People with disabilities are too often desexualized – or their sexuality is misunderstood, simplified, or ignored – to the extent that some people are surprised to find out that people with certain disabilities even have sex. Well, they do. All kinds of sex. Tender and loving. Rough and nasty. Partner sex. Solo sex. Hot. Sweaty. Sex.
We are all sexual beings who have the right to pleasure. Eliminating the socially-constructed and harmful attitude that people with disabilities are somehow “less than” is both a human and a sexual rights issue.
When it comes to sexuality, people with disabilities are extremely diverse, experiencing pleasure in innumerable different ways. Their sexuality is as dependent as anyone else's on their life experiences, interests, sexual orientation, gender identity, social context, etc. Sexuality and sexual issues, needs, desires, and interests may vary depending on the particular type of disability someone has, and can also be quite different between people who have similar disabilities.
Because all bodies are different, it's good to get to know your own as well as your partner's. Embracing a body-positive sexuality includes checking our assumptions about how bodies work and what's pleasurable. Communication about comfort, positioning, needs, pleasure, desires, stimulation preferences, and touch can really enhance the experience of everyone involved.
Sex toys come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, textures, and uses. Some are designed specifically for people with disabilities, and others can be adapted to suit particular needs.
Regardless of your body, choosing the sex toy that's right for you depends on your own preferences and goals. Thinking about what kind of stimulation you're interested in – anal, genital, heavy impact, light sensation, etc. – is a good first step. Check out our tips on choosing your toy for more pointers.
If you have short fingers, you might want to try the Toy Two finger-extender. Larger Wand Vibrators, like the Europe Magic Wand or Doxy 3, can be great for people with limited mobility or reduced sensation. And for increased reach, check out the Goddess Handle.
If grip is an issue, lots of toys can be used hands-free, from the We-Vibe to simple butt plugs to a toy held in place by your underwear. Spareparts also makes a beautifully-crafted hand harness, which can be a nice option for folks who have difficulty gripping a dildo.
Adapting toys based on your individual needs is often possible, and our creative and well-trained staff are happy to help you come up with different options.
At Other Nature, we try to make our space as accessible as possible. Unfortunately, there are three steps leading up to the store. We have a removable ramp which takes a few minutes to install. If you’re planning a visit and require the ramp, please call us and we’ll be happy to set it up in advance.
For more info about the space, including exact measurements of doorways and steps, visit our contact page.
Despite the relatively few available resources out there, there are growing numbers of activists, support services and groups, sex educators, and online resources which have been created by and for people with disabilities.
Here are some resources to get you started:
Sex and Disability, by Robert McRuer & Anna Mollow (eds)
The Autism Spectrum Guide to Sexuality and Relationships: Understand Yourself and Make Choices that are Right for You, by Emma Goodall
Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability, by Robert McRuer
More books and resources can be found here: https://www.parentbooks.ca/Sexuality_&_Disability.html