Kink & Disabilities (Video & Transcript)

In my Weekly Wednesday series, on November 4th 2020 we dove into the topic of BDSM and Disabilities. From personal experience and life lessons learned, we talked about the experiences and creative approaches to diverse sexualities for people with various physical, neurological, or mental illnesses and disabilities. Getting freaky, kinky, and exploring dominance or submission is desired by many people, and people on such journeys have unique realities in these explorations or play. In this discussion we talked about how having disabilities can affect how we do BDSM and other kinks – This includes visible or invisible disabilities, neurological non-normativity, realities that come from aging, being mute, plus blindness and visual impairment as well. People explored how how they modify their explorations for their (or a partners) realities. We also talked about our challenges, brainstormed for each other, and also discussed the fun or creativity that have come up along our journeys!

The recording was imperfect, and the closed captions were both out of focus and only picked up Lee’s voice. I encourage you to use the YouTube system for further captioning. However, below the wonderful Quill transcribed the piece, for which I am profoundly grateful. The transcription also includes the chat text which can not be seen in the video. Attendance in the class included permission to record.

To participate in future donation based/free Weekly Wednesdays, visit Lee’s website at http://www.PassionAndSoul.com

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Transcript of Video, Recorded Zoom Session, from 4 Nov 2020

Transcript completed by Quill

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[text in brackets is from the chat text, not spoken aloud]

Lee Harrington: I’m going to go ahead and start recording. And we’re go!

So hi everyone, my name is Lee Harrington, and I am a sexuality and spirituality educator based in Austin, Texas. This class today, this discussion, this amorphous thing we’re going to have is happening because a couple of weeks ago I attended the LoveAbilities.org event and it was about the intersections of disability experience and sexuality.

One of the things was a panel that happened that was specifically on BDSM and disability. And those of us who were on the panel – it was moderated by Mistress Zhang – it was a really fantastic discussion, but we only had an hour to talk about these things. I hear that video is going to be made available and when it is I will promote it all over the place, when the video of that discussion is made available. But in the meantime I wanted to keep the discussion going because we could have talked for hours – those of us on the panel, and that was just the four of us on the panel. But the reality is, all of us who are here and all of the people who know and our play partners and our lovers and our friends and random strangers who have told us their stories, that we have the right to share (Right? Rather than outing someone’s experience!) That all of these things are places to pull from that you who are here today are able to share your excellence and your experience so we can all learn from it.

No what I am doing over here in the chat is I am dropping (because these classes are only made possible from viewer support like you!) I have information going up about my PayPal, Venmo, CashApp, as well as information on joining my Patreon where I put up weekly resources on different sexuality topics, uh, and then also do daily divination work. And then also information on my other upcoming events and classes and signing up for my newsletter. For people who are listening only, my website is passionandsoul.com. You can find all of my information on there as well.

So that’s where I’m coming from. Some of the biases I also come from – I have been in the BDSM and kink communities since ’96, and so sometimes my timeline of the language I use is informed by that. I also am a white man based in the United States who’s transgender and I was assigned female at birth and lived the first 26 years of my life on this planet as a woman in society including in the kink community. So some of the stories you might hear me tell from my own life are in alignment with what might be considered women’s stories (for example being a dominatrix) even though I am myself a man. So I wanted to make sure to say that out loud.

I also am somebody who acknowledges the privilege I carry as somebody (not to say I am “privilege”, that is different) but to acknowledge that culture favours my experience sometimes, as somebody who is sighted. Right? As somebody who does have access and use of walking, that I acknowledge the privilege that I carry within even though I am a disabled person, that I do carry privilege even within that label. Because culture is set up, including our kink communities and our kink cultures (I say cultures in that case on purpose because every group’s a little different) That I also acknowledge that I do carry privilege in some of those communities based on it. I am somebody who lives with neurological non-normativity. Both in the form of epilepsy and in the form of mental health. I also have a joint disorder where joints slip out of sockets sometimes, so if I occasionally pause today I’m simply having a bad rib adventure day. So thank you all for bearing with me for that if I need those moments as well.

I wanted to put all that up front, though, because when anyone speaks, especially on issues of sexuality, especially things that are dear to our heart as our lived lives, and as disabled people we have lived lives that are not necessarily the same story plotline that is expected by others when we’re talking about sexuality, potentially at least. Right? We might have different lived experiences.

So I wanted to voice some of mine so you know where I’m coming from.

Now, one of the things I just mentioned was – let’s start with a frustration, because I find that sometimes just getting this frustration off our backs is really nice. (Ah, for me at least!) In exploring kink and BDSM, what have been some of your frustrations as somebody with disabilities or having a lover, partner, or friend who has them, What have been some of your frustrations with some of this exploration process? Whether it’s specifically with a partner or whether it is about getting involved in community. Either one. What are some of your frustrations?

-Pause-

Lee: Yeah go for it, Hannah!

Hanna Wyndell (she/they): One of my big ones is, like, we’re a bunch of real creative people! And people who are, like, really into planning. And when I come forward with some of my disability issues going “oh yeah we can’t do that.” And I’m like, “what do you mean you ‘can’t do that’?!” And so, people not applying the creativity they apply to planning some of these really elaborate things, to providing access for members of the community.

[Quill (them/him): Lack of physically accessible venues!!!]

Lee: Right, and that’s what just got dropped over in chat too was the lack of physically accessible venues. I’ve met people who are like “oh yeah, if we need to arrange a kidnapping eroticism scene where I have to tie someone up and put them inside a grandfather clock box and strap the noise making machine to the front – not his is a scene that my friend did! Um! *laughs* That like, if we need to make that, build the noise mechanism ahead of time so that when were’ carrying them down three flights of stairs no one notices, like, they’ll come up with that, but don’t necessarily think about how you can modify what’s already there to become accessible. Yeah!

[Kristerina Unicorn (she/they): stigma against mental health issues; volume of background sounds in dungeons; can be near-impossible to hear presenters at hypnocons (especially since a lot of people’s “hypnotist voices” are much quieter than their normal speaking voice)]

[AP (She/Her): Not being able to be fully as active as I want to be.]

[Averyn Bex: Dissociation during sex; I can’t help it and partners get turned off by it. And you add in kink where a safeword is needed; if I can’t access my English or if I regress it can be … off putting for some people or outright triggering for others. Sorry to dive in all deep but it is very very frustrating that I gotta bare my mental health like that in order to potentially play with folx]

[Lee: No worries needed at all :)]

Lee: Let’s see, somebody over in chat brings up the idea of stigma against mental health issues in general. Ooh! Volume of background sounds in the dungeon, so we’ve got things on two different fronts. And it can be near impossible to hear presenters at hypno-cons. (That’s about hypnosis conventions.) Especially since a lot of people’s hypnotist voices are much quieter than their normal speaking voice. So if for people who are teaching, not setting up for success for in-person OR online classes for being able to do that. Yeah! Thank you!

And then somebody else brings up not being able to be fully active as you want to be. Would you be open to expanding on that, a little bit, person-who-wrote-that?

And this last one is… yeah go for it!

AP (She/Her): Sure, um, just in, in general, but in a real variety of ways, um, like someone said before, you know, some, um, I’m, I have this very grey area of physical abilities, so I get tired extremely quickly. *clears throat* So, um, like if I wanted to do the Women’s March or something, I have to locate the energy and the spoons to be able to do things, so when I’m planning out my day, I have to be like, okay, what errands do I have to do? How far do I have to walk? Do I have to walk up stairs? Um, and it’s just the energy that I have to expel. So I am able to go up stairs, I’m very blessed in that sense, um, and I know some people, they, someone expressed issues with not having accessibility to venues. Um, but just getting really tired!

So, what I used to do years ago (because this is all still new, l and I’m deteriorating, um. I run out of steam. And then also being a female dominant, you know, NO! I can’t flog you for an hour, because that’s just not gonna happen!

Um, so not being able – I used to go to 5 to 8 events every week. And obviously this is pre-COVID, and years ago. But now I have to pick and choose, do I go to the class, do I go to the munch, do I go to the happy hour, do I go to the party? You know, can I go and have lunch with people? So it’s just, um, managing and allocating spoons and the energy to be able to do literally anything.

Lee: Hmm. *noises of understanding and compassion* So, in that case it’s frustration around our own capacity, when there’s that much stuff out in the world that’s happening, do we have access to it (slash) has it been made available? Right, so that’s within our own internal capacities, but also in some cases, when it’s physical venue issues for an example, can we access the thing that even exists? If there is something that exists for whatever our experience is.

[allison (she/him): feeling like I need to defend/justify my experience/body during negotiations. (&&like having to really really strongly advocate for myself – which makes me sometimes feel like i’m guilting/pressuring someone into play) And also sometimes feeling like I’m the only one being creative and ‘coming up with solutions’ (even though there is no problem!)]

Lee: I do also want to note that somebody brings up the idea, in chat, of being able to defend or justify your body’s experience during negotiation.

[Kristerina Unicorn (she/they): needing to cancel or postpone plans because of bad headspace, and then having the other person think I am giving them a soft no, when it is legitimately *me*]

[Averyn Bex: I suppose its more dissociation in general. I full out switch and someone else fronts and we can’t help it. it just happens. since kink and sex can be separate wanted to add that. but yeah]

[Mischief: I think a lot of the “I can’t do accessibility thing that but can do this other complicated creative thing” is a way of people saying it’s not worth it to me to bother because engaging with you isn’t important. Which is really difficult to be on the receiving end of. And many of the people don’t see this as a bias of there’s against disabled people which makes it hard open lines of communication on]

[M: A lot of my body is either very sensitive or basically numb. Which means pain is a hard limit and so many doms only want masochists]

Lee: So we’ve got a whole load of ideas, and I’m going to use some of these as tangents to break out into conversation with, and then come back for others as we go. But I think negotiation is a great place to start as we move forward.

