Feeling ‘the Vibe’ in Taree with our Sexuality and Relationship Education service
“I really appreciate everything that they’ve done, to come all the way from Sydney. I really enjoyed it. The answers I got back helped me get through it all, which makes me a better person.”
Kris, who has an intellectual and learning disability, is already familiar with Northcott as a customer of our Vocational Skills and Everyday Life Skills programs. So when he had the opportunity to attend Northcott’s Feel the Vibe workshop in his local town, he jumped at the chance.
Feel the Vibe is an interactive expo for adults with disability and their support networks to learn about sexuality and disability in a fun and welcoming environment. Breaking new ground in a traditionally taboo subject, this year Northcott’s Sexuality and Relationship Education service took Feel the Vibe to regional sites with two tailored workshops – one for adults with disability and the other for parents and carers of people with disability. The workshops provided a safe, non-judgemental environment for participants to share their experiences, discuss experimentation and gratification, learn about rights and responsibilities in healthy sexual relationships, enjoy role playing and view adult product displays.
Aged 23 and living independently, Kris made the most of the opportunity. “I think I asked the most questions compared to everybody else. Northcott said ‘you’re in a safe place and you know, feel free to speak out’, so I thought ‘well I’ll do it’,” he explains.
“They taught me about making sure you wear the right protection, toys to use, what’s the best lubricant…they brought out quite a few different sorts of vibrators. I learnt how…people can carry diseases, like HIV.”
While he has had long-term romantic relationships, Kris is currently single. He is not actively seeking a new partner, but is open to finding love again.
And when he does find that special lady? “I’ll treat her right; treat her with respect. I won’t do anything that she doesn’t want to do,” he says.
Kris also has some advice for other Northcott customers. “I recommend seeing what Feel the Vibe is all about. You’ll learn very new things that you probably never have learnt, and [the presenters] are very good if you have any questions, so don’t be shy,” he adds.
“I suffer from anxiety and depression but haven’t much lately. I’m talking to a lot of people from Northcott and I’ve been seeing my local GP every now and then to follow up. Everything seems to be going good.”
Northcott’s ground-breaking Sexuality and Relationship Education service supports customers to participate in the iconic Sydney Mardi Gras Parade. Read about last year’s event here.