How do human rights help us with the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) who face discrimination and barriers in their sexual lives? Men with ID who are gay face a whole range of rights violations when it comes to exercising their sexual identity. How can such a seemingly marginalised group draw on rights based claims for better and equal treatment? This paper explores how the power of men's own stories may usefully challenge prevailing social norms and in turn strengthen human rights claims in this area. It also reflects on the challenges posed to such an agenda by current economic difficulties and changes in the organisation of adult social care in the UK.