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As a swimmer, she’d gotten used to using tampons at an early age.

“It looks like I was designed to have one leg, like a mermaid’s body,” she says.Dixon looks every bit the poised, self-possessed Olympian, and she was—except for one area of her life in which she felt painfully insecure.” stress that follows a blind date or the “is-she-into-it? Imagine revealing a hidden physical disability to a date for the first time.Finding a caregiver who can operate your vibrator for you, or readjust your limbs (and sometimes those of your partner) into the correct positions so you’re comfortable and don’t get pressure sores.So she began to teach herself (and eventually others) about men’s bodies, about how antidepressants can affect libido, about the ways in which people who live with cerebral palsy and other conditions can have sex—and eventually started a blog, The Fucking Facts, to address some of those questions. There’s no funding here to look at sexuality, so it falls on the hands of whoever is comfortable talking about it,” she says. But these portrayals still exist on the fringes, and finding them is not easy.

And although there’s more information out there now than when she started at Venus Envy eight years ago, she’s still longing for more pop culture portrayals of disabled people being sexy. *** Pop culture, from which we take so many of our sexual cues, has been sorely lacking when it comes to realistic depictions of sex and disability.In high school, Dixon wore her prosthetic leg under jeans every day to fit in, but it wasn’t until she was 15, and began competing in Paralympic competitions—where everyone was contending with some type of challenge—that she felt comfortable getting her flirt on.Still, that confidence didn’t translate to her day-to-day life outside the pool.Maybe even asking your partner to help you empty your catheter bag before you go to sleep.Any of those scenarios would do a number on your self-esteem.The challenges of dating with a disability don’t begin and end in the bedroom—they start with education, move to dating and accessible spaces and encompass sexual preferences that may change as your disability does.