Tag Archives: Sex and relationships

My tips for ending awkward dating moments

Guest post from Phil Lusted, a web and graphic designer from north Wales.

For End the Awkward, he talks about awkwardness when it comes to dating and sex and gives some tips for getting over it.

When I was born, I was diagnosed with a rare form of dwarfism called diastrophic dysplaysia which means my bones don’t grow like an average height person would. Being only 3ft in height, I have come across many awkward moments in my life, one of the most common is being mistaken for a child or spoken to like a child.

Everyone wants to be loved unconditionally. This includes those who have visible or invisible disabilities. We are still human, with feelings just like any other able-bodied person. Unfortunately, for disabled people, dating can involve uncertainty and more than a few awkward moments. Like the time a waitress asked my date if I needed a high chair before we got to our table. Needless to say, I did not.

My tips for dating

A first date can be nervous for any person, some thoughts that would typically run through my head would be: “What will she think of me and my height?” “Will she think I’m a weird shape?” “What if she feels embarrassed around me?”. It is perfectly normal for us to think like this, we all do it no matter what size or shape we are, it’s all part of being human and how our brain works when in a nervous or first time situation.

To help avoid awkward situations with your date, don’t be ashamed to educate them on your disability before actually going on the date. Tell them any needs you may have or any assistance you may need while on the date, this will put yourself and your date more at ease, you will both be pretty much on the same page with her or him knowing more about your disability and needs.

I knew my girlfriend three months prior to our first date which gave her plenty of time to learn about myself and my dwarfism, which resulted in our first date being comfortable for the both of us, that way we could enjoy our time together without any awkward situations taking place.

Phil and his girlfriend hugging and smiling, on a wooden bench with trees in the background

Sex and confidence

A lot of nervousness may also be from your own body confidence; I know this from my own experience. Because I was born with severe scoliosis, my back and chest are a funny shape which has in the past affected my confidence. Something as simple as taking my shirt off in a public swimming pool would never happen.

It’s important to be confident in yourself by not being ashamed of your appearance, at the end of the day, we all come in different shapes and sizes, it’s something we should embrace and be positive about. Life would be a little boring if we all looked the same. Also keep in mind that if your partner loves you unconditionally, then you have nothing to fear or feel awkward about when it comes to showing your body.

Communication is important

One of the biggest issues caused by feeling awkward or embarrassed is a lack of communication. Despite sex being considered a “private” or “taboo” subject, all relationships require communication and dialog. I think being open with your partner is very important, especially as disabled people.

Talk with your partner about sex and discover what’s best for the both of you to avoid having close-minded expectations. Remember that not everything works with every partner, so it is important to be patient with one another.

The more you talk to one another the less chances you will feel uncomfortable and awkward when it comes to being intimate together.

You can read more about Phil’s awkward moments in his blog for last year’s End the Awkward campaign.

For more tips on sex and dating, check out the films and stories on our website.

The hidden sex lives of disabled people – End the Awkward

Alice is a disability rights activist and journalist. As part of our End the Awkward campaign, she shares her views on the media’s portrayal of sex and disability.

Content note: this blog references offensive disablist language and contains discussions about sex.

Disabled people don’t have sex, do they? It certainly seems that way as our sex lives are so rarely represented in the media, if at all.

Have you ever seen a disabled person having sex in a film, TV program, or a mainstream porno? Me neither.

We are a generation which loves to talk about sex, so why aren’t disabled people part of the conversation? Why are our sex lives are being hidden? And why are we being desexualised? We are consistently portrayed as people who never get our leg over and this couldn’t be further from the truth.

However, things have started to change with Maltesers recent ad campaign. The brand launched three disability-themed adverts which premiered on the opening night of the Paralympic Games, and one in-particular really stood out to me.

A text description of the advert is available at the end of this blog post.

Three women are sat around chatting about sex and one (who is a wheelchair user) talks about getting frisky with her boyfriend who didn’t complain when her hand started spasming! Funnily enough Storme Toolis who plays the part is thought to be the only disabled actor to ever have had a sex scene on UK TV.

It is hard to put into words just how happy I was to see this advert, it reminded me of the conversations I have had with friends leaving them in stitches when sharing my sex stories.