So, for people who are new to kink, in the kink communities there’s a couple of different… constructs that are considered social norms. One of them is the idea of looking at how we negotiate our desires. And negotiation is not necessarily a business negotiation per se, it’s not everybody signing a contract and this is exactly what we’ll do.

[Averyn Bex: no thank you fifty shades lol no contracts]

Lee: It’s the notion of developing information and awareness about beach other’s desires, interests, limits, capacities, to be able to interact with each other with success for our desires. Alright, so that’s the notion of negotiation.

And oftentimes in negotiation people say things, um, the various checklists and systems online of “what are your physical issues I should be aware of in the play we’re gonna do?” What are some things I need to be – especially for people who refer to themselves as playing “Safe, Sane, and Consensual.”

[LunaPsychonaut: I feel this frustration about not being able to do many things! My energy level is also severely limited and it’s often very frustrating to want to do so many things but having to constantly pace myself so my health won’t deteriorate further….]

[shi’lanka: Yes! I hear you on the disassociation! 💜]

[Dave!! (He/Him): 20-20 Hindsight. Especially from event organizers and venue hosts, saying “______ isn’t a problem for us” when they really mean “______ isn’t a problem *for me*” or “_______ isn’t a problem that others have said anything about before”]

Lee: Now, “Safe, Sane, and Consensual” – as a note – is four words taken out of context from a two-page document by David Stein in the late-80’s. And is… it has been simplified down to a pitch phrase that people can do to have kink be said “Oh kinky is okay, it’s not dangerous, it’s not like we’re mentally ill!” And saying those sorts of things… if… I encourage people that, if you find you are saying those sorts of things, to check whether or not you might be being potentially ableist. Right? [Timestamp: 00:12:00] Or vilifying people who have differences of mental health or mental capacity. So I do want to drop that in there.

[Averyn Bex: PRICK RACK and others exist CCC I think is the newest one]

[AP (She/Her): *snaps* Not just Hypno voices but a ton of presenters just are unaware of having to project their voice/not mumble/talk softly AND talk towards the class rather than turning around & then you also can’t read their mouth. Ugh… so frustrating.]

Lee: But with negotiation, for those of us who live with a variety of different things that are called ‘disabilities’, what are some of the things that you feel you need to, or you have found you have to, include in those negotiations to let people know about.

Because one of the things that got said over here, right, in the chat, is this idea that they have to justify themselves, so like ‘no really, I can’t do X, Y, or Z” or “No really I don’t want to do X Y or Z.” And hold that line. So I’m curious what are the things you even bring up?

-pause-

Lee: I actually do want to say though, ‘cause there’s the notion over here of PRICK, RACK, and others exist, CCC… as I say “Safe, Sane, and Consensual” or SSC is the oldest one, uh ‘PRICK’ is “Personally Responsible Informed Consensual Kink.” ‘RACK’ is “Risk Aware Consensual Kink.” Uh, RACK is the early 00’s, PRICK is the late 00’s, and uh the newest one I heard out of some guy in Norway was ‘RASH’ – “Risk Aware, Shit Happens!” Which I think is a little hilarious.

[Averyn Bex: Psychosis may happen if I don’t have aftercare. Period.]

[Averyn Bex: And I cannot help that we switch during sex; its how we stay present]

Lee: Um, okay so for somebody here the idea that psychosis might happen if you don’t have aftercare, so to be aware that if somebody’s wanting to play with you, that after care is not just a need physically, but psychologically is a need and could harm you or others if it doesn’t take place in the way that aftercare looks to you. So negotiating aftercare is really important.

Let’s see, uh… what actually counts as communicable disease! Ooh! As someone with autoimmune disorders, right? So we’ve got to negotiate what are our biological risk factors when it comes to autoimmune realities. In the time of COVID people have started to be more aware of these issues, but a lot of people will say things like “well do you have any STD’s?” and they are thinking of syphilis and gonorrhoea, or hepatitis or whatever it might be, not always thinking about the Flu. That the most common sexually transmitted illness is The Flu. People just don’t like to call it that necessarily.

[Hanna Wyndell (she/they): What actually counts as a communicable disease (including the flu and strep) as someone with auto immune issues]

[Will Wadsworth: Definitely a problem with communication, understanding ability and disability. not seeing is not knowing or being able to do something, or adding other health conditions.]

[allison (she/him): I have found myself having to defend/justify why I cannot do something, but after going through that whole show I THEN have to defend/justify things that I can actually do………it’s a time all around]

[Kristerina Unicorn (she/they): so true AP — I very much appreciate people who know how to project and/or people who have mics/speakers to boost their volume]

[Kristerina Unicorn (she/they): and face the front so I can read their lips]

[Mischief: yes, not understanding what autoimmune is huge!]

Let’s see. Right, to not even understand what autoimmune issues are, and to have that discussion, because people might think, oh, I’m happy to work with whatever your realities are, but if they don’t understand it, right? Or don’t get it, I’m not sure if I’m phrasing that quite right.

[Will Wadsworth: Definitely a problem with communication, understanding ability and disability. not seeing is not knowing or being able to do something, or adding other health conditions.]

[allison (she/him): I have found myself having to defend/justify why I cannot do something, but after going through that whole show I THEN have to defend/justify things that I can actually do………it’s a time all around]

[Averyn Bex: Leee didn’t you mention something about  spiritual/nonphysical disesases in yoru book.  and  for someone who questions reality  or needs reality checks like me who is schizoaffective/schizoaffrenic it …. holds more weight.  spiritual  and  reality gets blurred so  like k idk if that makes sense at all]

Lee: Let’s see. “Didn’t you mention something about spiritual and nonphysical diseases in your book?” Uh “For someone who questions reality or needs reality checks” “for somebody who’s schizo-affective and schizophrenic, it holds more weight.”

So for folks who don’t know what they’re referring to, I wrote a book called “Sacred Kink -the Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond” and one of my sections in it is that like I bring up this notion of emotionally transmitted illnesses, and the easiest example of this is if you ever meet people who have been together for a really long period of time and they dress like each other and start talking like each other, it’s like, oh there’s a lot of, there’s something going on here! And so folks who are interested in that topic, that’s over there and for folks who the audiobook will hopefully go up once Audible approves it. But the first three chapters of the audiobook are available on my Patreon.

[M: Autism here, sensations can vary. Just because it was ok last time doesn’t mean ok now]

[Averyn Bex: Yes. sensory overload is …  horrib]

[Will Wadsworth: good point, especially sounds too]

[Will Wadsworth: thanks]

Lee: Let’s see… oh! And for you and your negotiating things when you’re autistic, sensations can vary. “Just because it was okay last time doesn’t mean it’s okay now.” Ohhh! Right! Planned Parenthood has a great model that is for consent that at least I love, I think it’s a great model, called FRIES. F-R-I-E-S. With F being ‘Freely Given’, then ‘Revokable’, ‘Informed’, ‘Enthusiastic’, and ‘Specific’. And Specific is that “not this time” agreement, right? I agreed to have sex with you last night. Does not mean automatically mean I agree to have sex with you tonight! That it was a specific ‘yes’.

And so with the notion for folks who have sound sensitivity or sensation sensitivities of different sorts. Or not necessarily sensitivities but differences of their scale compared to their partner. Neither is better or worse, they’re simply different scales that if we were at a different point, sharing “where am I today?” and having a tool for check-in might be part of that negotiation system. We’re going to be ongoing play partners, how do I know from you today where you’re at with this? 

Because some people talk about safe-words as “red means stop, yellow means pause, green means go” kind of thing, but there’s also clear use of a shared language, right? Whether that is through sign language, whether that is through spoken word in our shared base, say we all speak English as an example. And I say “shared language” because I’ve played with people who do not speak English, and I am a predominately English speaker, and so there are other ways to communicate because communication systems are oftentimes needed to be in those negotiations, including ways to discuss, in scene, or before scene, where am I at with these sensations or these levels of sounds, or whatever it is that’s something for you that might change day to day.

[shi’lanka: I have to essentially reveal all. Given my current health, I might have a panic attack, ptsd flashbacks, or I might just randomly completely pass out entirely and it can be very alarming…I only play with those that already know all of that stuff with me already so that I don’t have to reveal the entirety of my medical information just to have fun.🤷🏼‍♀️]

[Will Wadsworth: Understood]

[ Averyn Bex: Also I had an issue of  a partner who switched out  during  a scene;  but  because I didn’t hear the word no. or who was fronting  didn’t hear any no  or any  negation.  we kept going but  later found out that who switched out felt like their consent was violated, that  likeif you can tell  a plural / dissociative partner has switched;  check ins are  crucial or it can be seen as a consent violation in some way]

[Averyn Bex: not sure if that makes sense]

[Kristerina Unicorn (she/they): there can be this temptation to accept… less than healthy behavior from the other person, because I feel less desirable because of my various disabilities that we need to work around]

Lee: Uh “switched out during a scene that didn’t hear a word but because I didn’t hear a no…” Okay! So talking about people who switch out of – I’m inferring from how you’re writing that you’re talking about Dissociative Identity Disorder or some sort of Personality slipping or switching, that somebody who was Multiple, who had a Multiple interior of their minds was switching mid-sc ene, so that’s a very specific thing, but it’s going to have to be, in some cases, part of how we negotiate.

[Averyn Bex: yes dissociative  switching]

[Will Wadsworth: yes been there]

AP (She/Her): With everything going on with the pandemic …. Similar to being fluid-bonded, but now also having to ask about air-bonded… for people in germ bubble.]

[Averyn Bex: like you start  with  headmate A  and  that headmate swaps out mid scene and you  keep going with headmate F   and  don’t know it or do but if no one says the safe word  then  you keep going but like   headmate A feels like  consent was violated which is why headmate F  came forward tobegin with.]

