It’s safe to say that, as a disabled genderqueer pansexual sex educator type, 2016 has not been my favorite. I try to do the most-good for the most people that I can. Yet, 2017 is shaping up to be a year where my dedication to that ideal will be challenged as much as possible.
I sit at a point of privilege, despite my marginalizations, for being a middle-class-ish (now) white girl… and, yet, I’m incredibly scared. Some of that is for me and various parts of my family, like my sibling relying on government aid to raise children. Some of that is for my friends and people I’ve never even ‘met’ – online or IRL.
Before we hop into the next year of struggle and strife, I wanted to reflect on some of the happier times we have somehow managed to have this year – and celebrate some of my favorites.
Getting to travel, present, and connect. This year has been intense in regards to my travel schedule in a way that I’ve never seen before. I love it. Because of Chronic Sex and the advocacy I do elsewhere for chronic illnesses and disabilities, I have been to New York City, Milwaukee, Chicago, Toronto, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Stanford, Los Angeles, and Portland. I got to visit some of those fine places a few times this year even.
Self-Care. Okay, this may seem like a contradiction when I’m talking about all this work. However, by opening up more of a conversation about self-care and self-love, it’s really helping me. My goal is always to help others, but it’s really nice when a side effect of that is helping myself!
Kinkly. And it’s not just because this site was named one of their top 100 sex blogging superheroes of 2016. I enjoy their site – the amazing writers, educators, and resources they share. It’s really helped to shape more of what I find myself interested in.
Hamilton. I got to see it on Broadway as a direct result of my advocacy work. I was in New York and got paid enough for a ticket on a night when I had chosen to stay over for self-care. It was amazeballs.
SYLK. This one shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone since we did a giveaway earlier this year with SYLK. They are an incredible company who is really focused on how they can help those of us dealing with lubrication or disability related sexual issues to live a more fulfilled sexual life. Plus, as a lube, this is an amazing one okayed by myself and the hubs.
Tool Shed Toys. I love Tool Shed and their educator, Lucky Tomaszek. It’s really a part of what has got me going down this path. The shop is amazing and everyone is incredibly knowledgeable. A huge perk? The amazing events they have year-round.
Aches, Pains, and Love. I regret to inform you this isn’t as kinky as it might sound, but it’s a helpful resource nonetheless. Kira Lynne from podcast episode 6 wrote this amazing book about dealing with pain and illness throughout dating and a relationship. It’s my second go-to book next to The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability. Stay tuned in the future, too, as I’ll be reviewing her book and doing a giveaway!
Kate McCombs. Have you ever met someone and you instantly clicked? That’s the kind of relationship Kate and I have, and it’s the best.
Mariah Leach. Mariah is my sometimes partner-in-crime. She has rheumatoid arthritis in addition to other fun things and, like many of us, has struggled with how to maintain a sex life in spite of it all. She writes amazing pieces that show a sense of vulnerability but ownership of that, too.
Ducky Doolittle. I have had the distinct pleasure of connecting with Ducky via a workshop on sexuality and disability she and Robin Mandell ran online earlier this year. They are both incredibly helpful, insightful, and have great things to say about how sex and sexuality can become more accessible to everyone.
Dallas Novelty. I just discovered this company which has a disabled toy section on their site. A major part of what they do is focused on how to highlight sexual needs for us and making things available to us that we can actually use.
Smitten Kitten. I need to visit IRL (and will, soon!). SK is in Minneapolis and is an amazingly progressive sex shop. They’re fun to interact with, know their stuff, and even focus on social justice issues not always related to sex and sexuality.
Fleshlight. I would have never in a million years thought I would be putting Fleshlight on my list of favorites. However, they have some amazing packers including the one I picked up for myself on Black Friday. I probably couldn’t gone with the extra-small though – hello bulge city! Still, the packer is comfy and I find myself forgetting I have it on sometimes.
Babeland. This was the first sex shop I visited in New York City and as a sex educator type. I learned a lot while I was there, got some teaching tools, and had an incredibly pleasant time with their staff.
Come as you are. This is one of those holy grail type of progressive sex shops. I wound up doing more self-care while I was in Toronto and didn’t make it to the shop! They have all sorts of great information online, especially about sex and disability, and are incredibly helpful via social media.
iFundWomen. The amazing group over at IFW has really helped to give me some free fundraising advice, evaluate goals, and more. Honestly, it’s more than crowdsourcing/funding – it’s an amazing service.
If you appreciate the work I do, please consider donating to the site via iFundWomen (one-time) or Patreon (monthly). Right now, I bring in $18 a month from my amazing Patreon subscribers. I would love to be able to bring in just a little more even, to be able to push this site and our work even further.