157 - Disability After Dark with Andrew Gurza

This week we had the pleasure of talking to “Disability After Dark” podcast host Andrew Gurza! Andrew gave us an amazingly funny and candid interview on the 101 of sex and disability and dove into some deeper topics regarding language, intersectionality and his Huffington Post Article, “4 things you should never say to a Queer Cripple Before, During or After Sex.” Andrew is a Disability Awareness Consultant and his work has been featured in Huffington Post, Mashable, Everyday Feminism and many other news outlets.

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Jase: On this episode of the multiamory podcast we're talking with Andrew Gurza. A disability awareness consultant and crippled content creator. He's also the host of Disability after Dark, the show that shines a bright light on sex and disability. In his work, he seeks to explore how the lived experience of disability feels as it interplays with intersexual communities and he's just a fucking awesome guy.

Emily: Yes, I loved this interview. It's awesome. I really, really enjoyed speaking with him. Also-- yes, do you want to say something?

Jase: No, I was just going to say that I first was introduced to his podcast maybe a year ago or so. It's only been around for about a year and a half. About a year ago and I thought, "Man, that's a cool show I need to get him on our show." and so we finally did. Yay, I'm glad that we finally had Andrew on our show today.

Emily: Yes, and Dedeker is gone? I don’t know, she's gone. She's not here this week so it's just the two of us with Andrew as our third co-host this week.

Jase: Dedeker, watch out your job may be replaced-

Emily: Exactly.

Jase: - we have a new third host.

Emily: New sheriff in town, and with that.

Jase: Anyway, in this episode, we get into all sorts of great stuff from some basics to things that are a little more in-depth than that. I feel like it was a really valuable episode for me, personally-

Emily: Me too.

Jase: - and I hope that it is for all of you as well because this is something that we haven't talked about on our show at all before. About both sex and also just relationships and dating with disabilities. With that let's get to the interview.

Emily: Welcome, Andrew, to the podcast. Thank you so much for being on. I just wanted to start out with your specific podcast, Disability after Dark, is really awesome and amazingly candid and really open. I just wanted to ask for our listeners out there who haven't potentially listened to your podcast yet. What is the message of it? What type of information are you hoping that your listeners will get from listening to your podcast?

Andrew Gurza: The message is shining a bright light on sex and disability. That's really all it is and it started out a year and a half ago. Really wanting to go deeper into sex and disability. That's morphed into just talking about sexuality generally with a loose link to disability because the more and more I do it, the more and more I talk to people about sexuality and disability. It has grown so much in a way that isn't just about the physical act of sex and even the emotional act of sex. There's so much more to it like next week-- By the time this airs it'll be out.

There'll be an episode about me in drag and there's stuff around identity. It's so much bigger than I thought it was going to be. The message is just let's have a really frank conversation about sexuality generally, identity, gender, ability, disability, all those things are part of it now. The message has really grown to just let's talk about sexuality as it is, with relation to disability.

Emily: Yes, I'm going to skip ahead a little bit here but, you have an after dark in your title of your podcast. We, for example, tend to talk a little bit more about relationships and you, obviously, are talking a lot about sex. Did you feel like there was something missing out in the grand land of podcast out there that you really felt like you wanted to have sex be a big part of your podcast specifically?

Andrew: I'm just a sexual person and I wanted to talk about that. I had been blogging for Huffpost and for other outlets and for the Advocate in Nashville, and all those things. When you're disabled sometimes typing is, for me, typing is not the easiest sometimes. I get tired easily when I type a lot so I'll just podcast and see if that translates. At the time a year and a half ago that was what people were doing and that was the cool new thing even before then. It's been a thing for a couple of years now.

I looked around, there were so few podcasts talking about sex and disability and I was like, "I already have this market that I'm growing why don't I just turn it into a podcast and see what happens" and this is where we are.

Jase: On your website, one of the things that you say is that your goal as a disability awareness consultant is to bring the experience of disability to you in a way that is open, fun, and above all else, accessible. What we wanted to do on this episode was to cover some of that, we call it a 101. We've actually recently had a number of 101 style episodes about relationship anarchy 101, polyamory 101. We'd love to cover some of that and then hopefully also get into deeper questions as well as we go through that.

