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I guess we had one day when we were brought to the gym [to learn].

But I didn’t attend gym classes,” says Trace, who’s now an educator at Halifax sex shop Venus Envy and author of get wet. The things some people say will feel good won’t necessarily feel good for me,” says Trace.

Maybe even asking your partner to help you empty your catheter bag before you go to sleep.

Any of those scenarios would do a number on your self-esteem.

By 19, she’d fallen into a pattern of only making out with men when she was drunk.

In university, she would panic when someone showed interest in her at a bar.

“It looks like I was designed to have one leg, like a mermaid’s body,” she says.

Dixon looks every bit the poised, self-possessed Olympian, and she was—except for one area of her life in which she felt painfully insecure.

Her right leg is missing, because she was born a congenital amputee.

Because she is missing her leg, she also has only half a bum and half a pelvis, and she was worried that her vagina was disfigured—she’d never compared hers to anyone else’s.

Growing up in Brampton, Ont., Dixon’s sex education came entirely from friends (and one incident where, at her mom’s insistence, she and her older brother practiced rolling condoms onto bananas).

“So I did what a lot of marginalized people do—I pretended I wasn’t different.” Related: By the time she was ready to be sexually active, Trace was no longer in a wheelchair.

But she was using two canes to walk, and still had to contend with bladder and bowel issues.

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