Lee: When we talk about shared language, but um… gosh! Reba, what was Reba’s last name? Used to be a kink educator (and I know she’s still out there) but she’s deaf, and one of the things that I love that she pointed out was that if someone takes away her hands in rope bondage, she’s lost her ability to speak! And that most people – she loves bondage! But, people need to understand that tying up her hands is the same as putting a gag in the mouth of somebody who speaks.

Quill: That…

Lee: Go for it!

Quill: That was going to be, that was really my first… some of my earliest, um, some of my earliest kink videos, pornography videos were from Kink.com, and one of my very first videos was with the actress you’re talking about, to the point that I have the video saved somewhere in the depths of my archives because it was… I… one of the earliest “porn” videos I watched was a documentary style discussion of a kink BDSM actress demonstrating why it was ridiculous to put a gag in her mouth, but why handcuffs or, um, tying her hands was much more impactful, and you know the impact of having disability access embedded in my earliest, you know, we’re talking 13, 14 years old, kink consciousness cannot be understated, and it, when I’m talking and doing BDSM workshops, especially 101’s for people who are just starting out, you know, it’s a real privilege to be able to bring those things to the forefront and to also talk about race and how impact affects different melanistic skin tones differently, and to bring that up in a person’sfirst conversation about kink means they’ll never forget it. And if it’s a person who has a disability or an accessibility issue and that’s their first kink conversation, they know they’re welcome, they know somebody out there is thinking about it and is creating a space – not creating a special room for them or a special event just for them, but embedding people, all of us…

I think it was you who said recently to me, Lee, we’re all aging and on the brink of being disabled in one way or another, at any moment, and so knowing that your community has your interests in mind… that video, that educational video, I can share it with anybody who wants it, because it was so… it’s short, it’s only about ten minutes long, it’s succinct, it’s informative, and it’s really to the point and gives some great information in such… such an accessible and friendly way!

Lee: Thank you so much Quill, and actually if you’re game to upload it somewhere online and share a link with us, that would be amazing, instead of people all trying to trace you down individually. I appreciate that, thank you.

Lee: And… those ideas of normalising these conversations, that… that some… I know some people for whom being the outlier requires the energy to have to … and somebody brought it up earlier in the chat, that notion of having to fight for your self to be heard because you are different, rather than acknowledging that every single one of us is different.  Your needs, wants and desires are not, it’s not the same for every single human! And so that mythology being part of any sort of kink or sexual exploration I think has folly.

[Will Wadsworth: yes disability never discriminates, is given out with equal opportunity. Anyone without disabilities is temporary abled.]

[Quill (them/him): The actress]

[Averyn Bex: Not sure if its  a disability  but  sometimes dysphoria tag teams with my natural dissociated state to where if someone touches me I don’t register it the same way]

[Quill (them/him): name is Rita Seagrave]

[Mischief: temporaily abled is a great way to think of it because we, as disabled people, know how quickly that can change but many don’t]

[Quill (them/him): uploading now]

[LunaPsychonaut : temporarily abled… I like that! :D]

Lee: Yeah, and there’s this notion over here, “disability never discriminate, it’s given out with equal opportunity. Anybody without disabilities is temporarily abled.” Yes!

Yes, Rita Seagrave, thank you, omg Rita is so funny and kind and beautiful. I actually got to be at an event where somebody was saying “I’m so hardcore, I can make my submissive scream from across the room!” and people were like “Wow!” and they sent Rita across the room and then did sign language and Rita went “Ahhh!” Right, because sometimes these things are fun too!

[Hanna Wyndell (she/they): https://leavingevidence.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/access-intimacy-the-missing-link/]

Uh… but yes, thank you, so Hanna also brings up the notion of, um, posts a link of “Access Intimacy – The Missing Link” Thank you for posting that!

Hanna Wyndell (she/they): It’s a really interesting discussion about how not having to explain or being welcomed in your explanation of what your bodily needs are, or your reality needs are, is one of those things that can be startling intimate.

Lee: Hmmm!

Will Wadsworth: What do you mean? Sorry, I guess I’m a little… just confused, sorry.

Hanna Wyndell (she/they): Where… so as someone who has a connective tissue disorder, um, when I approach someone to play, and I go “Hey I’ve got his particular issue, it makes my body do this,” and they look at me and go “Oh yeah! I totally know someone who does that and I have some great ideas on how to modify the bondage scene we’re gonna do to accommodate that!” And it’s not even a non-issue, it’s just a “Totally! I’m right there with you!” and I don’t have to go into a “Okay, and this is how you take care of me, and this is how you do this, and this is how you do this…”

So it’s the level of acceptance and intimacy on that, I’ve had more intimate connections with people who have been a one time play partner, who just welcomed me in that way, than I have with people who I’ve played with multiple times who like, every time I have to explain again what we’re doing. And the emotional intimacy that creates is something that I didn’t even think was a need for a very long time, and then once I had it I went, “YES! More of that, more of those types of connections!”

[Averyn Bex: you don’t have to read someone your  medical history]

[shi’lanka: I have to just say, that while I think disabilities will always come with frustrations, kink community included. However, I just need to say that being somewhat new to the kink community still, I have found this community to be the most helpful and understanding and don’t make me feel crappy for having different needs.]

[Hanna Wyndell (she/they): ^definitely]

Lee: Though I will say, which I love, shi’la, thank you for bringing this over in the text, that uh, they said “I have to say, that while I think disabilities will always come with frustrations, kink community included. However, I just need to say that being somewhat new to the kink community still, I have found this community to be the most helpful and understanding and don’t make me feel crappy for having different needs.”

Yes! Thank you so much for voicing that! For stating that. Because I think for some of us who are in that, like I said I speak from the (at times) jadedness of being part of these communities for over twenty years, that, that I have frustrations and forget how, what it’s like in different parts of the world as well, because this is not a “in the kink community” or “not in the kink community” it’s a People. Discussion. And shifting the discussion, like shifting how people can’t relate with us.

Will Wadsworth: Right.

[LunaPsychonaut : I just started exploring my sexuality since becoming severely disabled and I am also pleasantly surprised how inclusive the kink community is]

[Kristerina Unicorn (she/they): i have nerve damage in my hands, and explained this to someone who was going to tie me, and he ALSO has nerve damage in his hands, so we were able to talk about it and it was so wonderful that he *understood* and had so many ideas of how to do it without exacerbating my condition]

[Averyn Bex: Kink is  like  based on clear communication cos  able bodied folk can  fuck up an land in the hospital cos of something can happen in a scene]

[shi’lanka: that’s true! this is also just my experience with my local community]

[Kristerina Unicorn (she/they): people who get it are worth their weight in gold <3]

[M: I’ve found there has been more honest communication in kink. which leads to more honest communication about other stuff]

Lee: Instead of shaming them, um, the following story is fatphobic. So to let people know that ahead of time. Including some pretty cruel words. And I’ll try, I will not say the actual words.

And uh, anyway so…

A friend of mine who is 350lbs. (Or was, she has since passed away.) 350-400lbs, somewhere in there, she had wanted to be suspended. And she went around to ALL of the different rope bondage tops, or riggers, people who did the tying in her local community.

And one after the other, and, like, they all said things like, “I don’t know how to do that with your body.” Or “I don’t have that skill set.” Or “thank you for asking me, I’ll look around for other people” But hadn’t found somebody who would be open to suspending her or doing aerial rope work with her. And she went to one person, who was one of the leading people in her area, because she was like “okay I’ll just go to one of the people teaches all these classes.” And he said, “I could not…” and then inserted a whole lot of really of really horrible fat language, fat phobic language “in the air, even if I had a thousand feet of change and a hoist winch.”

-disapproving and disappointed noises from various people in chat-

Lee: And she was heart-broken. Just heart broken and wrote off the idea that she deserved to do any sort of play, that had shunned, especially if somebody who was a leading educator in her community said something like this, right?

Um, and it was four, five years later when her spouse came to me and said, her partner came to me and said, “this is what happened, do you know anyone?” And I’m like, Yes! Absolutely I know someone. Like, this is… The guy did “What??” And I suspended her six inches off the ground. We had floor mats down, did all of the rigging with her on the ground, and then laced things up, and she was suspended about six inches of the ground, and her wife came and touched her and petted her while… you know, while she was in the air,  and then I got her down twenty minutes later. Because her body could do that. But this notion that vilifying language, that toxic language, stayed in her skin. And to me it was such a big reminder of if somebody says like if “I don’t have the skill set to play with somebody, I don’t, you know, thank you so much for asking me but I don’t know how to work with somebody who has a connective tissue disorder.” Either saying “would you be open to sharing more with me?” or “let me ask around to see if” like, those otheranswers were one thing. What that one man did was UNexcusable, and had long term harm.

[Averyn Bex: well geesh]

[Quill (them/him): I’ve uploaded the video of Rita Seagrave demonstrating Deaf/HoH in kink to my Google Drive. A couple things to note: the original video belongs to Kink.com and if they still have it on one of their websites I will find the original link and share it. Also, it is WELL over 10 years old at this point (I watched it around age 14-16 and I am 32 now) so it might have some out of date language. It IS closed-captioned!]

[Quill (them/him): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XhJpaPGcXwiGPnF0FyknRtKKiiSgV_Pi/view?usp=sharing]

[AmazonOriona (she/it): thanks Quill!]

Lee: Oh, thank you as a note Quill, for uploading that, to that drive. I appreciate that. So that’s the video of Rita Seagrave. Yeah, Rita is amazing.

[shi’lanka: I was 360 lbs before I had much needed surgery to help get to a much smaller size and hearing this breaks my heart. I have only been suspended once and it TERRIFIED me until they got me up. I will always be a big girl and suspension truly leaves you feeling weightless.]

[Averyn Bex: Ive been heavy set my whole life,  so  yeah.  it  … stays with you.  when  you see  smaller bodies in erotic art or  on porn even  and its like made me  … afraid to voice  ….  wanting to do   certain things]

[shi’lanka: The words STILL haunt me!]

