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Last reviewed: August 2022

For some adults who have SMA, their partners are also their PAs; others find that for them the PA and the partner roles have to be separated out completely. A lot of couples settle for a mix of both, maybe with some tasks or some times of the day set aside with their partner. There are as many arrangements as there are couples.

Getting the balance right for you is key. It’s not always easy and can often need a lot of talking through. It can be especially difficult if the impact of your SMA means that you now need more support and help with day-to-day tasks that you never quite envisaged and that weren’t part of the deal when you first met.

However strong a relationship, at different times, some people find it helpful to get some ‘outside’ support with relationships.

Relate – Phone: 0300 100 1234 – help people of all ages, backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities to strengthen their relationships and can support people even if they’re not currently in a relationship. They provide face-to-face, phone and online relationship counselling services. Fees are charged to cover the cost of the counselling session, not to make a profit. Some offer subsidised counselling sessions.

Internet Dating

It’s not always easy to meet new people, which makes internet dating sites a popular option. If you’re thinking of this, it might be worth using websites that are members of the Online Dating Association (ODA). This means they’re signed up to a code of practice.

In addition to the general organisations, sites specifically for disabled people include:

  • The Outsiders Trust – Phone: 07074 993 527 – a social, peer support and dating club, run by and for socially and physically disabled people.
  • Disability Match: for UK disabled singles.

Enjoying Your Sexual Relationship

Your SMA may make it more challenging to find positions which are comfortable. You may need to experiment with this and with different ways to enjoy a sexual relationship.

Disability Horizons – founded by two disabled guys in 2011, publishes articles on a wide variety of topics, all supporting the aim of a world where disabled people live exactly as they choose. They have more disability specific information on:

Enhance the UK – a user-led charity that offers disability awareness training as well as advice and information on sex and disability, including their Love Lounge where people can ask anonymous questions

Scope – Talking about Intimacy, Sex & Relationships with a new partner

Sex with a Difference – provides sex information for disabled people, carers and professionals

Spokz – has been recommended to SMA UK for sex aids

The Mix – online guide to life for 16-25-year olds providing non-judgemental support and information on everything from sex, exam stress, debt and drugs.

Sex & Relationships – Community Chat

Josh Wintersgill, Martyn Sibley and Molly Carnan discuss Sex & Relationships:

See here for more information.