Halifax Dyke & Trans March

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dyke&trans

This past weekend I spoke at the Halifax Dyke & Trans march. The march is an especially rad event, one of my favourite parts of Pride week. It is such a radical and important action because it happens outside of those events which are “permitted” by the city. It happens of its own accord, without extending any invitation to the police. And it began happening out of a need to make Pride a more radical and inclusive event, one not centred on pink dollars but instead on building community and taking back space.

When I was asked to speak, I felt unsure. I wondered about whether or not I was “queer enough” to speak at such an important, queer event? I wondered about who I am, what I call myself, how and where I fit in, and what these labels all mean? I wondered and I wondered and I wondered and I realized that the word queer fits. It fits because its broadness allows me space to wiggle in. I can take the five letters of ‘queer’ and spread ’em open, making them fit to my body and desires. They can cover all my curves, can name all my needs. Queer lets me redefine love, and beauty and my sense of self. It leans left with my politics, and fits right in between my legs. It’s beautiful and fluid and it is defined in all sorts of ways, as evidenced here.

In the end, I felt good about being welcomed into, and participating in, the Dyke & Trans march.

Below is my speech.

I spend a lot of time thinking about labels. They direct and inform everything I do, from adding the spice carefully labelled “Paprika” to my soup, to reshelving the books in the section labelled “Queer Culture”. They act as guide posts. They tell you where things go and they tell you who people are. They are powerful, helping us find community. They are potent, letting us find a place that feels right and a love that feels safe. If used incorrectly, they can be dangerous, leading to exclusion and hurt.

I have labelled myself carefully. It has taken a long, long time.

When I was nine I was in a car accident. This accident did not give me the label “person with a disability”. I spent years denying that label actually. I was not “disabled” I was just different. I did not want to be a person with a disability because in the world that we live in that label too often means “weaker than”. It means “less able”. It means “not as good as”. I did not want to be those things. But eventually, after many years of thinking and being in this world, I chose the label “person with a disability”. I chose it carefully and with pride. I looked at it and I held it and I loved it. I realized that being a person with a disability is powerful. It means that I get to think about everything critically, from the complexities of getting down the street to finding an apartment. It means that I am inherently exempt from an able-bodied and hegemonic standard of being. It means I am constantly aware of, in touch with, and in awe of my body, grateful for the way it supports me.

The label queer is one I flirted with for a long time. I have stuck it on my body and then peeled it off again, over and over. Choosing labels is not easy. I have wondered if I am queer enough. I have wondered about the way that I look, the way that I pass. I have considered the cis-men and cis-women I have loved, and all of those people who don’t conform to that restrictive gender binary who I am so often attracted to. I think about the politics I subscribe too, the way they bend to the left and are so very far from straight. I have spent a lot of time working on my own internalized homophobia and preconceived ideas of who I should be.

Today, I stand in front of you with the label “queer woman with a disability”  proudly displayed across my chest. I have metaphorically sewed it on tight, as it is not to be reconsidered. After a lot of time spent thinking, I have figured some things out. I have looked at queer, just like I once looked at “person with a disability” and I have chosen it with intention. Like disability, queer is powerful. To quote Ed Ndopu, a queercrip femme men of colour from Ottawa: “Queer makes room for my femmeness and disability embodiment. It means radiant darkness, radical love, and a million and one ways to resist and decolonize.”

The labels queer and person with a disability fit well together and I am honoured to hold them both. They fit together because they both involve resistance – resistance against those tired ideas of what and how one should be, resistance against presumed and ill-fitting “truths” about the world. And in this resistance, both of these words work to create a much-needed space – space for bodies to be whole and valued in and of themselves, space for beauty and love to be redefined.

Today, this coming together of bodies, of people who are queer, who are dykes, who are trans, who are gay, and who are allies, this is powerful too. We have each of us, I imagine, gone through our own process of self-identifying. We have sifted, or are still sifting, through our options. And we may have each arrived at different conclusions. We may each have different words that we use for ourselves. Some of us may be able-bodied, some of us may be trans, some of us may call ourselves people of colour, some of us may call ourselves gender queer. Each of these labels are very different and they speak to very different experiences and ways of being in the world. But in the act of choosing them, or in coming to hold them with pride, we have each of us gone through our own process of resistance. We have each of us in our own ways worked against systems of oppression that would otherwise call our bodies “other” or “not as good as”. We have each of us chosen to love ourselves boldly, to hold our labels strongly, and to defiantly be who we are.

It is important that we come together, like we are today, and support each other in each of our individual defiances of the norms. When we support one another  we are allowing our resistance, in whatever form it takes, to flourish and to grow. When we gather as a group we can remind one another that we are working together against systems of oppression, that we are not alone. When we march together, at our own various paces and in our own ways, outside of an officially “permitted” parade, we are resisting together as a collective and that has so much strength.

To All Perpetrators of Street Harassment: Fuck You

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I know I gave my official notice and said BRB and all, but this felt so pertinent, and it is all such fucking bullshit, that I had to write a thing. Even if I am on blog vacation. Even if this isn’t about sex.
Because, it is the season.
Finally, the sun has shone for a full 24 hours in this city on the edge of the world, and pale, pimpled legs are poking out. Our layers are shed. Our knees are exposed. And it feels so fucking good. Striding down the street, sun on shoulders, strappy summer clothes exposing soft skin, and for a minute you feel beautiful and alive and safe. And then it happens. Again and again and again.

