In our series on disability, sex and relationships, expert and resident agony aunt Tuppy (who runs Outsiders – a private club for disabled people looking for a relationship) answers your questions. This week, coming out as gay and kinky.
Dear Aunty Tuppy,
I have recently come to terms with the fact that I am gay and am bracing myself to tell my parents, who currently care for me and hold religious views which are against same sex relationships. I think they will accept me being gay because they love me. I feel bad – they have been so good to me and I don’t really want to give them yet another disappointment. I’m certainly not going to tell them that I think I am also quite kinky.
Then I need to find a way to find other kinky gay men – and find a way to leave the family nest and start dating. Your wisdom on all this would be appreciated,
Ray (with cerebral palsy)
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I appreciate you are on a journey, and hope to provide some words of positive encouragement
I would call your local LGBT / lesbian & gay helpline / forum, to ask for their support in all this, as having local people who have gone through similar journeys is always beneficial. You’ll find their telephone number and email online by typing LGBT and your town / area into your search engine.
Tell your parents how you feel, just as you told me, so they’ll know you are sad to give them this difficult news but it’s best you are honest and do love them too. Explain your plan to move out, saying you’d like their support, discussing whether you should live nearby or move to a gay hub such as Manchester, Brighton or London.
When you leave home, it would be good if you had at least one PA who is gay, and advertise for your PAs using words such as: ‘I am searching for someone who will support me in my life (as a gay man), not your version of my life‘. Having a gay PA (especially one who drives) is a great advantage as he can take you to gay bars and clubs, escort you on dates when needed, and be good at preparing you when you expect an intimate encounter.
You may worry about being kinky but many disabled gay men are, and it’s easier to find lovers who have specific preferences. Gay men are much better than straight men at spelling out exactly what they want sexually. There are disability and kinky groups on Gaydar and Fetlife, and the Outsiders Club has plenty of kinky gay men. Specialist kinky gay dating websites are listed below.
Traditionally, people in fetish clubs are more accepting of disabled people, as both are stigmatised but this is no longer true of the more fashionable ones.
You didn’t tell me whereabouts you live, but London has a gay & disability MeetUp group, which is on hold but may start up again.
Neither did you tell me what kind of partner you were hoping for, in terms of impairment, but it might be useful to read the American book ‘Queer Crips – Disabled Gay Men and their Stories‘, edited by Bob Guter and John R. Killacky. The last chapter is written by Bob, and it is very moving, describing his awful upbringing and his dread of being with other disabled men, as they mirrored himself. He then realised that he needed to accept himself, and in order to do that, he needed to accept others with a disability. He began the support website, Bent, a Journal of crip gay voices.
Another gay hero of mine is Canadian Andrew Morrison-Gurza, who recently started a movement called Deliciously Disabled. The London gay and disability MeetUp group has adopted its philosophy.
If you are wondering whether you will be able to physically manage the kinky things you fantasize about in real life, it might be an idea to hire a dom who can try things out with you and help you find ingenious ways to enjoy yourself – or else just leave it all to experimentation with a lover.
When you start a conversation with someone online, describe your sexual tastes – the great thing about being kinky is that people are happy to find someone whose kinks are compatible with theirs, and the fact that you are physically impaired is much less important, so you are more likely to be accepted.
If both of you are getting along, and seem suited to each other, quickly switch to phone and face-to-face communication rather than just flirt online, as you need to know if there is chemistry. Always arrange your first meeting in a neutral place such as a cafe in town, and tell a friend where you are going, and what time you’ll be back home.
Remember to take condoms with you everywhere you go, make sure you use them be it for oral or anal penetration. My personal tip on safer sex is the ‘on me not in me’ method of safer sex, as condoms can slip off or split if you are not careful. A lot of kinky sex is safe, and you can end it with masturbation or hand jobs. Always discuss and communicate when enjoying sexual activity, however difficult this might seem, so you are both happy about what happens and get what you want, kinky or whatever!
I hope to see you in Outsiders. Good luck and have fun,
By Tuppy Owens