On its provocative flyer, Andrew Morrison-Gurza sits in a wheelchair grinning.A baseball cap emblazoned with the word ‘cripple’ covers his genitals, and a tagline at the bottom states: “Lingerie, costumes, club wear and nudity are allowed.” On August 14, Buddies in Bad Times theatre will host the city’s first fully accessible sex party.Sponsored by Toronto sex club Oasis Aqualounge, everything is welcome at this party; from costumes and sex toys to personal attendants, wheelchairs and mobility devices.
But the real reason this party is so unique is that it’s being thrown by people with disabilities, who properly understand the needs of attendees.
“We’re really trying to think of everything,” Morrison-Gurza says.
They may also lack the ability and privacy to experiment with their own bodies.
One sexual health worker discovered that one girl became pregnant because she didn’t know that what she was doing was having sex.
Because many in the community had very little knowledge, it brought about serious implications for their safety, self-esteem and sexual health.
The Rose Centre tries to fill this void in sexual education by answering questions from people with disabilities regarding sex and relationships.
Rose, who was also born with cerebral palsy and relies on an electric wheelchair to move around, married a partner who does not live with a disability. “My wife has been called my mother on four separate occasions,” he says.
“We started the Centre because we wanted to put something positive out there, which showed that relationships for couples with disabilities could not only occur but could be very successful.” When Rose looked for more information on sex and relationships for disabled people, he found very little.
It’s for everyone, not just for people in wheelchairs.
We’re looking to get in some American Sign Language interpreters too.” What Morrison-Gurza noticed most in organizing this event was that the idea of sexuality and disability is something the public was fine with in theory, but when he put his face to the event and it became a reality for people, the response was often fear and derision.
“Some people were like ‘this is gross, why is this happening? “People dubbed it an orgy, and made fun of it by saying, ‘Oh wow all those disabled people are having sex, good for them.’ One Toronto radio host called me and asked me how I had sex – live on the air.