Providing Approachable Support Ep 4 – Making it Clearer

We often talk about sex by talking around sex. Lots of our pop culture – whether pop music or comedy – uses double entendres for titillation or for laughs. Likewise, In polite conversation we might say “being intimate with” instead of “having sex with”…

Whether talking around sex is a good thing is a debate that won’t get settled soon. But some of the folks we support learn best when we use direct, clear language – whether it’s learning how to drive a car or learning how to have safer, consensual sex. In this video we look at some examples of sex education tools that use figurative language and some that use direct language, and we discuss the merits of each.


Want more?

We offer free staff training to community living organizations in Metro Vancouver. Contact for more information.

Find reliable sexual health info, tips on how to talk about this stuff, classroom-based educators, and one-to-one supports at our  Resources for Supporters.

Find the full Planned Parenthood videos excerpted in this episode by clicking the Consent button in the left-hand margin.

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Why We Talk About…

The Role of Supporters

Family members, friends, and staff all have a role to play in providing sexual health support for people with cognitive disabilities. How we show up for people can make things easier for them, or much harder.

In a 2017, a research team in the UK interviewed people with cognitive disabilities about their experience with romantic relationships, dating, marriage etc. Every single person interviewed who was in a romantic relationship of some sort could point to specific ways their support network had helped them find and / or maintain that relationship. Likewise, people interviewed who were frustrated at not finding a relationship often pointed to ways in which people in their support network had stood in their way.

As well, studies around the world show that people with cognitive disabilities are at increased risk of experiencing sexual abuse. Having a person or people in their lives with whom they can have frank conversations about sexual health topics is a key factor in reducing their risk of abuse.

While it may not be easy or comfortable to engage with folks we support around these topics, the benefits can be profound. And the good news is, we don’t have to be perfect at this – or even feel confident  at this – to make a big difference.

Want to be in a Real Talk video shoot?

We’re always looking for participants to be part of our next video shoot, where folks have conversations on dating, love, relationships and sex.