People experience disabilities in different ways; some from birth and others through accidents. Other than the known effects and hardships associated with disabilities, fresh insights point to the change in sexual expressions and identities of the affected and those around them. Being discriminated against, shapes personal experiences of sexual reproductive health including shame, sexual desire and desirability or lack thereof, sexual confidence and esteem. Quite often, the pleasure associated with sexual intimacy is denied.
Personal accounts provide the sharpest insights into experience.
Morgan Mbogo* shares.
I have been a footballer from childhood and recently got into a paid contract with a local football club. Unfortunately for me, several months ago I suffered a bad knee injury that left me on crutches and with no specialized treatment. It could well be the end of me and football. I however realized that the crutches weren’t just affecting my gaming career, but also my personal life too. Here I was, from a celebrated footballer with hundreds of female admirers with love in their eyes, admiring looks and winks, to someone struggling on crutches with few people turning to look at me.
The ladies are now quite few with lots of pity peeping through their eyes.
My pay-out from my club was nearly depleted in my treatment and life difficult ever since. My love of seven years who had seen my rise from scratch and want to fame and plenty also showed mixed signals sexual intimacy almost becoming forgotten; she decried discomfort considering my state. She even denied being acknowledged as my lover, while in the past, images of me and her screamed in all her social media circles. However disappointing, I couldn’t complain much because I admittedly knew well that she tried her best to not just be a lover but also a care giver to me but got overwhelmed and I also knew deep down that I was less attractive on crutches than I was in the football pitch and magazine covers with my mercury boots (euphemised).
That is now life for me, as a disabled and less attractive man.
From Mbogo’s shared experience, what solution would you have for him (and many others like him), whose disability has affected their sexual lives?