Disability after dark – Podcast

Listen to super cool podcast by Andrew Gurza!

From his webpage: 

ABOUT ANDREW

Andrew Gurza is a Disability Awareness Consultant who invites you to do “Disability with Drew”. In his work, he seeks to explore how the lived experience of disability feels, as it interplays with intersectional communities.  He shares his lived experiences of disability in a raw, vulnerable and unapologetic fashion.

He has presented all across North America on sex and disability as a Queer Crippled man. His written work has been highlighted in Out Magazine, The Advocate and Huffington Post.

He also hosts the Disability After Dark podcast, which shines a bright light on sex and disability.

ABOUT DISABILITY AFTER DARK

DisabilityAfterDark is a brand that looks specifically at disability through a sexual lens.  The brand will go deeper into the experience of sex and disability via a podcast, blogs and writings and a strong social media presence.   I chose DisabilityAfterDark because I wanted to play with the idea of taboo; people tend to assume that sex and disability is wrong, dark and scary, I wanted to explore that. DisabilityAfterDark also plays with the idea of mythology. So many people think that people with disabilities having sex lives and owning their sexualities, simply doesn’t exist.   DisabilityAfterDark hopes to shine a big, bright light on sex and disability, and go deeper into the topic than ever before.

Listen to the podcasts:

Why We Need Disabled, Queer Male Porn Performers

This text was published in april 2016 in the Huffington Post by Andrew Morrison-Gurza Founder/Co-Director, Deliciously Disabled Consulting .

Like so many of us out there in the male-seeking-male community, I have quite an active relationship with pornography (if I am honest, my relationship might be a little too active).  I can remember the very first time I ever watched a gay porn scene.   I was about 13 years old, and I was home alone on my dad’s old dial up Internet connection. (So you can imagine just how fast it actually was, right?)  I stumbled onto this website of these two college aged “runners” in a scene where they exchanged oral and some pretty vigorous fucking.

As I watched, while I became completely intoxicated by this scene, because it cemented that I definitely had a predilection for the peen, something else was happening to me too — something deeper and more affecting than I understood at the time.  I was learning about our culture.  I was learning about the performance of masculinity, and that to be a real gay man you had to look and act a certain way in order to be accepted.

As I watched these two men switch positions with ease and comfort, as if it were nothing to do this, barely saying anything to one another, but totally understanding what was to happen next, I understood that my body wasn’t good enough.  I understood that as a disabled man, this would never be my experience (I know, many of you are reading that last part and lamenting that even though you are able-bodied, it will never be your experience either).  This first foray into the fantasy of porn, and the feelings that I had back then of exclusion in this arena, have continued to linger even now, and I think it’s time that we start talking about why having porn stars with disabilities in MSM entertainment is important, necessary and long overdue.

While it is happening slowly (much too slowly for my liking, tbh), we are beginning to see some slight changes in the types of male performers that have entered, and are being accepted, into the mainstream porn industry.  I am starting to see more men of color represented in scenes without being overtly fetishized. I have also watched scenes where men of different body types, in particular, “bears” or “cubs,” or those who don’t fall into the traditional male porn typography, are gaining wider recognition.   I think that we still have a long way to go in this respect, but that seeing these images that break certain molds is important.

The one body that we have yet to come across in mainstream gay male porn is the disabled male body — in fact, it is non-existent.  This sends a really loud and clear message to queer crippled men that their sexuality is not valued or valid in the LGBTQ+ community.   The lack of representation in this arena speaks volumes, as it suggests that we aren’t even considered as part of anyone’s fantasy (and I know there are so many of you that want to get a hand or two on my joystick).

Let’s consider what having a porn star with disabilities would look like, and why they would enhance gay male pornography.

