It’s about time sex tech catered beyond the needs of able-bodied folks.
We have gold dildos, vibrators shaped like cowboys, and male masturbators disguised as instant noodles. And soon, we might have sexbots and male birth control. But somehow, we still don’t have sex toys for the disabled. How can this be?
Disability awareness consultant Andrew Gurza and sister Heather Morrison have the same question. For just this reason, they’ve launched a Go Fund Me campaign for research into sex toys and disabilities, and hope to create a new line of sex toys that puts disabled people’s pleasure first.
Disability and sex
Sex is a natural and fundamental human experience. But people with limited mobility can find it difficult to fulfill their sexual needs, frustrating desire and making it challenging to maintain romantic relationships.
Some have been struggling with these problems since birth, others find themselves unable to pleasure themselves or their partners after permanent injuries.
The 2010 United States Census found that 1 out of 5 people in the US have a disability, although other reports provide lower figures, about 1 in 8. That’s still 40 million people.
Vendors of sex toys, both able-bodied and disabled, have suggested that disabled people use regular sex toys, but in creative ways. Recommendations from disabled persons include devices with simple, easily held designs, remote controls, and direct stimulation. Harnesses, straps, and swings can aid with movement and positioning.
A braver new world
But what if people with disabilities had products designed specifically for them?
To gauge market interest, Gurza undertook a small survey of people with disabilities. Of 58 respondents, more than half had difficulty pleasuring themselves unaided, mostly due to issues involving range of movement or pain in their hands. Almost all expressed interest in purchasing sex toys created, designed, and marketed for and by the disabled community.
He and Morrison have now partnered with a team at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, to research design recommendations for a line of sex toys for the disabled. The campaign, which has currently raised almost a third of its $15,000 goal, can be found here.
It isn’t obvious what such sex toys would look like. But one assumes they would come in a wide range of forms or feature flexible designs to suit people of varied physical abilities.
Gurza also runs DisabilityAfterDark, a series of podcasts, blogs, and presentations that provide information on sex and disabilities, and resources for disabled people. (Gurza’s podcast is also listed as one of our top 5 sex tech podcasts)
Image sources: Deliciously Disabled, Andrew Gurza