A few years ago, during a nationally televised tribute to actor-director Christopher Reeve, Reeve's wife, Dana, took the stage to sing a song.Before launching into her number, she spoke eloquently of her love for Reeve, paralyzed by a spinal cord injury received in a fall from a horse. In that "public-private" moment, Dana and Christopher Reeve told the world what scientists and sex therapists already know: Sexuality doesn't end when a person suffers a disability."Sexuality encompasses the totality of our being," she says. You taste it throughout, and similarly our sexuality goes through all of us." Whipple advises people with disabilities -- particularly those with limited sensation in the "traditionally" sexual parts of the body -- to talk with partners about many of the ways to have erotic pleasure that do not involve the genital area."Sensuality and sexuality are much more than the genitals." From giving and receiving touch in areas of the body like the cheek, the neck, or the back of the hand to using scent -- candles and aromatherapy -- or music, Whipple suggests using all the senses for erotic pleasure.Only 16 per cent have ever invited a disabled person to their house, and 67 per cent feel awkward around disabled people meaning they panic, or even avoid contact altogether.“The figures look shocking but when I started to think about it, it makes sense,” says Renke.
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“They make assumptions that I can’t have sex or I’m not capable of being in a relationship,” she says.
“That because I have a physical disability, I don’t have full mental capacity. These experiences mean that Renke can easily relate to new statistics showing that half of the British public has never started a conversation with someone disabled.
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