Andrew: Sure. First, I'll say I love 101s. That's so much what I do in my job. I think we need to get to a place where we stop asking disabled people like, "How do you have sex? Oh my God, you have sex? Wow, let's be shocked by that". We need to get to a place where the shock and awe of the fact that somebody who has disabilities would want to be sexual goes away. It's not brave to be sexual and disabled. It's not inspiring to be sexual and disabled. It's just is part of what it is. When I do 101s I try to talk about the deeper stuff.

I try to bring people into my experience because we think we know what disability is but we don't know how it feels. We often don't know how it feels and I do because I live it everyday and so do so many other people. Also with my podcast, I don't know how some invisible disabilities feel. I don't know how some chronic illnesses feel. I don't know how all that feels so when I invite a guest on half of the time I'm just listening they went, "Wow, I didn't think about this". When I give a lecture I am giving them 101 but I'm showing them that there's more to it than how does Andrew have sex like.

If you want to know how to fuck me come over and have sex with me.


Emily: Exactly. No, that's awesome. I love that you talked about disabilities or the things that people can't see right in front of them but that may also be prevalent and that should be talked about as well and thought about as well. That's really awesome.

Andrew: Yes, that's something that even my own privilege didn't allow me to see until I had other disabled people with invisible disabilities come up to me and say, "You haven't spoken about our experience a lot. What are you going to do to fix that?" and at first I was like, "Oh wow, I didn't even realize. Okay, alright" and then the more and more I talked to individuals with multiple levels of disability, you notice that they need a space to talk. When I'm talking to an individual with invisible disabilities I'll say like, "Okay, I'm super ignorant about this. Show me this".

I think as a wheelchair user too, because I'm a wheelchair user, you unintentionally feel like, "Oh, my wheelchair is the only way to be disabled" and that's just not true. By listening to these other voices, I'm becoming so much more intersectional just by shutting up and listening and letting them tell me like, "Hey, I'm a person with an invisible disability and I like sex this way" or "I like to do this".

It's so eye-opening for me which is why I love doing episodes where I'm talking about my own experience but when I have a guest where I can just sit and go, "Wow, okay tell me more about this" and I know that the audience is going to be hearing that going, "Okay, maybe my experience is here then maybe I'm represented too". It's so nice to know that even just a white guy in a wheelchair talking about how hard it is being a white guy in a wheelchair trying to have sex.

Jase: I think especially over the past year but even before that doing our show that will get feedback from our listeners calling us out on things that either we haven't done a good job of representing or certain things that we say-

Emily: Dead wrong.

Jase: - like language that we use that we had no idea despite our best efforts to be inclusive. A simple example of this is, we had an episode where we were talking about labels and how it's difficult when the world puts labels on polyamorous relationships because sometimes that doesn't always fit. In our conversation about it, we referred to women that we've dated as girls that we've dated and someone called us out on it being like, "Hey, actually calling women girls is infantilizing and is not a great thing to do" and we're just like, "Jeez, you're right. We've done that for a long time now".

We've worked hard together to change our language around that. More recently, it's been things like crazy like saying like, "Gosh, this is crazy good" or "Man, it's just been crazy lately". People pointing out "Hey actually that's ableist against people who are actually called crazy because of a mental disability that they have." In the spirit of that, I was wondering if we could start out this 101 course with a little bit of that, like what are some things that are not okay to say, language wise, and what are things that are okay.

Andrew: That's a loaded question because my moniker is queer cripple so I go against what is politically correct and what's not politically correct to say. I'm very outspoken about the language I use to describe myself. I think when you're dealing with another disabled person just much how you're dealing with a non-binary and trans communities right now where we're asking, "Hey, what are your pronouns?". We need to adopt the same idea around disability identity and say like, "Hey, I see you have a disability" or "I noticed you mentioned you have a non-visible disability. How would you like me to refer to you and to that?".

Let them tell you what they decide because if you ask me what my preferred term is I'll tell you queer cripple, that's what you should call me and especially if you're someone that I'm fucking that's what I prefer to be referred to as. That's what I'll say but I think language needs to move away from person first identities, so person with a disability is the quote, unquote correct term. I think we need to look at preferred language.

