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This Sex Party Is About So Much More Than Sex

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The hottest party of the summer is about to change the conversation around sex and disability.

“Deliciously Disabled” is a masquerade ball and sex positive party for people with and without disabilities ages 19 and over. It’s set to take place on August 14 at the Oasis Aqualounge in Toronto.

News outlets have referred to the party as an “accessible orgy,” but Andrew Morrison-Gurza and Stella Palikarova, the disability awareness consultants organizing the event, emphasize this isn’t the case.

“It’s so much more than just sex,” Morrison-Gurza told The Mighty. “What’s more important for me is that this party allows people who have been denied the opportunity to learn, explore and play with their own sexuality if they choose to. It’s not an orgy; it’s an ‘orgy of ideas.’”

Advertisement for "Deliciously Disabled." A man sit naked on a wheelchair, with a hat in his lap.

The party gets its name from #DeliciouslyDisabled, a hashtag Morrison-Gurza created because he was tired of not seeing disability portrayed positively in the media. By holding this event, Palikarova and Morrison-Gurza hope to change the way we talk about disability and sex.

“Usually when we talk about disability, we do so from two lenses. First is the medical, where we say things like, ‘so and so has a disability, he can’t do this or that,’” Morrison-Gurza told The Mighty. “Then we have the political probe — the idea that [someone] who uses a mobility device is a whole person, and we need to make society accessible for people like [him or her].’”

To Morrison-Gurza, neither of these frames is particularly appealing. “Neither of them is sexy, neither of them pop,” he told The Mighty. “My hope is that this campaign will help people talk about disability in a fun way.”

Andrew sits in a wheelchair holding up a sign that says #DeliciouslyDisabled

The ultimate goal is for the party to have an impact that lasts well beyond event night.

“In the nicest possible way, we’re putting disability in your face,” Morrison-Gurza told The Mighty. “We’re here, too. Our bodies have value, too.”

One concern is that the event fetishizes people with disabilities or could encourage people to attend who are only interested in objectifying other guests. Palikarova and Morrison-Gurza acknowledge that though these are legitimate concerns, fetishization can be a natural, healthy part of expressing sexuality.

“We all have fetishes,” Morrison-Gurza said. “When it comes to sexuality, we all have particular things we’re attracted to. If my wheelchair can be the catalyst to get you in my bed, amazing. But if all you want to do is exploit my disability, that’s when I have a problem.”

Another concern comes from those who argue that people with disabilities are not capable of expressing their sexuality at all.

“Some people and news outlets argue that people with disabilities cannot be sexual because they aren’t able to give consent,” Palikarova told The Mighty. “I argue that this is another example of society infantilizing people with disabilities.”

Both of these critiques illuminate the mystery and taboo that surrounds disability and sex. “Deliciously Disabled” is a step toward lessening the stigma and shifting the way society views people with disabilities.

“We all deserve to have sexual experience, we all deserve to have fun in safe spaces within our community,” Morrison-Gurza told The Mighty. “We all have to work together as a society to overcome prejudice and fear.”

Sex and nudity are welcome but not required at this fully accessible event, which will include wheelchair lifts and an ASL interpreter. 

RELATED: What This Sex-Positive Party’s Success Means for People With Disabilities

Originally published: July 2, 2015
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