This is a subject that one might consider taboo: the emotional and sexual life for people with disabilities. But, this Thursday May 18 and Friday May 19, 2022, the University of Burgundy and the APF France Handicap association decided to take the question head on. Round tables and stands to enable those concerned to find answers to their questions about sexual support, gender identity or parenthood.
About fifty people came to listen to the first round table. But more generally, the initiative is beneficial for Stéphane : “I would like to learn about love and meet someone who is interested in me, he explains. Because it’s difficult to talk about it, it’s quite taboo, we don’t dare to talk about sexuality for example.
This observation was that of Christophe. He has been married for four years and is in a wheelchair. For a few years now, he has led discussion groups with the APF France Handicap association in Dijon, particularly on the emotional life of people with disabilities. According to him, the big problem comes from the lack of self-esteem to consider a relationshipwhether you have a mental or physical disability:
As a disabled person, we have a self-image that is formatted by society, we hear that we are asexual, we hear that we do not have the right to that because our life is already difficult enough.
During the forum, participants are therefore invited to go beyond these prejudices but also to get to know their body. It was all the work done by Martine, suffering from a neurodegenerative disease: “I rediscovered a new body after the disability, because it no longer functions the same, I no longer have the same sensitivity.“And the one who also promotes the use of sex toys for people with disabilities insists:”It’s a right, just like eating, going out or having fun!“
Change the look
So that everyone discovers what can do them good, massage workshops or meetings with sexologists are organised. But, for the associations, it would even be necessary to push the question a notch further and move forward on the case of sexual assistance, a practice still prohibited in France but authorized in Switzerland for example. “We have to change the way people look because today it’s still quite blocked, there is an amalgam with prostitution in France, regrets Françoise Lecomte, of APF Côte-d’Or. But things are progressing little by little and I think we will get there, even if there are still taboos and, in any case, the question of emotional and sexual life does not only concern people with disabilities.“
The Emotional and Sexual Life forum is still being held this Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Multiplex room on the campus of the University of Burgundy in Dijon. New round tables and shows are planned.