If somebody says, "I'm handicapable" as much as that makes me cringe if they told me that was their preferred monicker I would have to respect it because that's what they've asked me to call them. I think we have to start asking disabled people, "What do you want to be called? What do you prefer?". It gives us the agency to say, "Actually, you can call me fucking cripple fucker. That's what I like". It gives us the agency to decide what we want to be called period. Does that answer the question sort of?

Jase: Yes, definitely. It's interesting because I think it's a difficult question because like, for example, on your show where you refer to yourself as a queer cripple and you refer to your crip cock and things like that-

Emily: I love that so much.

Andrew: Things I don't remember saying but I'm sure I did.

Emily: You're just cracking up.

Jase: - stuff like that where I don't know if that's something that you would want me to call you or if that's only something for you to say by yourself.

Andrew: If we were making out and we were in having sexy time together yes, I would probably be okay with that. I've asked partners once to playfully, if they wanted to, call me that or give me a nickname that incorporates disability because it forces them to see it for what it is. It proves to me that you're comfortable. If you spend the whole time we're together tiptoeing around like, "Oh my god, how do I handle this?" whereas if you just laugh at me and call me a cripple and we laugh together and I've given you permission to do that.

I'm not saying go up to a disabled person and scream like, "Hey, cripple. What's up?" no. If we're messing around and we're friends and we're hanging out and I say to you, "Please call me cripple because it allows for you to see me" that's a big deal. It's a badge of honor that you should be like, "Wow, Andrew let me into this part of his identity" especially if we're having sexy moments together, then I would hope you're comfortable enough to make those jokes to me.

The discomfort around the humor -- sometimes I don't want to make jokes about it but I feel like if I don't. What if the other person doesn't ever relax? I use it as a testing mechanism to see if this other person is going to be okay with things. I'm not sure.

Jase: Yes.

Emily: That's awesome.

Jase: It's interesting you bring that up to because in your episode about your Huffington Post article, the four things you should never say to a queer cripple before, during, or after sex. You said actually there was a lot of backlash against using the word cripple in that, wasn't there?

Andrew: Yes, there was. Whenever I post an article and use the word cripple before even reading the article some people would be like, "Well, you shouldn't use that word it's demeaning" I'm like, "Did you read the rest of that 2,000-word article said about the thing I was writing about? Did you read what I said?". The editor of Huffpost at that time had to step in and be like, "We're going to let him use the language he wants to. Take a breath" but it's mostly able-minded people running to my defense like, "Oh my god, how could you say that it's so derogatory".

Yes it was and yes it is, in certain contexts, but I've taken it back for myself. Again, if I don't know you and you walked up to me in the street and start yelling cripple I'm going to probably not like that, but if I know you, we're friends and I've said to you like, "Hey, maybe after we have sex this morning you could call me this or maybe during the sex you can call me this". Like I said, it's a form of reclamation for me. Actually next week I'm getting a tattoo of the words queer cripple on my chest because it's such an important terminology for me and it tied me to my job.

It's how I built my name around those terms and I've said, "I don't fucking care what you think about me" I'm going to put this two once horribly derogatory terms on my body and say this is now my power language I'm owning it. If you want to get on this ride with me you should probably know that that's how I refer to myself".

Emily: On that note. Can you tell us what the four things you should never say to a queer cripple before, during, or after sex are?

Jase: Or give us enough of a preview so people can learn something but then they can go listen to your episode to get the rest of it.

Andrew: I should probably pull that I haven't looked at it a while. All right, so the four things you should never ask a queer cripple before, during, or after sex are, please, please don't tell me that taking care of me isn't that hard if before, during, or after the sex you have to move my body or help me out in some way with respect to disability. Please don't tell me that it was so nice taking care of you or it was so easy. Please don't do that it's super infantilizing. It will make me not want to ever have sexy time with you ever again.

It's super weird and I don't appreciate being infantilized right after I did a thing with you or during the thing or before the thing. The next thing is please don't ask me during sex if I can get it up. It's super uncomfortable and if you ask me just as you're about to go down on me if I can get it up then I'm never going to be able to get it up.