“Slut!”
“Girl, you’d look good on me.”
“Your ass is so fat!”

Etc., etc., etc. Cat calls from cars. Verbal harassement from stoops. The intrusive, hurtful, and damaging hollers. They are commonplace, status quo, predictable, and expected. They do not vary much in their intention, nor their intonation. The intent seems to  always be to objectify your body. The tone seems to always imply shame. It happens every time I leave the house, and it has worn me so far down that I want to write about it, scream about it, kick about it and cry about it.

When I leave my house, I am usually wearing whatever I want. My little yellow house full of rad women is a magic safety zone. It is easy to feel safe & supported & in love with my body when I am in between those old, crumbling walls with my roommates. So I walk out the door fearlessly, in dresses and lipstick, and I hop on my tricycle to bike to work.
I ride a tricycle because I am a person with a disability (PWD, for short). My tricycle is BEAUTIFUL. It is red and worn. It has two “normal” wheels, and then two smaller wheels affixed on the back to keep me balanced. It was built for me a few years ago by a friend. It was built out of a place of love, and it was built just for me, just for my body. It is my prized possession, my point of access to the city, the thing that gets me going and keeps me moving. I ride it because it feels so good. I ride it because it gets me to where I need to go and it gets me there fast. I ride it because I am not ashamed of being different.

However, based on the reactions that I get, I presume that many people believe I ride this red tricycle because I want to be taunted, harassed and verbally assaulted. I guess people think that because I look so different that I am asking for it. I guess people think I should be more shameful and less brazen. It feels like they are always trying to back me into a corner and out of sight with their words.

“Those are the biggest training wheels I’ve ever seen.”
“Gotta get rid of your training wheels some time, girl.”
“You look like a big baby!”

I hear this all the time, every day. I never know what to say. Should I stop and explain to every person I bike by that yes, I know I have “training wheels”, yes they are big, no I will not get rid of them, and by having them I am not soliciting your commentary?

I don’t have the time for this kind of dialogue. If I tried to explain to every single person who I am, why I am different, why they do not have the right to comment on my body, then I would never get anywhere on time. And on top of that, I would be exhausted and probably broken, because facing ignorance and engaging it in conversation takes a whole lot of energy.

So I just smile and keep biking. If it feels safe, I flick them off or tell them to eat my asshole. Most often, I just try to let it slide off of my thick skin and not hurt me. This is easy enough for me to do. I have been a PWD since I was 9, and so have had to develop a pretty serious hide. It envelopes the softer me and protects me from ableism. It lets me love myself even though I am not like anyone else, allows me to know I am sexy and smart and valuable even if I don’t conform to a hegemonic, able-bodied standard of being. And it lets me get yelled at without getting hurt, most of the time.

But not everyone has this luxury. Not everyone has a skin as thick as mine, nor a support system as broad and strong as the one I have. So, when I was yelled at by three men a couple of weeks ago, I decided to yell back. Not for myself, necessarily, but for all of the people who want to walk past their house without getting assaulted. I yelled back because I am strong and it was safe and it felt so good. It happened like this:

I biked up the empty street to a breakfast date. I saw the three men huffing smokes and crushing cans on their stoop up ahead. I had a pang of concern, as I often do when I see groups of men and I am alone, but what could I do? I kept going. And as I approached them it began. Taunts about my “training wheels”, pointing and jeering. I paused and considered saying something, defending myself. But the facts were this: they were three men who were all big and broad. I am one woman who is small and (dis)abled. I can not fight or kick, nor even bike away quickly. My body keeps me slow. So I paused but said nothing, and as I passed them their words got louder and as I biked away, vulnerable with my back to them, I looked behind me to see them mocking me, imitating the way my body moves.

It stung, of course. But I could shrug it off, right? I always do.

But then it hit me – this time I did not want to fucking shrug it off. Every time I shrug it off, I allow it to keep happening. It can feel like when I say nothing what I really say is “It’s ok, you can say what you want”. But I did not want these assholes to be allowed to say whatever they want. I did not want them to hurt people. I did not want my body to be policied or mocked and I did not want that to happen to anyone else either.

So, I got to my breakfast date and then I gathered a Girl Squad. Within an hour, I was on my way back to the men’s stoop with three tough-as-fuck female friends who fully support me by my side. It was daytime, and the streets were busy, and due to a marathon happening nearby there was plenty of cops around. (Normally I do not trust the police, but in this instance it felt sort of o.k to know they were nearby.) When we arrived, the stoop was empty but we knocked on the door. The men came downstairs and I told them I wanted to speak with them about the way in which they had verbally assaulted me earlier that morning. At first, they denied the incident, as though I would really have made that up. At first they slammed the door in our faces and told us that they didn’t have time for our shit. But, we did not want to give up. We banged on their door and called them cowards and would not leave until they faced us.

Eventually, they came back down stairs and opened their door. Eventually, they looked at me, in all my difference and all my anger, and apologized. They stood their silently while I told them why yelling at me is a fucked up thing to do, why yelling at anyone is a fucked up thing to do, and why feeling the entitlement to take up so much space that you think you are allowed to comment on how someone else looks is a fucked up symptom of some seriously patriarchal bullshit and they should work on their shit and not be such cowardly assholes. And then they said they were sorry. And we left.