Disability in the bedroom

I have spasms and seizures, and I have them when I’m in bed. This can make sex both awkward and absolutely hilarious, not too different from non-disabled sex right?

In the past I’ve had to explain to a partner that my legs weren’t shaking because I’d had an orgasm – they were going into a spasm.

I’ve also come round from seizures before and not remembered who the person on top of me was. You can’t really get much more awkward then that, especially when you’re in a long term relationship!

Disability certainly keeps sex interesting and there are also some perks. Having so many seizures during sex forces me and my partner to have regular breaks which means it usually lasts much longer then it would without them. And telling people I’m disabled early on is also a great dickhead-filter, especially when online dating. You’d be amazed at how many people have stopped talking to me once they discovered I was disabled, but this has meant I’ve only ever met up with open minded people who I know I can trust to get into bed with.

Having barriers in the bedroom also means disabled people have to be more creative and our sex lives are often far from vanilla, trust me. Look at Scope’s A to Z of sex and disability if you want to find out more!

End the awkward

Maltesers are paving the way to end the awkwardness around sex and disability, but there is a long way to go yet. This is evident from some of the online comments left on the advert such as: “Retards who have sex are disgusting.” And: “I don’t really understand how disabled ‘people’ can be sexual beings without having souls.”

These attitudes need to be challenged, and the best way to do that is for more brands and broadcasters to follow in Maltesers footsteps. The more disabled people’s sex lives are accurately represented, the better perceptions will become. I hope one day I can turn on my TV and see disabled characters (played by disabled actors) having sex and for it not be out of the ordinary.

Beyond the bedroom

But this goes beyond sex, Scope’s 2016 Disability In The Media Study found that 80 percent of disabled people felt underrepresented by TV and the media on the whole.

It seems like this is only addressed for a few weeks every four years when the Paralympics comes around and this needs to change. We are the world’s largest minority group and we need representation every day of the year.

So decision makers, please don’t stop broadcasting about disability just because the games are over, let’s keep it on the box, and while you’re at it why not start representing disabled people’s sex lives too?

Read more End the Awkward blogs, or get involved in the campaign by submitting your awkward story.

Video description: Three women sat outside around a picnic bench. The person telling the story is a wheelchair user and she is holding a bag of Maltesers in her hand. As she tells the story she shakes the bag and chocolates spill over the table. Her friends looked shocked at first but then everyone laughs. Text reads: “Look on the light side”.

What it’s like being disabled and dating online

Lizzy is a 21 year-old who volunteers at a Barnardos project in Bristol, helping children and young people who have experience of health services. She’s been disabled since she was 14, and like many people uses online dating apps like Tinder. In this blog Lizzy shares her experience of online dating. 

I used Tinder for a year or so, and didn’t mention in the description, nor showed in the photos, that I had a disability.

It was something I had thought a lot about: do I tell them or not?

So, I didn’t. Not until we were a little way into talking at least. This received mixed reviews. Some people were completely cool with it. Some people responded with ‘oh my friend’s sister has that’, some asked ‘but can you still have sex though?’ (to which I loved to answer with ‘yes thank you, can you?’).

Some didn’t know what my disability was, and asked questions, and some people stopped talking to me. I was cool with all of those responses.

It left me thinking though, how interesting it would be to have two accounts, one not showing the disability at all, and the other being real about it.

Creating two profiles

I wondered how different the responses would be. Whether it was better for them to see me for who I am, and how I like to dress and look, before seeing me with my disability. Or was it better to be completely open and honest about things?

This lead me to create an account on Plenty Of Fish, where I decided that was what I would do – be honest. I still didn’t show my illness in my photos – instead I showed my smile, which represents me far more than my disability.

However in the bio on my profile, I did write that I have a chronic illness, and that I often need a wheelchair to get about.

Breaking the ice

Underneath that, I cracked a joke, about how it’s a win-win situation, because they wouldn’t have to pay for the gym, they could push me around instead, and me being sat down gives them a good view down my top.

I know that wouldn’t be to everyone’s approval, but I like to insert humour into potentially awkward situations – it breaks the ice.

