Undressing Disability: Emily Yates at TEDxYouth@StPeterPort (Transcript)

Whether you be a wheelchair user, an amputee, or managing incontinence on a regular basis. That issue is really, really attractive to a devotee. It might be hard to believe, but if I were sat in a bar with hundreds of models, a devotee might just pick me.

Now, there’s something about devoteeism which can be really empowering. You know, disabled people feel 100% accepted for who they are, for every little piece of them, and especially for the pieces of them that mainstream society has often told them are not very desirable.

So, devotees can be a great thing. But there can also be a lot of vulnerability and power issues surrounding devoteeism. Devotees are known to stalk people with disabilities, are known to set up fake social media profiles, are known to film disabled people on their mobile phones as they are going and doing their weekly shop. This is something that people with disabilities and without disabilities need to be made aware of.

Devotees can also create online catalogues of what they call Disability Porn. Don’t mistake this for the porn that we all know. Disability porn rarely has any sexual acts in it whatsoever. It really does just involve people with disabilities doing the most boring, everyday tasks that you can imagine. Transferring from their bed to their wheelchair, having a wash in the morning, going around Tesco, or getting in and out of their car. To me and you, not really worth seeing.

But the whole point is that these tasks exhibit the disabled body and show a struggle which devotees find sexually arousing. I’m not here to judge, I’m not here to advocate for or against a relationship with a devotee.

What I am here to advocate, and what Enhance the UK is here to advocate, is for everybody to know their sexual rights, for everybody to have an opportunity to have a filling, satisfactory, consensual, exciting relationship, whether they have a disability or not.

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We are also fighting for an informed understanding within education, an inclusive education at that I hope I’ve given you some insight into the world of disability and sex.

Thank you so much.

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