That situation was incredible. I have never before faced the people who yell at me . I have never before confronted someone and forced an apology. I have never before felt so victorious. The conditions were perfect – I had a crew of strong women with me who did the perfect job of having my back but letting me have the verbal space. It was daytime and their were lots of people around, so we felt more safe. The cops were nearby, limiting what kind of serious violence or trouble could arise. Situations like this are rare, and though it was terrifying and difficult I am glad that we did it.

However, this does not mean that things are forever changed. My body will keep getting yelled at because it looks different. And this is ableism, without a doubt, but street harassment has all sorts of roots. It draws on all the “isms” and “phobias”- sexism, racism, and homophobia, to name a few. My roommate has slammin’ curves and tight clothes. She can’t get two feet from our door without getting called out. She looks how she looks because it makes her feel good, not because she wants the general public to ask her for a blow job or  tell her she looks fat. But she has to endure this kind of commentary either way, as if she asked for it. She, like myself, and like so many women and LGBQT folks, has to have her sense of safety compromised because she looks how she looks and walks where she walks. Our mobility is limited, our routes are changed, and our outfits are reconsidered if only so we don’t have to deal with other people’s words. Street harassment is a form of gender-based violence that affects so many of us that it is almost normalized.

But I do not want it to be normal. I do not want to let it keep happening. I do not want to shrug it off. I do not want to have words hurled at me, or to feel as though I should change my clothes or be ashamed of my beautiful bike.

I want to yell back. I want to scream a big fuck you at all perpetrators of street harassment. I want to school all of them, so that they take up less space and stop using their words with such cruelty.
Of course, this is not realistic. I can not go around hollering back at everyone, and neither can you. It would be tiring, redundant and most of all dangerous. However, there are some things we can all do:

1) If you are currently someone who yells at people on the street: STOP. It is not a compliment. It does not feel good. It is a fear-inducing reminder of all of our collective vulnerability and it makes us feel ashamed and angry and unsafe on our streets.

2) If you can be an ally, be one. If you are a big, strong, intimidating person (or if you are with a group, because there is often power in numbers) and you see someone getting harassed on the street, stand by them. Ask them if they need help, or just be nearby in case they may need help, and so that they feel less alone.

3) If you are harassed on the street, you can Hollback on this website. Remember that though it may feel good to scream back in person, throw eggs, or do whatever, this may limit your safety, especially if you are alone. Yelling back is fucking great, and if it feels right go for it, but if it doesn’t, share your story online.

4) Read more about street harassment and how we can work together to make it intolerable. Check out this and this.

A Note on Shame

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Why am I doing this?

Maybe it is the ache-y uncomfortable start of a New Year*, all the resolutions, all the reflecting and redirecting. Or maybe it is my frequently mentioned (and constantly felt) awkwardness surrounding my  weird reputation as a “blogger”, or even weirder, a “sex expert”. Whatever the reason, I have found myself feeling a nagging need for introspection. I wonder: why am I writing all of this, running my mouth ( and fingers) off all of the time? Who is it serving? What am I hoping for? Where is it going, and how will it get there?

Big questions, some unanswerable.  I suppose most of those Big Questions, when applied to our individual ambitions, often are. The purpose gets muddled or entirely lost as we propel ourselves through our worlds, grabbing & leaping & failing & winning at opportunities.  It is easy to just start doing rather than thinking, acting rather than feeling. Follow the pattern, perform the duty, complete the task.

But, in these rare moments when I do stop to think, I remember that there was once a clear and defined purpose that had led me to start writing.

I had wanted to write about the light and the heavy.
I had wanted to write candidly and openly about sex for a series of reasons, all of which stem back to the experience of shame that so many of us sexual animals are subject to.
When I began this blog, my own personal experiences had recently brought me face to face with said sexual shame. I was pressed up against a wall, feeling unacceptable and dirty and all I wanted to do was fight back, scream and shout, tell any one and everyone that I am proud and perfect and undefeatable and unashamed. And I didn’t want to do it alone. I wanted the whole world to yell back with me, to yell back with fierce, unflinching joy and self-celebration. To feel good in each of our bodies, to feel proud of our sexual selves and desires, no matter our inclinations and experiences.

Specifically, shortly before creating this blog I had an abortion. It was one of those pivotal, life-altering things that will forever mark me. Long before this experience, I had figured out that I was a pro-choice feminist, but applying this belief system so directly to my life reaffirmed it. Because even as a strong, powerful, pro-choice feminist, I was seriously subject to and affected by shame, and the shaming of women who are “sexually deviant”** in whatever way. I had to work through my own internalized sense of worthlessness that came from being knocked up and totally alone. I had to face the protestors outside the clinic. And I had to deal with the silence surrounding abortion, had to quietly hold this thing that I had been made to feel was inappropriate to be open about.

But, I’ve never been quiet. And I am often inappropriate. So, I started to write.

In writing about sex so publicly, I had hoped to not only yank out my own personal shame and unpack it, but also help you, dear reader, unpack yours. Because while for me having an abortion was a primary source of shame, we are all made to feel like shit about our sexuality for a myriad of reasons. That is the way hegemonic norms work, you see: they creep into our bellies undetected and swarm around down there like vile little worms, shaping our thoughts and telling us how we oughta be.

When it comes to sex, the “norm” that we are fed goes something like this:

Sex is something we should all be having or want to be having all of the time; and “sexy” is thin, white, straight, able-bodied, and cis-gendered. And unfortunately, this ubiquitous definition is pretty exclusive. Not a lot of bodies fit the bill. People that are queer, that are trans, that are not white, that are of size, that are (dis)abled are all left out. And this exclusion from a mass-produced and mass-consumed idea of human sexuality is a shaming experience. It makes the word “fat” an insult. It makes people of colour an exotic and objectified other. It makes bodies that are trans unsafe in our streets. It makes people who are queer subject to harassment. It makes men feel like they always have to be ready to fuck. It makes women feel like fucking too fast and too often  is slutty. It makes people that are (dis)abled misconstrued as asexual. It makes the act of having an abortion shameful.

All of these experiences are very different. Equating having had an abortion with being a person of colour, for example, would be inaccurate. At the end of each day, I can choose to disclose or not disclose my shaming sexual experience. To the outside world, I can pass as “normal”. I look like a straight, white, cis-gendered girl, with blonde hair and predictable desires. I can smile pretty and duck judgement, hiding behind my performed conformity.

But, while these experiences may not be equatable, they are all interconnected. They are all experiences of deviation from that total bullshit norm and, as such, they are all experiences that could lead to someone being made to feel ashamed. Systems of oppression work in concert like this, excluding, degrading, and putting in danger people who are different. And these normative ideas are rooted deep. They grow up from long-standing and seriously entrenched racist, patriarchal, homophobic belief systems that have been around for fucking ever. Demolishing these norms is a hell of a job. But I think talking (and writing) about sex, in all its beautiful and dirty deviations, is a good starting point. It is a great first rock to throw.

So, that is where I was at when I began this Fucking Facts project. I was stuck on shame and a personal need to annihilate it. I wanted to write about it, and about all kinds of heavy stuff. But, somewhere along the way it has become true that mostly, I just write the light. I like to laugh, and I like when all of you laugh with me. I want to make us all feel comfortable & good & safe in our skin and secure in our sex. And I do believe that approaching things lightly is a pretty affective way of going about it. But, it is not the only way.

And so, as we all wake up, stretch, regroup and push forward into this New Year, I want to try and remember that for all its lightness; for all the fun, the come, the hickies, the multiple orgasms; sex can sometimes be heavy and hard and full of fucked up feelings. These heavy parts have a place too.

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*I did in fact begin this essay when the year was still fresh and reflecting on new beginnings was still relevant.

** And by sexually deviant I mean not complying to those hegemonic & heteronormative ideas of acceptable expressions of womanhood, femininity, and sexuality.

Dirty Smut // “Fuck Me Anywhere”

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It is an unfortunate truth in my life, quite probably in the lives of many of us, that hours and hours of my valuable time have been wasted reading terrible books.
There are just so many out there it can be hard to avoid them.
This is especially true of erotic “literature”. The quotations are intentional. I have read smutty stories that need a thesaurus so bad it makes my teeth hurt; that require spell check so severely that my potential orgasm shrivels up and dies. It is brutal! I am just trying to read some words while I get off, and my digital explorations are constantly being halted by an endless barrage of spelling errors and poor plot lines.
Reading “Fifty Shades of Grey”, which I admit I did (everybody was doing it!), was especially trying.
But while it was trying, it was also inspirational. If E.L James is getting published, why can’t I? If she can do it, then I am sure I can probably write some smutty stories, and write ’em in a way that’s real dirty and real good. Or at least I would hope so.

Below is my attempt at some pure n’ sexy dirt.  Delivered right here, from me to you. Feast your eyes. Keep one hand free and at the ready. It is not perfect, it is only my first try, but I do use the best words, like ‘cunt’, and ‘pussy’ and ‘NOW’.

Furthermore, before we begin, the following filth revolves around two people, one of whom is a person with a disability. This has a point. As I’ve written before, the sexual health needs of persons with disabilities is my priority. I strongly and firmly believe, above all else, that all bodies, regardless of their abilities, gender, class, race, etc. have the right to healthy sexual expression. Nothing about not being able to stand makes a person less hot; having less arm function does not correlate with not being a Total Mega Babe. What I’m trying to say is: a person’s level of ability does not limit their sexuality in anyway. I have said it before, and I will keep saying it again & again & again. And so below, is one way of saying it. A real juicy jam for ya, featuring a disabled person.

Oh, and one last thing. A warning: this is erotica in every sense of the word. The following is some deep n’ dirty, no-holds-barred smut. Only read on if you’re into that.

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Fuck Me Anywhere

The bar was hot and crowded. Bodies pressed against bodies, beats pressed against ear drums, and all I wanted was for them* to press me against the wall. I wanted to be held up against the wall and fucked. I wanted their hands to push against me so hard they would leave marks. That feeling of being held up, thrown around, pressed on and pried at until I am completely pliable – that’s what I wanted more than anything.

“I need to go to the bathroom,” I yelled up at them. The music carried my quiet voice away and so I propelled myself forward, my wheels gently knocking their ankles so that they stumbled back a little, their ass falling against me. They were straddling my chair now, their weight on top of me, and even this contact, having their sweaty back pressed against my chest, our bodies still fully clothed, felt like too much. I wanted it so bad.

“I need to go to the bathroom,” I said again, and to make my point clear, I pulled their earlobe into my mouth, drawing the soft skin between my sharp teeth.

They looked at me, obediently. They were as ready as I was.

People cleared a path for us as we went deeper into the bar. We  reached our destination and entered the one-room wheelchair bathroom together. In situations like this, I sometimes wonder what people are thinking. Do they think my lover is only my assistant, helping me transfer onto the toilet? Does anyone suspect that what we do in these private places and darkened corners is not always about my disability, but is most often just about pure pleasure? We are usually just fucking each other in these bathrooms, a thin wall separating us from the public. The people at the party outside have no idea what kind of highs we are reaching in these stolen moments, and their ignorance just makes me wetter.

We were alone together in the grimy room and I wanted everything. I wanted it all, and all at once. I wanted them in my mouth, wanted them to cram their fingers down my throat with one hand while their other hand reached inside me. I wanted to feel full of them.
But I made myself wait.
Sweat had dripped down and pooled in my clavicle. “Lick it”, I told them, and their rough tongue complied, scratching against my skin, making my cunt wet.
“Take my shirt off,” and the silk was being pulled up over my head, exposing my tits to the hot, muggy air. My nipples were already hard, and they bent over me, pulling first one and then the other into their mouth.
“Now, put me..,” I began, but they interrupted.
“No, my turn,” they said.

We have this problem, the two of us. Two controlling people wanting to call all the shots, wanting to fuck and be fucked exactly the way we want, wanting to say how it’s going to be. But, sometimes I like being told what to do as much as I like doing the telling.

They didn’t tell me what to do but instead made me do it, putting my body exactly where they wanted it, controlling me, contorting me. They lifted me out of my chair and I was up against the wall. I held onto the bars, supporting myself with my arms. I can do this, but they know it makes me tired. They know that when they have me here like this, up against the wall and waiting, that they better fuck me and they better fuck me hard and fast until I am coming all over them, falling into their arms with the intensity of it all.

With one hand they pulled my hair, wrapped it tight around their fist so my head was pulled to the side, exposing my neck for their teeth to bite into. With the other hand they pulled off my skirt. Their fingers slipped down and pressed against the soft cotton of my underwear. I could feel my clit throbbing beneath their touch. They must have felt it too, my body pulsing against them, and so they eased their fingers around my thong and against my lips.

They started gently, stroking me, teasing me. They knew I wanted them inside me, that I was impatient and waiting and aching for it, but they wouldn’t give in right away. They kept it up, those subtle strokes, up and down, up and down, until I was so wet I was dripping on their fingers. My thighs were damp with my own juice and still they would not draw me open, would not reach deeper.

I couldn’t take it.

“Baby,” I said. “Baby, fuck me.”
“Now?” they asked.
“Right now.”
“Right, right now?”
“NOW.”
“And, if I don’t?”
“You have to.”
“I have to?”
“Yeah….”
“Tell me what you want.”
“I want you to fuck me hard. I want you inside me up to your wrist.”
“And what’s the magic word?”
“NOW!”

They acquiesced. Part of them wanted me there all night, pressed against them and begging, but they also wanted to please me.
I felt their hand move my lips open. Their rough thumb stroked my clit, while their long , beautiful fingers reached down inside me. One finger, then two, then three, were in my pussy, circling. My cunt clenched around their digits. I wanted to swallow them up, wanted them never to leave my body.
My clit got harder and harder under their thumb. I know that they love this, love feeling how much my body wants them. And as they rubbed my clit, over and over, I expanded to take them in. My slit got wider and wider and they slid all of themselves into me. Their wrist bone pressed up against my swollen sex.It felt like everything was happening all at once. My neck was in their mouth, my nipple twisted in between their fingers, my clit pressed under their thumb, and my whole body riding their hand as it thrust into me, deeper and deeper. We moved together. I propelled myself against their body, forcing them further into me, driving them faster, making them my own. They pressed harder and harder against my G-Spot, working me. They are rough with me but I can take it. Can take it and then some.

I began to tremble. My knees bucked. And then I crumbled. It felt too good. I felt too much. I couldn’t stand any more. I fell forward, my soft tits pressed against their hard chest, while I gushed all over them. I came, and came, and it felt like I wouldn’t stop coming, my whole body convulsing against theirs. My hair in their mouth, their neck against my lips, my cream wetting both of us, our sweat intermingled.

Finally, they stopped. They pulled out of me, and we just stared at each other, not wanting to move, not wanting to end it.
Until there was a knock at the door.
They hurriedly helped me dress. In these moments I love their range of touch. That they can fuck me hard and fast, so good that it hurts, and then gently pull my shirt over my arms, zip my zipper, and put me into my chair.

We left the bathroom, cheeks flushed. The people outside smiled at us politely. I smiled back. I imagine they thought “What a trooper!”. Often that’s what people are thinking, when they smile at me in a particular way. They don’t know that my return grin means so much more, that I am laughing at them. They are about to use a bathroom that I just flooded with my come, that smells like my sex.
Suckers.

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* Some people choose to use the pronoun “they/them” rather than “he” or “she”/”his” or “hers”. This is a great pronoun because it doesn’t impose any one gender, but allows some room for fluidity. Since I think all fluids (cum,sweat, etc.) are hot, and sexual/gender fluidity is even hotter, I used the pronoun they/them/their to refer to one single, sexy person in this story. If you want to learn more about the pronoun ‘they’, start here.

Every Body’s Doing It

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Ok, so I kind of love writing this blog.
I love writing it and I love that you read it. It makes me feel good, I hope it makes you feel good, and I have high hopes that someday it’ll get me real rich and famous and I will get to travel around the world, running my mouth off about all sorts of hot n’ dirty biznezz.
I have fantasies that professional sex educators attend sex conferences by day and engage in THE SEXIEST ORGIES by night.
That’s how it works, right?
I want in on that.

Anyway, writing this blog, using filthy language and slangy colloquialisms, and being personal and informal is a pretty good time for me, and, I believe, is the most engaging way to talk about sex.
However, I am aware that this online forum and style only appeals to a certain audience.
A big part of my job is speaking with medical professionals about the sexual health needs of persons with disabilities. As mentioned in previous posts, I am a person with a disability, and so the sexuality of folks like me is high up on my priority list. I love speaking with doctors about the too-often over looked sexual health concerns of those of us whom are disabled. But, when I am engaging in this kind of discussion, I never sound like this:
” Yo doc, listen up to this fucking fact: squirting is rad.”
It’s ineffective, detracts from the legitimacy of a person’s sexual health needs, and makes everyone wildly uncomfortable.

And so, when I’m not blogging my fucking heart out, or dusting dildos down at the sex shop, I am using more professional language and writing a little mini booklet about the sexual health needs of persons with disabilities. I received a small grant from the Halifax Community Health Board to put together a manual about how sex toys can be used by people with disabilities. In it I talk about adapting sex toys, cleaning sex toys, the pro’s n’ con’s of sex toys, and everything in between.

This manual/little mini-booklet, titled “Every Body’s Doing It: Talking About Sex and Disability” is set to be printed within the next few months.
It will be distributed for free through Venus Envy here in Halifax, Nova Scotia, or through the Nova Scotia division of the Canadian Paraplegic Association.
Below, I am providing a sneak peek, if you’re interested.

And, if you are really, really interested, and would like a free copy of the finished edition, be in touch! You can reach me at kaleigh at venus envy dot ca.

Enjoy!

Introduction

Sometimes it feels like everybody’s doing it. In North America, we are absolutely inundated with sexual imagery, seeing sex in every music video, advertisement and television show. Sex, sex, sex!
But the problem is, we only see a certain type of sex. We’re almost exclusively flashed images of able-bodied, young, slim, attractive, white people, whom are having sex while standing up, or while poised upside down, or while straddling a chair in some seeming impossible bodily feat!
What a myth this creates: that in order to have great sex we need to look a certain way and be able to contort our bodies into certain positions.
The truth about sex is: everybody’s doing it! Small people, big people, people of colour, older people, able bodied people, and people who are disabled. Sex is not limited to the young, rich, and slender; it is a human experience that we all have the right to!

In this manual, we want to talk about the sex that folks with disabilities are having.

The sexual health needs of persons with disabilities are an important and overlooked subject. A study conducted by Anderson in 2004 shows just how important they are. A survey completed by both paraplegics and quadriplegics (resulting from spinal cord injury) indicated that amongst paraplegics, regaining sexual function was seen as the number one priority in improving their quality of life, while quadriplegics ranked it as number two, second only to regaining hand and arm function.[1]

Clearly sex is something we’re all thinking about!
So, let’s starts talking about it!

In the following manual, we would love to discuss it all, from communication, to self-esteem, to sex toys. But, that would lead to one pretty thick manual. So, here we offer you some basics. Specifically, we’re going to skip straight to the fun stuff of anatomy and sex toys! We’ll talk about what toys are great for different people with different disabilities. We’ll talk about how to clean them, how to store them, how to adapt them, and even where you can get them.

In so doing, we hope to provide you with a starter’s guide about using sex toys for people with disabilities. We hope that this manual will inspire further reading, further exploration, and better sex!

But, before we get into it, here are three very important definitions:

1)           A person with a disability:

Disability is a spectrum and so a person with a disability can be so many things, from someone with a visual impairment to someone who has been diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
We would love to produce a manual that could cover the broad and varied rainbow that is disability, but that could take years and years. And so, in this manual when we refer to persons with disabilities we are referring specifically to persons with physical disabilities. This means people who may identify as paraplegics or quadriplegics; people who have irregular gait patterns; people who suffer from chronic pain; people who have limited or different sensation; people who experience manual dexterity impairments; and anyone in between.

2)                   Sex:

When we write sex, we are not referring to when a penis penetrates a vagina.
Instead, we are talking about the attainment of pleasure, between one or more consenting adults, not with the goal of reaching orgasm, but with the goal of feeling good!! We want sex to mean feeling bodily pleasure, whether that means touching your genitals or rubbing your elbows together! Sex can be whatever you define it as for yourself, as long as it’s about making yourself or someone else feel good.
And with this, sex can and does happen between any number of people of any gender and/or sexual orientation. Two men can have sex, five women can have sex, or a transgendered person can have sex with one man and one woman. Any number of possible pleasurable equations can and do exist. We kept this in mind as we wrote, and so we hope our advice can be helpful to any type of situation in which you may find yourself.
 

