Documenting DAN – Sex and disabled people

I was recently asked by Roof Magazine (Shelter’s rag) to present JPEGS from DAN’s Free Our People Campaigns. Free Our People demands accessible housing. I guess that’s what the article will be about. Sadly, i don’t have any JPEG’s. I’m still confounded by negatives, contact sheets and the like.

However, as i had been asked i did look just in case whilst also tipping off other DAN members who may have JPEGS. In reviewing some of my photos I was struck by ideas of friendships and couple-dom. I think of at least four partnerships involved in DAN. Just thought of another two. That’s six and if i put my mind to it.

I went to the office today to pick up the digital as I will be seeing one half of one of the couples tonight and if he’s carrying a photo of his partner i had an idea for a photo.

I may be able to develop another exhibition from this idea. But it also strikes me in retrospect what a cauldron of hot sex DAN was on national actions. I never saw any of it myself. I’m a sober early to bed kind of guy. But, I’ve heard stories since.

Sex and disabled people. I’m sitting here wondering how i feel about this. I know many of these couples. I celebrate most of the partnerships that i know of.  Some of them have children. I am a disabled person myself. I have campaigned for life which implies i campaign for sex too. I am watching the embryology bill with interest. I have told disabled people about dating agencies. But, i feel some kind of prudence stirring. A part of me is saying it shouldn’t be allowed. I am hooked into some kind of concern about vulnerable people. This is really strange. I’ve never felt like this before. What is going on? Promoting the social model is about challenging myths. Disabled People don’t have sex. Disabled People have weird sex. They tie themselves on. If disabled people have sex they will have disabled children. They only want children so they will someone to care for them. These are some of the sex myths i know about disabled people. As myths i recognise them all to be wrong. I think what is needed now is to spend more time with disabled people who are in a relationship. I hope to see another two people tonight who fit within this criteria. Blimey that’s seven DAN couples.



  1. Hi, I am interested in this topic and wondering what disabled means to you. Do you mean literally unable to walk, or disabled in other ways. I myself am disabled because of chronic pain and nerve damage from an infected epidural I recieved while giving birth (ironic to the subject) and unable to work. My husband is a disabled artist who is tormented with Van Gogh type symptoms. Both of us work in art ( I write) but our talants go mainly unappreciated so we are of no use to society as we know it.
    I feel as if I am socially (not physically) restricted from having any more children because I am unable to support them. The hard part is that my children are my joy, they are what makes life worth living.
    I hope that disabled people out there just have or adopt children despite thier fears of social problems, I beieve it is a God given gift that no human should ever be able to take away. God bless you and your friends.

  2. detrich said

    I do not talk about the disabled. I talk about disabled people. Disabled People to me means people who are discriminated against by society on tyhe basis of theirmpairment – whatever that may be.

    Are you in contact with the disabled people’s movement and specifically arts and culture aspects of it>

    I agree with your idea that disabled people should be able to choose to have children. that there ability to care and nurture should not necessarily be in doubt.

    Demand your rights. Push your hopes. Stand for your own aspirations.

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