Episode 12: Sex and Disability
October 27, 2020 by Justin Lehmiller
There are a lot of stereotypes about disabled persons, but one of the biggest is that they are necessarily asexual. However, that’s just not true. Disabled people have sexual wants and needs. They masturbate. They have sex. But almost no one talks about this. Sex and disability is a taboo topic that’s been on the margins for far too long, and we need to change that.
For this episode of the podcast, I interviewed Andrew Gurza, an award winning Disability Awareness Consultant. He has spoken all over the world on sex and disability and he is the host of Disability After Dark: The Podcast Shining a Bright Light on Disability Stories. Andrew is also developing a line of sex toys for persons with hand limitations designed to “put sexual pleasure within everyone’s reach.”
We cover a lot of ground in this episode, including:
- Why is sex and disability such a taboo topic in the first place, and why is it important for us to break that taboo? How can all of us benefit from shining a light on this subject?
- How is our healthcare system failing us when it comes to addressing the sexual health needs of disabled persons, and how do we change that?
- What are the conversations we need to be having around sex and intellectual disabilities?
- How is sex and disability viewed in other cultures? What can we learn from them?
- When and how do you disclose a disability to a potential sexual or romantic partner?
- If a potential partner discloses a disability to you, what types of questions and responses are appropriate? Which ones are inappropriate?
- How is SexTech changing the conversations we’re having about sex and disability? How is technology improving the intimate lives of disabled persons?
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Credits: LEGIT Audio (Podcast editing) and Shutterstock/Florian (Music). Image created with Canva; photos and book covers used with guest permission.
Dr. Justin LehmillerFounder & Owner of Sex and Psychology
Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.Read full bio >