Intimacy and Sex in the time of COVID-19 and Social Distancing
The folks at the New York Health Authority answer some of the most frequently asked questions around having safe sex in the time of COVID-19. They go through all the possible ways folks may be able to transmit the coronavirus to their sexual partners, and how to stay safest while you’re being asked to self-isolate. A key takeaway is: if you don’t live with your sexual partners, then your safest sex partner is you!
Folks don’t often know that everyday stores like London Drugs sell some affordable sex toys, like vibrators for both vulvas and penises. You can also search online for their personal lube (lubricant) selection, too. Check out their selection, and see if a London Drugs close to you offers delivery, for discreet shopping.
A great Vancouver-based store, Womyn’s Ware offers really high-quality sex toys, lube, and a variety of other adult products that can be used for self-pleasure in this time of isolation. They also offer delivery for discreet shopping, and have staff that can help answer all your questions if you want to call them or e-mail them about a certain product.
Options for Sexual Health Sexperts present their first Facebook Live four-part video series “Love, Sex, and Connection in the time of isolation.” Registered Nurse Nicole Pasquino and Certified Sexual Health Educator Kristen Gilbert share information, tips, and answer questions on how to navigate love, sex, and connection in these times of social distancing and self-isolation.
A Lower Mainland dating and friending group for people with cognitive disabilities. They hold events roughly every 6 weeks in different locations. Each event has opportunities for meeting and mingling, and sometimes there are facilitated conversations about different aspects of dating – from managing disagreements, to flirting, to building an online dating profile.
A Lower Mainland friendship group aimed at people with cognitive disabilities. They hold events roughly every 6 weeks at restaurants, bars, movie theatres etc. Email Sheri Crane to join their mailing list.
Call 1-800-739-7367 or 604-731-7803. It is a free, confidential sexual health hotline that operates from 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday. If you prefer to email your question instead, you can fill out their email form on this page.
You can ask any question, and an educator will answer it. They are also great at connecting people to resources. If you don’t see what you’re looking for among the other resources on this page, call the Sex Sense Line. They’re probably your best bet to find it.
A British Columbia organization focused on sexual health, serving all ages, genders and orientations. They operate clinics throughout greater Vancouver where you can get low-cost contraception, or testing & treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
A collection of animated videos on a comprehensive range of sexual health topics including consent, contraception, gender and orientation, rejection, disability and sexuality, and so many more. The videos are short, the language is fairly accessible and fast-paced. The characters range in age from tween to teen to young adult. Most are students.
A web service provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control with medically accurate, up-to-date information about sexually transmitted infections, plus an interactive Google Map showing every STI Clinic in all of British Columbia.
Website with comprehensive, supportive sexuality and relationships info for teens and emerging adults. People can either read through a collection of readers’ questions & educators’ answers, or submit their own question.
A sexual health education organization that often has curriculum-based sexual health education classes aimed at adults with cognitive disabilities in the Lower Mainland.
Sexual health education and related counselling aimed at people with cognitive disabilities and their supporters in the Okanagan and Lower Mainland regions.
Sexual health education aimed at people with cognitive disabilities and their supporters in the Lower Mainland.
Did you know? Most people on Social Assistance or Disability Benefits are covered under Fair Pharmacare for free birth control pills, contraceptive injections, or hormonal IUDs.
Responds to BC’s queer, trans, and Two-Spirit communities’ needs and helps them thrive. Their Davie Street Centre offers support and social groups, counseling, plus clinical services such as testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
Dedicated to strengthening the health and well-being of gay men. They offer social and support groups, recreational events, and clinical services such as testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
A Vancouver-based social and advocacy group aimed at LGBTQ people with cognitive disabilities. They run occasional art projects and social events, and their Facebook page is a good place to connect with other LGBTQ folks with cognitive disabilities.
Provides support for transgender, gender fluid, genderqueer, gender non-binary, and agender people. This page lists resources for Vancouver area social and support groups for children, youth, and adults.
The Metro Vancouver Non-Binary Collective is a queer and trans run group started by non-binary folks looking to connect with other gender non-conforming people. Also known as ‘MVNBC’, we meet in person (world permitting!) and online to share experiences and knowledge, discuss gender and our lives and make connections.
Sexual and Social Activity Online
This easy-read, printable PDF guide talks about internet pornography from a nonjudgmental viewpoint, and gives valuable information on legal vs. illegal content, avoiding scams, and other potential pitfalls. Published in the UK by Choice Support and the Care Management Group, notes have been added to this PDF version where Canadian laws and / or resources differ from the UK. (Please note that some illustrations in this PDF show sexual activity in detail, and other illustrations show violence.)
This printable PDF guide unpacks different types of online behaviour from harassment & bullying to sharing intimate selfies, and what the law has to say about them. The intended audience is teen readers, and the language is geared towards that reading level, but the information is relevant to people of all ages. Published in BC by West Coast LEAF – an organization dedicated to advancing gender equality through their involvement in equality rights cases at all levels of court.
This PDF, printed by Mediasmarts.ca , is a guide to life online for folks living independently (or more independently) for the first time. It covers things like online dating etiquette, online gambling, online porn, and how to deal with online harassment and scammers.
Support Around Sexual Abuse & Assault
WAVAW provides support services to survivors of sexualized violence who are: women (including trans women) two-spirit, trans people, and non-binary people. They also operate a 24-7 Crisis and Information Hotline at: 604-255-6344.
The BCSMSSA provides therapeutic services for males who have been sexually abused at some time in their lives, including treatment and support services for male survivors of sexual abuse, their significant others, and their relatives. They can also support survivors to deal with other involved agencies or professionals in order to guarantee comprehensive case management.
VictimLinkBC is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service available across B.C. and the Yukon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-563-0808. It provides information and referral services to all victims of crime and immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence. VictimLinkBC provides service in more than 110 languages, including 17 North American Aboriginal languages.
VictimLinkBC is also TTY accessible. Call TTY at 604-875-0885; to call collect, please call the Telus Relay Service at 711.
You can text VictimLink at 604-836-6381.
You can email VictimLink at VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca
Check out our Comics!
We’ve got a brand new series of comics fresh off the presses, and we’re excited to share them at upcoming RealTalk events. Each comic is a profile of a different rad person with a cognitive disability & how they experience dating, love, relationships and sex.
Reading not your thing? You can also watch some of these stories in short, animated videos on our Watch Page.
Scroll down and read through each person’s story individually, or go ahead and download your very own ZIP file of all the comic books at once (they print on legal paper).
- Read Shelly’s Story
- Read James’ Story
- Read Dee’s Story
- Read Liam’s Story
- Read Jessica’s Story
- Read Claire’s Story
- Read McKenzie’s Story
- Download the Collection in one ZIP
Check out The Advocate!
We’ve also got a brand-new series of resources aimed at families, friends, and staff of adults with cognitive disabilities.
Inspired by individuals’ real-life experiences, The Advocate is a set of four magazine-style stories about family members and staff who provide support and advocacy around issues to do with dating, relationships, and sexuality. This resource is designed to provoke reflection and conversation on when and how it’s useful to provide this kind of support, and what best practice might look like.
Read them individually as PDFs, or download & print them as a set of 4 double-sided handbill-sized cards.
- Read Ahmed’s Story
- Read Zora’s Story
- Read Amy’s Story
- Read Millie’s Story
- Advocate Printable Handbills