[Bluefish (they/them): Riggers not being open to learning on playing with different bodies has been incredibly frustrating for me.]

Lee: Uh.. truth local community… oh yeah, and that’s the thing too, is these answers might change community to community.

Let’s see. “I was 360 lbs before I had much needed surgery to help get to a much smaller size and hearing [that] breaks [your] heart.” Yeahhhh! And it terrified you “until they got me up.” Yeah. Right!

Let’s see, I’ve been having my whole life, so it stays with you, yeah. Those kinds of things that people say. And, when you see smaller bodies in erotic art and porn, oh my gosh! Why am I not remembering the name! Um… I got to do a rope bondage photo shoot with one of the women who was, uh… nope! Not pulling up his name either! Uh… Leonard Nimoy. Leonard Nimoy, his erotic photography was all focused on Jewish women or women of size. Like in his portfolio work, and I got to work with one of his models and she was saying that having nude women of size being depicted by somebody who was a well named artist was changing stuff within her own community and for her own self, of feeling beautiful as a “plus size” model

And even that language I just used, “Plus Sized!” Right, like, is that something that she found empowering, or not, in the same, like, how we use our language is important.

[Averyn Bex: Nimoy did erotic photography?!]

[Quill (them/him): Wasn’t his work called ‘Adipositive’?]

[Will Wadsworth: think so]

[Quill (them/him): Or was that a subsequent project?]

Lee: Um, Adipositive, yes, I think that is the one! Yes, I think it was called Adipositive. Um…. 

[LadyJ: I’ve never found plus size empowering]

Lee: And you’ve never found the word “plus size” empowering. Right!

[Averyn Bex: Reclaiming  Terms is  a whole other  talk  probably]

Lee: And so finding words that… “reclaiming terms is a whole other talk probably” *laughs* Yeah! Probably true! Probably true, but I think it’s something that we can consider in the same way that if I’m talking to a transgender person, and I ask how I can describe their body if I am talking about their body, if I am talking about your body experience, or I’m trying to, as a rigger, ask other people you know, “I’m trying to suspend somebody who is in a wheelchair and is… um, paraplegic, what are some tools you’ve used?” How do I describe your body and your reality in a way that you will find affirming if you’re not there? Or if you are there! Either one! So finding the language to have these discussions is really important.

[shi’lanka: I’m a photographer and I kind of want to do a kink people of different sizes would be a neat photography project]

[Dave!! (He/Him) 20-20Hindsight: @Bluefish one of the reasons I largely disconnected from the rope-focused scene here is that the central figure/teacher of it never seemed to tie or have a partner over 150lbs]

[Will Wadsworth: yes language is critical in everything add intersectionality disability, race, sexuality… Could probably write books on it.]

Lee: ‘Cause once you add intersectionality of disability, race, and sexuality, ahppff! There probably are books on this! Yeah, absolutely.

[shi’lanka: lol sorry that was a terrible sentence grammatically that I wrote 🤣]

[Averyn Bex: Oh lord I always ask what a person calls their genitals cos that does matter to me as a trans person so even with cis partners  or potential partners I ask them]

Lee: “And Lord, I always ask what a person calls their genitals ‘cause that does matter as a trans person.” So, that’s the other thing too. I find sometimes for people who live with… one point of demographic that is… like, even one! That is outside what society deems to be how “normal” is built. Right, ‘cause in the United States even though we have more women in the country, um, automobiles are all modelled after a 5’7” man, right? 5’7” to 6’1” man, right so, and right handed man, etc. So like if we are one point anywhere in our journey outside of what society deems to be this word “normal,” I think that we start developing different awareness levels as time goes on.

[Quill (them/him): Sorry Leonard Nimoy’s work was called “The Full Body Project”]

[Quill (them/him): https://www.rmichelson.com/artists/leonard-nimoy/the-full-body-project/]

Lee: There it was, “The Full Body Project” Thank you thank you!

[LadyJ:  Intersectionality for disability is another thing… I wonder if anyone on the call has felt it harder to speak up for having their needs met in some spaces as a BIPoC or NBPoC with disabilities?]

[AmazonOriona (she/it): All of Western allopathic medicine is based on “Normal” being a 5’10” 20-yr old white male. Thank you, military-based research.]

Yes. But yeah, so sometimes if we have our own sensitivities we start asking those things too.

Quill: Lee?

Lee: Yeah, go for it!

Quill: There’s a television programme in the UK called QI, which means Quite Interesting. Uh, which was originally hosted by Stephen Fry, and is now hosted by the incredible (and dare I say much better!) Sandi Toksvig. And um, there was an episode in which they talked about how they, (whoever “they” are, “The Scientists”) tried to find the “average” body size, I think it was for pilots, for like fighter pilots in WW2 or something like that, and they tried to design the “perfect” cockpit that would fit the “average” pilot, and so they took measurements of all these men, mostly, and created the “average” cockpit, and it didn’t fit anyone. There’s NO such thing as the “average” person, its’s always going to be too short, or too long or too big or too small or too… you know, everything is going to be, there’s no such thing, and so the only truly useful seat for pilots is one that is completely adjustable and customisable to the vagrancies of a person’s body. And so they had, so what they had to do in the end was um, uh, design something that… they took the information, the data, from their measurements, and they were like, what are we measuring? Are we measuring, okay so leg length, but not just leg length but the length from the hip to the knee, and the knee to the heel, and the heel to the, you know the ankle and all that, and how many different variations of length and size arethere in the human body to adapt to the modern soldier in the, uh, in the mobile weapon. And that… it’s worth noting that information gathered from the military is always really valuable because it’s a life or death situation, if your seatbelt doesn’t sit comfortably when you’re sitting in the tank, and you’re being choked by your seatbelt, that could mean the death of thousands and the loss of a war, so they have to make that stuff fit people and work for everyone, or it doesn’t work for anyone.

[Averyn Bex: wasn’t there a doc movie called Adonis talking about male beauty and then another one called something else talking about the Bear community I thnk, then also Kim Catrall did a sex documentary etc]

[AP (She/Her): Except for airplanes … They think we’re all 5′ nothing & weigh 100lbs. Ugh!]

[Averyn Bex: The medical world  often  treats  Communities of Colors different where we hafta  chase  to get an on paper diagnosis so  feeling invalidated in being disabled is another thing worth mentioning  possibly?]

[AP (She/Her): Don’t even get me started on them charging extra for passengers that are over a certain weight.]

[Mischief: or being told all your medical issues are weight related by doctors]

[Will Wadsworth: Until society especially in US acknowledges both visible and invisible disabilities, medical conditions and assumption on ability, there will always be issues, lack of services and adaptations. Think of public places and how difficult it is to find simple things. Making dating hard aside from kink or other things.]

[allison (she/him): ^^yes. medical textbooks containing racist assumptions which just ingrains incorrect information into medical professionals from the start]

Lee: Right, which brings us back to kink, which is if there’s a story that these are the technologies that we use for doing kink, right. So let’s talk about toys and gear for a moment.

That if people are – like there’s the expectation of using leather wrist cuffs with buckles, or using rope, for bondage. Those things have, those two things have different levels of accessibility to them.

A lover of mine, who has since passed, who I adore, he had Elephantism. And his condition had progressed to such a point that he was now wheelchair bound. Was paraplegic at this point when I first met him. And – from about nipples down – and for him, his hands had also grown to be about one and a half size my hand size. His fingers had elongated and had gotten wider. So he couldn’t hold a flogger anymore. And what he had made for him were a pair of workout gloves. Like the kind that are fingerless that have the uh, the Velcro strap on the back. And he was able to, with his teeth, hold on to the gloves and slide his hand in, and then close it with the Velcro on the back. And on each of the workout gloves, one was soft elk falls. Right? Soft, thin lines of – and the other was a heavier one. And so he was able to move his arms about, even though he didn’t have the same degree of muscle control for aiming, he was able to move his arms about to flog me using a tool – ‘cause he would never be able to hold a handled flogger. That just wasn’t a reality for him.

[Averyn Bex: What about Cerebral Sexuality  cos  if someone is paralyszed below the waist  and  not able to feel a vibrator  down there  like  are they  not allowed to do anything sexual?    I am not in a wheel chair  just makes me  wonder how  I would function  sexually if I was tho,  in the  spirit of empathy I guess?]

[Will Wadsworth: Ugg yes doctors blame everything on wait, annoying.]

[Averyn Bex: *I said cerebral sexuality cos so many people say  ‘sapiosexuality’ is  problematic and idk any other word to fit]

[Averyn Bex: that’s why I posted the clarification I thought that too]

Lee: ‘Cause– “Cerebro-sexuality, because if someone is paralyzed below the waste, right, not able to feel a vibrator down there, are they just not allowed anything sexual?”

And for him, he loved me doing CBT on him, even though he physically couldn’t feel it, because he enjoyed the aesthetic of that suffering while I talked dirty to him about what I was doing to him. And that combination served really well for him to get that erotic thrill out of CBT. Right? (Cock and Ball Torment.)

“’Cause a lot of people say ‘sapiosexuality’ is problematic” Oh, cerebral sexuality. Oh, I thought you were talking about cerebral palsy. My apologies. Um… I misread that. Because I’m sure with CP you’ve got those issues too.

Thank you, I do appreciate that because I’ve never heard it called “cerebral sexuality” before. ‘Cause, yeah, ‘sapiosexuality’ has a lot of stuff built into it.

*reading* Yeah, doctors blame everything on weight. It’s annoying.

Yeah, so to look at what are our toys we use, and are they accessible to what we do?

