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Sexuality, disability, chronic.

Here is a unique opportunity to return to this journal. The subject is a challenge and a rite of passage. Yet it is present in our societies, breastfed by fear of violence and paradoxically by the question of performance and power. So many subjects that coincide with the social issue of disability : here is this first chronicle conceived as an introduction.

Last February, the National Advisory Council for Persons with Disabilities (CNCPH) proposed experimenting with sexual assistance in institutions medico-social, by suggesting a right of access to better emotional health, sexual and intimate. It is a subject that is discussed everywhere else in the same circumstances between legislation and sociology.

Two major axes mark the dedicated literature: the sexuality of the motor disabled on one side and that of the intellectual disabled on the other. The boundary between the sexuality of the able-bodied and the disabled is not the only one.

There are boundaries according to disability.

Indeed, there would be disabled people who have physical abilities, but are not in possession of the codes of seduction, associated with sexuality, and then people with motor disabilities who can participate in this social phase, by verbalizing, but would be deprived of optimal physical abilities for the continuation of events. The analysis is cold.
It is pragmatic and essentialist.

The investigation of the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH)
relayed in 2022, concerning prejudices and stereotypes about disability in France, reveals that a small majority of French, 58%, states that disability is not an obstacle to sexual life. This figure is precisely explained by the instinctive hierarchy that is made according to the type of disability and the report specifies that the intermediate answers are more important than the «yes» and the «no» frank and massive.

More specifically, 51% of the men surveyed considered that any disability is an obstacle to sexual life, compared to 32% for women. It would then be a matter of encouraging intimacy that is not recognized as obvious. Worse, it is about legislating, debating, about good, evil, about the conditions of a «dignified» sexuality.

Yet we need to bring a fulfilling sex life closer to the power of consent, and with respect to disability, the subject of consent and the value of speech are not supported. It is precisely here that all the psychological, social and political work necessary to tend towards the so-called taboo question of sexuality is played out.

Because the speech of the disabled person is always limited to deficiencies, fragility or vulnerability, and because these terms are understood as specific, we enter the forbidden zone.
That of power, which is left to those who want to translate the word, the consent and desire of the persons concerned.

Indeed, this precious debate that we all know, and that crosses our society
for a few years is the living example.
A resistance is very clearly seen: to appropriate one’s body, define one’s word in it
We encourage and at the same power as impossible for the handicapped, or a space is delimited in alleging to “common law”.

Is this space not more of a forbidden than access to sexuality ? Haven’t we built this zone where sexuality is prohibited on principle? The concept of independent living for the disabled has been broadened, in order to fill the fixed and dangerous idea that the sexuality of the disabled must exist as an extension of an elementary relationship of subordination in societies that still conceive of disability from the medico-social point of view.

Advocating an adequate and universal independent life allows to take sexuality out of The European Union is a world leader in the power of its peers, whether institutional or family.

It is about the conquest in work of the right to privacy to the major life, without bearing down a natural reality by a legislative framework too agreed or worse, via experiments.

Between unfounded fears and the prohibition of sexuality in institutions that
persistent, the reality of a differentiation of sexual desire is bound to the power to say and to want. Denial persists despite an evolution of the debate, which is regularly raised. It is more certainly related to the concept of vulnerability
contain social embarrassment, disgust and the harsh conceptualization of disability as being an eternal minor.

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