Being honest about it left me feeling much more settled. As the messages started appearing in my inbox, I felt calm knowing that I’d already put it out there. Calm knowing that if they chose to talk to me, they’d chosen to talk to me knowing the situation; they weren’t walking into this with their eyes closed.

I had so many people comment about how they loved my humour and my easy going view towards my disability, and it made them feel much more at ease.

Some asked questions, they were polite, and genuinely interested. Lots of people were totally fine with the fact I need a wheelchair, and didn’t seem phased by it at all. Others weren’t so keen being seen out with me using it.

Then there was the added stress, of going on a date and getting there without having my carer come in with me.

Good and bad dates

My parents were understandably protective of me, because I was their youngest child, and due to my illness hadn’t had the ‘normal’ experiences of someone my age.  But I wasn’t naive. I knew how to meet people in the safest possible way, I needed to learn, to have good dates and bad dates, to enjoy myself and make mistakes, like everyone in their early 20’s.

I wanted to experience life, and though its true I need so much care and support, I also wanted to break away from that a little and find my own path in dating.

In my opinion, it needs to be discussed more. I’ve had so many questions in my head about what I should or shouldn’t do. And when I ask friends, some say they didn’t know much about it, and had never come across disability in dating before.

Too often people assume that disabled people don’t have fulfilling sex lives and relationships. Nothing could be further from the truth. Read Scope’s A-Z of sex and disability to find out more.  

Scope’s Romance Classics #EndTheAwkward

Scope is celebrating Valentine’s Day by releasing swoonsome recreations of iconic Mills & Boon book covers – starring disabled people.

Just like more than a century of Mills & Boon cover art, Scope’s spoofs feature softly-lit scenes of blushing heroines and chisel-jawed hunks.

Scope Romance Classics comes after our recent poll* shows that just 6% of people in the UK have been on a date with a disabled person they met through an online dating site or app like Tinder.

Our previous research also found just 5% of people who aren’t disabled have ever asked out, or been on a date with, a disabled person. And less than one in five (16%) have invited a disabled person round to their house.

 

Scope Romance Classics are based on some of the racy and romantic stories that disabled people shared as part of our illustrated A to Z of sex and disability.

‘The Sensual Scribe’ by Penelope Friday

An illustrated spoof romance novel, 'The Sensual Scribe'Erotic fiction author Penelope started writing erotica featuring protagonists with disabilities when she started thinking about the lack of disabled characters in the genre.

“It was as if disabled people never had sex: we didn’t seem to exist in mainstream erotica. Sadly, this ‘disabled people don’t have sex’ attitude is one I’ve experienced in real life: I have an invisible disability (ME) and am treated like two different people, depending on whether I’m in my wheelchair or not.”

Our Sensual Scribe blogs about challenging attitudes through her work and why it’s important for mainstream publications to print erotica that features disabled people.

Read ‘The Sensual Scribe’ by Penelope Friday.

‘On the Prowl’ by Romina Puma

An illustrated spoof romance novel, 'On The Prowl'Romina is a comedian and has muscular dystrophy. In the run up to Valentine’s Day, she’s been using online dating apps in her search for Mr Right. The hunt is proving fruitless, as the matches she makes seem more interested in asking awkward questions about her impairment than getting to know her as the fabulous and funny person she is.

“Sometimes they ask me questions about my condition – what it is? Can I have sex? Yes I can! Everything works properly down there, don’t worry about that,”

Read ‘On the Prowl’ by Romina Puma.

‘One Track Mind’ by Mik ScarletETA valentines cards Mik_v3

Broadcaster and journalist Mik started to explore alternative erogenous zones after a spinal injury in his teens left him unable to get an erection.

He reveals how to create orgasmic erogenous zones anywhere on your body and how to enjoy ‘thought orgasms’ by conjuring up your sexiest, X-rated fantasies.

“There are many differing techniques so it might be worth trying a few to see which suits you. But trust me; it really is possible to orgasm even if you are paralysed from the neck down.”

Read ‘One Track Mind’ by Mik Scarlet.

‘Recipe for Romance’ by Ronnie Murray

An illustrated spoof romance novel, 'Recipe for Romance'Ronnie, who is group head chef at Mark Hix restaurants, has a shortened left arm.

