Disability, Sex and Creativity
On this episode, we learn how to maximize connection and pleasure if you are affected by physical barriers. Kate Wolovsky shares her story being affected with MS and still having a happy sex life despite this condition.
Disability Affects More Than Your Physical Body
Kate shares that having a disabled body early on in life led to a lot of shame. She also shares her husband’s story as a completely disabled person, expanding on how disability extends from physical to emotional as well.
She refers to Dr Kinsey’s approach to research and how people react from physical trauma. We don’t need to ask about a traumatic event to know what the impact of it is. Indicators can be found in other areas of peoples lives through their emotions, sex lives, and interactions – according to her.
She sheds light on the difficulties disabled people have with even their medical professionals not being equipped to talk to them or understand them as normal people, which is something she is working on through her surveys.
Learning to Talk to Your Providers
Kate mentions that people struggling with disabilities are unsure of what they can ask and that’s where she plays a key role in helping people. Kate lightheartedly advocates that disabled people are sexy and uses the word “adumbptions” to describe dumb assumptions made about disabled people.
Kate strongly encourages more meaningful conversations with disabled people pointing out that conversations with disabled people can be broached the same way as able-bodied people. She discusses where the blocks are and how she and her husband try to alleviate these issues. Their surveys are an example of this. She suggests that you participate in their survey which is used to gather information to help you educate your providers.
What’s the same for everyone
Consent is important for everyone. Innovation in all aspects of your life. She mentions furniture that works for you or using zoom to keep your relationship alive. In addition to this, she mentions not allowing social media to dictate what YOUR body should look like. “Whatever your body does, its OK”
If you’re interested in our on-going free webinar – How to help your partner want more sex without making them feel pressured or obligated – you can sign up here.
Kate is a psychotherapist, sex therapist, clinical researcher, speaker, writer, and advocate, specializing in disability, sexuality, and traumatic stress. Kate sheds light into these marginalized realities, and exposes the gaps in knowledge, training, and professional care that “other” or exclude people from accessing full enjoyment of their life.
Kate is a Clinical Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute Trauma Stress Research Consortium at Indiana University, where Kate is the co-author of a new, international, inclusive survey study, Body Mind, & COVID-19 that offers people of all backgrounds an opportunity to share how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of their life (including sexual pleasure and sexual health) and what is important to them as we all search for answers about how to stay connected while physically isolated.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Kate is increasingly in demand as a subject-matter expert on disability, chronic illness, sexuality, and traumatic stress with an embodied experience of navigating all sides of the healthcare system, academia, and both in person and online. Kate offers professional consultation, customized training, and advocates for nurturing connection and evolving opportunities for healthcare providers and the communities they serve.
Social media post (if needed):
While so many of us are physically distant or isolated, you can share your personal stories and take our survey: Knsy.in/COVIDsation
Links and Resources