Jase: That was my thought when you said that. It's just like Jesus, when someone asks that I'm definitely not getting it up then.

Emily: Exactly.

Andrew: Also, as a disabled person you might be dealing with erectile dysfunction problems. You might have medications that require them you can't get an erection fully like somebody who doesn't deal with all that stuff. Asking that question is full of ableist stuff that we have to stop doing. I think the trouble especially in my experience as a queer man, a queer CISgender man who has only currently spent time with other CISgendered men. The idea of being erect is like how we view arousal, which is just so backwards and a little bit archaic-

Jase: It's very narrow, yes.

Andrew: - I'm not saying I don't enjoy an erect penis or anything, but I do feel like it's just so-- why would you ask somebody that ever because that doesn't even get in their heads. Even if they weren’t disabled and you ask your partner like, "Hey, can you get it up right now?" "Not anymore". Then after that one, the next thing you should never do is you should never ask somebody if I were you-- you never say to a disabled person before, during, or after sex, "If I were you I would kill myself".

I had a partner once, we didn't even actually end up having sex. We were just flirting with the idea and he was helping me get ready, he was one of my attending care workers and we were playing with the idea of maybe fooling around after we had stopped working for each other. He was like, "You know if I were you I'd kill myself" it's so powerful that you would just live everyday in your life and I was like, "What?" I'm never going to want to spend time with you again.

He said it with such genuine feeling. He didn't even realize what he was saying was weird and uncomfortable. I remember being with him and just being like I don't-- and he was also my careworker at that time so I had to deal with him after that. I just kept quiet, I didn't say anything, I didn't say-- Cause what do you say when someone is like "If I were you I'd be dead." Like thank you? What do you say?

Emily: I have no idea.

Andrew: Then one of the most interesting moments that I've ever had with a lover ever in my whole life. I met this guy on an app a couple of years ago. We we're going to mess around. He came over to my place. We were messing around. We're making out real pretty passionately. We were going to get down to the heavy stuff soon. We're doing it, and he softy goes like, "I have to stop. I have to stop." I was like, "Okay." Like, "What's going on? What's happening?" He was like, "You remind me of my ex-girlfriend's dead disabled son."

Emily: What the fuck?

Andrew: I was like, "What? How do I? How does one? What?" He was like, "Well, yes. He was a kid, and he passed away. He was in a wheelchair, too." I was like, "Cool." I just didn't know. I honestly was flabbergasted [laughs]. I didn't know what to do. I asked him to leave because I was like, "I can't get into this now."

I think telling somebody that they remind, telling an innocent person during the throes of sex that they remind you of this other disabled person, even isn't as creepy as that, "You remind me of my ex-girlfriend's dead disabled kid," you probably shouldn't. You should be spending time with the person you're with and not comparing. Well, this one time when I was with this other disabled person, this happened like, "No. If we're doing this, then don't."

I think people need to realize that when you're hanging out, and I'm going back to go back to the 101 part of this thing, when you're hanging out with a disabled person, especially for the first time, especially when you're both vulnerable and naked and you might be getting having some sex, you're going to see something ableist. It just going to happen. You're going to say something inappropriate. You're going to do something wrong, and that's okay.

I think what disabled people need to realize, too, is if you're fucking a non-disabled person, they're going to say something stupid. They're going to say something inappropriate. They're going, as used to say, I don't say it much anymore, but I'll bring it back for this, they're going to instead of putting their foot in their mouth, they're going to swallow their leg. They're going to say something really inappropriate. They're going to, and they won't mean it. They will have no idea how inappropriate it is. You have two choices.

If you don't like the person, you go ahead and give them a, "Oh, my God. I can't blame you. Why would you." If you want to really spend time with the person, you have the opportunity, not the obligation, I want to make that clear, not the obligation the opportunity to say like, "Hey, so that thing you did just there was weird for me, and here's why?" You can lay out like, "I felt like this, and blah, blah, blah." Again, you don't have if you don't have the energy or the desire or the want.

