Sex and sexuality means much more than the physical act of sexual intercourse

Sex and sexuality also encompasses how people feel about themselves and their bodies, their sexual interests and attraction to others (whether that is the opposite sex or the same sex). Our sexuality is influenced by biological, emotional, cultural, spiritual and moral aspects of our life. It may change throughout our life, and be influenced by factors such as disability, illness and ageing.

People with disabilities have the same diversity of sexual expression and needs as everyone else in the community. It is essential that people with a disability be supported to make choices and decisions that offer the least restrictive alternative to their health and lifestyle.

Realising that you may be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) can be a frightening and lonely time for some people, or their loved ones; or, for some, just a time which poses new questions. Talking to people or organisations to gain knowledge and understanding is an important step.

For some people, having an illness will not impact on their sex lives while for others it can change things significantly. It is important to talk with your partner and doctors about your concerns.

Although the media and community tend to overlook older people's sexuality, we are all sexual beings, young and old. Many older people are sexually active or would like to be. The physical, emotional and social changes of ageing may make this difficult. Often, however, the biggest obstacle is other people's attitudes.