because here’s Danielle’s take on the subject:
“People with disabilities have the same sexual needs and desires and appetite for romance and intimacy that everyone else has. It’s part of being human.”
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