How Do You Date If You’re Disabled? Tips For Getting Out There!

If you have disabilities, are there tips on how to date? Find out with Cathy Vartuli from and Robyn Wilson Beatty from

Cathy: How do you date if you’re disabled? I’m here with Robin Wilson-Beattie

Robin: Hi!

Cathy: from @sexAbled on twitter and I’m Cathy Vartuli from and Robin you’re kind of an expert on this.

Robin: Yes. I swear sometimes I want to write a book called I Fucked up with Dating so you don’t have to

Cathy: It’s great though

Robin: but like you know but and I have learned okay I….the reason I feel like to I have a special expertise also in speak….in talking about dating. I stepped in you know our modern age basically I….I started at internet dating back in 1995.

Cathy: When there wasn’t an internet for most people

Robin: when there was there wasn’t an internet and….and I am on a documentary that’s actually going to be coming out that

Cathy: Oh, how fun?

Robin: was called The Internet Dating Pioneer

Cathy: Wow.

Robin: and I was like “oh my god, I’m f*cking old” but anyway….anyway but back to dating with disability so what I have learned over the years though is you know ‘coz I’ve had you know a periods in my life where when I was unpartnered and when I…I didn’t always have my physical disability. So I acquired the physical disability in 2004 and when I became single you know later on you have the you know of course you know in the late early two thousands or whatever you call the first two thousand anyway they you know I realize that dating game online had changed a lot

Cathy: Yeah.

Robin: since when I had got you know been married before and so I was thrust into the dating pool and I’m like okay I have a disability and….and I you know venturing out you know I did online dating in all of its various nefarious forms and I for me I’ve learned maybe also because of my personality and who I am and who I present I’ve learned that I’m kind of the person you’re going to have to see in person to just get to kind of know or feel my energy, feel you know what it is that you know I have to bring you know like am I you know so you can actually know me and connect because I find that you know sometimes a lot of time there are online works for a lot of people and I feel like when I didn’t I have had some you know successful online connections or whatever and what I did was I present myself fully like

Cathy: So you’re really sure not to hide that you’re disabled?

Robin: I did not hide my disability at all. I had pictures of me with my walker in an abandoned ass dress ‘coz I was on the red carpet avian and I did not care and I was late but yeah and you know because I’m like yeah this is who I am I am like and you know don’t get the days twist up twisted up because disability I have a D for disabled not desperate. So and

Cathy: Yes.

Robin: you know and that was and you know and that showed clearly in my own I felt like in my profile

Cathy: Yeah.

Robin: because I….I didn’t look at my disability as anything that I had to apologize for and I think that that mentality when you can adjust when….when you can portray that when it comes to internet dating you can attract more of what you want and also it weeds out the people who would have a problem. If you hide something and then you show up to the day and say so yeah and so now that’s why I’m always fully visible. I remember one time I had a picture I…I have it. I guess I didn’t have a lot of pictures of me

Cathy: Yeah.

Robin: at that time with a cane ‘coz you know I still was struggling with my own internalized ableism around disability and how I presented and all that kind of stuff and because you know a human being so

Cathy: Humans

Robin: Yeah, I’m not perfect and so but I did have I had a couple pictures in there with my cane but I guess obviously this guy just saw like a couple of pictures where he just focus on everything else but that and then he went back a set and you know we had arranged a date and then he went back a second time and he was like “oh, what’s up? One of your pictures you have a cane. Do you use a cane? What do you….what else?” like yeah I was like I have a disability I was like that’s why I said you know I’m a disability and sexuality educator.

Cathy: Yeah.

Robin: And he was like “oh no. Well, no I can’t do that.” And I was just like f*ck you too. Sh*t.

Cathy: Yeah.

Robin: but you know but you know what? I wasn’t even like I said I was like that just made that was a lesson that was like oh no….no….no… people need to know up front so I went so I don’t have to have that rejected experience

Cathy: Right.

Robin: again like that.

Cathy: If you know it’s not fun to go out with someone who doesn’t want to be out with you

Robin: Exactly.

Cathy: whatever their reasons

Robin: whatever their reasons

Cathy: whether they find out early

Robin: Yeah and so I mean ‘coz I don’t really there were things….I had experience you know because I was bigger or because I was black or said those things so you know there are intersections too with disability it’s not it’s you know that when it comes and especially like where you live or you know that….that….that kind of thing and also

Cathy: Yeah.

Robin: you know there are you know some people with disabilities you know who you know need more help and things you know especially like around intimacy because they rely on someone else to attend to you know basic you know human needs to help them you know be in the community

Cathy: Yeah.

Robin: And do their things so you know and so having to have a partner that is willing to be open and communicative about that’s why to me it is extremely you know first things first you just have to be able to [Inaudible 00:06:36]

Cathy: So what do you say in your profile to people? Like I put at the top of my profile I’m a big person if you don’t want to date with big people

Robin: Yeah

Cathy: don’t message me.

Robin: Yeah. I have

Cathy: How would you

Robing: I had in my profile I’m like I at one point I even put like my disability like I….I have a spinal cord injury it’s inborn you know which you know I don’t know if being that direct you know is the best approach. I didn’t say I have always perfectly figured out.

Cathy: No, but you can…..even if you’re one step ahead

Robin: Yeah

Cathy: with somebody else is [Inaudible 00:07:07]

Robin: Oh yeah but….but what I do have to say is that I did mention first and foremost that I am a proud person with a disability and I did you know and I was like sometimes that I use a you know a cane or sometimes I use a walker to my [Inaudible 00:07:27] and you know and I put it and I was like you know and I also happen there you know but then I had all things that are about me ‘coz I’m awesome.

Cathy: You are.

Robin: And I’m just like

Cathy: Yeah

Robin: Yeah! I like to do this, I like to do that and guess what I’m way cooler than you will ever be just to know that. No like and it would be a privilege so

Cathy: Yeah.

Robin: And epic…. but….but I know that’s part that’s my personality but I know for other people with disability like okay that’s cool Robin because you know that’s you and you’re out there like that but how can someone like me you know like you said who doesn’t like you know who is looking for something different but you know how do I bit come across but yes honesty is the best policy.

Cathy: Yeah.

Robin: As I like to say when it comes to that kind of dating profile if you’re doing internet dating.

Cathy: Could we come back and do a video on how to get to the place where you can be that open and

Robin: Yes

Cathy: that confident because

Robin: I would love to do that.

Cathy: Yeah. Please leave comments below. We’d love to know what you think and how you deal with this.

Robin: Yeah.