If first impressions are difficult, sex seems almost impossible. My confidence when it comes to men is shaky at best. My mother has bolstered me as much as she can, teaching me makeup tricks and giving fashion advice that is surprisingly current and useful. At some point, however, the makeup has to come off. One day, I hope the clothes will follow. If that day comes, it'll be both thrilling and terrifying, as I fear that my wit and self-deprecating humor will not be able to hide my insecurities.
I take body-issues to a whole new level. For me, the concern is not about a number on a scale or the size on a dress tag. Instead, I worry about the movements I will be expected to perform. My body is at once rigid and uncoordinated—the antithesis of everything Nora Roberts' novels and Kate Hudson's romantic comedies suggest is necessary for a positive sexual experience. My friends' anecdotes only confirm what those experts of passion have advised. As much as I want to date and fall in love and be with someone, I have a bad feeling that when push against the wall comes to shove on to the sheets, my body won't do any of the things I want it to, and all my work getting there will be for naught. Are Your Sex Habits Normal?
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I don't know what sex and love are like for other people with cerebral palsy. I read a magazine article once by a woman with CP who found love after breaking up with a "normal" (i.e. not disabled) man for someone who happened to be blind. I'm not sure if I'll end up with a disabled mate in the future or not. While it would be nice to know that he really understands some of the challenges I face, it's also nice to have someone—pardon the pun—balance you out. How can my boyfriend help me down a flight of stairs that he has trouble walking down himself?
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One of these days the right guy will be A-OK with my disability, as everyone else who loves me is. I'm fortunate that the majority of the scars I have are physical ones. I also know that everyone has shortcomings, handicaps, if you will, in one way or another. My future partner may not have physical limitations, but he will certainly have habits and flaws that I will have to adjust to and work around. At least my hang-ups allow me stellar parking spaces.