Society’s misconceptions of those living with disabilities.
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Speaker: For Canadians living with a disability including Michael who had a stroke the topic of sexuality is sensitive and sometimes taboo. Society misconceptions are an added burden for people already dealing with serious physical and emotional issues. Cory Silverberg: The biggest myth about sex and disability is the idea that the people with disabilities are asexual. That somehow when you get disability your sexuality just disappears that you are not desirable. No one wants you as a partner and also that you probably don't feel the desire. Speaker: Educator, Cory Silverberg is the author of the Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability and co-owner of Toronto's Come As You Are sex shop. Cory Silverberg: The way you do it might be different. The way you have sex and even the way you think about sex may change but you are sexual and you know the good news is that you can have a healthy sexuality. Sometimes it takes just a bit more kind of thinking and creativity. Speaker: At the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Abraham Snaiderman understands the obstacle. Dr. Abraham Snaiderman: You might have mechanical problems; pain, deformity issues with Erectile Dysfunction, issues with lubrication, problems moving. Desire you might have, lack of desire. Well in some cases with certain types of brain injuries, excessive desire. Speaker: When one half of the couple becomes disabled the other person can find it difficult to service both caregiver and sexual partner. Cory Silverberg: One of the real keys is boundaries. You should be able to really say. Okay when you are going this these are the roles and to acknowledge that you know we all switch roles and then when its time to be sexual the roles can completely switch. You know we tend to think about people with disabilities that they need help as they can never be dominant in the bedroom. But that’s completely untrue. Speaker: At Toronto Rehab Dr. Snaiderman encourages patients to move beyond the myths. Dr. Abraham Snaiderman: Speak up. Don't be embarrassed about it. Don't be afraid to talk to your doctor, your caregiver about it. It is a normal function. It is a normal experience in humanity. It’s something that we have the right to experience. Don't be shy. Talk to partner.