Posted in Disability, disability/illness

Interview with Secular Sexuality on Sex and Disability

A few months ago, Vi La Bianca, a previous guest writer for my blog Yopp, invited me to be on her YouTube show Secular Sexuality, a show that looks at every angle of sexuality that you can think of, with an emphasis on noticing how mainstream US culture has shaped our opinions and practices around sex. I was invited specifically to discuss the intersection between sex and disability, which is a topic many people are deeply uncomfortable with. 

I wanted to share and recommend this episode because, in addition to offering a lot of very useful advice to fellow disabled people and their partners about how to engage with sex and dating, a large portion of the show is devoted to discussing important issues that disabled people face in general. 

This is not the first time I’ve been invited to an interview of this kind, and while my interviewers tend to be highly knowledgeable about activism and social justice, it always takes them by surprise just how much is happening within the disability activist community that they don’t know about. Disability rights are a severely neglected branch of social activism, even among some of the best and most thoughtful mainstream activists. 

So, if you’re looking to get a glimpse into this world of issues as well as a lot of information specifically about sex/dating and disability, I highly recommend watching this really fun and educational episode! The video is one hour and thirty-six minutes long, including two live callers who share their experiences of how disability affects their sex lives. Not Safe for Work themes and language are also covered. 

Here’s a brief summary of the topics we cover: 

General discussion of disability

  • the language used to discuss disability
  • a new modern framing of disabled people (covered in my recent article)
  • how we can improve the amount of access available to disabled people
  • ADA violations and the lack of input from the disabled community on accessible design
  • the intersection of being a woman in addition to being disabled/chronically ill
  • the hurdles of navigating the medical system (primarily regarding the US)
  • disability representation is fiction and media

Disability and dating/sexuality

  • the difficulties of dating while disabled
  • the issue of disclosure (”coming out”) as disabled
  • cultural resistance to the idea of disabled people having sex
  • the fetishization of disabled people
  • exploring your sexuality as a disabled person
  • communicating with your partner about how your disability will impact your sex life
  • putting your needs and physical safety first

You can watch the episode, for free, below. Enjoy!

If you are viewing this post from an email subscription, you may have to link through to the site to view this video.


Kella Hanna-Wayne

KELLA HANNA-WAYNE (Yopp!) is a member of The Zine core team and a co-host of this month’s blog series on illness and disability. Kella is a disabled, chronically/mentally ill freelance writer who is the editor, publisher, and main writer for Yopp, a social justice blog dedicated to civil rights education, elevating voices of marginalized people, and reducing oppression; and for GlutenFreeNom.Com, a resource for learning the basics of gluten-free cooking and baking. Her work has been published in Ms. Magazine blog, Multiamory, Architrave Press and is forthcoming in a chapter of the book Twice Exceptional (2e) Beyond Learning Disabilities: Gifted Persons with Physical Disabilities. For fun, Kella organizes and DJ’s an argentine tango dancing event, bakes gluten-free masterpieces, sings loudly along with pop music, and makes cat noises. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Patreon, Medium, and Instagram.

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