By: Jess Tarpey, Handi CMO & Lead Editor
‘The Handi Book of Love, Lust & Disability’ is in production! The hard copy is at the printers. The audio book is with the sound studio. The ebook is in design. It’s nearly ready to wing its (saucy) way to you, which is unbelievably exciting.
....But there's something we wanted to discuss.
Many (temporarily) able-bodied people have been very lovely about the book, and incredibly supportive about its launch, but it’s clear that they don’t consider themselves to be the target audience, and understandably so. It’s a book about disabled people after all, right? If you’re not disabled, what can be in it for you?
Here’s 5 reasons why it's worth a read...for everyone:
1) Human stories
There are some unbelievable stories here. Some are heartbreaking, some are hilarious, some are filthy, but they’re all fresh and unique. We can guarantee you won’t have read anything like this before, and that’s a pretty wonderful thing.
2) Simple (but important) lessons
This is a really big one. Within just a few pages of reading this book, we’re sure you’ll have learnt something unexpected, and something that will reframe your view of disability - the biggest minority group in the world. Things like:
- Most disabled people don’t view mobility devices, like wheelchairs and canes, as a negative. They view them as empowering and liberating, because these devices grant them greater freedom of movement and autonomy. So phrases like ‘wheelchair-bound’, which imply that being in a wheelchair is a huge negative, are not reflective of the experience of a lot of disabled people.
- Also, sexual pleasure is a powerful natural pain reliever, and many disabled people actually use sexual release as a necessary part of their pain management programme; something I never fully appreciated until now, but which truly shows the importance of having access to your sexuality in this way.
3) Breaking down 'ableism'
Ableism is discrimination in favour of able-bodied people and, whether you’re aware of it yet or not, it’s rife, and it needs to end. But that’s impossible to do when it’s not talked about or understood by many people outside of the disabled community. How does it manifest? How do you tackle it? How does it make disabled people feel? We cover all these elements and more, and therefore give able-bodied people the tools to help break down the damaging patterns of ableism and rebuild a fairer, more equitable society.
4) Disabled lives can be happier
My absolute favourite lesson from curating and editing this book is about happiness and gratitude. A significant number of our contributors admitted to feeling happier, more content and sexier in their disabled bodies, than they were before their disability. This is largely because the shackles of society’s restricted perceptions of beauty are released, and people start to really appreciate and value everything their bodies can do, in a way that they hadn’t necessarily considered before.
5) 70% of People Aren’t Born With A Disability
It’s very easy to think that ‘disability’ is just a thing that happens to other people, but 70% of people aren’t born with a disability, so there’s a fair chance that either you or one of your close friends or family may develop a disability at some stage in life. When/if that happens, the huge gap in understanding between the disabled and non-disabled community could make that harder to handle. This book aims to help bridge the gap between these two communities, so that there is greater understanding and empathy between the two, and significantly less fear if disability does happen to come into your life in some form in the future.
Whether you’re disabled yourself, have a loved one who is, or you’re just curious, we’re sure you’ll find something special between the covers of ‘The Handi Book of Love, Lust & Disability’.