He shares some sexy, stamina-inducing recipes for breakfasts in bed that will keep your lover’s strength up the morning after Valentine’s Day.

Read ‘Recipe for Romance’ by Ronnie Murray.

Get reading and share your favourite story on social media. Read more stories like this on our A-Z of Sex and Disability.

 

*On 1-2 February, Scope ran a Google poll of 500 people in the UK asking: Have you ever been on a date with a disabled person that you met through a dating website or app? Just 5.6% of people said ‘yes’, compared to 94.4% who answered ‘no’.

Scope’s Romance Classics: Romina Puma is ‘On the Prowl’

An illustrated spoof romance novel, 'On The Prowl'Romina Puma is a sexy comedian searching for Mr Right, and her hunt has led her into the deep dark jungle of online dating apps.

However, her online matches seem more interested in asking awkward questions about her muscular dystrophy than getting to know her as the fabulous and funny person she is.

Undeterred, Romina is using her stand-up to challenge attitudes to sex and disability.

This blog contains frank information about sex. It’s meant for people over the age of 16. 

Disabled people have sex and do it in different positions just like everyone else. One day it dawned on me that I’d never seen a Kama Sutra for disabled people – and why not?

Luckily, Google had the answer. I found a Kama Sutra poster for disabled people and took it to the stage – well the softcore version anyway!

Don’t get me wrong there are some limitations with the poster – it’s designed for male wheelchair-users for a start. A few times in my set I’ve loved inviting male audience members up on stage, to sit in my wheelchair and try out a few of the positions with me. It can be fun but it depends on what kind of an audience you have!

Initially, it was just something fun to put in the act but after experimenting with it on stage, I thought it would be great to try out some of the positions… But I soon realised it was much easier just to go to bed – I guess I’m just a creature of comfort!

The hunt begins

DSCF1376-edit_half

I decided I might find my dream man online. So I got busy. The first one I tried was Plenty of Fish, then I tried Tinder, then I went on Ok Cupid, then I tried Guardian Soulmates – you think if people are paying to subscribe then they’re into something more than just a one night stand.

I was on Guardian Soulmates for one month and no one contacted me. It was really upsetting, like – wow, not even one person got in touch with me. It was really weird. So I’m not on there anymore.

I’m still on Tinder. I use it like playing solitaire, swipe, swipe, swipe – when I’m bored.  I get to chat to guys, get some material out of it – it’s fun and then sometimes every now and then you go on a date or you might hang out with that person for a little bit.

When’s the right time?

In the beginning all the pictures I uploaded of me online were without any aids. But then there was always this awkward moment of when is the right time to tell them I have muscular dystrophy?

If we go on a date I can’t just turn up with my wheelchair because they’re going to be shocked!

I would often match with someone on Tinder, start chatting to them and then it would get to a point when we’d arrange a date I would have to say: “Listen I have to tell you something before we go on a date, because I want to be honest and I don’t want you to get a shock, I have muscular dystrophy and I use a wheelchair”.

Some said “no – I can’t do it”. They cancelled. Some were up for new experiences and would meet up with me out of curiosity to find out what it would be like to go on a date with someone who’s disabled.

Everything works properly down there…

I got to a point where I had enough with having these awkward moments and conversations. It’s really hard to digest when guys don’t want to go out with you anymore because you’ve told them you are disabled and you use a wheelchair.

So I decided to change my profile pictures and use ones of me standing with my crutch or in my wheelchair, so they can see I am disabled.

I still got my matches on Tinder but the number of guys who wanted to chat to me dropped completely. Normally I’d have a few guys contact me every day. After I changed my picture, it took ages before someone messaged me. I tried messaging some guys, some would chat back but then that just gets boring after a while.

At least now I don’t have that awkward moment to deal with. Sometimes they ask me questions about my condition – what it is? Can I have sex? Yes I can! Everything works properly down there, don’t worry about that.

I think for that reason – I had to put something it in the show – these experiences have shown me I have to try and change people’s perceptions as much as I can. I’m still waiting for someone to help me try all the positions in the Kama Sutra – can you believe it? – I haven’t had any takers yet!