1. Different Scenes and Styles: How many of us have watched a porn scene between two male performers and the same things happen: two minutes of making out, a blow job scene, fucking and then the money shot.   Having a performer with disabilities wouldn’t necessarily mean that this formula would have to change drastically, but it would mean that the scene would get to focus more on the experience of disability.   We’ve all watched scenes where the performers undress one another as part of the foreplay, and I think these scenes can be incredibly hot.   The disabled performer could be undressed by their scene partner, but the scene could focus on how that is done, and have shots that establish the disabled body being sexualized, and the chemistry that comes with that.  The partners may also have to negotiate getting into bed, with lifts/slings/etc. This might change the stylistic way the porn is shot, providing for a much deeper, intimate and honest portrayal that would add a whole new level to the scene itself. Given that so many scenes are shot in stereotypical queer male spaces — locker rooms, the shower, etc. — adding a disabled porn performer would allow us to look at what accessibility issues impede sexuality for queer crippled men.  A shower scene wouldn’t work unless it was big enough for a commode chair, the locker room scene might show a special transfer device that could be sexualized by the performers.   Of course, if one of the performers was a wheelchair user, their scene partner could climb up on it and use that as well.    There are so many opportunities that can be expanded on when disability is considered here.

2. Different Positions and Different Blocking: I have long said in the work I do, that I will never be able to “fuck you like a porn star,” but, what if I could?  One of my signature sex positions is “the dead turtle” (okay, okay, this is where I just lay on my back and my partner comes up and meets my body); I call it that because I am flat on back unable to move, much like a turtle, and I think it would be important to see how these positions look on camera.   It would mean that the camera would capture something completely new and different, allowing for the viewing audience to get something fresh in their fantasy.

3. The Messaging about Maleness: Having a disabled male porn performer in the mainstream arena allows for us to deconstruct what we consider to be the epitome of the gay male porn star.  A disabled performer could rely on certain tropes still, but it does open up things for a more nuanced look at the portrayal of masculinity in these scenes.   The viewer might get to see how the disabled performer has had to adapt their masculinity in certain spaces, and this could create a really sexy, intimate feel to the scene as a whole.

4. To Queer Men With Disabilities: Seeing ourselves on film in this regard would act as a powerful and potent reminder that we have sexual agency and sexual capital while seated.  It would show young, queer crippled kids who may be struggling that they can be sexual, and it would give them guideposts when navigating what they want their sexuality to look like.

5.      To the Larger MSM Community:  Seeing a disabled male porn performer would send the message to the community as a whole that disability is sexy, and that it is okay to sexualize queer crippled men.  It would allow them to answer so many questions about the disabled body for themselves, and it would help them to become less uncomfortable when thinking about sex and disability.

Ultimately, having a porn star with a disability in male-on-male porn would be an important step in diversifying the dude on dude landscape.  It would change the game entirely.   So, if any porn performers or studios want to see the possibilities of hiring or working with a PwD (Porn Star with Disabilities), take a chance, take a risk, understand that the marketability of a scene like this is in the message.  Give me a call (Colby Keller and Cockyboys have first dibs); who knows what magical, majestic and altogether never before “scene” work this queer cripple might help create.

Price of Intimacy: The Time I Hired a Sex Worker

This is a repost from Out magazine. Article by Andrew Gurza. Illustration  by Emiliano Ponzi.

I’d never considered the price of intimacy until I hired a sex worker. Though I’d been learning to embrace my life in a wheelchair—a result of cerebral palsy—going without touch, or even access to my own body, was taking a toll. Even so, I didn’t come to my decision lightly. I was worried about shame, stigma, and fear, and concerned I’d pay for time and still not get what I needed. I spent weeks quieting the voices in my head telling me that using the services of a sex worker was not a good idea. Would this be the only way I could find intimacy? Would someone even want to do this with me, or would he only view it as a charitable opportunity to help a cripple? Despite all these questions, I sat in my apartment reflecting on my nearly year-long celibacy. It was time to take care of myself.

After scouring site after site with rows and rows of horny men holding their hard-ons, I found David. His smile was warm, inviting, and intriguingly devious all at once. He was older than me, in his mid-40s, and his photos showed off a powerful body, a strong charisma, and an undeniable charm. I’d often felt physically invisible within the mainstream LGBT community, but David possessed everything I longed for.

