When Rafe Biggs, PhD, fell off a roof, breaking his neck, in 2004 his first thought was, “Will I ever walk again?” closely followed by his second thought, “Can I ever have pleasurable sex again?”
Biggs, a quadriplegic, set out to find a way to re-experience orgasm and through sex therapy, or sex surrogacy, he found that his thumb was a sensitive part of his body that could create the feelings he once had in his genitals. During that time he blogged about his findings to help others with similar injuries. As the blog gained more interest, Sexability was born.
“Just because you have an injury, that doesn’t mean that your sexuality has to stop,” Biggs says. “There are other ways that you can be sexual and learn about the ways to connect and date.”
Biggs began offering resources for others with disabilities, one-on-one coaching and started a support group in the bay area of San Francisco, Calif. After being featured in an episode of “Strange Sex” on TLC, the organization gained more followers and Ligia Andrade, MA, also a quadriplegic, joined Biggs. Now they have even more to offer those who are disabled and looking to rediscover their sexuality including work with youth disability groups and online seminars, “webinars.”
“Our main goal is to transform the way society perceives sexuality and disability,” Andrade says. “Usually our community is seen as non-sexual or asexual and it’s completely the opposite. We’re human beings and one of the commonalities of all human beings is intimacy and love and desire.”
Sexability will be holding its first webinar starting April 22. It will be held every Tuesday from 5:00–6:30 p.m. PDT for six weeks. Each session will cover a different topic and some weeks will feature a guest speaker such as Sheryl Coan Green, one of the characters in the movie The Sessions. As the pilot webinar, Biggs and Andrade will be making it very interactive to find out what users want to learn and are offering it at a discounted price.
“We want to give people a lot of different tools for … to have a really healthy self esteem and body image around sexuality and also different ways to create relationships whether its with people that they’re dating or just in general, having a lot more love and intimacy in their life,” Biggs says.
“I think also giving people back the control over their bodies, over relationships, their sexuality, because many times being disabled you lose control over a lot of different things in your life and you have to depend on other people,” Andrade says. “And with this, I think that people regain their autonomy, they regain their ability to explore in themselves and others without having people control that for them.”
For more information, visit sexability.org.
Check out our interview with Sexability at 2:23: