We've come up for air after 2 weeks of up-close and personal interviews with our disabled community rockstars. We talked to 15 people from around the world about their sexual experiences, preferences and stories. We went deep on our designs, exploring the ups and downs of each one, and talked a lot about the lack of content, education and access to experts within the disability and sexuality space. Beyond being amazed at the realness and rawness of each and every person and their stories, we learned SO much. Here were some of our biggest aha moments and take aways:
Sexual pleasure is SO MUCH MORE than pleasure. We already know that orgasms are proven (yes proven!) to have a host of mental and physical health benefits like decreasing stress, boosting moods and relieving pain. But when we surveyed the community, we were amazed to see just how important they really are for people - especially those who may be going without.
Design Principles are 3 fold. We're working with 3 key design principles:
As hands-free as possible. No big surprise here. We've been banging on about this since day 1.
Start to finish unaided. We heard this loud and clear. Independence is king, and queen. No one wants to call someone in for help with set up, clean up or anything in between. We'll be working to make our designs as plug and play as possible.
Introducing 'Aid-Ons'. Kinda like add-ons but with ability aids - adding things like hand straps, extra buttons or weights wherever we can to help increase accessibility. Aid-ons galore :)
"If the mood strikes me I want to be able to act on it, not wait until theres someone who can help me act on it." - Disabled Woman
Sex Education & Access to sexperts is sorely lacking! Let's be honest, sex-ed. for most everyone is a bit crap - not much beyond bananas and condoms. But even more so when it comes to those with disabilities. We heard from so many people that they were removed from sex-ed. classes in school and that many schools, parents and even therapists are ill-equipped to talk about sex and disability. We want to bridge this gap and will be working with the community and our amazing Occupational Therapists and experts to change this.
"I thought it meant I wasn’t entitled to a sexuality because it wasn’t depicted anywhere" - Disabled Woman
When we asked people why this project was important to them, we were blown away and humbled by their responses that we couldn't resist sharing - if you ever think you're alone, remember there are hundreds of millions of people out there with shared experience. We'll do our best to unearth these and build a community and space where these conversations can take hold:
"Its important to me because everyones entitled to an orgasm, sex is one of the most archaic when it comes to being inclusive and its about time changes were made - who doesn’t love an orgasm" - Disabled Man
"Everyone needs to be represented - when theres no representation you feel wrong and broke and you don't feel like you belong" - Disabled Man