Especially, with someone you just want to fuck, you don't really want to spend time dealing with their ableism. If you like the person, can see something continuing, you can say like, "Actually, maybe don't do this again." I think as an able-bodied person, if you're going to have a go with another disabled person, you can be sure you're going to say something really inappropriate. Not that it's, it's so complicated because it's not okay but it is okay because you should learn from it and move on and try not to do it again.

You're going to stumble because disability is something that's still so taboo and still so new and still so like, "Wow." Most people have never been with a disabled person sexually. The don't know how to act. They don't know how to be. They don't know what's appropriate. It's okay. It's also okay to be a non-disabled person. I think in my opinion it's okay to be a non-disabled person and come into this situation to be like, "Okay. I think you're really hot, but I have no fucking clue what I'm doing.

Before I go down on you, how about we have a discussion about that," or "Just be aware that I'm going to do something probably weird. Just be ready for that." That's okay. There's something endearing to have somebody be like, "I don't know what the fuck I'm doing. I have never done this before, but I think you're hot. I'd like to get you on your wheelchair and fuck you or fuck around with you." There's something really adorable about that. The more people will just do that as opposed to try to be really politically correct.

I think the trouble with, especially, disability is we've been taught never to say something wrong. We've been taught never to, we've been taught to walk on eggshells around disabled people all the time. That's a nice idea, but when you're about to suck somebody off or give them head or get naked with them, you're vulnerable. You're going to stumble, and that's okay. I have stumbled. I have done really crappy weird things, too. I'm like, "I never realized. So sorry about." You just move on. You just don't, try not to do it again.

Jase: Right. I think that's a really, I'm thinking about it, too, because that reminds me a lot of things we've talked about on other episodes. For any kind of, I guess minority for a lack of better word, but whether it's because you're polyamorous or because you're a certain race or you're from a certain country, there is that thing of people are probably going to fuck up. I've had people say some pretty offensive things about polyamory to me with the best of intentions, with being super fascinated.

"I want to learn more about it," and saying something that I'm like in my head I'm like, "God, what you said was horrible," but you're making that choice. Like you said of, "Do I want to take the time right now to say, 'Well, actually, that's a little bit weird to say.'"

Andrew: And not usually, because usually I am in a throes of making this with this person where I'm like, "Maybe if I chew them out right now, maybe they won't fuck me again." The sex was really good. There's many reasons why I don't confront. Like I said, I have said ableist things about people, too, in the work I do. I have said things that I wish I could take back sometimes. People that had to correct me, they're like, "Andrew, wait a minute. What about this?" It's a learning experience.

I think we need to be open to, especially, in our social justice warrior 2018 world.

Emily: We could be open.

Andrew: We could be open to like, "I made a mistake. I'm really sorry about it. Can I get another chance?" I'm not saying that's always the easiest thing to grant somebody. I think when it comes to disability, a lot of disabled people have a right to be angry, very, very angry, about a lot of the stuff that's happened to them. I get it. I'm angry, too, but I'm trying to turn that anger into something productive for myself.

Because I could sit and spend a whole hour with the two of you talking about how every relationship that I've ever had has been a one night stand, and I would suck some, blah, blah, but that doesn't help me. That just spirals it out. Instead of that, I said, "Let's create a podcast and talk about," bring all the stuff that I'm annoyed about into a forum where I can talk about it. I think disabled people have not an obligation because no one's obligated, to.

They have an opportunity to take their experience and show able-bodied people and non-disabled people who by the way will eventually become disabled in one way or another. Get ready. You will become one of us.

Jase: [laughs]

Andrew: When just sharing that experience with somebody if they want to, it makes, I think, sex and sensuality much more fun if you're open to living in the fact that you will make a mistake.

Emily: That opportunity that you're talking about is just so great. I think, I don't know, a lot of people tend to be like,"No. I'm just going to write you off 100% because you made this mistake and you are therefore a bad person." At times you really tend to and just say this is a learning opportunity.

