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Cory Silverberg

Sex Toys for Disabled People?

By August 16, 2010

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The sex shop I used to work at had a sustained commitment to access issues and as a result it became known as a place that was somehow connected to disability. Access meant more to them than that, here's how they described it:

It's a big word, but in a nutshell, being accessible means doing our work in a way that doesn't exclude people. It sounds easy, but it takes hard work and constant vigilance. Sexuality is part of everyone's experience, regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation or identity, disability, ethnicity, religious affiliations, how we move, talk, or think. We work hard so that anyone and everyone can come to the table, not just the people we eat with everyday....Ironically, in creating a place for those of us who usually feel left out, we've made a space for everyone.

Still, working at that store usually meant getting questions from customers (disabled and non-disabled people) about where they could find the "sex toys for disabled people". I was always quick to point out that while it makes sense to talk about accessible sex toys, there's no such thing as sex toys for disabled people. People who have the lived experience of disability are no more alike than people who live in Dayton, Ohio. Can you imagine special sex toys for Daytonites (is that what they call themselves)? The idea of there being sex toys for disabled people assumes that all disabled people are the same, or at least are looking for the same thing in a sex toy.

One of the trade-offs of being human and surviving on this particular planet at this particular time is that we have to group people together and make assumptions, we probably couldn't navigate the world if we didn't. But that doesn't mean we should ever stop challenging those assumptions and generalizations. In fact it's in the challenging that I'd argue we're most alive. If you're curious about this particular challenge, and want to knwo why there's no such thing as a sex toy for anyone who has a disability, but there are accessible sex toys, read on.

What's an Accessible Sex Toy?

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Comments
October 14, 2010 at 5:33 am
(1) AmyS says:

Some very good points have been raised here. It would be a good thing if there was such an item as a sex toy for disabled people but as not all disabled people are the same and have different needs then there is no such toy. As a disbaled person, you have to consider what is right for you (and your partner) to use and what you feel most comfortable with.

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