3)                Sexually Assistive Aids/Sexual Devices/Sex Toys:

Essentially, each of these refers to the same thing – an instrument which makes the attainment of bodily pleasure different or better or easier for folks. However, in practice each of these words may illicit very different reactions in people. Some readers may feel uncomfortable with the words ‘sex toys’ as it assumes too much familiarity. Others may dislike the term ‘sexually assistive aids’ as it implies that one needs assistance to do something.  With this in mind, throughout the text we will use each of these terms interchangeably. In your life, we encourage you to adopt whatever vernacular makes you the most comfortable!


[1]  “Pleasure Able”. Naphtali, Kate, Elliot, Stacey, and Edith MacHattie. 2009. http://www.dhrn.ca/files/sexualhealthmanual_lowres_2010_0208.pdf

Me, in brief

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In the last post, I mentioned briefly that I happen to be a person with a disability.
I glided over this definition. It didn’t even get its own paragraph, but was relegated to an asterisk, an aside to be read only if you chose to scroll down.
But, if I’m going to write about sex, and occasionally sex and disability, it’s worth telling you a little bit about who I am.

So:

I am a person with a disability. It took me years to be willing to say this. Even though I was in a car accident way back in 1995, and have been disabled since that time, I didn’t really identify with that label until just a few years ago.

Why didn’t I?

Well, I was scared and I was ashamed. I’m from rural Ontario- I was the only person with a visible disability in my high school, in my whole town even, and like all teenagers, I just wanted to fit in. Because I can stand up and walk around, climb stairs and communicate verbally, it was easy enough to deny my identity. I wasn’t “disabled”, I just looked a little different. I could still dance, drive trucks, party in corn fields, and smoke a whole bunch of dope. I mean, really, I was hardly different at all.

Why do I identify as a person with a disability now?

I began using these words when I moved away from Ontario. While Halifax, Nova Scotia isn’t exactly an inclusive, modern, metropolis, it still felt hella different than my previous life of cow-tipping.  And for the first time, I noticed that I am also hella different from most everyone else.
There was a shit tonne of challenges I had to navigate with this new Big City Livin’. I had to walk long blocks, I had to figure out the location of public bathrooms, and I had to climb at least one flight of stairs to get into almost any fucking establishment in this entire town.
There could be no denying it any longer. I was (am) different and shit was (is) hard. Traversing this city is hard, and claiming this new identity was initially pretty hard too. I mean, why the fuck would anyone want to adopt a label that is so shameful?  No one wants to be disabled. That means ‘less able’, see: ‘not-as-good-as’, ‘weaker’, and ‘different’, right?

It took a whole lot of time and whole lot of internal deconstruction to arrive at where I’m at now. Just like everyone else, I’ve been fed ableist notions my whole life, and so of course I came to believe it all. But, eventually, I tore that shit right up from its very foundations. I realized that:

  1. The way that I walk and all my bodily differences do not make me any less valuable a human.There is no rule that to be smart you have to stand, or to be sexy you have to speak, or to be worth something you have to walk.
  2. And with this, the belief system that had taught me that people with disabilities are worse off, ableism, well, it’s just wrong. ‘Able-bodied’ and ‘disabled’ are both just social constructions, categories contrived and reinforced by the world we live in. They are not inherent truths. It is not because a person can not climb stairs that they are disabled- it is because we live in an ableist world where stairs have been built rather than ramps, choosing to favour one type of body over another.  In another world, my body could just be considered a body that moves one way rather than another, instead of being considered a body that is less able, or a body that is not as good as.

So  finally, seventeen years after the car accident, I wear my disability with pride. I am glad I am different. Ain’t nothing like not fitting into the socially constructed categories to realize that they are just that- fucked up, oppressive social constructions that sure as shit aren’t worth aspiring to.

What does this have to do with fucking?

I know, my personal plot isn’t half as riveting as come n’ dildos, but stick with me, this is important.

The reason why I talk so much explicit (some may say vulgar) shit about sex, and about sex and disability together, is because I hate shame.
I think feeling ashamed of yourself and who you are is a gigantic waste of time and energy, a waste of living.
And these two things, sex and disability, are things that we flawed, frail, funny humans have taught ourselves to be ashamed of, to think are dirty or invaluable, or something not to be seen.

I care about sex because it has the capacity to make my body, your body, all of our bodies, feel good. It’s the source of so much pleasure, and pleasure makes life worth living. Sex is something to be having! Not something to be ashamed of!

And I care about disability politics because the bodies of those of us who identify as being people with disabilities are denied pleasure. Our sexuality is denied, and our dignity is denied. We are taught to feel ashamed. But our differences are our strengths and our source of beauty, not a source of shame. Disability ain’t nothing to be ashamed of!

Talking about sex and disability, explicitly and shamelessly, just makes the most sense to me. In talking about it and in writing about it, I am striving to create conversations about these things, conversations that let us examine our own beliefs and values, and let us examine the radical possibilities of pleasure, for all people (babe).

