Over the course of our work – and especially our #SexNotStigma campaign – we get to meet and work with some incredible people. We also hear laments that there are certain topics which aren’t always covered well by the mainstream media. From myths about male sex toys through confusing information about sexual health to the topic of disability and sexuality.
It often can be hard to find people who are writing about your kind of sex, and your body, in the way you need them to. But they’re out there. So to give them a boost we wanted to show a bit of love to our favourite writers, consultants, and organisations who are tackling the topic of disability and sexuality with insight and expertise, rather than lists of ‘Top 10 Cliches About One Condition’. Check out their websites, follow them on Twitter, and get stuck in.
Andrew runs the Deliciously Disabled movement, which aims to make disability accessible to pop culture. He also writes passionately about his experiences as a queer, disabled man. He came to lots of people’s attention with an incredible post about ‘The Price of Intimacy‘ and has even guest-blogged for us about his first experience with the PULSE II SOLO.
Emily is – quite literally – an Olympic level accessibility consultant, as she’s currently providing advice on transport for the Rio 2016 games. She’s also an expert for the Love Lounge, works with Enhance the UK, and she runs the site MyPurpleCompass, which sells mobility aids and sex aids with are stylish and fun (including PULSE II SOLO, because she has impeccable taste). We hear she also has some brilliant tips on wheelchair bondage.
Leandra is a fantastic blogger, and her writing in kink and sensation play in particular is eye-opening. Her book – Trophy Wife: Sexuality, Disability, Femininity – is a memoir exploring the intersection of all these aspects of her life. She’s also written a fantastic guest blog for us, on learning what works for her in bed, and getting rid of the notion of the ‘right’ kind of sex.
This whole blog post was inspired by Charlie Powell – a sex blogger and writer of fantastic erotic fiction – who ran a workshop at Eroticon 2016 about how to write disability without resorting to tired and offensive tropes. Her post – Everything I’ve Learned About Disability From Giving Head – is particularly brilliant.
Corey writes the blog Kink Praxis, and alongside writing some incredible erotica under the pen name Xan West, has also provided so many great resources for other writers. Corey’s work covers a huge spectrum, from queer sexuality to disability, kink and consent.
Not only do they run the brilliant Love Lounge – online portal for advice on sex and relationships – they also have a seriously sexy book. Undressing Disability includes a collection of stories and articles celebrating desire in all its forms. Oh, and it has some incredibly hot photos too, which were shown at an exhibition in 2015. If you missed the exhibition, pick up the book from the link above.
A UK-based, sex-positive publisher that puts out well-written, smokin’ hot erotica. Their latest anthology, Silence Is Golden, is not only as steamy and kinky as they come, but it features a wide range of characters with disabilities. Here’s erotica where disability isn’t shown as a problem or as something ‘other’, but just a part of everyday life – and usually part of some very delicious kinky sex, too. It features some brilliant writers, including HO guest blogger Leandra Vane.
Disability and sexuality – further reading
In case all that wasn’t enough, there are a number of fantastic articles out there which shine a light on experiences of disability and sexuality. Many of them recommended by Charlie Powell, whose fantastic Eroticon presentation gave everyone a fantastic grounding in how to write disabled characters without either fetishising or stigmatising them. So with thanks to Charlie, here are some articles that are well worth a read.
(both by Carrie at Autostraddle)
“Everyone around you will manicure your life so that you don’t have to experience difficulty. Things will happen around you rather than to you. Risk taking isn’t presented as an option. There are a couple different assumptions at work here: first, that you’ve already been through so much that you deserve the gold star of a decision-free life, and second, that you are a child in need of constant protection. That becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: when everyone takes care of you, it’s damn near impossible to grow up.”
“In the past few days, as a result of publishing a long piece on my physical and mental health, I’ve had a few offers to write for a few different places. Start-up magazines, blogs, nothing major. Most of them have phrased their offers around the idea that I’m an inspiration, how I’m managing with my health and being so open about it, going about my daily life with that as a factor, and somehow that will inspire people. Inspire them to do what, you ask? How does my terrible physical state in anyway inspire you to do something?”
“For lots of us, disabled people are not our teachers, or our doctors, or our manicurists. We’re not real people: we’re there to inspire.”
The full talk is hilarious, and spot on.
Know a great writer? Share their work!
If you’ve spotted a great article on disability and sexuality, or a writer who you think is worth shouting about, please do leave a link in the comments. We’ll be adding to this list over time, and we’d love to discover more brilliant people who are campaigning for #SexNotStigma.