By Drew Gurza, Chief Disability Officer
You might be listening to a lot of “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” right now, but let’s be honest, it kind of feels like the 388th day of March, as we are in the midst of a global pandemic that has changed, well, everything, right? One of the things that has changed for so many disabled people during this time, is our access to our bodies and our sexuality. With so many of us in extended lockdowns, it can be really hard to feel sexy or even playful. in your disabled body when you can’t see anyone at all, and that can be really taxing on our emotions. But, there are options to satiate the skin hunger you may be feeling, and I wanted to share with you a few fun, accessible options to feel sexy and get in tune with yourself disabled self this lockdown season.
1. Send a Sexy Text or Two
We’ve all been clamoring to find connection during this time, and since we can’t send a 2 a.m. “You up?” text right now, sending a flirty text message is a great way to do that. One of the really accessible things about texting is that you can respond as quickly as you are able, so that if processing and typing is an issue for you, you can text at your own pace. I also certainly appreciate that texts allow for you to go back and review a conversation - so if your hottie on the other end says you’re cute, you can read it again and again and again, if you want to give yourself a little self-esteem boost. I also love that when you text, you can create a fantasy world with someone that, even if you can’t do it physically, text allows you to take your fingering to a whole different place. Most importantly though, texting is a huge access feature for a lot of disabled and chronically ill folks, and so it’s kind of cool that we can use it to spice up our sex lives during covid.
2. Sexy Videos, Facetimes or Zooms
This past year has shown us that you can do a whole lot with technology. With all these platforms now becoming staples of communication in 2020, we are constantly learning about the new things we can do with them. One of the things that I have done this year to feel sexy and seated as a wheelchair user, is asking my sexy friends and sex workers to join me for flirty video calls and chats, so that I can still explore sensuality in one way or another. While most of them leave me wishing that I could burst through the screen and act it out with them, these platforms let me show that I am playful and still able to make someone aroused, and that is really important. I also appreciate that for some disabled folks, being able to see what’s happening on a screen is very helpful for them to engage with their sensuality, in a way that texting may not be able to. You can hear the sexy timbre of their voice, see their smirk as you flirt and so much more! Note: Of course, with all these new formats you want to ask for consent before engaging in any sexy play!
3. Make Your Own Sexy, Accessible Video
We’re spending so much time alone right now, it might be the perfect time to play with yourself -- literally. You might wanna turn on your phone’s camera and put on a little show for yourself. So many disabled and chronically ill folks have issues with their body image, especially during this time. So, let’s crip the script, re-think sexy, and remind ourselves why we disabled people are hot af!!!! That way, you can take as much time as you need to undress, change outfits, or just flirt with yourself in the most accessible way possible.
4. Gimpy, Sexy, Gift Giving
One of the things you could do this holiday season is go on to a sexy website like Lovehoney AU, Lovehoney UK or Lovehoney USA and find out what sexy gifts are accessible to you. You can have a look and see what toys and accessories work for your solo play or with a partner. Doing this with a partner over Zoom or Facetime might help them understand your access needs in the bedroom, and would open their eyes to all the possibilities, and will give them accessible gift ideas for your play after lockdown.
5. Support other Disabled Folks
In our question to stay together while apart this year, we need to support one another. I also think that disabled folks need to stick together. Follow disabled artists, influencers, writers, etc. While this one is less sensual, it still gives you the opportunity to meet new people, to learn about how other people with varying disabilities have been affected by the lockdown. One such person you should follow is disabled artist, Dandy Doodlez. They do amazing artwork and take commissions for portraits. You can see Dandy’s work featured in The Handi Book of Love, Lust and Disability! You can follow Dandy on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/dandydoodlez/
6. Make A Naughty List of The Accessible Sex You’ll Have After Covid-19
Disabled people are great at making lists; we track our medications, our doctors appointments, and we spend hours researching and listing symptoms of our diagnoses to get that much closer to feeling better. These lists keep us organized and up to date. Why not make a list that’s fun? Instead of listing off your meds for the week, why not make a list of all the naughty and accessible things that you wanna do after lockdown: some light bondage to take the pain away? Or having fun with a partner in your Hoyer lift. This will definitely be a list that you’ll wanna check twice!
7. Watch Porn Over Zoom
You could build a connection with a partner by watching porn over Zoom. We’ve all learned the last few months how essential the “Share Screen” function has become, so why not share something a little steamy with that sexy, seated lover? Also, if you are visually impaired or blind, watching this with a sighted partner means they can describe the action to you. You can even get them to do it in their sexiest voice.
8. Send A Tasty Treat to a Lover
Since cooking for so many disabled people is inaccessible to do independently, instead of slogging over a hot stove to impress them, show them how ingenuous you are by surprising them with a sexy spread at their door; a box of their favourite decadent delights from their lover -- something to tide them over until you can give them their Disabled Dessert!
9. Watch Disability Themed Television
Hop on the zoom with a partner and watch some disability themed TV with them. There are some real gems to choose from; the critically acclaimed “Crip Camp” all about the rise of the disability rights movement; Ryan O’Connell’s Smash hit series Special, which chronicles a gay disabled man’s trying to date in Los Angeles; you could also watch the award winning documentary “Picture This” (yes, I totally star in it) which documents my experiences being queer and disabled. Watching disabled TV will give any able-bodied lovers a different lens to understand disability from, and what’s sexier than that?
10. Digital BDSM Play
Maybe physical masturbation is hard for you to achieve by yourself because of disability. That’s okay, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get someone else all hot & bothered by telling them what to do for you! Once you’ve talked over the scene and consent, get a lover to fulfil your hottest digital dreams on camera by submitting to your every word. Woof!
11. Have a Listening Party
Music has definitely gotten us through this last year (I mean, Taylor Swift released 2 quarantine albums….), and it is so important for setting the right mood. Have a listening party of your fave jams, or watch a digital concert with someone. Sure, maybe you won’t be able to make out at the concert, but you can certainly make a memory that is completely accessible to wheelchair users, because you don’t even have to leave your house. Plus, finding out your lover's musical taste tells you a whole lot about them.
12. Play Games Online Together
I am a big nerd, and one of the things I like to do is to play games online. You could teach your lover how to play chess or Dungeons and Dragons or Digital Strip Poker. Playing games takes the pressure off - especially if a partner is nervous about your disability or doing and saying the wrong thing. Playing games is super accessible nowadays too, and you can spend hours getting to know someone while you play. If you play these games now, who knows what sexy games you’ll get into post covid.
I hope that these 12 tips are a start to make your holiday lockdown less stressful, and even though many of us will have ourselves a merry, little christmas by ourselves this year, it can still be filled with joy (or in my case, hot boys), and it can be super accessible, sexy and bright!