Andrew: Not all the time. There are definitely times when like, "Fuck you. That was horrible. Don't do that again." Like, "blah, blah, blah," but that doesn't that I'm learning. I'm learning especially in the end of 2017 to early 2018, that's not getting me anywhere anymore. That's really, it's exhausting to be made at people for things they don't understand. I'd just have to power through and do my own stuff and hope that through my work and through being how hot I am, somebody will eventually realize that I stuff to offer.

If they wanted to give it shot, here I am.

Jase: All right. I have a question for you about the times you've gone and spoken at places like that. In terms of these 101 things that you're saying. It's tiring to do them, but you also understand that they're valuable to do. I've been really curious about have there been things that have really surprised you that people even needed to ask at all or does it all make sense? Are you like, "Yes. Okay, I get why you would ask like how do you have sex?"

Andrew: I did a lecture a couple of years ago. I did a university lecture with this girl. She's in the front row and she's asking. I said, "Okay. Time to ask whatever you want to about the lecture." She said, the she goes, she looked at me dead in the eye after an hour and a half lecture and goes, "So wait, you actually have sex?"

Emily: What the fuck.

Andrew: I looked at her. I had to be professional, right. I had to like, take a [breathes], "Yes. Actually, I do." Inside, I was like, "Wait. Didn't you just pay attention?”

Jase: Where have you been?

Andrew: Where were you for 90 minutes to where I did all this?" When people, I think especially when I'm lecturing to classrooms, I feel like sometimes they are mandated to be there by their class, so they're not paying attention. I just feel like, and sometimes that-

Emily: They on their phone or something.

Andrew: Sometimes I get frustrated because it's usually it's able-bodied people that I'm lecturing to about the 101 of Disability. I'd love to do a class or a lecture where it's all other disabled people who, instead of me lecturing for 90 minutes my powerpoint is about how great my dick is and how you should all fuck a disabled guy and how great it is because I do have those. Other than doing that I wish I could do a series where me and a bunch of disabled people are just sitting in a room, talking about sex. That would be an amazing lecture series because that doesn't happen very often. Usually I am lecturing to non-disabled, CISgendered, white people who have never had any experience with disability or if they do they are in the room and they are too shy to tell me. They will come up afterwards and be like, “Actually I am dealing with this. Thank you for your lecture." and be all shy about it. I'll be like, I wish you felt safe enough to have a space where you could say like, "I have this disability and I want to talk about sexuality this way”. I did have somebody in a lecture in the States in Illinois a couple of years ago, stopped me midway through my lecture and said, “What are you doing for people with cognitive disabilities and impairments?" I had to stop and go. I had to say I am not doing anything right now but thank you for letting me know because I have to figure it out. I also feel uncomfortable doing stuff like that where I am not somebody with a cognitive disability, so I don’t feel like I have a right to speak on that. It's stuff I want to do for disability after dark, I want to talk to people with intellectual disabilities about consent and stuff like that but I want to bring them on the show to talk to me. I don’t have a right to pretend like I know what I am talking about when I don’t. I think that’s my privilege so like I said earlier, a lot of the show is me putting out calls to guests, “Hey, do you want to tell me your story because I don’t want to speak for you. I want you to come and share”. I want to use the podcast as a platform not just for me to get my stuff out but also to be like, “Come and feel safe to tell your story about sexuality whatever it is, as a disabled person”.

Jase: You’ve been saying recently on your podcast too, that you are actively looking for suggestions of topics as well.

Andrew: All the time.

Jase: To our listeners out there. If you are hearing this and going, “Oh my God, yes. I feel like you could talk about something that relates to me or something I want to know about”, you know who to talk to. [Laughs]. Contact Andrew. Tell him what you want to cover. I mean that’s similarly - that’s why we’re excited to have you on this show because this is obviously something that neither of us can speak about right now. I was curious about, we talked about this a little bit before the show but, are you polyamorist, non monogamous, like what kind of relationships do you have?

