There’s a big movement going for information regarding sex and disability right now, and many platforms and companies want in on it. Yet few are actually providing accurate information on sex and disability, and many are even publishing unsafe advice. A lot of these companies are just trying to tick the SEO boxes and just make sure they have something, that to them is acceptable, but isn’t really helpful. Few have actually spoken to enough people with the particular disability their content is aimed at. Many haven’t spoken to enough experts and specialists in the particular disability field too.
There’s a big difference between bringing actual awareness to issues surrounding disabilities and just writing content to fit in. Many are writing click-bait articles, with their only focus being to gain traffic in the hope something else they are “selling”, hooks the reader.
Here’s what I have found when writing content for sex and disability.
Getting a specialist who is focused in the field you are writing advice for is great, but they need to have knowledge surrounding the questions people who live with the particular condition will have when it comes to sex. It’s also not great when you go to a specialist who focuses on purely offering a one-size-fits-all solution to sexual problems and a particular disability. A good example of this is when looking to offer advice for back pain. There are loads of reasons for back pain and the general advice floating around that’s easy to access generally isn’t the best when it comes to giving safe advice for various types of back pain conditions. Sure, we can’t make write posts for everyone’s different symptoms and causes, but we need to make sure safety is factored into them when writing such information. Adaptation information for if someone has disc bulges for example is a good place to start, it can be simple, and just state “in doggy position make sure you are supported so you don’t over-arch your back or curve forward, keeping the spine in neutral.” If an expert is just going to say, “Use a support pillow.”, this can mean anything and can lead to people putting their body in unsafe positions as they are just hoping the pillow acts as a safety net.
Giving advice on mobility aids isn’t great if you can’t give instructions on how to use them safely. I’ve seen a few just write, buy X for X result, but doesn’t actually talk through safe and practical ways to use them correctly. It needs to be more than just “remember to have your pillows on hand.”, you need to normalize the mobility aids, and get creative in thinking of ways to make them just as fun as let’s say handcuffs in the bedroom. You need to break down the taboos around mobility aids something to be shameful of so people aren’t embarrassed to use them with a partner.
When writing advice too, don’t just focus on how something can reduce pain and fatigue, but add how this can enhance sexual enjoyment. Everyone who is chronically ill already knows how their body hurts (or in some conditions is numb to sensations), people with chronic conditions don’t need to be told it will stop the pain when in reality it will only possibly reduce some discomfort. Add mindfulness, tips on stimulating other areas of the body, explain warming the body and mind up for sex, and go into aftercare.
Speak to disabled people and ask them what they have found helpful. Don’t just leave it as a tip for others with the same condition, but make it relatable by asking the individual why they find it helpful and the emotional side on how things improved for them.
Be honest, and state that not everything will work for everyone. Here you’re covering your arse, but also, you’re giving realistic expectations. In a world where there is so much content telling those with disabilities that all they need is yoga, supplements, religion, and they’ll be cured, people with disabilities need honesty. Most conditions can not be cured, and the message should be realistic goals on managing them and improving parts of individuals lives (in this instance sex life).
Make it real. We live in an ableist world where many people disbelieve the extend of chronic health conditions, and even at times tell disabled people that it is all in their head. Make the content show that any particular health condition you’re focusing on is real, because that’s what it is, a real condition someone and many others have to live with daily. Discuss real-life relationships, everyday events, hobbies, work, passions, and hanging out with others. Whilst someone with a disability will live with it their entire life with varying levels depending on flares and management methods, people with chronic illness are more than just their condition. They have a life that has routines and expectations just like anyone else.
This is only a quick post on what you should be thinking about when writing disability-focused content. There’s so much more that could be considered, depending on your copy needs, but the main thing is to stop aiming for SEO content and actually aim for copywriting that will actually help someone. It may seem overwhelming, but if you’re not prepared to do this, then consider if it’s really content you should be writing? If you feel you’re not up to the task, that’s ok, there are plenty of disability-aware and chronically ill copywriters that are willing to help.
If you require any copy that focuses on disability, get in touch, I’m here to help. It doesn’t have to be sex and relationship-focused, this is just one example that I am more than happy to dive into and produce helpful information on.
Stop the poorly formed click-bait advice, and actually help someone, then you may find it’ll result in better brand trust and returning clients and readers.