Romina shared her story as part of Scope’s Romance Classics. You can read more sexy stories from our authors:

Read ‘One Track Mind’ by Mik Scarlet.

Read ‘Recipe for Romance’ by Ronnie Murray.

Read ‘The Sensual Scribe’ by Penelope Friday

Scope’s Romance Classics: Penelope Friday is ‘The Sensual Scribe’

An illustrated spoof romance novel, 'The Sensual Scribe'Penelope Friday is an erotic fiction author with a penchant for raunchy tales of sex and romance.

This sensual scribe will not stand for the “disabled people don’t have sex” attitude. Why wouldn’t the ‘Lusty Lady’ use a wheelchair or the ‘Horny Hunk’ be deaf?

She is here to mix sex and disability into the pages of her tantalising tales.

I came into writing erotica through fan fiction. Fan fiction (often called ‘fanfic’) is a class of writing in which you take other people’s characters and give them adventures of their own.

A large proportion of this is dedicated to writing ‘adult’ fiction – no matter whether the original characters were engaged in sexual activity or not!

I always feel as if I should apologise for coming to the genre through fanfic, as it’s seen as a ‘lesser’ form of writing, but actually the amount of fun I’ve had – and the amount of friends I’ve made – through writing it means that I decided that I didn’t want to suggest that I regret my beginnings!

Baring it all

When I first started having erotic fiction published, I didn’t originally intend to write so much on disability and sexuality issues.

To be honest, it didn’t occur to me that it was needed until I wrote an article for Disability Now and acknowledged the lack of disabled characters in my fiction.

After that, the more I thought about it, the more it bothered me. It wasn’t just that I hadn’t written erotica with protagonists with disabilities; I hadn’t found disabled characters in anyone else’s work.

It was as if disabled people never had sex: we didn’t seem to exist in mainstream erotica.

Sadly, this “disabled people don’t have sex” attitude is one I’ve experienced in real life: I have an invisible disability (ME) and am treated like two different people, depending on whether I’m in my wheelchair or not.

In the former case, people never catch my eye, let alone show any interest in me. While I can’t say that everyone falls over themselves to flirt with me when I’m without the wheelchair, certainly I’ve had some attention!

With this in mind, I wrote my first story with a disabled narrator, Picking the Man. The story was written from the point of view of Ellie, a wheelchair-user who’s quite upfront about the fact that she’s sexually active.

The story involves her chatting up a non-disabled man with whom she’d like to have sex. Given my own experience, I wanted to face (and challenge) the attitude issue.

Ellie describes the potential date as thinking: “It sounds like she’s flirting with me. But she can’t be – she’s in a wheelchair!”

It’s not all just sex, sex, sex

Overall, I’m interested in people. Everything I write – erotica or not – is based upon the people in the story.

Yes, I quite often write about people having lots of sex, but I start with the characters, not the sex. I imagine a person, and it is their experiences that I write about.

As well as writing about characters who are disabled, I write across the sexuality spectrum: I’ve probably written more LGBT fiction than straight fiction. My protagonists may be male or female (or neither), straight or queer, disabled or not. It’s about the people, and who they are – not what they are.

Getting what I want

It has become something of an obsession to write characters with disability into my erotic stories, many of which have been accepted by mainstream publishers. I think there’s a place for dedicated disability publishers, just as there is for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender publishers. It’s good to have places that we minority groups feel we can rely on to acknowledge our existence!

But it’s also important for mainstream publications to take erotica that features disabled people. Some of my erotica has been published in anthologies where my story will be the only one with a disabled protagonist and it reaches a different audience, mostly non-disabled.

I want to challenge these people’s assumptions about disability. I write from the viewpoint of the disabled protagonist, trying to give an insight into the character and demonstrate that people with disabilities don’t actually spend all our lives thinking about our disability any more than non-disabled people would consider the way their bodies work.

I occasionally get emails or letters from people who really appreciate the fact that I’m writing about disabled characters, and I treasure them immensely. I want to normalise disability because, after all, for disabled people, living with disability is normal. This is how our lives are.

And yes, we have sex!

Penelope shared her story as part of Scope’s Romance Classics. You can read more sexy stories from our authors:

Read ‘On the Prowl’ by Romina Puma.

