2019120920191211 (R4)

Sui-Ling Tang goes on a personal journey to discover why relationships can be so difficult for other people with learning disabilities, taking author Kathy Lette with her.

Navigating the world of sex and romantic relationships is a huge part of our development. For many people with learning disabilities, it's a luxury. Society's misconceptions about the wants, needs and desires of people with learning disabilities has, for a long time, sidelined their sexual and romantic lives. And among the on-going conversations about sexual harassment, bodily autonomy, and consent, the voices of people with learning disabilities have often gone unheard.

Sui-Ling Tang is receptionist, living in Milton Keynes with her budgie, Chicco. She's also got a learning disability which means daily support with cooking, finances, and staying safe. Having sexual and romantic relationships hasn't always been straight forward.

In this programme, she sets out to discover why love and lust are still so taboo for people with learning disabilities. The parents and carers responsible for day-to-day support share their worries about abuse, pregnancy, and giving the right amount of assistance while still allowing people to make the mistakes we all learn from.

The legal landscape isn't any easier either. Sui-Ling enrols the help of Kathy Lette, to unpick the laws that can decide whether someone has the capacity to consent to sex. On the way, they talk to a sex worker, a judge, and a professor.

Presenter: Sui-Ling Tang
Co-Presenter: Kathy Lette
Producer: Emma Barnaby
Executive Producer: Will Yates

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

Navigating the world of sex and relationships for people with learning disabilities.