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This is How We Do It: Disability, Dating, and Sex A presentation by the National Youth Leadership Network Youth-to-Youth Training.

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Presentation on theme: "This is How We Do It: Disability, Dating, and Sex A presentation by the National Youth Leadership Network Youth-to-Youth Training."— Presentation transcript:

1 This is How We Do It: Disability, Dating, and Sex A presentation by the National Youth Leadership Network Youth-to-Youth Training

2 What is NYLN? A youth-led, youth-run national organization that serves as a voice for and network of young leaders with disabilities. Our members are youth and young adults with disabilities (age 16-28) and allies (siblings, friends, parents, teachers, etc.). You can register to be an NYLN member at As a member you will get great info and be connected to other young leaders and allies around the country.www.nyln.org IMAGE: Picture of the NYLN logo. It has a hand imprint on it, and it reads: National Youth Leadership Network.

3 Talking About Relationships Youth with disabilities can have a hard time finding information about things like relationships, dating, and sex. People with disabilities can date and have relationships. Its important to us, just like non-disabled people. Not having these conversations can be dangerous. We need to be informed. IMAGE: Two people drinking sodas together.

4 Dating Dating is a time when we can learn a lot about ourselves. We can learn what we act like with other people, what we love to do, what we hate, what we need, and who we like to be with. IMAGE: A woman painting a picture and holding the paint brush in her mouth.

5 Deciding Who To Date A good way to find someone to date is by doing things you enjoy and meeting people who enjoy the same things. If you like to go to church, it may be a good place to meet people. If you like to paint, a good place to meet people might be an art club. Some people try to meet others using the Internet. There are websites for people without disabilities like match.com or eharmony.com. There are also websites specifically for people with disabilities like dating4disabled.com and specialsinglesonline.com. Choose what works for you, but be careful to make sure that people you meet online are who they say they are and are not leading you on. Meet them only in safe places. Take a friend. IMAGE: Three friends hanging out.

6 Disclosing Disability Disclosing means telling someone you have a disability. It is a very personal decision. Some people wait until they know someone well, others tell right away. If you tell someone about your disability, allow them time to think about it and ask questions. IMAGE: Two people playing basketball. One person is a wheelchair user.

7 Having a Relationship Having a relationship can mean a lot of different things: Friend: Someone you know casually; someone to whom you dont have a physical or sexual attraction Boyfriend or Girlfriend: Someone that you are attracted to and he/she is attracted to you as well; someone you would go on dates with and probably share intimacy with Partner: Someone that you are in a more serious relationship with; this usually involves sex IMAGE: A man and a woman lying on a hammock together.

8 Terms for Sexual Identity Heterosexual: A person who only likes someone of the opposite gender Homosexual: Person who is gay or lesbian Gay: Men who like, and are attracted to, other men Lesbian: Women like, and are attracted to, other women Bisexual/Pansexual: People who like people of all genders Transgender: A person who identifies as having a gender that is different from the physical body they were born with GLBTQ: A reference for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Queer: A word to describe people who identify with the GLTBQ community IMAGE: Two women holding each other.

9 Coming Out If you think you might be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer try and find a safe space and someone you can talk to. IMAGE: A rainbow flag. This is a symbol of the GLBTQ community. Remember that there is no one right way to go about coming out. Everyone does it differently and thats OK. Do what feels right at a pace that makes it feel comfortable.

10 Sex is when people use their bodies together to share love and pleasure. If you and your partner are not ready for sexual intercourse there are other low risk activities you can engage in: Cuddling: sometimes this is done in public Kissing: sometimes this is done in public, but usually in private Masturbating [a person touching themselves or their partner to have pleasure]: this is only done in private Intimate Relationship Activities: Dating Safely IMAGE: Two people kissing.

11 Having Sex When you are attracted to someone, the desire to have sex might come unexpectedly. Think ahead. Talk to your partner ahead of time about whether or not you want to have sex. Make sure you educate yourself about safe sex practices. Talk to your partner ahead of time about using protection so you dont get sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or dont get pregnant. If youre going to have sex, know about the risks. Make wise decisions. Make sure both people are comfortable.

12 Things To Be Aware Of It doesnt happen with all relationships, but sometimes there is a risk of abuse or violence in relationships. The abuse can be domestic, physical, sexual, emotional, or financial. People with disabilities can be targets of domestic violence. We must do what we can to be careful and safe. If youve experienced abuse or violence, it is important to find someone to talk to. Some good places are womens organizations, shelters, and sometimes the police station. Speak up because the law is on your side.

13 For more information, or to become a member, contact us: National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN) wwww wwww wwww.... nnnn yyyy llll nnnn.... oooo rrrr gggg


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