Read ‘One Track Mind’ by Mik Scarlet.

Read ‘Recipe for Romance’ by Ronnie Murray.

 

Scope’s Romance Classics: Mik Scarlet has a ‘One Track Mind’

ETA valentines cards Mik_v3Mik Scarlet is a broadcaster and journalist with a one track mind. Since a spinal injury in his teens left him unable to get an erection, he has explored alternative erogenous zones, ‘thought orgasms’ and a whole new world of sexuality.

Mik likes to share the love so he talks about his carnal discoveries to help other people with spinal injuries and impairments to reach orgasm.

This blog contains frank information about sex. It’s meant for people over the age of 16, so please only continue if you are 16 or older.

Sex is so much more than the method for making babies. It should be fun, exciting and a great way of bonding with a partner, whether they are the love of your life, your current squeeze or a one night stand.

It’s this element of their sex life that many spinal injured people feel they have lost, especially early on when they are learning to live with their injury. But trust me – nothing could be further from the truth.

If you’ve lost the ability to gain erections, but can still feel aroused, then with a little effort you will find that you can achieve multiple orgasms. It transpires that it is the erectile system that prevents men enjoying sex in the way women can, and once you experience this you tend to not miss a ‘hard-on’ in quite the same way.

Discovering a new world of sexuality

For those who have lost sensation, there is now a growing group of therapists and disabled people, myself included, that are promoting various ways of turning the erogenous zones on the parts you can feel into orgasmic zones, which opens up a whole new world of sexuality.

There are many differing techniques so it might be worth trying a few to see which suits you. But trust me; it really is possible to orgasm even if you are paralysed from the neck down.

Sure, sex after a spinal injury will be different than it was before, but with the right attitude, support and partner it can be better.

When I incurred my spinal injury I thought my sex life was over, but nothing could beat the sex I have now. A lot of that is due to my injury and how it made me re-examine what it means to have sex.

In this video, Mik reveals how to create orgasmic erogenous zones anywhere on your body and how to enjoy ‘thought orgasms’ by conjuring up your sexiest, X-rated fantasies.

Penelope shared her story as part of Scope’s Romance Classics. You can read more sexy stories from our authors:

Read ‘The Sensual Scribe’ by Penelope Friday

Read ‘On the Prowl’ by Romina Puma.

Read ‘Recipe for Romance’ by Ronnie Murray.

Scope’s Romance Classics: Ronnie Murray’s ‘Recipe for Romance’

An illustrated spoof romance novel, 'Recipe for Romance'This Valentine’s Day treat your lover to a lie in whilst you whip up a Recipe for Romance.

Chef Ronnie Murray posing for a photo in his restaurant kitchenRonnie Murray is the Group Head Chef at Mark Hix restaurants and has a shortened left arm which has never held him back in the kitchen, or the bedroom.

He shares with us his Valentines treats guaranteed to keep the fires of passion burning longer.

This blog contains frank information about sex. It’s meant for people over the age of 16, please only continue if you are 16 or older.

Sex and dating with a disability can be stressful enough without the thought that you also need to perform in the kitchen to keep someone interested.

Having a shortened arm definitely hasn’t ever held me back, in my career, or the bedroom. In fact my wife is adamant it’s a big bonus having more room to manoeuvre when we’re in the middle of a romantic clinch!

All I’ve ever wanted was to be a chef and through passion and hard graft I’ve made it happen. With sex it’s the same thing- creativity and determination!

People ask me strange questions about my arm all the time, which can get a bit wearing but I know it’s just comes down to a lack of understanding at the end of the day.

I’ve never had bad dates because of my disability. It’s a talking point.
I don’t know whether being a chef ups your sex-symbol credentialsbut treating someone you fancy to a brilliant breakfast in bed certainly helps to keep you ahead of any dating competitors.

Blueberry Drop ‘Your Knickers’ Scones

My blueberry drop ‘your knickers’ scones will have your lover begging for more under the covers action.

Blueberry compotePicture of blueberry pancakes

100g frozen blueberries
50g jam sugar

Put the frozen blueberries and caster sugar in a pan on a low heat, bring to the boil, stirring from time to time. Simmer for a few minutes until the compote starts to thicken. Set aside to cool.

