Why Talk About Sex And Disability Anyway?

Robin Mandell, Robert Morgan Lawrence #ccondisability

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  1. Sex and disability. It’s the up-and-coming topic in sex-supportive and sex-positive circles these days. Disabled people are more visibly present in society, and the numbers of people with disabilities seems to be growing. Growing too is the sense that while we live in a sex-obsessed society, the sexuality of entire populations has been ignored and belittled. We talk about sex and disability because the topic intersects with so many things we’re already talking about; healthy body image, self-esteem, accessible sex education for all. We talk about sex and disability because it is the birthright of every single person to choose how they express their sexuality. We talk about sex and disability because of the bad stuff, including a higher than average number of sexual abuse survivors in disabled populations. We talk about sex and disability because ability is a temporary condition for most people, and disability is an invisible condition for many more.

    We also talk about sex and disability because of what these discussions can teach us about sexuality in general. The mainstream conceptions of sex are limiting to most of us. Tools often utilized by people with disabilities, such as creativity and adaptability, can free us from these limits.

    This workshop will start with a basic overview of disability. We will then look at some of the common sex and disability myths, and some of the realities people with different kinds of disabilities do face when negotiating their sexualities.

    This workshop is a collective learning experience. Participants are encouraged to bring ideas and resources.

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