Jan 312016

Sex and Disability

Portugal’s Plural&Singular Publishes Report on Sex and Affection

it’s impressive that disability sports magazines are conducting and reporting on sex and disability research. Better still, the Portugese study investigated the experiences of both people with intellectual disabilities and people with physical disabilities.

Earlier this month, Portugal’s disability sport magazine Plural&Singular published a special report on sex and affection issues among the disability community in the country. This report was a supplement to another report published a few years earlier, and answer additional questions around people with disabilities, their attitudes towards sex, and their sexual practices.

Read Parasport News’s full coverage here.

Sex and disability: What you’ve always wanted to know but were afraid to ask

Beliefs about disability and sex, and about sex in general, hold people back and can make the idea of romance and relationships (which is already scary for a lot of us) seem harder or scarier than it is. We still have this cultural idea that sex can only happen one way, or that there are right or wrong, more and less “real” ways to have sex, and that especially doesn’t help people whose bodies can’t perform those expectations.

“For a long time, before I had a partner that was willing to get creative with me, I thought I was bad at sex, because I thought there was only one way to have sex and I don’t do it in that way,” says Rose. “It wasn’t until I had a partner who said, ‘let’s figure out what works for both of us’ that I realized I’m good at it and enjoy it a lot more,” he says.

read the whole article here.

What if I asked you whether you can have sex?

Strangers don’t need to know why someone looks the way they do, or how impaired they are, and certainly not whether or how they can have sex.

Many think it’s always necessary for disabled people or people with facial differences to take every opportunity to educate. Curiosity doesn’t need to be satisfied.

People forget their manners when talking to me and others with disabilities and facial difference. They unleash their thoughts and prejudices before engaging their brains.

Read the rest of this post.


IN 2016, people are still perpetuating the myth that some kinds of sex are more real, or valid, or better for us than others, and they’re using science, or what they’re passing off as science, to do it.

There are studies that try to tell us what we should or shouldn’t be doing with our bodies, or that try to tell us that doing some sexual activities (like having multiple partners or watching porn) are indications that there’s something medically wrong with us.

When we look closer at these studies, we see that most of them don’t stand up to what we know to be accurate science; for example, they don’t use large sample sizes or they aren’t designed to make sure that the researcher’s beleifs or biases don’t get in the way of what the data is actually saying.

The only sexual activities that are wrong or bad are ones you don’t enjoy, or ones that can hurt you or someone else. By all means, if you personally don’t believe in watching porn, or in masturbating, or in anything else, you don’t have to do those things. Feel free to own that you don’t like or believe in any sexual practice, but know that the research, by and large, doesn’t support cultural beliefs that limit people’s sexualities or sexual practices.

Trust a Scientist: Sex Addiction Is a Myth

The idea of “sex addiction” has become really popular, but the research shows that compulsions for sexual activities, or for watching porn, don’t work the same way drug and alcohol addictions work. The brain is not chemically addicted to sex or porn.

A sex addict without sex is much more like a teenager without their smartphone. Imagine a kid playing Angry Birds. He seems obsessed, but once the game is off and it’s time for dinner, he unplugs. He might wish he was still playing, but he doesn’t get the shakes at the dinner table. There’s nothing going on in his brain that creates an uncontrollable imbalance.

Read the rest of this article to learn about the data we have on sex and compulsion.

There Really Isn’t Any Bad News for People Who Like to Masturbate

Another article refuting bad science around sexual activity.

I was surprised to read that researchers are still supporting the idea that one kind of sex is better for us than another.

Contrary to all the myths out there, masturbation isn’t bad for us. We won’t get hairy palms, or go blind or – hey, wait, isn’t it interesting that so many of the traditional prohibitions aginst masturbation are threats of disability or physical difference? That’s definitely something to think about: The ways we’ve tied negative beliefs about disability up with negative beliefs about sexuality.

The only time masturbation is bad is if it’s something you don’t want to be doing for yourself. The only time it’s not going to feel good is if your personal experience is that other sexual activities ffeel better.