There was this woman I know in the Northwest who was blind, and she was a single-tale top. She practiced for years, she loved using a whip, and she’d done it by learning that tool, by having spotters who were her teachers, where she was able to first practice using a pillow or using a post-it note that was hanging from a line. She was able to tie someone to a St. Andrew’s cross, put her hand on their back, and step back that certain amount of steps that she had already learned by heart for her own body, and she was able to whip them based on a, you know, based on what she knew about how to use the whip, and she would say as she was starting out, tell me when you feel it, and she would walk in that centimetre at a time, until she got to the point where they were feeling it and allowed her to pace out her movement.

And, I loved the fact, this notion, because she was told “blind people can’t ever throw a whip, that’s not a thing!” And she’s like “I want to throw a whip! We’re going to make this work!” And so she found an instructor who was willing to help her learn that tool set, and I’ve gotta say though, ‘cause she also did mind fucks, and I loved this – a mind fuck is a role play where one or more people doesn’t know it’s roleplay. She loved to mindfuck people by, instead of blindfolding them, just turning off the lights in the space. Because people are like, “oh my god, you’re gonna hit me, you can’t see anything!” And she’s like “You’re right. Can’t see anything!” *pause* And it’s that moment where they realise “oh!” but they had that fear moment, you know, because you know where they couldn’t, suddnely they couldn’t control what was happening for them.

Alight we got a whole bunch of text that just came through.

[LunaPsychonaut: My disability got my into erotic hypnosis, because It enables me to experience all those hot things my body no longer allows me to…]

[Averyn Bex: VR can totally develop  into  making an erotic experience for some.   or   ASMR if  it doesn’t trigger someone badly/adversely.     Like creating an astral scene  vs.   needing  physical toys is a viable solution possibly.  aka ”Theatre of the Mind”  as the gamers  call it lol]

Lee: “VR can totally develop into making an erotic experience for some. And ASMR for others.”

Yeah, “theatre of the mind.” Right.

She was hilarious. Oh my gosh, I wonder what happened to her…

*pause to read*

So what are other ways that you – I talked about the idea of finding a teacher who could train you with the toll that you already have, who’s willing to, you know, for tops, who is not just willing but open to developing systems with you. And, in the case of my play partner in the Bay area, how he had equipment modified so he could put it on himself. Also all of his buckles had forcep clamps on them so he was able to move the things, ‘cause he could grab onto the entirety of a forecep clamp, and he just left the forecep calmps on all the time on his equipment instead of putting them on and taking them off.

I’m curious what are other things that folks have done to be able to modify their kink gear? Or based on whatever your fetishes and interests are?

I’m realising somebody sent me a private message and I have not seen it, let me scroll back…

*pause*

Uh, if you are the person who wrote me privately that I didn’t reply, I can’t find your message so please send it again.

*pause*

Let’s see…

*pause

Uh, another example with bondage real quick, is I know people who love sran wrap because they can control an entire roll of saran wrap without having to have fine motor functions, for folks who have various forms of arthritis or dexterity differences.

*pause*

Hanna Wyndell (she/they): Adding props and supports to the bag that I take to parties has been LIFE CHANGING! Life changing! Sex swings! Sex swings when you have mobility issues, but I have to have a pad on mine so I don’t throw my hips out. But having, you know, just, foam wrap, like foam vet tape, and pool noodles, to make things a little stiffer so they’ve got less, so they pinch less. Like there’s a whole bunch of things with just small modifications and pads. That makes a huge difference. But putting supports that can go with me places has been, like, “No, I can’t kneel on that,” but if I have my cushion, I can totally get in a position that’s close. And then I’m comfortable and we can actually do the thing!

Lee: Yeah, that’s great, so bringing the technology, like to bring those pads and pillows with you. Instead of — and that idea of bringing stuff with you

[LadyJ:  lmao!]

[Will Wadsworth: In medical community, hate how, doctors or others mistake body doing things naturally as kink incorrectly and you get a lecture on being inappropriate.]

[Averyn Bex: just limit where your limits are.   if you cannot  see  or hear then have toys that  engage the senses you do have  like  make your own toys  or   use  toys  in  different ways?  not sure if tha anwers it]

[Kristerina Unicorn (she/they): i like to tell presenters that i am a good demo bottom for hypnosis because they HAVE to talk loud enough for me to hear, so it’ll make it that others can hear them better too *laughs*]

[Will Wadsworth: did not think about that]

[allison (she/him): Not a toy, but I bring my own instant crack ice packs and cold water for myself bc if I get too hot I pass out!]

[Will Wadsworth: the saran wrap]

[LadyJ: I never thought about how I could make modifications before, didn’t come to mind]

Lee: Um, somebody brings up over in chat, the idea of bringing their own ice packs and cold water, because then you’re able to do the scene for longer.

I mean, it’s funny because think, oh, saran wrap, mummification, kind of stuff, that’s hot, and I’m like “no, it’s literallyhot! It’s not that you get lightheaded, it’s that all people get lightheaded in those!” and then we add anything involving temperature regulation. It’s another step to be mindful of.

[Averyn Bex: bringing snacks cos I’m diabetic]

Lee: Bringing snacks! Can allow for play. Yes! Love that.

[shi’lanka: Access to mirrors can be super helpful for those that use sign language to communicate.]

Lee: Access to mirrors! For those th at use sign-language to communicate. That’s. AWESOME! I love that so much! Yeah!

[allison (she/him): (Kristerina that’s AMAZING. Def my common complaint with hypno instructors)]

[Averyn Bex: you sweat hard enough you get   …  blood sugar drops]

[Mischief: I have a labral tear that makes leaning forward like bending really painful so my last dominate just stopped one day when it was hurting what position works for you?  So I leaned backwards for caning onto the bed]

[Averyn Bex: one of my former  partenrs  had a  rope cutter that we got that would  slip the rope  if  needed to get person out  for emergencies]

[Hanna Wyndell (she/they): a former partner was hearing impaired and we had a flashing toy as my bondage safe word so that I could just squeeze it when I needed their attention]

Quill: I really can’t underestimate the use of – I mean I, this is personal bias, but I think rope people are the tops, like, the best of all kinksters, that’s just my bias, but if you know a good slip knot that you can, that you can make an adjustable um, strap, or holder, and then, one knot to slip, and one to lock, and you can create something that can hold a limb or a body and adjust and if you can attach it to anything and slide it back and forth, you are GOLDEN for so many situations. If a person says “oh, I’ve got–” I’ve got bursitis in my shoulders. And so at the moment I can’t, there are certain positions I can’t hold for very long unless I have support, and if somebody wants to play with me I’m like, okay, let me just, I’m just gonna grab my box of rope, get something out, rig something up for me, from the nearest solid point, and then you can go to town on whatever body part, because uh, you know, you were talking, Hanna was talking about sex swings, and a sex swing is wonderful but it tends to take a lot of time and space to set one of those up, but a little bit of rope on the nearest bar or thing. So if you want to be accessible, grab yourself some decent strong rope, learn a slip knot, and learn a lock knot, and you are golden!

[Mischief: I’ve also seen some really cool leather cuffs that a dominate made for her submisive with carpal tunnel because the pressure on those nerves can be an issue]

[Will Wadsworth: You could always use belts fitted harnesses bundgy coards]

[Averyn Bex: scarves are your friend]

[AP (She/Her): Not everyone likes rope, or is even adverse to being IN or around it due to previous trauma.]

[Averyn Bex: yeah I can’t do handcuffs due to trauma]

[Averyn Bex: also  former lover was allergic to certain fibers so  specifics of that is  something they had to  communicate about]

[Quill (them/him): You’re absolutely right AP, thanks for acknowledging that. Knowledge of basic knots (and I really do mean basic) can be applied to other materials, as someone said, scarves, belts, bits of fabric, etc]

Lee: Love that! I also though with the idea of learning two knots for people who don’t have that dexterity, I met this couple that, it was a heterosexual male dominant, female submissive couple who were, I believe in their 70’s, and uh, they both, like, she loved being tied up all night long, but her body couldn’t do it, and his wrists couldn’t do it, his fingers didn’t have the dexterity anymore. So they invested in truck ratchet straps! Like for holding down a load of cargo.

Quill: YES!

Lee: And they got a Tempur-Pedic mattress. She lay down on it, they put a couple of straps on top of her, ratcheted it down, because he could do this *makes a back and forth swinging motion with left hand* three or four times, moving his hand back and forth three or four times, but couldn’t necessarily, you know, tie any knots. All he had to do to get her out was pop those three pieces of metal up, and she was out! So thinking about those things as well…

And fitted body harness bungie cords, yes! So that you can build things or acquire things ahead of time, based on what your income realities are. And I love that somebody else brings up over in chat the idea of wanting to use their toy, being a toy in this case being a cane, and that they holding onto the grip and downward stroke was not being good for their shoulder or elbow or wrist, and so therefore figuring out oh wait, if I do a back swing, that doesn’t aggravate my body! So to take this thing, tools you have or that other people have and then doing science, as it were, with your own body, with a willing play partner, friend, or lover. Like, what happens if I do this? What if I do this or you’re on your own? What’s it like to put a pillow in the place of where your partner’s rear end would be, and practice all of these different motions. What does work? What does serve you? Because maybe smacking somebody with the palm of your hand isn’t going to work, but perhaps hitting on the back of the hand, or doing stuff—

I’m, again, joint adventures. I had my wrist, my wrists dislocate, and I was at a kink conference, and I was like, well, that sucks. But I still had a playdate with my girl who had visited from a different state. And so I realised, my elbows were just fine! So I took my elbows and dug them into her thighs, and just leaned onto my elbow and just put my whole weight into it. And that caused almost no challenge for my body, but was incredibly challenging for her, because elbow digging that many people have on their fetish list.

