By carrie sarah kaufman
Sex Toys as Assistive Tech: Using VIM with a Disability
Accessing erotic and orgasmic space can be complicated when you live with disabilities, chronic pain, or trauma. For me, orgasm often feels easier, safer, and better when it is a solo experience. This practice of self-care and self-pleasure also frees my body and my mind for more dynamic and interesting sexual connections with my partners—which is to say, sex that doesn't have to revolve only around my genitals or an orgasmic climax.
I have experienced so many different types of both sexual and medical trauma, and I live with the ongoing trauma and complications of a mobility disability and chronic pain. All of this informs my desires with regard to partnered sex, and these days, I cherish the practice of keeping my orgasms to myself and having that powerful experience alone.
For many of us with disabilities, sex toys function as assistive technology and give us greater access to our bodies and pleasure, which is why finding the proper tools and toys is so important! Since becoming disabled, toys have become an integral part of my masturbation practice. They make solo sex more FUN and more possible for me, since they add ease, options, and deeper and different stimulation. FUN FACTORY has a lot of good options and I'm excited to share more about VIM!
VIM is a medium-sized vibrating wand with Hitachi-like power. It is significantly lighter than a traditional Magic Wand, which makes it much easier for me to hold and use. I love that it is as lightweight as some of the smaller vibrating wands that I have tried, but as powerful as the bigger ones. The longer length of this toy also makes reaching more body parts easier, for all the good muscle rubs and soothing, as well as stimulation of my vulva, clit, and butt zones.
I love the textured feel of the silicone on both the handle and head—it adds a nice layer of bumpy massage sensation. VIM comes in a vibrant blue and a deep orange, both super-sexy colors, and the textured silicone is in a really FUN zigzag pattern as well. Access-wise, the buttons on VIM are relatively large and easy to push, and the charger is magnetic, which makes it easy to plug and unplug with minimal effort or hand strength.
The vibrations are deep and rumbly, not buzzy or itchy like some other vibes, and there are several rhythmic patterns in addition to five levels of constant, non-pulsing vibration. I would definitely recommend this wand for people who want a cordless, water-resistant, powerful vibrator that is simple to use and has a lot of reach.
As with all things related to disability and also to sex, everyone's experience is unique! Aside from finding the right toys for your practice, here are some other questions to consider when making sex—solo or otherwise—accessible:
Does your body feel safe and comfortable?
Do you have access to the privacy or physical space that you desire?
Do you have the time and capacity for sexual play?
Do you feel grounded and equipped for what sex might bring up or trigger in your body?
What is your motivation for having sex/playtime? How do you hope to feel?
If you need support from a partner or care worker, is that person available to you?
If you need aftercare, do you have what is needed for that?
I wish you a deep, FUN, and powerful connection.
carrie/cherry sarah kaufman is a queer, multiply disabled, white, anti-Zionist Jewish artist, organizer and kitchen witch. She is in love with supporting other disabled survivors and is currently studying to become AASECT and ANTE-UP certified to continue offering sexuality education grounded in the principles of Disability Justice. Cooking, ritual, and poetry are her current tools for connection and healing. She is also a certified Death Doula. Her work explores disabled embodiment, erotics, survivorship, care, and intimacy, as well as Jewish magic and spirituality. She is the creator of DisabledParts.com, a website featuring stories about disabled sexuality. She is full of fire, water, and honey.
This post was written by a guest blogger, and all opinions and ideas expressed are that of the author. All ideas included are for educational and entertainment value, and do not constitute medical advice.