Feature image of Lyric Seal and Louise Thirteen via The Crash Pad Series.
“My two leg stumps make fabulous sex toys. I really think my amputated body is tailor-made for lesbian sex: I can crawl on top of my lover and grind my leg into her cunt in ways that I couldn’t if I had “real” legs. Having my little stumps gives me much more freedom of motion and I can get closer, deeper into her that way.”
— Anonymous lesbian amputee
So much is lost when we adhere too strictly to the sexual geography assigned to our bodies. When we follow maps that draw erotic boundaries along able-bodied contours, privileging a singular route to sexual pleasure. And yet, upon encountering queer disability, a tectonic shift is possible. For the lesbian amputee, formulating her stump as sex toy defiantly re-charts her sexual coordinates, re-routing sites of social invalidation into liberatory pathways of sexual advantage and superiority. Shallow assumptions that equate disability with sexual deficiency are undermined and amputation is cast as a sexual enhancement that, in fact, defies the limitations of “real legs.”
This is queer acsexability. When queercrip sex has the potential to boldly shape alternative erotic environments for fucking, loving and pleasuring that shake up notions of who and what is sexy, what is sexual and what counts as “sex” at all. When disability is central to queer visioning, the terms that regulate our sexual lives are destabilized, and more expansive possibilities for experiencing intimacy, desirability and affection emerge.
This practice of re-imagining our bodies through and within (not against) disability, sex, and queerness has been central to the organizing work of queercrip activists for decades, and yet the prevalence of sex-ableism persists — the systemic discouraging, disciplining and denying of sexual pleasure to disabled bodies. “Embracing one’s disabled body is a life-long process because it requires so much unpacking of beauty norms built on ableism, diet culture, and eurocentrism,” says Bethany Stephens, a queercrip sexologist, who talked to me for Autostraddle. For cis and trans women of color with disabilities, the effects of navigating hostile sexual terrains are particularly brutal due to compounding systems of oppression. In an interview with Bitch, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha writes, “My disability story… is simultaneously about inherited trauma, environmental racism… sexual abuse survival, and the ways in which our racialized bodies flee the medical industrial complex. It did not feel safe [for] queer people of color to talk about disability.” To combat these legacies that desexualize disabled bodies, the demand for sexual access becomes central to resistance. Access to sexual space and knowledge, but also to pleasure, to kink, to smut, to craving body parts not considered cravable; to sex not considered “real sex.”
For nondisabled queer cis and trans women, this practice of erotic rezoning should have a particularly potent allure. The incessant cultural inquiry — how do lesbians have sex? — is not innocent ignorance, but a swelling of social anxiety caused by the shift in focus from a cisgender dick to a sex toy, or a finger, or an amputated limb. As South Asian writer and performance artist Janani Balasubramanian writes in the New Inquiry, “The queer potential of dick sucking is about changing the play’s cast without warning. Any part of the body can be, become, or unbecome a dick.” In other words, queer/crip alliances provide us with the tools for radical disassembly, for charting alternative sexual paths that allow us to fuck our bodies as we crave them.
We can lick a lover’s clit at the tip of her hipbones; suck a partner’s cock along the edge of her protruding neck vein, and cum hard to the vibrations of a cock-ring attached to her crutches. We can sketch out our most intimate fault lines only to re-write them anew moments later. Queercrip sexual imaginings move us away from investing in the spurious stability of “real legs” or “real dicks” and into the erotic alterity of the our slopes, our stumps, and our arches; our “fabulous sex toys” tailor made for all of us.
Here are some of the most accessible sex toys to remap our bodies around.
6 Accessible Sex Toys (To Get You Started)
The sex toy company Liberator offers a large selection of accessible sex furniture ideal for amputees, wheelchair users, and folks with limited mobility. The Wanda is a sex toy mount specifically designed to be paired with a Hitachi Magic Wand. The mount’s narrow construction is ideal for straddling and enables completely hands-free access to your vibrator, dildo, or other preferred device.
REACH by Revel Body is a long extension handle that attaches to the Revel Body Sonic Vibrator. While the vibrator itself is small and a bit difficult to handle if you have arthritis or fatigue in your hands, the extended handle assists with grip and precision and gives access to genitals that may be too far for some limbs to reach.
The Accommodator by CalExotics can be hard to wrap your head around. (Pun intended. Pun necessary.) And yet it’s one of the highest rated sex toys in production. As the name suggests, the toy offers endless modes of flexibility and opportunity for bodily invention for limbs, necks and faces.
Not about that chin life? The thigh strap-on harness by Sportsheets provides an adjustable neoprene sleeve that fits a variety of limbs and enables a completely hands-free sexual experience. The harness can also serve as a sex toy mount when strapped onto all sorts of mobility devices.
The Doggy Rider by Liberator is a soft, padded belt with adjustable straps that holds you or your partner into place for a variety of sex positions. The straps are ideal for those with limited mobility and strength as well as those who live with fatigue, spasms, or balance impairments.
The Plunge Paddle by Tantus is a unique silicone paddle, which makes it significantly lighter than wooden paddles. The give and bend of the silicone means you simply don’t have to use as much of your own energy to deliver the same amount of pain. The Plunge Paddle requires less upper body strength and can also assist BDSM practitioners who have dexterity pain.
How do you make toys acsexabile? Let us know in the comments!