Working Title: Sexual Ability: Embracing the Intersection of Sexuality and (dis)Ability
Editor: Shanna Katz, M.Ed, Human Sexuality Education, Widener University
Submission Deadline: March 31, 2009
Even as we approach the end of the first decade of the 21st century, there is still a large gap in people’s minds when they think about sexuality as it relates to people who are disabled, whether cognitively or physically. While some studies have been performed regarding the potential for differently-abled people to lead satisfying sexual lives, in which satisfying seems to center around the ability to orgasm, very little has been written about the experiences involving the sexualities and experiences of people who identify as handicapped/disabled/differently-abled, as well as their partners.
People of all ability levels are sexual beings. Sex is hard enough to navigate and negotiate when one fits in with society’s notions of what a sexual being is, but once you add in the concept of ability, it can become quite challenge. This anthology, Sexual Ability, seeks to bring forward the stories, challenges and experiences of differently-abled people and their partners, putting a face on the trials that so many valuable members of our society must face. By sharing the experiences of the disabled community in relation to sexuality, Sexual Ability hopes to challenge people’s viewpoints, foster discussion and conversation, and open doors towards a shift in the social constructions surrounding sexuality and disability.
Essay submissions should be well thought out, and written in a scholarly manner. Acceptable submissions can be in the form of short research papers, non-fictional accounts of personal experience(s), discussions on issues regarding sexuality and disability, etc. Fictional pieces/erotica will NOT be considered. Each author may submit a total of two (2) essays for consideration.
Some topics that authors might consider (but are certainly not limited to) include;
- Coming out to a new partner and facilitating the “disability discussion”
- Reclaiming words surrounding sexuality and disability, such as “crip,” “handicapped,” etc.
- Issues within the medical community; talking with doctors about being sexually active when you’re differently-abled.
- Having to create new sex techniques, positions, conversations, or having to re-define the traditional definitions of sex, etc.
- Disabled and queer, disabled and of color, disabled and religious; reconciling multiple identities alongside sexuality.
- Re-conceiving your sexuality after loss of previous abilities, either solo or with a partner.
- Ability and kink; negotiating within the BDSM community when differently-abled.
- Sexuality and ability through out different cultural experiences.
- Portrayal of disabled people in the media (film, TV, art, advertisements, etc) and the connection to sexuality.
- Disability rights; the fight for them, and how they affect sexuality amongst the disabled community.
- Birth control/contraception; getting it, using it, adapting it, as well as pregnancy/adoption/abortion.
- Creating your identity as a disabled person who is a sexual being; how did it evolve, and what was your journey.
- Any other subjects you feel cover the topic of sexuality and (dis)ability.
By March 31, 2009, please send:
- Your 2,000 – 6,000 word submission, as a word document attachment. It should be titled as such: SubmissionTitleAuthorName.doc (example: SexualAbility.ShannaKatz.Doc). Submissions must be received in 12 point Times New Roman font and sent in via Word documents (other files and cut/pasted text will not be accepted).
- Your complete contact information, including legal name, pen name (if you have one), phone number, email, address, and website (if you have one).
- A 50-100 word biography about yourself.
Please submit the above to: email@example.com with the subject line of “Sexual Ability – Submission.” Submissions will be read and reviewed as received, but decisions will be made final by July 2009. Please note that accepted submissions will be approved on a tentative basis, pending editorial board approval once the anthology has secured a publisher.
Questions can be directed to Shanna Katz at firstname.lastname@example.org or please visit the Sexual Ability MySpace page at www. myspace. com/sexualability.
Please distribute widely. Feel free to post on blogs, websites, social networking sites, listserves, etc.
A note: I would not dare to define what disabled/handicapped/differently-abled meant to anyone. Please do not ask me if your disability counts; if you or your partner identify as such, then I welcome your submission to this anthology.