At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Éric Desmarais (Facebook, Twitter, website) is one of those. He is a young adult urban fantasy/mystery author published by Renaissance Press (Twitter, website), and incredibly amazing to talk to! You can meet him at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.
A shout-out to Jen Desmarais for asking me to contribute as a guest blogger. Thank you so much for including me in the discussion. It’s really important for non-disabled folks to remember that people with disabilities can and want to get it on, too. (Cue the slow jam of choice.)
I have a disability that causes widespread nerve pain, chronic fatigue, and mobility impairment. My turn-ons include fresh sheets, kisses during walks in the sunset, and cupcakes. Like a shocking amount of people I enjoy having sex, and I don’t mind saying so. Does that make you feel uncomfortable? Well, according to an article I read on the Disabled World website: “Sex and disability tends to be a taboo area for many abled bodied persons and is rarely discussed in the same sentence. As a result more than 50% of disabled people do not have any form of a regular sex life.” (Disability Sexuality: Information on Sex & Disabled Sexual Issues, Disabled Word)
I reckon that just because half of people with disabilities aren’t having sex, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s their preferred choice. They are mostly-likely the victims of incorrect assumptions and ignorance.
At Can*Con 2016, I attended a candid panel about sex led by Canadian author Angela S. Stone. In my opinion the panellists created a safe space for us not only to talk about how we can write about sex as authors, but also to discuss how we have sex in real life. When Angela spoke about there being ways other than the missionary position, I agreed wholeheartedly. My hand shot up and I said, “I have a disability. That’s why my husband and I created the Gordon Sutra.” I meant no disrespect to the actual Kama Sutra, but it was my way of describing how as a married couple, we figured out there was more than one way to do the magical it. I also added, addressing the other authors, “Please make sure to write about disabled people having sex, because we have sex, too!” We really do, you know.
Several years ago a young person in my life, who understood how acute my chronic pain was, asked me, “So, sex. Do you still have it?” I replied, “Yup, it’s my anti-inflammatory medicine!” For me—and I am talking about my personal experience only—having sex increased my circulation and loosened my overly-stiff connective tissues. The endorphins reduced my awareness of pain, and the orgasm relaxed me all over. This special connection with my spouse did many things I cannot even explain scientifically. It was a natural therapy while remaining a delicious way of expressing love with my partner.
Things went merrily along with my sex life until I developed chronic severe nerve pain in my pelvis. It lasted four years and was so acute, it even hurt to sit down on a firm chair. Intercourse was mind-numbingly painful. Eventually, everything came to a full-stop in the bedroom. Gone were the lovely anti-inflammatory benefits, replaced with the fear of having sex. I sought medical help for years, without finding a solution. In fact, my pain became much worse and debilitating. Even though my spouse remained remarkably understanding and extremely affectionate, I missed being with him in that way.
Finally, a gynecologist who I’ll name Doctor Awesomesauce explained that my nerve pain was preventing her from examining me. She said it was the equivalent to being poked in the eye. Yowch! Doctor Awesomesauce diagnosed me with pelvic myalgia, which had been triggered by extremely weakened pelvic floor muscles. The prognosis showed I had a good chance that pelvic-floor physiotherapy would work for me. I tried it. Even after the first two weeks, I noticed some pain reduction. I couldn’t wait to have sex again!
It was still difficult to do right away, though. Then it hit me—the heck with intercourse for now. Let’s try outercourse!
Why do we underplay sexual touching? Or am I the only one who thinks we do? I nickname it, “Going to the Petting Zoo.” It’s so sexy all by itself and I wish I had thought of it earlier. Happy sighs were emitted and regular love-making was back in our lives again. After several more sessions the pelvic-floor physiotherapy was successful and now I have a whole arsenal of options to choose from whenever we bring sexy back in our homestead.
You see, lovely non-disabled peeps, I never once thought for even a fleeting moment to accept my disability as a reason for not having sex. As with everything in my life, I just try to find a workaround that makes sense for my body. My libido is quite healthy, so I have the desire to nurture it like anyone else does, and often. Woof!
To readers with disabilities, I salute you, and hope you find the best solution that works for you, medical help with listening ears, and a partner who is enthusiastic to help you in your quest. I even wish you a method that does the job you when you’re all by yourself! It can sometimes be a bit of a maze to discover the how-to’s, but it’s well worth the journey.
At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Jen Desmarais (website) is…well, me. (This is incredibly weird to write.) I am a card game designer for the sexual education/communication game Blush, published by Renaissance Press (Twitter, website)! You can meet me at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.
At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Cait (pronounced Cat) Gordon (Facebook, Twitter, website) is one of those. She is a science fiction/fantasy author published by Renaissance Press (Twitter, website), and she seriously loves desserts! She’s a fantastic person to talk to, and has a great Irish accent that gets more pronounced when she’s excited. You can meet her at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.
At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Madona Skaff-Koren (Twitter, website) is one of those. She is a mystery author published by Renaissance Press (Twitter, website), and incredibly amazing to talk to! You can meet her at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.
At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had to opportunity the meet some incredible people. Melissa Yi (Twitter, website) is one of those. She is an M.D. and author, and incredibly amazing to talk to! You can meet her at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.
At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had to opportunity to meet some incredible people. Derek Newman-Stille (Twitter) is one of those. On top of being a bad-ass secret monster, a PhD candidate, reviewer, editor, and artist, he runs the five-time Aurora Award winning website Speculating Canada!
Dragon is taking her time so I’m back at work this week (until I get the call, text, etc.) That means the super awesome story I have planned for you will have to wait for Thursday. It will hopefully not be postponed again.
This past weekend, despite being Dragon’s due date, we decided to get a table at Can-Con. It’s our favourite convention and is totally awesome.
One of the highlights of my weekend was selling coffee to authors I respect. It makes me feel all fan-boyish. The other was seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Can-Con people rock.
Not wanting to be too far away from Dragon, or the table, I only got to see one panel and give my first reading.
The panel I went to was about antagonists, it was incredibly interesting. The panelists were great (as usual).
Next year I plan on being on more panels. (I was asked but didn’t want to risk the chance of a Dragon hatching pulling me away).
To all the organizers, panelists, volunteers, vendors, and visitors to Can-Con; thank you so much for making it another great convention. I look forward to doing it again next year!
We’d both like to thank everyone who made sure Jen was ok and checked in on her throughout the weekend. You made her and I feel extremely loved and cared for!
I learnt an important lesson about reading. Double check the passage before you read it. I just chose a random one and went for it, but didn’t account for how much extra set-up I needed. Seriously, I think I chose the part with the most characters in the entire book. I was sweaty, mumbling, and awkward, but people said I did okay. Next time I’ll prepare a little more.
Speaking of next time…
This October 29th, Jen, I, and 6 other fantastic authors will be launching books and a game. It’ll be amazing. There are prizes, readings, food, and costumes!
There will probably be a baby Dragon there, in an adorable costume. (She’ll hatch by then right?)
This is the best place to get my book and some of my favourite reads from the past few years.
That’s it for now.
I’ll either be writing a new post on Thursday or you’ll get a story as I cuddle a Dragon.
CAN-CON is coming up pretty fast. (10 days) You could say I’m counting down the days until the 9th of September. Yes, we’re crazy enough to be selling at a convention the weekend that Dragon is due to hatch.
The reason we’re comfortable with that is simply that the people at CAN-CON are absolutely lovely and if feels more like a get together of friends than a convention. It’s a warm, inviting, and overall wonderful event.
This year I was invited to be on some panels but I declined so I’d be available in case Dragon shows up. I will however be doing a reading with my publisher and some other awesome writers.
Come see me at 2pm on Saturday the 10th if you’re at the convention.
When you go to Can-Con, you get to meet some pretty fantastic people. The attendees are fun and intelligent, you get to listen to panels by experts in their field, and you get to meet some amazing authors. I cannot speak highly enough about this convention. Seriously, our favourite of the year. (And that includes the one that *I* organize – CON Creative Ottawa Nerds!)
This is one of the amazing authors I mentioned in the above paragraph. Kevin Johns has written several books, including as a ghost writer (I didn’t know those existed on this plane!) and he is a writing coach. He hosts free webinars occasionally, of which I have had the opportunity to attend quite a few, and he really knows what he’s talking about. And he has a new book coming out soon – M School! I was one of the fortunate few who got to Beta read this book, and OMG is it ever good!
You can meet him, and many others (including us, barring circumstances), at Can-Con 2016, happening Sept 9 – 11, 2016 at the Novotel in downtown Ottawa! I saw a sneak peek of the schedule – it’s going to be even better than last year, which I didn’t think was possible!