Andrew Gurza is a Disability Awareness Consultant and Cripple Content Creator. In his work, he seeks to explore how the lived experience of disability feels, as it interplays with intersectional communities. Below, he shares some of his stories, advice, and experiences regarding disability and sexual exploration.
Andrew’s Views on Getting Adventurous & Kink
Kink was never something that I wanted to try at first. I was really content with any kind of touch, from anyone who dared to look past their own ableism and sleep with me. But in 2014, I put on my first harness, and when I looked at myself in the mirror, all done in leather, I bawled. I cried because it was the first time that I had agency as a sexual being. Wearing the harness was relatively easy and accessible for me as a full time power wheelchair user, and it felt so fucking good to say, this is me. I felt strong and powerful, and I’d never really experienced that in terms of sexuality before. I still think there is a ton of ableism that we have to work on in kink spaces, but that day changed my life.
What does Andrew wish they knew before getting started in kink:
How just because you’re kinky doesn’t mean you aren’t capable of ableist behaviours.
Andrew’s Advice for Disabled People wanting to explore Kink:
My advice would be to talk A LOT! Talk about ableism, the sh*t you’ve been through in the bedroom, etc. Talk about what you can do, what you can’t do, and what you wanna do in a scene. Talk about what scares you about sex and disability; specifically, sex and disability with an able-bodied partner. I think talking about ableism in kink spaces is incredibly important, because once we name it we can know what to look for. When we don’t name ableism in sexual spaces, people can get away with saying, “I didn’t know any better.” Talking about ableism gives the kink community the opportunity to look at their behavior and change it to try and be more inclusive. Naming ableism and talking about it is the first step in dismantling ableism.
Be prepared to deal with a lot of ableism. Ableism from within the kink community, but also internalized ableism that comes from within yourself. Understand that being kinky won’t change the ableism you experience, it may just open up different ways to discuss ableism.
Andrew’s Benefits & Barriers
The benefits to kink for me are that I get to explore how kink and disability interact and interplay with one another. I get to explore a different side of myself. I get to show people that disabled people are hot, kinky and f*ckable. The barriers are structural, like lack of ramps, etc., but also attitudinal from community members who are not ready to confront their own ableism.