ABSTRACT

This chapter considers disabled people's experiences of 'love' relationships. The research found that both disabled men and women carried out 'work' within these relationships. Usually, this work was shaped by the ways in which they felt about, or experienced, their gender, sexuality, impairment and disability. The chapter questions what this work means for disabled people, and argues that it is a form of disablism. It presents findings that speak to disabled informants' experiences of their intimate relationships with others. The chapter details people's own accounts of intimate relationships, which reveal the – often routine – carrying out of considerable emotional work, as well as other forms of (gendered) work, such as sex work. Furthermore, analysis has shown that informants' work was both located and produced at the intersections of disability, sexuality and gender, emphasising the value of appreciating relational and psycho-emotional dimensions of disability when exploring intimacies in the lives of disabled people.