Let’s see we got a whole lotta thoughts that just came up! So… scarves are your friend, right for some people that’s another. Tool belts, uh, love that. Not everyone likes rope so, even adverse to being in or around is due to previous trauma. Right! And if people’s, um, things are related to various forms of traumas and specific kinks, to be aware that when someone says “I don’t do rope.” Or “I don’t do spankings.” Or “I don’t do whatever” or “X, Y, or Z is a hard limit.” These are not things to push! They simply are. There’s a difference between that, though, and saying “would you be open to telling me why?” And that person having the right to say “no” freely without there being any sort of repercussion from saying “no.” Uh, but yeah, I love that, thank you so much for bringing that up, for some people being around a specific tool can be traumatising or has been traumatising.

*pause*

[Will Wadsworth: Think outside the box, what can be used as tools either for medical use or kink… You could always break down communication barriers by joining disability medical things and kink. Hope that makes sense.]

[Will Wadsworth: Rite no means no]

[Averyn Bex: Oh as someone who is not as physically disabled,  who has been with folx who were,   more conversations on  not  being  too upset if no one is able to orgasm during  a scene,   cos  someone’s body gives out during  before it can happen, just  knowing how to switch gears  and  cuddle after  and be happy with what your disabled partner is able to give and not  shame them for it.  or   be bitter or  be able to finish yourself off if you need it that much  and   let your partner watch   and not feel  horrible that they  had a joint pop out of socket or   something]

Yeah, so okay so there’s certain technologies there as well. Absolutely right, thanks for acknowledging it. And, uh, thinking outside the box, what could we use as tools, either for medical use or kink? Um, I will say though, for folks who are physically disabled, especially folks who are say, in chairs, or in medical beds, those things can be fetishized for some folks, or used as part of the SM for some folks. And is not okay for others.

Like I’ve had friends of mine who are like “Yeah! Tie me to my chair, that’s totally cool, my chair is there, might as well use it!” and I’ve had other people that I’ve played with who are like “I don’t want to involved my chair at all, I would like us to play on the bed and… you know, I don’t want to involve that technology at all in my sex life.” So to know if there are people that you are playing with, or you yourself have that, to ask the question ahead of time, is that okay?

[shi’lanka: I honestly feel like one of the biggest tools we have is each other as a community. Nothing is more touching to me than to know what my partner has already accounted for on my behalf because they know me well enough to know my individualized needs.]

[AP (She/Her): Coercion is not consensual nor sexy. Trust people when they tell you a hard limit or that they “don’t” do something.]

Lee: Yeah, coercion isn’t sexy. Let’s see, “I honestly feel it’s one of the biggest tools we have…” Uh “Nothing’s more touching to me than knowing my partners has already accounted for on your behalf” that’s beautiful.

[allison (she/him): Any tips on not feeling icky feels when you’re running through your accommodation requirements? (I know it’s like if who you’re negotiating with is being shit you shouldn’t play with them anyways….but sometimes it’s just awkward and uncomfy. Just keep pushing though it? Gets better over time?)]

Lee: Alright, so! Question’s just come up. “Any tips on not feeling icky,” uh, “not having any icky feels” I see, “when you’re running through your accommodation requirements. I know it’s like if who you’re negotiating with is being shit you don’t play with them anyway but sometimes it’s just awkward…” Oohf, I feel you there, “And uncomfortable. Just keep pushing through it? Or it gets better over time?”

I have some of my own thoughts, but what are some other people’s tips and tricks and tools…

Quill: I am always a person of a sense of humour. I find my own body hilarious, I find my own weaknesses and strengths and the contrast between them and the uh, incongruencies, the lack of continuity hilarious. And so making a joke of it, and making it, uh, finding it, not making a joke of it in the moment with someone new, but taking that time, you know, we have so much time to ourselves at the moment, to sit and consider, and just kind of finding myself funny and having conversations with myself about, uh, what it is that I need and what it is that I want, and why those things are hilarious. And finding ways of describing them that are amusing, but also serious, you know? I’m… so many of my friends are so much older than me and use language that is so, um, ageist, about how I “shouldn’t” in my early 30’s I shouldn’t be experiencing the amount of pain that I have and the amount of limitations I have, and I’m just like, you’re right, it’s ridiculous, it’s hilarious that at thirty I can’t reach any further than this! And so making a joke of it, but that joke that has that little barb, that little moment that says “But no really. This is something that I can laugh about. And that we can laugh about together, if you’re willing to take it seriously when it matters.” There’s something about, um, about laughter that makes everyone in the room comfortable, but still allows us to have a conversation about very serious things. And so that’s my, when I have to have those conversations, um, I do it with a kind of wry smile.

Lee: Thank you.

[Mischief: a severe nickel allergy means I can break out in hives from the clasps on things so thankfully I sew and most sewing machines can do leather ]

[Kristerina Unicorn (she/they): i feel you, allison — i have the same questions]

[Averyn Bex: to add on to my earlier comment.  it was very very very validating when my partner told me that it is okay  to not be able to  orgasm every time.     and in regards to not feeling icky,  I share my own vulnerabilities  back?    like  try to be nurturing  I guess? ]

[Mischief: It gets better if you feel like it’s a feature not a bug and get a few people you do a negiation with to receive it that same way.   Also I personally feel more comfortable myself if I’m able to say ” I can’t sit because I have a labral tear but I can happily kneel”]

[shi’lanka: Humor is how I survive. I’m the first one to joke about my own stuff and that I could drop at any time and the after affects will be very entertaining if you want to stick around for the after party.😜]

Lee: Mischief also brings up over in chat the idea that um, finding ways to have something be a feature, not a bug. So the idea that, and offering a proposal like “I can’t sit, but I can happily kneel.” And Mischief, if you included your reason why you can’t sit, that’s up to you. For some people it’s a “I want to tell you why I can’t sit” and for other people it’s “…I can’t sit!” It simply is what it is.

Uh, if folks are not familiar with these anthologies, there are four different anthologies that are edited by Raven Kaldera, some of them in conjunction with Del Tashlin. There is, uh, one is for physically disabled uh, dominants, one for physically disabled submissives, one for mentally, uh, for mental health affected or neurologically non-normative dominatns, and the same for submissives, and uh, with Tops and Dominants being put together in one bucket in the case of this anthology.

And the books are called…l “Hell On Wheels” “Kneeling In Spirit” “Mastering Mind” and “Broken Toys.” I personally have issues with that last title. But it was the title that was very empowering for the editor, Del Tashlin, who lives with very complex mental health adventures.

[AP (She/Her): https://ravenkaldera.org/published-books/]

But um those four books are fantastic also as ideas. Now, but for wherever you’re at, all of those are also available at Alfred Press. A-L-F-R-E-D Press P-R-E-S-S dot com, AlfredPress.com, that’s who published all four of them. Ah! There we go!

Lee: Ah! *caption screen starts to shift, Lee makes noises of slight distress* Technology, there we go.

Um, but that notion of how do you bring it up. I love the idea of doing counter-offers that got brought up there. Of others ideas. And humour can be a way to survive.

I’ll also throw in there the ideas of, um, of things I delight in as well. Right? So if somebody’s like “I really like to tie people up, and so elbows behind the back is great” and I’m like, Wow! I love that notion of being pushed that far, if you push me this far, that’s how that feels for other people, you are pushing me as far as you thought you were if you’re tying my elbows together behind my back. Your fetish is pushing people. That’s my push, and you get to enjoy it right here where it is.

So I think letting people know where my line is, like externalising it. Actually I’ve had this happen for me, I’ll just speak from personal Top experience. When I have people say like “oh my God even this level sucks” I’m like “can we play with where the suck is?” “Well, sure” and I’m like, I have no interest in pushing you further and breaking you because like, reuse, reduce recycle, right? I want to reuse you! But, for me, finding out where people’s lines are, and playing atthat line, can be very sexy.

[allison (she/him): REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE (!!!)]

[allison (she/him): stunning]

[shi’lanka: lol! I want to reuse you🤣]

Yeah, Dave, you had a thought?

Dave!! (He/Him) 20-20Hindsight: Yeah, I think, um, something that also really helps for destigmatising uh, a lot of this, especially the need for adaptive and accommodative devices, is to reframe a lot of things that most people don’t see, but it’s actually literally probably right in front of their face. *takes off glasses and holds them close to the camera* How many of us are wearing glasses, and can’t see the world the same without them? I have to have an accommodative device on me at all times, every day since the third grade. I cannot get by through the world the same without them. So reminding people that it’s, you know, adaptive devices, accommodations, are more than just ramps for wheelchairs, or wide enough doorways, or, you know, a physically uncommon device like a wheelchair or crutches, or a mobility scooter for example, whereas what significant portion of the population, just us in this class alone, need this kind of accommodation and adaptivity every single day?

Lee: Right. Yeah it’s amazing what people don’t think about. Right? Thinking about the shoes you wear. Thinking about whether you’re wearing a bra for back support, thinking about like, all of that stuff. So thank you so much for voicing that, because it is everywhere, it’s one of the reasons I love the question that I was introduced to because of a rave/swinger/kink crossover event, but I love the question nonetheless, but instead of saying “are you on anything?” Right? Asking about drugs. “What are you on?” lets me find out about the aspirin you’re taking. Right? Lets me find out about your mood meds. Lets me find out about your other blood thinners. Because, “are you on blood thinners” is going to impact our blood play scene. Before I pierce you or even do a heavy spanking on you I need to know that! So finding ways to destigmatise is so important. ‘Cause yeah, adaptive technology is a thing.

[Averyn Bex: idk if its cos I’ autistic, people have said it is.  but  I have a really  hard time with humor.  I am very  very  serious and grave  about  a lot of things and its hard for me to make jokes   and  be lighthearted sometimes.  I get too stuck in my head,  too used to having to calm  and care for myself so opening up  to let someone see you that naked  in all the ways  is …  its own thing,  that gets multiplied when you have any sort of disability  either yourself or with your partner.   cos  at the risk of  sounding Iike my internalized ableism is showing,   how do you not feel inadequate if you are playing with someone  who has  more severe disabilities with you.  or  like what do you do  if  your disabilities clash with each other like  say  something I need  in kink   is someone else’s  trauma point etc.  as  a thing.  idk if that makes sense.  that was a lot. Sorry.]

