A sex party is planned for disabled individuals in Toronto on August 14th, during the Parapan Am Games which has drawn more than 1,000 athletes with disabilities to the region. But don’t call it an orgy…
“An orgy is when everybody comes together and has sex together,” explained one of the event’s organizers. “This is a sex-positive play party. The difference is that people can attend the event but they don’t have to participate if they don’t want to — they can be voyeurs, they can enjoy it like you would enjoy any other type of party … but then there’s the added bonus of being able to be intimate with your partner or explore some sexual activity if you want to.”
Event organizers, Stella Palikarova (left), and Andrew Morrison-Gurza
The event’s organizers say that while most discussions about accessibility for the disabled focus on physical barriers, it’s also important to look at the emotional and social hurdles that people with disabilities face, such as the widespread belief that they aren’t sexual beings.
“Access (to sexuality) is such a major barrier for people with disabilities — I don’t think there’s any other group in society that, depending on the level of their physical limitation, can’t even pleasure themselves sexually,” said Stella Palikarova, a disability awareness consultant.
“You can imagine trying to go through life being completely unable to have any sort of sexual relief or even to think that you are perceived by others as being sexually desirable or a sexual person,” said Palikarova, who uses a wheelchair. “That becomes a really major human rights issue for me.”
As buzz around the event grows, a spokeswoman with the Council of Canadians With Disabilities said the issue the party seeks to highlight is an important one.
“The reality is that we are sexual beings,” said vice-chairwoman Pat Danforth. “It’s an issue that remains seldom talked about, which I find quite bizarre.” Danforth, who herself uses a wheelchair, said she’s met a number of individuals with significant disabilities who’ve told her “no one ever gave them permission before to be sexual.”
“With this event, one of the things it will do is, it will give people permission to have an opportunity to explore their own sexuality,” she said. “If it’s in such a way that it’s demonstrating a healthy take on sexuality, then that’s a good thing. It makes people aware and it makes some people less uncomfortable.”
Event Details: The location is at Buddies in Bad Times theatre (which is fully accessible). and it can hold 125 people including roughly 25 wheelchairs. Tickets are $20 each. Personal support workers can attend for free, and there will be interpreters for the hearing impaired.
Tickets: Deliciously Disabled Party
Related article: Toronto club hosting accessible sex party for disabled people