Nov 302015
 

Sex, Sexuality, and Disability

New study investigating how to support people with disability to have sex

Facilitated sex has been a hot button issue for a long time, with concerns ranging from ensuring disabled people’s privacy to supporting a safe (including sexually safe) workplace for attendants and assistants.

Lead researcher, Dr Russell Shuttleworth, says the need for facilitated sex support is often ignored by disability services and policy makers.

“Some people with disability may need assistance from their paid carers or support workers in order to express themselves sexually or participate in sexual activities (this is called facilitated sex),” Dr Shuttleworth explained.

Read more about this research project.

Undressing Disability: Speaking up for sexual needs

A short profile of Enhance The UK’s advocacy around sexuality support services for disabled folks. Answers some of the questions about workplace safety for support workers and personal care attendants. Thought-provoking introduction, too.

Much of the social discourse about advertising involves the inappropriate sexualization of people in ads, especially women. But what if a group of people actually asks you to sexualize them?

Read the whole article here.

CR [Czech Republic] Has First Five Sexual Assistants For Disabled People

More support for sex and sexuality assistance for people with disabilities needing physical help to meet their needs and desires; this time it’s about getting support services from people who don’t also provide daily care or assistance. The article makes a distinction between the services these assistants provide, and sex work services. Sex work isn’t illegal in the Czech Republic – people can legally offer sexual services for hire, but it’s illegal to pay for those services. Yes, sex work laws in most countries are that confusing.

The first five female sexual assistants, specially trained to provide paid services to disabled people, have started to work in the Czech Republic, Lucie Šídová, director of the Rozkoš bez Rizika organization (Bliss Without Risk, R+R), which has trained the assistants, said today.

“The sexual assistants have been chosen carefully. They decided to do the work themselves. They have long-lasting experience with men and with the work with human body,” Šídová said at an international conference on sexual assistance in Prague.

Read the whole article here.

3 Ways You Might Be Marginalizing Disabled Asexual People (And What to Do About It)

Terrificly informative article by Cara Liebowitz. I met Cara, and heard her speak on this topic, earlier this month. Glad to see her message reaching more people.

I’d never questioned my sexuality before – I’d dated guys on and off and I always felt romantic attraction to them – but being in the sex-filled culture of college simply confused me.

Read the whole article here.

Margaret Campbell Using PhD Study to Erase Stereotypes Regarding Disabled People and Sexuality

More sexuality and disability research -out of Canada this time – exploring gender identity and expression as well as sex and sexuality. The researcher hopes to include recommendations for policy changes that will improve disabled people’s lives in relation to their genders and sexualities. I’m impressed that this article, in a mainstream community newspaper, didn’t try to sensationalize this story, but instead gave a straightforward report on the researcher and her work.

“What I’m looking at in my PhD research is the various ways people with disabilities experience and explore both their gender and sexuality in the midst of sociocultural assumptions and stereotypes that have traditionally worked to desexualize individuals with disabilities,” she explained.

A large portion of her research has gone into identifying physical or attitudinal barriers people with disabilities experience in an attempt to reach a fulfilling and actualized gender or sex life, she said.

“What has been excellent is listening to my participants share their experiences and the creative ways they dealt with the issues they face.

Read the whole article here.

Sex Ed

What does kinky mean and should I try it?

Love this deeply supportive, respectful post exploring definitions of kinky sex, but most importantly affirming that we’re all okay, no matter how adventurous (or not) our sexual choices are.

…and the beauty of sexual expression is your sexual journey doesn’t have to look anything like mine and it can still be deliciously, beautifully pleasurable and valid. There is no one way of doing sex, of living out fantasies, of keeping things fresh and new.

If that’s true…if there is no one way of doing sex, then what does it mean to be kinky?

Google defines kinky as “involving or given to unusual sexual behavior.”

But what is unusual to me and what is unusual to you are probably different.

Read the whole article here.

Toy Queries

It’s refreshing to see some sex toy advice that isn’t a sales pitch. With their trademark humour and kindness, Scarleteen answers questions about whether vibrators interfere with an IUD (hint: They don’t), and about how to make sure any toy is giving pleasure, not pain. Particularly love the last line: ”
Go forth with your new found knowledge and masturbate without fear

Read the whole advice column here.

Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence

This is one of the saddest, most infuriating, incidents of child sexual abuse I’ve heard about in a while. Deaf children were sent to a special school, isolated from their families for months at a time, not permitted to use or learn sign language (they were expected to learn to speech-read (read lips) and speak English only), and their trust and bodies were violated. Ultimately, these children were also betrayed by the legal system.

These stories are hard to read – important, but hard.

These Haunting Posters Break the Silence on Disabled Women with Abusive Partners

We know that intimate partner violence can affect people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and physical abilities. But many people’s voices get left out of our conversations on IPV – including disabled women’s.

See the posters (or read the transcripts if you can’t see them) here.

Sex and Disability Books

QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology

Trophy Wife: Sexuality. Disability. Femininity.

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