so much of the time when i go outlike in my wheelchair i feel like people aren't seeing me as a person, i feel like peoplesee me as chair and until very recently i havenâ€™t met anyone else who had my conditioni know i only met them like online through support groups. i would try to hide try to coverup my disability as much as i could and i thought that by not wearing my hearing aidseven though thatâ€™s disabling myself even
wheelchair sex, more because like hearing aids are supposedto help me i disabled myself because i didnâ€™t want someone to see that, i was afraid thatthem seeing that they wouldnâ€™t want to have a relationship with me they wouldnâ€™t beinterested in me sexually. i do feel lonely i donâ€™t know likeitâ€™s iâ€™ve been single for two years.
for you to think of disability assome kind of physiological condition that limits the ability of people to function insociety, to play the social roles that are typically expected of them, so disabilitywould limit them in say their ability to work or to be a student or in the case in whatwe are talking about, to be a lover or a partner. the result of the disability would be thatthey would be sexually and romantically impaired in some way. in fact those expectations, thoseview of what disability is point to the fact that disability is not something medical orphysiological, much more importantly itâ€™s social and cultural. it is a constructed identity,so that certain physical traits or mental traits of certain kinds of people get stigmatizedand the stigma is globalized to engulf their
entire identity. iâ€™m always feeling like i haveto prove myself in so many different ways the way i feel about myself is just differentabout how people see me, itâ€™s like more especially with men itâ€™s like they see skinoh yeah thatâ€™s it, thatâ€™s sexy you know or they see a good body okay thatâ€™s sexy,well okay iâ€™m not showing skin because iâ€™m really cold, and but the body part no thatjust goes. i didnâ€™t use to wear makeup until about a couple of years ago, i didnâ€™t thinkyou know it would be a point for me to wear makeup you know, i mean i donâ€™t know ifyou know but thatâ€™s my that was my idea, yeah, until just like more recently i kindof started getting into it, you know like
yeah why not what the hell. if you studied disability rightsand performing as a disabled person in college, i went to a very hippie college called theevergreen state college in olympia washington and you could create your own majors and oneof the things i watched was this documentary about disability and sexuality and i rememberjust feeling hey you know what, i do have all those needs that everyone else has anddesires and itâ€™s okay to feel that way. you know our symptoms and our disabilitiesare the things that people notice first about us, but they in fact even least interestingthings about us. i was dating this girl for a whileand we had just had sex that day and then
afterwards she suggested we have sex in mywheelchair the fact that it was her idea was awesome and the reason that it is beyond likethe whole novelty of it, is that itâ€™s actually an ultimate act of acceptance instead of sayingiâ€™m dating you and it, iâ€™m dating you and iâ€™m fine with you being in a chair butif sheâ€™s having sex with you in your chair itâ€™s not oh itâ€™s fine iâ€™m okay withit, itâ€™s i like it accept it, and itâ€™s actually something that iâ€™m interested in. for me in general i would much rathertake my time finding somebody that i really want to date, um iâ€™ve, iâ€™ve gone on dateswith many people and iâ€™ve gone on second dates but i want to make sure that iâ€™vefound the right person before i like start
to commit, so what i do is i tend to flirta lot like i tend to hang out with a lot of people to test the waters and to see whatthey are like, we love cool people and itâ€™s fun which is really what matters for me, myonly hope is that i donâ€™t break any hearts. ah well i think iâ€™ve taught youif i maybe so bold iâ€™ve taught to you. well you think youâ€™ve taught meabout sex. i donâ€™t know what specificallyi taught you about sex but i think in general i feel like i can teach able bodied peoplethat sex doesnâ€™t have to be like intercourse, sex doesnâ€™t have to be you know penis andvagina sex it can be you know for me basically sex is anything thatâ€™s you know gives mesexual pleasure that i can get off on, you
know i like to think of it sort of a widerdefinition of what constitutes sex. sex is so many things, itâ€™s verymuch about pleasure itâ€™s about knowing your body and knowing your mind and itâ€™s alsoabout knowing about danger, because there are dangers that go along with sex as welland about knowing how to pleasure yourself and other people and itâ€™s generative anditâ€™s fun and it can be painful and it can be mysterious and itâ€™s definitely a gift. instead of trying to sell disabledsex as being normal which in a certain sense it is normal i think thereâ€™s a way of tryingto sell it in a way thatâ€™s both calling it â€˜normalâ€™ and calling it â€˜weirdâ€™or transgressive or clear, because unless
we face up to the fact that itâ€™s reallygoing to scare the crap out of people whether itâ€™s potential partners or health care providersor our families or our parents, if we donâ€™t face up to the scariness we canâ€™t reallyfind out ways of dealing with the scariness. one of the things iâ€™ve done andthe disabled students union has done is put on this series of panel discussions calledare cripples screwed? we choose that because itâ€™s kind of in your face and it breaksdown different stereotypes and different boundaries that a lot of people kind of feel interestingabout. i love doing the panels. they areso much fun for me, usually it sort of started as a dialogue about disability and sexualityand it sort of morphed into what it is today
which is you know we go around to things likeco-ops, we go to sexuality classes, we go to things that we talk about, we talk aboutsex, we talk about societal perceptions of things and itâ€™s something that has really,um it has really expanded my mind. i guess for me one of the importantthings about sexuality and disability is that itâ€™s kind of a concept among humans it doesnâ€™tmatter your station of life but sexuality is a crucial and important part of it, soitâ€™s something itâ€™s, in a way these panels are aware of identifying with people, on youknow through the disability and through the differences that people have are obviouslyon a surface level, just finding a common ground that you can really feel just in thateverybody has sexual frustrations that are
you know, similar enough. making that transition from likeokay iâ€™m doing all this stuff and like certain people are attracted to me to all of a suddenlike iâ€™m in a chair and for a solid year afterwards i still identified as that guy,like for iâ€™d say a year and a half after my accident like one of my main things wasokay like iâ€™m still like the biker, like i still go on biking websites and i stilldo that and, but eventually i just kind of said like okay, iâ€™m a political nerd, andiâ€™m going to go to college. you guys probably noticed that iam dressed really provocatively today and this is something i like to do when i do panelsbecause partially because i really like to
challenge peopleâ€™s like preconceived notionsabout what it means to be like disabled and a woman and itâ€™s like you know oh thereis a girl in a wheelchair, oh my god sheâ€™s hot, oh no like my preconceived notions, youknow this is so confusing. american culture, western culturesin general, have become much more open and frank about sexuality, thatâ€™s happened toamong people with disability so that this really which was once a taboo subject is muchmore open like talked about and people with all kinds of disabilities have been much moreassertive in claiming their sexuality and their right to be sexual. disabled people and myself includedare represented horribly in the media i mean
in movies, in literature, in books, in tv,you never even see a crippled guy have a girlfriend. heâ€™s a great colleague from overin san francisco, goes to sf state, everybody please give it up for my good friend jacksonmcbryer. i am iâ€™ve solved the puzzle, whichis awesome because right now my leg is twitching which is making me better at sex. i think that people view me as sortof a self appointed spokesman for disability and sexuality because thatâ€™s what i talkabout and the reason that i talk about it is because very few people are. until i seestephen hawking or some other famous crippled guy on the cover of some trashy romance novel,iâ€™m still going to be forced to tell beautiful
crafted dick jokes, because no one else isdoing it. you know uh, i was drinking and afterone or two beers i started to walk better, so i asked my doctor about it. he was like,â€œwell jackson you have cerebral palsy and anything that releases your muscles will helpyou walk better, like one or two beers, an orgasm, or a joint.â€ â€œi was like reallydoc, i could get medicinal? blow jobs?â€ when i tell a joke, i try to makeso that you know that is from the heart and you know that i have like these same needsand wants as other human beings. getting to see disabled people asbeing sexual is part of like basically bringing them back into the human race and making theminto like real people again.
if i can help explode the paradigmthat says that everything about me that isnâ€™t my body works and everything about me thatis my body doesnâ€™t work, sex can explord that. sex is desire, inspiration, lifechanging is touching, feeling, kissing intrigue, it is exploring unknowns,it is very emotional. sex is surrender, sex is communion,sex is being alive.