Dating For Disabled Youth

What is dating? How do you figure out who you even like? How about asking someone out? Come chat with me about all this and more! This class is for folks with disabilities 18+ and also parents and teachers.

Dating For Disabled Youth

Dating For Disabled Youth

Dating For Disabled Youth

Updated
July 24, 2019
Medically Reviewed by
2 minute read

No matter who you are, dating can be difficult, but disabled youth may face a unique set of challenges.

In this stream, sex educator Eva Sweeney addresses these challenges and discusses dating for disabled youth. Since Sweeney is nonverbal, her assistant, Cameron, helps her communicate. 

Sweeney, who identifies as a genderqueer woman, begins by explaining the difference between gender identity — how you feel on the inside regarding gender —and sexual orientation — who you’re attracted to.

If you’ve settled into your gender identity and sexual orientation, you may be wondering how to meet people to date. Sweeney suggests meetups, dating apps, or through friends. 

If you need to bring an aide on a date, you can make it less awkward by first explaining to your date why you need an aide. Sweeney suggests getting an aide closer to your age to make it feel less like a chaperoned date, and working out a secret code with your aide for when they can take a walk and you can have some alone time. 

Regardless of if you have an aide, you’ll want to explain your disability and how it might be relevant to the date, like if you’ll need accommodations. Be open to questions so long as you’re comfortable with them. Sweeney reminds us to always talk about and ask for consent, which can be given verbally with a “yes” or nonverbally with gestures. 

Sweeney goes on to answer a number of questions, such as how to talk about an invisible disability with a date, how to find the best method of communication with your partner (which can be especially important if you’re nonverbal), and how exploration can help you discover the kinds of people and dating you’re into. 

Overall, just try to have fun dating!

Eva Sweeney

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Eva Sweeney is a 35-year-old genderqueer disabled female who works primarily as a sex educator and freelance writer. Her topics include disabilities and sex, gender, and queer culture. She is also the creator of the documentary, Respect: The Joy of Aides. She has been doing Sex and Disability workshops for 15 years and started doing this work because she found a huge lack of good sex positive information for people with disabilities.

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