As a sex educator, I can’t imagine telling anyone that penile-vaginal sex is inherently better. For one thing, not everyone is in a couple, and not all couples have a penis and a vagina between them. And even for cisgender heterosexual couples, PVI is only one of countless potentially pleasurable behaviors.

Read more here about masturbation research.

Jan 162016

Maria R. Palacios is a poet, author, spoken word performer, motivational speaker, social change advocate, disability rights activist, and workshop facilitator.

I met Maria and saw her perform at the Breaking silences Sex and Disability Conference. IN person, Maria is very much like her poetry – warm, funny, honest, and sassy.

Maria graciously agreed to answer a few questions.

1. I know you’ve been performing with Sins Invalid for a long time. How did you get started with the group? Was working with Sins Invalid the first time you’d performed publicly about sex, intimate relationships, and disability?

Sins Invalid’s Leroy Moore found me through myspace and asked me to audition. He had come across some of my poetry and thought I’d be perfect for their show. As the natural procrastinator I tend to be, I, of course, did not respond right away, but Leroy can be persistent so I took my camera and recorded a few pieces for consideration, never in a million years imagining I would be chosen. But I was. I guess the rest is history. Although Sins was my first time performing in a big theater, I had been writing about sex and disability and love and relationships for a while. Sins Invalid is one of my most treasured experiences as a performer and as an advocate/activist on positive crip sexuality.

Read a transcript of hunger here.

2. When did you first start calling yourself the Goddess ON Wheels? What does the name mean to you? Can you talk a little about how your art and activism connect?

My definition of a goddess refers to a woman who focuses on self-love, believes in herself and her personal power and is willing to share it with others. I truly do believe there is a Goddess within every woman, but we only realize it upon discovering our own beauty and our own strength.

My Goddess persona evolved in my early twenties when while working in the domestic violence field, I got to see firsthand just how strong and powerful women really are. Embracing my own Goddess persona helped me to help other women to also see their own Goddess reflection.

I am always both artist and activist. I feel the two are very interconnected and feed off of each other. I think the combined energy of both, art and activism, is what fuels the passion I bring on stage. I love to perform.

When I’m on stage, I feel like I’m in my element….I feel like I’m home.

3. What would you most like disabled people to know about sex, sexuality, and intimate relationships?

I want people with disabilities to know:

1) Our bodies belong to us.

2) We are worthy of being loved, and we have everything we need to give and receive love

And 3) like one of my poems points out: confidence is sexier than the body.

4. What would you most like nondisable people to know about disabled people’s experiences of sex, sexuality, or intimate relationships?

I want nondisabled people to realize that people with disabilities are simply people and that our needs for sexual affection are no different. I want them to know we are as hot and hungry as everybody else as it relates to sensuality. This is, perhaps, a continued message throughout my poetry. I feel that we must constantly force our crip truths on the nondisabled world otherwise we will buried by their ignorance and discarded as unsexy and asexual.

5. Whose work (artistic, activist, or otherwise) do you turn to over and over again for education or inspiration?

I am a huge Frida Kahlo fan and consider myself to be her poetic reincarnation. Although she seemed to have lived an unhappy life, the gutsy honesty of her paintings speak my truths and inspire me. Few even realize Frida was a disabled woman of color whose outspoken sexuality was scandalous during her time. I seem to be as shameless as Frida was as it relates to love and sex and the expressions of my muse. Last July, I released a beautiful poetry collection dedicated to my relationship with Frida – Dressing Skeletons: A Poetic Tribute To Frida Kahlo.

6. What are you working on right now? What’s coming up for you in the next year? Where can people see you perform or read your work?

The year ahead promises great opportunity to share my various projects.

I just released a massive anthology of very intimate poetry focusing on sex and disability. Poetic Confessions Volume I is available from >Amazon and CreateSpace.

Volume II is being edited as we speak.

I am very excited about these and hope to bring empowerment and sexy energy to those who read this work. One of my goals for this year also involves producing a recorded version of these collections. More information on other projects and to see some of my performances, people can visit my website www.goddessonwheels.com.