Sex and relationships for disabled people can give rise to unspoken questions and sensitivities – often among the able bodied. But amid the awkwardness there is humour. The following is an edited version of a monologue by Ruby MacKellar, who has dyspraxia.
Everybody had already taken all the good disabilities, so I got left with dyspraxia. Somebody had to have it.
It’s a developmental, co-ordination disorder – the less sexy cousin of dyslexia. It largely affects motor control and speech, and memory and information processing, so what generally happens is I fall over a lot and I cock everything up.
Little things are difficult for me, like clothes, hair and make-up, so I like wearing large, elasticated clothes that don’t show I’ve dropped my dinner down them. I’ve no excuse for my hair, obviously.
I love living alone because of people. And so my favourite activity is sitting alone on the sofa in my pants, watching telly.
I can’t actually keep pets or houseplants alive, so I certainly can’t keep love and affection alive – that’s far too much commitment.
I do have some needs though, so to that end I went online and did a bit of online dating. Online dates, generally, can work in your favour because people are invested in them and they want to be there. They’re trapped, which is good news for me.
Often with dyspraxia, I come over very loud and sweary initially, and if I don’t know people I get a bit overpowering and overwhelming.
This is apparently a classic dyspraxia symptom and I hadn’t realised. I used to think I was this fascinating person with all these quirks and I’ve discovered I’m nothing but a list of symptoms. I was gutted when I realised this, but don’t tell anyone, obviously.