[AP (She/Her): “Yeah, I’m unable to do that, but I really LOVE doing xyz!”]

[shi’lanka: Yep! I have contacts! same thing!]

Quill: Lee you’ve got someone in here, uh, Averyn, who’s talking about being neurodivergent, and about how humour and jokes is hard for them, and I just wanted to acknowledge that, um, a sense of humour, first of all Averyn, I just wanted to validate you that it’s not that you don’t have a sense of humour, but that you are just wired differently, and the things that are funny to you are different and, uh, that’s okay! And, um, taking things more seriously or less seriously, that’s not a disability, that’s just being different. And that’s totally cool, and what we all need to do is recognise that we’re all wired differently, and whether that means being neurodivergent in the sense of a learning disability or being autistic or like, I have ADHD, I identify as neurodivergent as well, and I find myself coming up against some weird social interactions where I think things are funny that aren’t, or things that are serious that other people find funny. I totally relate to that.

[Averyn Bex: Thank you Quill,  appreciate the validation]

At the end of the day, it’s kind of about the time you spend with yourself, and saying “what am I okay with about myself?” and when I come up against a situation where someone else sees a situation differently, it’s okay to be different. And it’s okay to have conflict, and it’s okay to make mistakes and to have mistakes made against us when we are interacting with people that we know – and this of course assumes that goodwill and good intent on everyone’s part – but when you have done the work to negotiate with yourself a scene and you’re saying “I wanna have sex with you, I want to make you feel good, and I want you to feel good with me…” shit’s gonna go wrong. Trauma is gonna come up. And I think, I heard you say – what was the more modern thing you said, Lee, that I hadn’t heard of before?

Lee: RASH? Yeah, “Risk Aware Shit Happens”

Quill: I LOVE that!

Lee: It made me giggle. Yeah I heard it at the Erotic Hypnosis conference last weekend from a teacher from Norway and I was just like, I love your brain.

Quill: Just being prepared to say, “I’m upset,” and, can I share something Lee, can I share a little bit of etymology?

Lee: Yeah go for it!

Quill: We talk about being “offended” and the word “offend” I discovered comes from the Latin “fendere”, “to cut or cleave in two” which means when someone is offended there’s two things happening. First of all, there is, you can’t cut something, someone, a living thing, without causing pain. And so there’s always the need to acknowledge that someone is hurt. And it doesn’t in that moment matter intent. Whether I intended to hurt or not, we need to acknowledge that something you did, something you said, something in the room has caused me pain. And second, we as human beings are always seeking unity and to join with someone, and to find some sort of communion, some communication, and so we’re trying to be this *pushes hands together* and so when I’m offended, it’s like an offensive smell, I want to get away from it *gestures pushing away from the camera* I want to distance myself from the source of that offense. *gestures hands pulling apart from each other*

And so in order to, to heal from an offense, is to first acknowledge that that thing’s happened. I’m in pain! It might be a little annoying niggling pain. “Oh I’m slightly offended.” Or it might be a serious traumatic, deep, part-of-me pain, but I’m upset about what has happened and these two parties have to acknowledge, and then decide if we want, if unity is what we want, or actually if it’s healthier to be apart.

And so when we’re talking about our various abilities and disabilities and variabilities, and we come into a situation where your accessibility needs are different from mine, and we’re, one of us or both of us are offended by the other’s Being, it’s a chance to acknowledge pain and say “hey, things are not okay right now, where do we want to be? Do we want to come back together? How are we gonna do that?” And make that healing happen. And it might be that we have to own, we have to stay separated, “you’re always gonna offend me, and we can’t play together.” There are some people that I can’t play with. That they don’t get it, or their way of Being is just incompatible with mine, and that doesn’t make them any less valuable as a person, but in order to heal. We’ve come together, we’ve offended each other, we’ve come apart, and now I have to heal and find my way back to wholeness, and they do too, and maybe that comes with the reunite, and maybe it doesn’t, but doing that work in the background, of “who am I at the end of the day?” and “what do I need?” and “how am I going to react when a person fucks up and shit happens?” It’s so powerful! It’s empowering! It’s agency. It’s not “oh it’s a burden, oh it’s something, this is my disability that I have to live with and oh my god…”

It’s a chance, those of us who have distinct, nameable disabilities such as being paraplegic or being autistic or whatever, we have that power to name the thing that is going on, and say “this is what I can do about it, and this is how I can Be with other people” and that’s just what I wanted to say.

Lee: Thank you! Thank you I appreciate that.

[M: know your audience for the language chosen 🙂]

[shi’lanka: @Averyn, everyone has their own way of handling things. There are also plenty of things I can’t joke about too. Everyone is different💜]

[Averyn Bex: Cos its kind of embarrassing  when you hit a trauma bomb in a scene and  your Dom has to switch from  play mode to   not  as .. yeah]

[AP (She/Her): I’d like to make sure that we honor Lee’s time since we’re about to run to the end.]

[Lee Harrington: Yup, 15 minutes left :)]

[Will Wadsworth: Great discussion everyone, if anyone wants to stay in touch you can message me on Fet, Will Wadsworth or, email, wmodnl@hotmail.com, phone, 617.249.4015]

[Quill (them/him): Sorry I took up so much time! :(]

[Lee Harrington: you’re good!]

So we’ve got—

Will Wadsworth: So I have a question.

Lee: Yeah, go for it Will.

Will Wadsworth: Cool! Um! It’s been my experience, which is quite interesting, um, where certain parts of a disability, you know, and you disclose to someone, um… you know “Oh I’ve got a… I need helping finding my way in a new place.” Or “I need help knowing where things are. Where’s the bathrooms in this public place?” Or where something is.

And it’s interesting how sometimes that’s turned into finding out or having someone divulge that they actually have, you know, a kink with it, or they want you to do something else instead as an accommodation. Not only for you but then you find out it’s because it’s their kink. Does that make sense?

Lee: That in divulging your body realities or personal needs, that you find out it’s what they want too?

Will Wadsworth: Riiiight… or they want you to do something else. Or there’s something else they want you to do that– and then you fig– you figure it, like it takes awhile but you’re able to put it together, like.. they have a kink about it, you know?

Lee: Oh! The idea being fetishized because of your disability.

Will Wadsworth: I don’t know, I wouldn’t say “fetishized” but their creative idea is spawned by their, their kink, if that makes any sense. They try to come up with a creative solution and then you find out it’s really, it’s a double edged thing, it’s a creative solution, but then it’s also a kink of theirs.

Lee: Yeah it was an opportunity to explore their kink, because you provide an opportunity for it.

Will Wadsworth: I guess…

Lee: I’m trying to, I’m throwing these word statements out because I’m trying to understand what you are saying so I’m trying to see if I’m hitting, uh, so they but it’s now, that’s reasonable. I mean we find out new things about people by sharing our own experiences.

Oh, thank you for sharing that contact information there.

So uh, what was I gonna say? Alright so with our last ten minutes or so, was there anything else that people really wanted to bring to the table today? Thoughts? Ideas? Things you’ve been considering?

*long pause*

I think for me, with this topic, it is such an opportunity for ongoing discussion. Right? To keep learning, and growing and evolving and finding new opportunities. Because for me sometimes it’s—

[Averyn Bex: doing scenes to heal internalized ableism  btwn disabled  people should be more a thing]

[Quill (them/him): 1000000%]

Lee: Yeahhh! To do scenes to heal internalised ablesism! Oohf! Loooove that! Between disabled people, yeah, you didn’t just get 100% you got a million percent! That’s fantastic!

Will Wadsworth: Well and then, you know, I’ve been—one second… I’ve been, oh sorry, I’ve been in the position too, where I’ve found that like, you know, if you have certain medical things going on and you’re being transparent and telling someone that, it is interesting how sometimes they’ll still get offended, like you could be in the middle of something, have to jump up, you know, to like, either get water or anything, use the bathroom, then you find that the person’s still offended even though you’ve disclosed everything. You know what I mean? It’s so weird.

Lee: I find with humans, sometimes we say “yes” to things without truly being informed by the reality of them.

Will Wadsworth: Yeah that’s true.

Lee: Like the notion of consent involving the word “informed,” unless you’ve lived a thing, the informed is just a theory, not how you will actually personally respond to it. Um, I don’t know if that makes it better. *laughs* But I have, I’ve personally had, um, I will always—

Actually there’s, you know, funny/sweet story (/sad) Uh, I was at a kinky bed and breakfast that used to exist called Gypsy Arms, in Seattle, and came downstairs for breakfast and was talking to the owners, and they had had a situation happen where this couple, uh, had showed up with their toy bag and their stuff for the weekend, and they’d gone to their room, and there was a dungeon in the basement, but they’d gone up to their bedroom just to unpack, and out of nowhere they heard this blood curdling scream! And they’re like, whatever that was, that’s not normal. And they ran upstairs to the bedrooms, and this man is standing there holding a cane – it was a male dominant-female submissive couple – holding a cane, and she’s curled up on the ground, hiding from him.

And he said “it was never like that when we were chatting with each other!” They’d seen videos of caning, they’d talked about caning, they’d done smut together, but he’d never actually caned someone, and didn’t understand what this technology really was. Theory, as compared to applied practice.

And so I think– and both of them were hurt by it, and both of them needed a lot of assistance healing from it! And I think that happens, for me, I’ve had that happen for me, as a bottom when I’ve told people “by the way, yes you can actually literally put my elbows together behind my back but you might need to help me help me put it all back into shoulder sockets later today! *laughs* Are you cool with that? And had people be like “yeah, let’s push you that hard, let’s go!” and then I’m like, can you help me put this back in? and people are like, “what??” I’m like, yeah, I need you to kind of push, can you push here, ‘cause that would be… and had people freak out about the fact that they’d broken me, and like, we talked about this! This was… this was on the table!

