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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 280 > THE MYTHS AROUND SEX & DISABILITY

THE MYTHS AROUND SEX & DISABILITY

DESEXUALISED, INFANTALISED, FETISHISED AND OSTRACISED — WHEN SOCIETY ISN’T IGNORING THE SEX LIVES OF DISABLED PEOPLE, IT JUST GETS EVERYTHING WRONG. MYTHS RANGE FROM THE IDEA THAT DISABLED PEOPLE RELY ON SEX WORKERS, TO THEM NOT BEING ABLE TO LEAD HEALTHY SEX LIVES AT ALL. IT’S MORE COMPLEX FOR DISABLED GAY MEN, WHO HAVE TO CONTEND WITH THE OVERT BODY IDEALS OF THE SCENE AND THE HARSH NATURE OF DATING APPS

Josh Hepple is an aspiring solicitor with three law degrees. He specialises in international gay criminal law, has worked with numerous esteemed irms, and volunteers his free time with human rights organisations such as Amnesty International. As someone with severe cerebral palsy, who requires assistance 24/7, he also offers disability equality training to companies. Hobbies include riding ponies.

He’s an accomplished freelance writer too, focusing on international anti-homosexuality laws and more recently on prejudice against disabled people. Establishing himself as a commentator wasn’t easy though. Despite possessing extensive irst-hand expertise in both areas, for a long time his pitches were largely ignored. But in December last year, The Guardian commissioned him to discuss his Grindr experiences as a gay, disabled man. “I have a good sex life and really enjoy challenging men’s conceptions of disability,” he wrote, recounting the rewarding, liberating encounters he’s had since downloading the app 18 months ago — about 60 of them.

In the end, all it took for Josh to have his freelance writing published was to say that he led a healthy sex life, one that’s no different to that of many non-disabled gay men. Now everyone wants to hear from him.

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About Attitude

Tom Daley is on the cover of Attitude’s ‘Body’ issue, talking exclusively about his ideal physique and why he’s tired of being seen as just a body. Plus, Attitude celebrates the male form in a revealing shoot with eleven men... Our survey of over 5000 readers reveals the shocking truth about how gay men really feel about their body… Editor-in-Chief Matt Cain strips off to show exactly what magazines can do to turn a real body into a fantasy physique… Plus, Joel Dommett reveals some rather embarrassing personal details about his time in the I’m A Celebrity… jungle.
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