I sent David a cursory email, telling him that I was interested in using his services, but that I had never done this before, that I was nervous. I also casually explained as best I could that I lived with a disability and used a chair. He emailed back some hours later, letting me know that he had experience working with clients with disabilities. David wrote bluntly: “If I’m unsure of something, I’ll just ask.” It was a refreshing change from all the guys who tripped and tumbled over their discomfort.

We ironed out the logistics—a time, a location, a fee. Knowing that my sexuality would be broken down into a succinct session was daunting, and it took away from the fantasy and spontaneity I had dreamed of. But this, perhaps, was the cost of getting what I wanted, what I needed. David gently reminded me that I was paying for his time, and whatever happened happened. On our very last exchange, just a day before we’d meet, he called and asked me a simple question, though one I have never been asked before: “What do you want?”

Shyly and nervously I outlined my likes and dislikes as well as my abilities. I wanted kissing. I craved body contact. I couldn’t bottom for him because of my spasticity and tight muscles. I’d need help undressing and being put in bed. I paused, smiled. My needs were at the forefront.

On a rainy, blustery Saturday afternoon, my iPhone blinked with the message that David was in my lobby. I looked at myself in the mirror: a long-sleeve shirt, cozy winter sweats, a baseball cap. I headed downstairs in the elevator. When the door opened, I recognized him immediately. “Hey there! How are you?” he said, giving me a big hug as if we were long-lost friends. I kept watching him, in part because I still couldn’t believe this was happening, and because he looked really good in those tight blue jeans and that leather jacket.

A sexy man was in my house. We made small talk, waiting for someone to strike. He led himself into my bedroom and asked me about the transfer device I use to get into bed. I told him he would have to lift my legs while I held on to two gymnastic rings fastened to a hydraulic lift in my ceiling. I continued babbling, watching him get closer to me, taking off his coat, revealing a tank top and thick, muscled arms. He then straddled my chair, bent down, and kissed me. As I reached and pawed at him—my limbs flailing, not wanting to miss an inch—he stopped me. He looked into my eyes, past the rejection and pain caused by other lovers, and spoke with a firm honesty. “It’s OK.”

David drank in my disability and I dared not stop him. He lifted me out of my chair and held me in his arms. He grabbed me, cradled me, and kissed me. I curled up into him so he could feel the scars, curves, rods, and contractures that inform my disability. I felt sexy. He took off my shirt, and together we revealed my skin. As he moved down my body, and took off my pants and shoes, I worried what he would do when he saw my leg bag and my toes, which curled into each other. But David made this act of care exciting and real for me. When I was finally naked with him on the bed—my body going into spastic fits as a result of CP—I started to tense even more as I neared climax. In a piercing moment of release, I felt my two identities collide: queer and crippled came together in a surge of pure, uncomplicated pleasure.

The afterglow was setting in as David lay beside me. He held me tight and kissed my forehead. He told me that I was handsome, and as I looked at his arms wrapped around my spindly legs, I felt he meant it. Moments passed and he placed me in my chair, planting one last soft kiss on my lips before ending our session and saying goodbye. As I sat alone, my adrenaline became diluted by a calming bliss. I could not shame this experience because it marked a passage greater than a fleeting carnal exchange. It was the start of my own physical assertion. I would not settle for an affectionless existence, and I had to strive to honor what I wanted as a seated, but sexually alive, man. I finally had someone see me, and regardless of the cost, I finally showed myself to someone else.

About the author…

Andrew Gurza is the Founder/Co-Director of Deliciously Disabled Consulting, where he strives to make disability accessible to everyone within pop culture and intersectional communities. In the LGBT community, Andrew works to deconstruct our homo-normative, body-beautiful ideals, and show that queers with disabilities deserve representation.  His goal is to welcome everyone into the conversation of disability. His written work has been highlighted in The Advocate, Huffington Post, and The Good Men Project, where he candidly discusses the realities of sex and disability as a queer cripple. You can reach out to him on Twitter (@deliciouslydrew) and via email (andrew@deliciouslydisabled.org).