Drop scones

250g self-raising flour (dove gluten free)
2g baking powder
50g caster sugar
10g golden syrup
2 eggs, beaten
About 300ml milk
50g melted butter for greasing
50g frozen blueberries
150g blueberry compote
1 small pot of Greek yoghurt
1 tin of golden syrup

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then add the sugar. Stir in the golden syrup, eggs and enough of the milk to form a thick smooth batter that just drops off the spoon. Using a spoon fold in the frozen blueberries.

Heat a non-stick pan or solid top and brush with some of the melted butter. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and let them cook for 3 minutes until bubbles rise, then turn them over with a palette knife or spatula and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Put them on some kitchen paper, while you are cooking the rest.

To serve place a warm drop scone onto a plate, spoon some of the blueberry compote on top, place another drop scone on top to finish then drop a spoonful of Greek yoghurt on top and drizzle with some golden syrup.

Whip Up A Fruity Little Number

Serves 4

Picture of a yoghurt with berriesWhipped goat’s curd with berries and honey roasted oats
280g whipped goat’s curd
120g honey roasted oats
320g fresh berries such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries or a good mix of each
A drizzle of honey

Put a good dollop of the whipped goat’s curd on a plate and using the back of the spoon work the mix out to evenly cover the plate. Place the berries on top of the whipped cheese scatter the honey roasted over the top. To finish drizzle with honey.

Whipped goat’s curd

240g goat’s curd or soft goat’s cheese
40g icing sugar
1 vanilla pod
A splash of milk
Put the goat’s cheese, icing sugar and seeds from the vanilla pod in a large bowl. Using a whisk ‘whip’ all of the ingredients together, if it’s a bit thick add the splash of milk. This could also be done in a food mixer. This can be kept in the fridge for a few days until needed.

Honey roasted oats

250g oats
150g butter
125g honey
75g golden castor sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C

In a pan melt the butter gently with the honey and brown sugar.
Add the oats and mix. Spread the mix onto a baking tray lined with silicone paper and bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, occasionally turning them to ensure an even colour. This will keep in an airtight container for a few weeks.

Ronnie shared his story as part of Scope’s Romance Classics. You can read more sexy stories from our authors:

Read ‘The Sensual Scribe’ by Penelope Friday

Read ‘On the Prowl’ by Romina Puma.

Read ‘One Track Mind’ by Mik Scarlet.

 

Z is for Zzzz

At the beginning of October we started our A to Z of sex and disability looking at the loves and lusts of disabled people in Britain today. So, as we put our A-Z to bed – how was it for you?

Z for Zzzz is part of Scope’s A to Z of sex and disability.

Here’s a quick summary of the coverage and the best responses to the campaign you may have missed:

Let’s Talk About Sex

The coverage kicked off with BBC Newsbeat featuring 19-year-old Jack and 24-year-old Holly who talked about dating, sex, disability and some of their awkward moments – Yes, disabled people do have sex – and maybe we should talk about it.

The story was also picked up by BBC Asian Network, who had an interesting discussion about how disability is seen in some Asian communities.

This Sex Is On Fire

The Telegraph’s Women’s Life section covered the campaign and the stories of Sam Cleasby and Emily Swiatek. They spoke about how being disabled has encouraged them to explore sex in a more radical way.

You Can Leave Your Hat On

The Femail section of The Daily Mail covered the campaign and Emily Yates, Sam Cleasby and Kelly Perks-Bevington shared their experiences.

The story included photos from the Undressing Disability campaign, and whilst most Daily Mail readers were hugely supportive of the campaign, commenting on the stunning photos and the bravery of the people involved, some weren’t quite as keen. Some politely asked them to their clothes back on, one reader wrote: “no thank you..I am eating my breakfast!”:

Let’s Get It On

G is for Gay happily coinincided with Coming Out Day and Buzzfeed wrote a indepth story about Charlie, who spoke about being bisexual and disabled.

The BuzzFeed LGBT community instantly fell in love with Charlie, commenting on how attractive and awesome he is. For some, the article drew awareness to discrimination that can happen within the gay community. For others the story rang true – “this article was so great in that it finally articulated many of my thoughts and feelings about sexuality, sexual orientation, disability, and the intersections thereof. Major props to you”.

