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Research Paper | Arts and Humanities | India | Volume 12 Issue 7, July 2023
Not Sexually Disabled but Disabled Sexuality
Abstract: Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud theorised that sexuality is the root of one's identity. To quote World Health Organization, "Sexual health is a state of physical, mental and social well - being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. "Today we are in an age where even able - bodied human beings are grappling with disorders like body dysmorphia, anorexia and body image. This compels us to think how a disabled person feels as well as understands matters such as sex appeal and attractiveness, while struggling with confidence and perhaps internalising unfathomably deeper insecurities. In the Indian context, where intercourse, sexuality and their exploration is relatively still a taboo, there is a need to popularise narratives like Margarita with a Straw which portray and complicate the nexus between disability, self - acceptance, societal inclusion and homosexuality. The representation of characters like Laila (with cerebral palsy) and Khanum (who is blind) in the movie shines a light on the twice or even thrice - marginalised group due to their sex, sexual orientation and respective disabilities. Stories like this as well as Me Before You by Jojo Moyes challenge the existing ideas of "normalcy," heteronormativity and physical desirability through the lens of disability. The basic premise of psychoanalysis is to trace the developmental process of the subject becoming a self on three plains - biological, sociological and psychosexual. Social welfare schemes that are made available for the disabled by the state and governments largely ignore the sexual dimension of disability. Policy formulation of any kind seldom takes sexuality into consideration because of the stigma associated with it. This paper attempts to answer what is the place accorded to challenges with respect to sexuality for a disabled person in mainstream discourses and why it is necessary to work towards not only providing special facilities (for example, ramps, aids in public spaces for convenience) and economically uplifting differently - abled persons but also be vocal about their sexual needs which by extension impacts mental as well as emotional health.
Keywords: Sexuality, disability, homosexuality, heteronormativity
Edition: Volume 12 Issue 7, July 2023,
Pages: 68 - 70