Prioritizing Pleasure: A Qualitative Exploratory Study of Disabled Sexuality and Rehabilitation
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Sexual activity has positive emotional, mental, physical, and cognitive health outcomes coinciding with the benefits of leisure engagement. While there has been some research on the topic of disabled sexuality, this topic has not been studied from a leisure perspective. Similarly, the leisure research related to sex has not included a disability lens. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of people with acquired physical disabilities, how the onset of disability impacted their sexuality, and the role of rehabilitation in addressing sexuality. This qualitative included five individual interviews and one focus group with four people. Participants discussed dating and potential partners, gaps in knowledge of healthcare practitioners, pain and pleasure, expectations of able-bodied people, and the future of sexuality support and education. Connections are made between sexuality, power, identity, health care and education. Recommendations are made for community programming, education, and future research on disabled sexuality.