Why did I read this post? I am no better at butt play, B.J’s or the glorious gush, as a result of the last 2 minutes of skimming.

You read this post because this shit is important. Even if you aren’t currently living with a disability, it’s really fucking important to consider the ways in which socially constructed categories work to decide what sorts of people have value and what sorts of people are given the right to access their sexuality shamelessly.

Because the thing about oppression is, it’s intersectional- people with disabilities are taught to feel ashamed of ourselves and our sexuality. Women are taught to feel ashamed of ourselves and our sexuality. Trans people, people of colour, queer folks all along the rainbow: they are all taught to feel ashamed of themselves and their sexuality. So this shit that affects me as a person with a disability, well, it affects a whole lot of people. And it may affect you someday too, if it doesn’t already.

So, reconsider that hot babe you know in a wheelchair. Reconsider the way in which you have decided they may or may not be sexual. Reconsider the way you may have constructed the sexuality of a person of colour you know. Reconsider the ideas you may have about trans people and their hot bods. All of us, myself included, have been fed ableist, sexist, racist, homophobic, and transphobic ideas. They are pretty pervasive, and so, unfortunately, are made pretty easy to swallow and internalize. But that doesn’t mean we can’t reconsider them, can’t vomit them back up, push ’em outta our guts, and then decide to believe something new, something better, something more beautiful.

So, thanks for taking the time to read. And do take the time to consider the above.
For your patience, I promise I’ll make my next post all about fucking .
Maybe specifically finger-bangin’!
Or maybe even eating assholes!

 

Every Body’s Doing It

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Listen. This may shock you. But you should know:

People in wheelchairs- they fuck. People with different motor abilities- they fuck. People who are blind- they’re fucking too. Everybody’s doing it.

There is a persistent and damaging myth that people with disabilities don’t have sex.  It is too often believed that if you don’t move your legs then you don’t orgasm, or if you don’t move your arms then you can’t make someone else come all over you.  It’s all a giant fucking lie, I swear.

This lie is rooted in ableism. Ableism, or the most basic definition of ableism, is the oppression of persons with disabilities. To expand, it is the assumption that being able-bodied is the norm, and that people who fall outside of this norm are lesser than: less intelligent, less desirable, and generally less valuable human beings as a whole.*

And what this looks like, to name just a few of the thousands of possible examples, is:  folks with disabilities not having access to public spaces; folks with disabilities not being spoken to directly; and folks with disabilities being cast as asexual, as not even having sexual desires let alone being considered super hot sex bombs (which trust me, we are**).

This lie is rooted in ableism, and is then perpetuated by mainstream ideas about sex. We see sex all the time. It is everywhere, either sizzling under the surface, or hot branded on the top of every single thing we consume, from music videos to donairs (don’t even try and tell me that you haven’t noticed how much the sauce oozing all ova’ that phallic wrap looks like cum).
But, only a certain kind of sexuality is portrayed in this ever-present visual come on.  Specifically, it’s the sex of skinny people, of straight people, of white people, and of able-bodied people. Mainstream sexual imagery almost never shows fat people, trans people, or people who are disabled, to name only a few of us outliers. And in excluding us, we are effectively being erased as sexual beings. Only one type of body and only one type of sexuality is being legitimized.

So, misconceptions about human sexuality are really fucking shit up for all kindsa’ folks, but pair that with ableism and you can see shit is especially fucked for people with disabilities. Can you even imagine what it’s like to be totally dehumanized and desexualized? Can you imagine what it’s like to not have your hot self be seen and celebrated in all your glory? It’s a fucking tragedy. One tragic lie.

Deconstructing this lie is beneficial for all people, not just those of us who identify as living with a disability. It is to your benefit to recognize the hotness of all sorts of bods because doing so is gonna make your sex life better (you could wildly expand your category of Potential People to Fuck). It is important because you too may one day find yourself living with a disability, if you aren’t already. And it is important because in deconstructing our ideas about human sexuality and about disability, and about sexuality and disability combined, we are working to deconstruct oppressive belief systems that limit all sorts of humans from accessing their right to safety, to dignity, and to pleasure.

To this end, to try and make the world a better, safer, sexier place for people in general, and especially people with disabilities, I am going to make this section all about sex and disability. Here will be the fucking facts about fucking disability, and disability &  fucking.

Come here to learn about toys to come to, to read about disability politics, and to see hot n’ dirty pictures of hot n’ dirty people with disabilities doin’ hot n’ dirty things.

………………………………………………………………………..

* This belief system arises out of the traditionally held medical model of disability, which posits disability as a tragic medical condition that needs to be cured. This model does not allow room to consider the ways in which disability is an identity that is socially constructed, which is to say that the world that we live in systemically excludes and exploits folks who are different.  To consider disability as a social construct is to say that rather than “curing” disability, we should instead consider how systems, structures, institutions and entire modes of belief disallow some types of people and some types of bodies from being humanized. We need to deconstruct these systems of oppression rather than cure the bodies in question.
This is the briefest of overviews that I could give you about the big and beautiful world of disability politics, but I encourage you to read more, and more, AND MORE, and particularly, read the works of the brilliant Mia Mingus.

**I know that we are, not only because I am personally acquainted with my fair share of super hot sex bombs who also happen to be persons with disabilities, but because I fall into that category myself (hence the use of ‘we’).