All you need is love

We hope you’ve enjoyed our A-Z of sex and disability as much as we’ve enjoyed sharing it. Thank you to everyone who made it possible.

We’d love to hear your feedback – comment below, tweet us or email awkward@scope.org.uk.

Y is for Yes! (Oh yes!) – #EndtheAwkward

Yes, (Oh yes!) to seeing more on screen loving with disabled actors and actresses playing the romantic lead. It’s the most entertaining and exciting way to break down the attitude that disabled people aren’t interested in sex.

As disabled actors recreate the famous ‘faking it’ scene from the classic rom-com When Harry Met Sally, Storme writes about the lack of romantic lead roles for disabled actors.

Y is for Yes (oh!) yes! is part of Scope’s A to Z of sex and disability

(Sorry – this video is only available to watch in the UK)

Actor Storme Toolis caused quite a stir when she appeared in what was thought to be the only sex scene on UK TV involving a disabled character. At the time, Storme was starring as Holly Griffin in the long-running BBC1 drama New Tricks.

I’d love to play Shakespeare’s Juliet or Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennett. But because disabled people are not conventionally seen as sexual beings there is a huge lack of disabled people in romantic roles.

The majority of society remains uncomfortable with disability and sexuality, and that is reflected in the very few roles disabled people do get to play.

I think things are changing slowly, but I would not say dramatically. It is going to take a while. It’s so important to see disabled people in the theatre, on TV, everywhere. It was the same with race 30 or 40 years ago, disability is a fact of life – if you don’t see life on screen or in theatre it’s not a true reflection of society. We need to do a lot of work before disabled people are seen in desirable and romantic roles.

I’m doing my best to change things. Recently, I’ve been working on a theatre project with the Barbican called Redefining Juliet. It’s a play based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but changing the conventional casting of the female lead. I have a lot of ‘different’ Juliets, a larger woman, disabled women; women who don’t usually get to play these types of roles.

Over half the cast is disabled. I wanted to challenge traditional perceptions of what society finds attractive and show different types of women in a desirable role. The response has been overwhelmingly good.

Scandalous

I did a very small sex scene in a programme called New Tricks a few years ago. All the publicity focused on this one scene.

The media was always asking if I was comfortable with it, if I was made to do it. I really enjoyed myself and I think it’s so important to show that disabled people have sex like everyone else.

I don’t know what everyone was so uncomfortable about, but I certainly wasn’t.  It was such an ordinary thing – a kiss and then a bit of a fumble with clothes. I do that sort of thing all the time. Lots of actors do nude scenes, Game of Thrones is full of them, but because someone is in a wheelchair and shows a bit of flesh it shocks people. It was so tame!

I’m not sure if the reaction would be different now. My family is from Ireland and there was a headline in the Irish Sun saying ‘Disabled sex scene causes scandal in New Tricks’.

Getting over it

Actress Storme Toolis laughingI always felt like I wanted to do a sex scene. I wanted to feel like I could be seen in that way – sexual and desirable.

With roles like Elizabeth Bennett, they’re just characters, anyone would want to play that role. I have the same desires as anyone else, but, because I can’t walk, society doesn’t allow me to be seen in that way.

I love burlesque.  It would be great to get involved with something like that. Sex and desire is part of enjoying life, disabled people shouldn’t be excluded from that. It’s part of life as a young woman, finding out and experiencing things, being able to express myself.

The lack of disabled people as sexual beings on screen reflects how the world is. Initially it’s going to cause some controversy, but it’s important to show it. Disabled people have sex lives, just because you don’t see it on TV does not mean it doesn’t happen.

When I did the Romeo and Juliet production, all these women that would never normally be cast in that role, as soon as they began performing their impairment or differences disappeared and they were desirable, sexual beings, they were Juliets.

The audience was far more receptive that we thought. Once they saw the actors in the part, they didn’t see their impairments. It shows that once you bring diversity and inclusivity to what people watch, they aren’t fazed by it – they get over it.

Y is for Yes! (Oh yes!) is part of Scope’s A to Z of sex and disability. Read the rest of the A to Z