Uh, but if they hadn’t seen it, I don’t know if humans can fully consent unless they’ve been there.

But that’s my own, like, theory thing, I don’t know how useful it is, but um, but it’s one of my standing theories. The notion of consent.

[AmazonOriona (she/it): Thanks for this conversation — so many nooks and crannies of nuance!]

[Averyn Bex: reality be a deep thing]

[Quill (them/him): True true]

[Averyn Bex: oh  people are waaay different offline than online]

[Averyn Bex: big oof]

Lee: “Reality is a deep thing.” Yeahhh! Yeah, absolutely. Um, and “people are way different offline than online” Yeah.

[Averyn Bex: having someone see your psychosis  for the first tiem … and watching them  have to face tehir own propensitity to madness  … is a whole thing]

Lee: Let’s see, “having someone see your psychosis for the first time. Watching them have to face their own, uh, issues with madness.” Yeahhh. It’s a whole thing. Right.

[Quill (them/him): I’ve made people bleed from vigorous fisting before and freaked out a lot more than them afterward… until I started bleeding downstairs myself from the lightest friction]

Lee: And “I’ve had people bleed from vigorous fisting before and freaked out a lot more than them afterward, until I started bleeding downstairs myself from the lightest friction.” Right! That again, if, it might be thought but thought as compared to manifested action are different! And that’s not bad. Or good. But does that mean that it can still hurt? Absolutely.

Right, just because it happens doesn’t mean it does not hurt. And I know people, for that reason, who are disabled who play with other disabled people. There’s an entire deaf kink community. Because you don’t have to explain it again. There’s a reason there’s a queer community that gets together and plays with other queer people and other queer people, ‘cause they don’t have to explain themselves and give another 101 class in the middle of just wanting to get laid.

[Quill (them/him): And on that note Averyn… there are LOADS of autistic kinksters out there.]

[Quill (them/him): Who will understand you better than any neurotypical person!]

[AP (She/Her): Yes Averyn bex! That would be really cool to see!]

[Quill (them/him): It’s okay to seek them out!]

Sometimes peers are there ‘cause it’s one less thing to talk about. And/Or somebody who empathizes or can go “I totally don’t understand what you’re talking about, but I wanna learn more!” Right, Tell me more! And I think for those of us who are either, uh, temporarily abled, as it were, um, or for whom have different experiences than your lover or play partner or person you met online or at a party… that curiosity goes a long way.

“Tell me more!” I want to learn, I want to grow, and on top of that, being willing to do the work ourselves, to go and read four online articles and then come back and say “I read four things; are any of these true for you?” ‘Cause that also shows initiative, as opposed to requiring our lovers, partners, and friends to have to teach us all the time when we’re trying to get laid. *laughs* ‘Cause sometimes we just wanna have sex!

[dess (she, her): What are ways to help make people feel welcome and comfortable with their needs but not be “pushy” about it?]

[AmazonOriona (she/it): “What is that like for you?”]

Lee: “What is that like for you?” Oooh I love that! Yes, AmazonOriona, I love that!

[LadyJ: I think it’s been harder adjusting to what has turned out to be perceived ableism since the US doesn’t really create the space for mental illness or neurodiverse people]

Lee: Um, and “it’s harder adjusting what has turned out to be perceived ableism” yeah. Right. ‘Cuase there’ just not a space for some of these conversations for people’s awareness.

[Will Wadsworth: Let someone talk, tell you are open to info but not out to be pushy]

Lee: And “let someone talk, tell you open info but not open to being pushy” yeah, so leaving spaces for curiosity as compared to making demands. That’s beautiful, thank you.

[Averyn Bex: orgasm doesn’t have to be the goal for sex every time.  just sayin]

Lee: And “orgasm doesn’t have to be the goal of sex every time” FOR ANY HUMAN! For any human. For any animal.

[Milady: True!]

[Quill (them/him): YASSSSS!!!!]

[Milady: But they are nice! ☺️]

Lee: And not everybody likes sex, and some people have sex for emotional reasons but not for sexual reasons, and all of the things. Humans. And/or however you self identify. ‘Cause, y’all might be werewolves and dragons in skin suits. Like, that stuff happens in our community too.

[Averyn Bex: otherkin woot woot]

Lee: Well I want to say thank you all so much for sharing your experiences, for holding space for others, and listening, because sometimes that is just as important as being the one who speaks. Thank you everyone for telling their personal stories, or throwing out their word history pieces. I really, really appreciate it.

[Kristerina Unicorn (she/they): thank you so so much for this discussion!]

[Hanna Wyndell (she/they): thank you everyone for showing up]

Lee: Yes, thank you everyone for showing up. Uh, like I said this was a spinoff from the Love Abilities conference, if you go over to loveabilities.org, and see what, I think they have a newsletter for singing up for their next one; I really recommend that group. It’s hosted by, um, the producer is Martha Tara Lee, who’s an amazing sexologist out of Singapore. Who I cannot recommend her work enough. Martha Tara Lee.

[Averyn Bex: I will try to be here every wedesday lol]

[jumpsuits4love (it): Thanks, Lee for hosting another great talk!]

[Ava: Thank you for creating this space]

[Will Wadsworth: Thanks for having this.]

[Salty (they/them): Thank you all!]

[Mischief: Thank you!]

[Averyn Bex: Lee is awesome!]

[allison (she/him): thank you!!!]

[AP (She/Her): Can you type that website please?]

[Ava: I always want to be a more experienced human]

[Milady: Thank you, Lee, and everyone else for sharing ideas about how to accommodate differently abled kinky partners!]

[Jacob (he/him): Thank you all]

Lee: And then also people are able, yeah it’s… *types* Love Abilities dot org. There we go.

[Lee Harrington: LoveAbilities.org]

Lee: Um, so that’s Martha Tara Lee’s work.

[Lee Harrington: 

Consider adding a little something to my tip jar http://www.paypal.me/4passionandsoul

PayPal – Lee@PassionAndSoul.com ; Venmo – @Lee-Harrington-5 ; Cash App – $PassionAndSoul 

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Lee: And then also if people are able to, uh, I pay for this room and all of that sort of stuff, so if you’re bale to throw anything in my tip jar, I’ve just posted information for my PayPal, Venmo, CashApp, as well as joining my Patreon where I post new resources every single week, and upcoming events and classes.

[Milady: LOL!]

[LadyJ: The Patreon is great, we get exclusive goodies <3]

[allison (she/him): ^^^yess to the patron. tis a happy lovely place.]

[Averyn Bex: yeah  erasure is a thing]

Next Wednesday – ‘cause I do a weekly Wednesday series – same Bat-Time same Bat-Channel, and same username and password. Uh, so if you can’t track stuff down, it’s the same—Oh! Dave I just realised you had your hand up and I hadn’t seen it!!

Dave!! (He/Him) 20-20Hindsight: Uh, something I wanted to add, I… this is something that as, as somebody that’s been so involved in organising and planning events and leadership positions and stuff within the kink community, that it’s actually kind of something I had to start working on changing from the inside, um, but one of the ways to get people to particularly event hosts, group leaders, organisers, stuff like that, to recognise the lack of accessibilities they may be having, they may not realise, or the lack of inclusion, is remind them that when they say “that’s never been a problem” they’re actually likely saying “that’s never been a problem for me.”

Lee: Yessss!

Dave!! (He/Him) 20-20Hindsight: And, um, or when somebody says “well why do we need that?” they’re actually saying “why do I need that?” and the answer might be “You don’t, but here are all these people that do. It hasn’t been a problem for you, here’s all the people it has been a problem for.” Or “we’ve never heard it’s a problem before,” because the people who are having the problems aren’t speaking up or aren’t able to come to the events and then you don’t hear about it because they’re not there. So, I think reframing, getting people to realise when they’re asking questions in general, they’re actually framing them around their own experience.

Lee: Mmmm! Thank you so much for voicing all that. And with everything that you learned today, these ideas don’t have to stop here. Right? To share with folks the “I heard about this thing that I’d never thought about! How can we help make this a better place for all of us? Not just those of us who are able to make it to the top of three flights of stairs to get to the dungeon.”

[AP (She/Her): Just think of the people that WOULD show up when you offer xyz!]

[Hanna Wyndell (she/they): noticing who isn’t in the room is a huge skillset]

Lee: So, yes, thank you so much Dave, and um… Yeah! “notice who isn’t in the room!” SO. Important! Right.

[LadyJ: ^^^]

[AP (She/Her): Thank you Dave!]

Lee: So I, uh, I’m going to post that in chat one more time.

[Lee Harrington:

Consider adding a little something to my tip jar http://www.paypal.me/4passionandsoul

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Lee: I’m going to be closing our recording momentarily; thank you everyone who is listening after the fact to this. Please pass on information, resources, and let’s make this continuing conversation happen. And those of you who are here today, let’s do that as well. Right? If you want to host your own things, get the word out there, host stuff for your local communities. If you end up doing one let me know and I’ll cross-pollinate it, right, let other people know about it. So let’s keep these conversations going and changing the community for all of us.

And… hopefully also getting to have the hot kinky sex, relationships, fun, and play that we all deserve. That we all want to have! If you do; and if you don’t, love you too!

All right. Thank you all so much. Take care.

[Dave!! (He/Him) 20-20Hindsight: @AP you’re welcome!]

[Kris: thank you all!]

[Aneri: Thank you for holding this discussion!]

[Dave!! (He/Him) 20-20Hindsight: @Hanna that’s fantastic, and something I definitely take into account when I can]

[Averyn Bex: Lee the bumblebee]

[Averyn Bex: sorry crosspollination]

[thrall: Thank You all, especially Lee!]

[LadyJ: Virtually anyway]

[LunaPsychonaut : Thank you!]

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Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.

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