My B.O.M.B: Our Right to a Fulfilling Sex Life, Regardless of Age, Ability, or Shape

Okay, so first I will spell out what this B.O.M.B is all about: it stands for the Burn on My Boob. Sound stupid? It is! What is really is, is a superficial start to a deeper line of thought.
So I was curling my hair about a month ago… naked. I’ve never dropped the curling iron, I swear! Well, until I was curling my hair while naked. Suffice to say, I now have about a two and a half-inch scar on my boob. I don’t think it is going away anytime soon.
There is a Craigslist ad we frequently see: a man and woman looking for another couple, but the woman is in a wheelchair, and “you have to be okay with that.”
Have you ever heard of the documentary “On a Roll”? It is about Greg Smith, a man with muscular dystrophy who has had a successful career as a salesman, radio talk show host, and motivational speaker. There is one really great segment about how the sexuality of persons with disabilities is often overlooked and ignored by our larger society, by friends and family, and even by medical providers. Why would someone with Down’s Syndrome need birth control? Why might someone in a wheelchair need a caretaker who can help move that person from his or her chair to a bed and back again? Why might someone with a learning disability even need sexual education? (The implication behind these questions being of course that persons with disabilities aren’t sexual beings.)
What about fatism? (My term for prejudice against overweight people) I will be the first to admit: I like taking care of my body and I enjoy other people who also take care of their body through exercise and eating well. I will also be the first to volunteer that not everyone has the means to go to a gym or buy fresh food or has the time for exercise or go grocery shopping. (That’s the highly-present public health voice inside my heart and head). That being said, our culture has a serious obsession with body size and body part size. And it is an obsession that affects our sexual expectations and desires.
Here is my point: I have a burn on my boob. If I ever take boudoir photos it will show. Anyone who I get naked with will see it. And at the same time, I am healthy, fit, attractive, respected by others, and have grown up with the means to take care of myself. I can walk and talk and swim and run and get around in my day-to-day life without the assistance of others. I don’t have to rely on someone else to take care of my basic needs. I don’t have to worry about being rejected because of something out of my control: a car accident that left me as a paraplegic. Being born with a severe learning or mental disability. Growing up poor without the means to buy fresh and healthy foods. Working two jobs to provide for my family without the time for recreational exercise. I don’t have to worry about finding fulfilling sexual encounters.

Which brings me to my final, basic point: we all have a right to a fulfilling sex life. And everyone has the right to the information and resources that can help them lead sexually fulfilling lives.

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