A few weeks ago I got together with my friend DJ and we had a conversation about disability and sex for his podcast Into Your Body. Dj’s podcast explores some progressive takes on sexuality and your relationship with your body, particularly exploring how these topics intersect with particular marginalizations.
This was my very first podcast and my first recorded interview and I had a really good time talking about some of the deeper nuances of disability and how many of the strategies that you should be using to related to disabled people around sex are the same strategies that benefit you no matter who you’re sleeping with!
I hope that in listening to it, you learn something you didn’t know about yourself or someone you care about with regards to disability, and how to engage with your/their body.
This podcast is Not Safe For Work, but there’s very little explicit language, and the tone of the conversation is educational and informative. The links for Part 1 and Part 2 of this episode of Into Your Body are below, as well as a clip from each interview.
“I have a good friend that is also disabled and one of the things that she was saying that she’s run into in sexual experiences is, you know, when she communicates that she’s disabled, and so, that means what we’re going to do is a little different, people want, like a, list of, what are the things you can do what are the things you can’t do? They want, like, a definitive list of the things, so that if I follow these rules everything will be fine. And bodies don’t work that way! Bodies are complicated. And also if you have a disability like mine, what I’m capable of on a given day changes constantly. Like, I sometimes like to say I have a different disability every day. And so even if I tell you, these are the things that I can do right now, it’s going to be different next time. So really it has to be a learning process for both people and a constant communication.”
“…Disability lacks media representation for everything but most of all sexuality, that there’s very little media that explores disabled people being sexy and that being a thing and there’s so much stigma against disability and, you know, if your disability causes you pain or if you have some kind of antagonistic relationship with your disability, feeling sexy is so hard. Like, having the kind of relationship with your body where you’re like, “yeah, my body is awesome, I want it to feel good,” if it’s not feeling good, if it’s you know causing you these problems, that’s really hard.”
Note: Transcripts for the podcasts are not available currently but will be in the near future. Check back for those resources to be posted here.
About the writer: Kella Hanna-Wayne is the creator, editor, and main writer for Yopp. In addition to creating a collection of educational resources for social justice, she works as a freelance writer specializing in content about her experience with disability, chronic illness, mental health, and trauma. Her work has been published in Ms. Magazine blog, The BeZine, Betty’s Battleground, and Splain You a Thing. You can find her @KellaHannaWayne on Facebook, Twitter, Medium, and Instagram.