The Question About Sex and Her Disability That She Couldn't Laugh Off
This is powerful.
At the preliminaries of the 2015 Women of the World Poetry Slam in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Kelsey Warren recited her poem titled “My Body.” In it, Warren, who uses a wheelchair, addresses a taboo subject — sex and disability.
Warren says that for some reason people often feel entitled to ask her personal questions about her disability — questions that Warren typically laughs off or answers sarcastically. But there was one question she couldn’t just laugh off or ignore.
“Do you let your partner have a side relationship so they can have normal sex every once in a while?”
“Honey, if they’re with me then they’re not looking for normal — and I don’t mean because I’m crippled,” is Warren’s biting response in the video below. “Because sex with me can mean any fetish, any request you’ve always been afraid to make, any position you can think of… Crippled copulation may be slightly more complicated, but it is always climactic. Not once has someone that I’ve had sex with say that my sex was less than.”
Warren’s poem offers important insight into an all too common problem in our society — a refusal to acknowledge the fact that people with disabilities can engage in and enjoy sex. As Warren reiterates, sex isn’t just for the able-bodied and traditionally attractive.
“This body wasn’t made to meet your definition of desirable,” Warren says. “My body will not be denied it’s worth.”