Friday, July 19, 2019

How do I support my girlfriend when she is talking to me about her depression?

Q: “My girlfriend has depression and I have rheumatoid arthritis, vitamin deficiencies, and symptoms of Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism (need further evaluation, high likelihood though, parents and grandparents have it). Whenever I talk about my physical struggles, she either doesn’t say anything and listens while she holds my hand, or says the most perfect things. I feel good talking about it with her and she just so darn good with words I feel better and understood. What she does is enough and I am so so so thankful to have her. Whenever she talks about her depression, I get quiet and uncomfortable. I’m uncomfortable because I don’t know what to say her. I do listen and let her talk and make sure I’m not talking over her, but I want to say something back to her. Sometimes I’m really really trying to listen but I get too into my own head about what I’m going to say to her and I feel guilty for not listening. I want her to know that I am there for her. I want to say more things other than “I love you,” “that sucks,” “I’m sorry,” “i don’t know what to say,” “I’m glad you’re getting the help you need” “oh.” What other things can I say and how do I feel less uncomfortable when she talks about depression?”

A: Thanks for such a good question. I have a few suggestions. I would say to have a talk with your girlfriend when she is feeling okay about what she would like you to do to make her feel more supported. You can even say that you want to say and do more when she is struggling with depression, but you don’t always know what to say. Also saying that your quietness does not mean you are uninterested or not wanting to talk about her depression will help. Discussing how perfectly she supports you and voicing that you want to do the same for her might be a good way to open up this conversation. I can not give you other things to say to help her feel better because everyone is different and depression doesn’t work like that. But hopefully just having this conversation will give you a better idea of what would make her feel supported when she needs it. You don’t have to overthink saying the right thing all the time, sometimes just being there and showing that you are physically and emotionally present and not freak out by her struggles will make her feel comfortable just voicing these things to you. I would also recommend doing your own research on what exactly depression is, because there are a lot of misconceptions, and many people will take other people’s depression personally or think they need to somehow “fix it”. But having this conversation, doing your own research, and just simply being there for your partner can make a huge difference. You sound like such a caring person that she will definitely appreciate this conversation.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Getting aroused during diaper changes

Q: "I'm 18 yr old girl, Have CP, I get aroused when my mom changes my diaper and cleans me, is that normal? what should I do abt it?"

A: Thanks for your question. It is totally normal for a teenager to get aroused at non-sexual activities. Is there any way you could masturbate to relieve your self? If you take the time to do this, you may find yourself getting less aroused in this situation. Even if you need help, you can do assisted masturbation. This is when someone sets you up with whatever you need to masturbate and then leaves the room until you are done. This can look a lot of different ways depending on what your access needs are, and also requires an honest conversation with whoever you need to help you beforehand to make sure they understand you are not asking for sex.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Learning Dating Social Cues When you Have Autism

Q: "What would you recommend to help a beginner learn about how to build a relationship from a step by step perspective? I am asking because I have autism and we take it for granted that everyone learns this without teaching, which for people with autism isn't always the case."

A: I would definitely agree that people don't get taught that not everyone can learn social cues without teaching. I think everyone would benefit from that information! Maybe if you have neurotypical friends you can ask them and explain what's challenging for you. Don't base your understanding of dating on TV and movies. That's not good for anyone. Every situation is different so it is difficult to give you a step-by-step guide. Let the relationship develop naturally, don't try to find a role they need to fill and have good standards for how you should be treated in a new relationship but don't have too many expectations cause you need to let it grow into its own shape.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Having a Different Anatomy

Q: "What do you say to people you date, whenever it’s appropriate, that you need to talk about how you have anatomy that looks and functions differently than most AMAB people? And how do you deal with rejection for that?"

A: I personally would let them know before you get intimate with them. Maybe having a conversation, not right when you are about to get down, but give them enough time to ask questions. Depending on when you usually get intimate in new relationships, you should talk to your new person a date or two beforehand. You should definitely include the awesome stuff your body can do as well as how it is different. If you are trans, and if you use online dating, you could put it in your profile. That way people know from the get-go and you are on the same page from the start. As for rejection, it does suck, but my point of view is if people are not cool with all of who you are, they are not worthy of being with you.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Dating when you need help

Q: “I use a wheelchair and need help with everyday activities like eating and drinking. I just met someone I want to ask out on a date, but I’m not sure how to ask or how our date would work?”
A: This is a great question and not talked about nearly enough.
The first thing you need to remember is dating is always awkward at first, no matter if you’re disabled or able-bodied.
As for asking someone out, be casual and just say “Hey, do you want to grab coffee or lunch?” When they say yes (and they will say yes) you can casually explain how the date logistics will work. If you have just met someone, you probably will not want them to help you eat and drink. You want them to focus on learning how awesome you are! You should focus on getting to know them too and not on teaching them how to assist you. However, bringing an aide can be awkward at first. So in my opinion (and experience), explaining why you want a helper to accompany you to the first date is a good idea. You can even explain how on future dates, once you two are comfortable with each other, that an aide won’t be necessary.
Also, I think you should have a conversation with your aide about how long you need them to stay (for example, just for the meal)  and when to “take a walk” (I just point to the colon sign on my letter board and my aide casually excuses themselves). I think having an aide close in age helps you to not feel chaperoned. But if you discuss it with all parties, it shouldn’t matter how old your aide is. If your cutie has questions about how the date will work, that’s not a bad sign. In fact, it’s a great sign because that means they’re thinking about your needs.

On subsequent dates, if your cutie wants to learn how to help you eat and drink, your aide can show them rather than you trying to explain. Dating and needing help with certain things is a little more tricky but if you have good communication, it can be totally cool.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Orgasms from Oral Sex vs Vaginal

Q: Do we orgasm with oral sex more intensely than vaginal?

A: Most people with vaginas do orgasm more intensely from oral sex because the clitoris is more stimulated during oral sex than it typically is from just penetration. But for some people, penetrative sex is much more intense than for others. Everybody is different and orgasms differently!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Non-Binary and Bi

Q: "I'm non-binary and bi, recently started exploring that side of things. I've really only dated men, had a few purely sexual experiences with women. As a person that was born F, how can I get out of that ""friend-zone"" with women who are seeing both my disability and bio gender before a sexual/datable partner?

This was after spending new years on a kind of date that ended with ""My great pal ... using f pronouns..."
A: That’s annoying that your “date” did that. I would say definitely move out of your friend circle to look for people to date. Online dating is great because you can be explicit about exactly what you want. Most apps allow you to select your correct gender identity now. If you want to see the person from New Years again, (and I completely get if you don’t) you could have a frank conversation with them about your pronouns and what you want from the relationship.

How do I support my girlfriend when she is talking to me about her depression?

Q: “My girlfriend has depression and I have rheumatoid arthritis, vitamin deficiencies, and symptoms of Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism ...