“the world needs more erotica that consciously depicts the beautiful diversity of bodies and identities”
I am honored that She Bop, a fabulous feminist sex shop in Portland, recently posted about my writing, with a focus on writing disability in erotica. It makes my heart sing to know that there are sex shops like this who get excited about disability representation in erotica.
She Bop carries print copies of Show Yourself To Me (it’s listed as a staff pick!), so if you are in Portland I hope you will consider checking out the shop and perhaps picking up a copy. They also have an online store that is definitely worth a look. Perhaps you can grab a copy of Coming Out Like a Porn Star, or The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard (which is on sale right now and is a seriously amazing collection). Might I suggest picking up your very own Tristan plug (which is featured in a story in Show Yourself To Me), or getting a copy of Tobi Hill-Meyers amazing Doing It For Ourselves: The Trans Women Porn Project?
So, I got inspired to gather a few links of my writing on disability and erotica.
Imagining Disabled Characters in Erotica answers the question “what would it add for you to find more disabled characters in erotica?” and goes on to describe some of how I write disability into erotica.
“That’s what I think about when I try to imagine an abundance of disabled characters in erotica. All the modeling that is possible, that could show me ways of being in sex and kink and relationships and queerness and community that I cannot imagine right now, cannot fathom in the sea of ableism that I’ve been steeping in for years. There are possibilities I cannot conceive of, ways of navigating the world that I could learn only from erotica that centered disabled characters in the fullness of their lives and struggles and fantasies. Futures that are possible, that could be moved towards and tried out and organized around our hope and yearning for that kind of erotic reality.”
Being a Disabled Top in Kink Community talks about my experiences of disability and access in kink community and how writing erotica is one of the ways I can access kink.
“I can’t show up in person most of the time, but I can write. I can write visions of kink communities that are more accessible.”
Writing Erotica as a Disabled Top talks about the struggles of self-representation and gives a specific example of how I edited the beginning of a story to include disability.
“As I’ve become increasingly more disabled, much more of my work represents BDSM play that I used to be able to do, but do not currently have the physical or psychological capacity to do.”
What To Take In, my first monthly column at The Erotica Readers and Writers blog, talks about writing insider stories (e.g. stories by disabled people, centering a disabled audience, for disabled readers) and how it can be important to think carefully about editing feedback that asks you for more detail or explanation. It gives a particular example about that kind of feedback around disability.
“This story is an insider story, for fat activist queers, particularly for disabled fat activist queers. It intentionally does not make a big deal about how people move on scooters, because it’s a regular part of life for the intended audience.”
“Because disabled folks are so often desexualized, it is particularly important to make them sexual subjects in your story, where you value their desire. But it is also deeply important to tell a story about how that particular character is desired. To make that desire specific and concrete and complex and alive on the page. Because the last thing you want in erotica that includes disabled characters is to assist readers in a patronizing pitying smug smile about how nice it is that your disabled character found a man.”
One of the main projects of my new erotica collection, Show Yourself To Me, was to write disabled queers into erotica. Many of the links in this post describe those writing efforts. I’m thrilled that reviewers have recognized this aspect of the book. Here are a couple reviews that discuss disability representation: Kiki DeLovely and Kaleigh Trace.
“If you want to see disabled people getting off, then this book is your bag.” –Kaleigh Trace
“As someone with an invisible chronic illness, I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to see issues of disability addressed thoroughly as well as elements of it simply woven casually into much of the collection.” –Kiki DeLovely