Andrew: [Chuckles]. That’s a loaded, deep question because usually my relationships start and end with, “Thank you for the one night stand. It was good. Thank you for hanging out. See you later. Bye”. I have never been in a long-term monogamous any kind of relationship. I have never dated for more than one or two dates. It’s never been something that’s been long-term but I would say I am non-monogamous. I am non-monogamous. I think that is partially because of disability. I think for me it’s been this disability because everybody thinks as a disabled person you should find one person to love you, and you should find one person to marry you. You should find one person who—I get a lot of the time people saying to me like, “You want to decide the one. You want to find somebody to look past your disability and see you for who you really are” and I am always like, “Ew no, if that’s what being in a relationship with one person, I never want that” because I want someone who can call me a cripple and we can laugh about it later. That’s what I want. I also feel, because I am disabled, I have been denied opportunities to be slutty and try things and just be. So the idea of monogamy but I can be with multiple people and try things. That’s a cool idea. But again for me it lies in the realm of ideology because most people don’t want to date someone with a disability because they are afraid about all those things. Also, so many places where, in my case is that disabled clear guy, so many places are not accessible like so many bars I can’t get in to. The places where I ever go to be like, “Hey, I think you are really cute. Let’s like go back to my place and fuck or get to know each other or whatever it is”. I can’t access those, so my place of like sex is online which is very fickle and very – people, if they don’t like you they swipe right and you are done. They swipe left and you are done. I have only had the idea of being in a relationship. I have never gotten to try that and now I’m all of 34. Saying that feels weird now but I am also getting into a place where being single and disabled, I am kind of okay with it now. I am reaching a point where it would be nice if it ever happens, it’s great but I’m not going to put all my eggs in one basket and hope that this fairy-tale romance. I think a lot of-- This is turning into a way longer answer than I expected it to. A lot disabled people are also fed a really ableist idea of like, “You have to find the one person. You have to find your true love”. We are fed fairy tales because there is no fairy tale right now for kids. There is a disabled guy or that a disabled person on a wheelchair who isn’t seeing anybody or who can’t have a relationship because of xyz. There is none of that, so you just kept being fed old ideas and then when you are a younger person like when I was a teenager you see all your CIS hetero friends and being like, “Hey so, I have a girlfriend now and it’s a big deal”. I played with that idea but inside I was like, “Wait. I am queer and I want to sleep with everyone”, what do I do about that? I am 34 and still having those feelings of like teenagehood because my sexuality has been so denied, which is part of why I started doing this work. I wanted to get my dick sucked occasionally. It’s really why I became a Disability Awareness Consultant talking about sex throughout the – I am horny all the time. I need an outlet to get it out. Why don’t I turn it into a job?

Jase: One of the things that jumped out to me in what you were just saying was that idea of finding the one who’s going to see past your disability, and that you are kind of like, “Hey but I actually like that’s part of who I am”. That’s not something you ignore. That’s not a fairy tale we are sold, I guess. I think there’s a lot of fairy tales that all of us are sold about the one which – I am not going to go into all that. I want to keep this a little bit specific here. Something that really jumped out to me was that was in an episode that you did about gym culture, working out and disability. I was kind of shocked to hear this but how many people had said to you things like, “Oh man, you just got to get in the gym more than you can get out that wheelchair. You’ll get past this or overcome that”. I guess as if there were just sort of like, any old struggle that anyone has rather than being part of who you are, that clearly you’ve made that part of your identity.

Andrew: I got it on the dance floor once. I got it on an app once. I get it on apps all the time like, “Do you want to go to the gym?” and I am saying, “No. You can. I'll look at your muscles and that’s cool. Do I want to work out with you? No”. Like I said I’ve decided you want to swim and like can’t meet --

Jase: Going to hold me when I am getting into the water?

Andrew: - in the locker-room. Yes. If you want to feed into my gay porn fantasy? Sure I am all about that. The idea that health and ability is linked to sex especially in queer male culture is kind of gross. It’s really overdrawn and then I come in and be like, “Hey, I don’t want to work out that way”. I talked and it’s somebody like, the positions that people used to like have better sex are linked to exercise and it’s muscle tone and all that stuff. So it’s like, “No what if that doesn’t work, like what if that doesn’t work for you?" I think gym culture could be really fun if we said to disabled people, “Hey come to this disabled gym class and maybe we'll do this exercise so that you can thrust better or maybe we'll do this exercise so you can, with your disability, do this better or this better”. We are moving from “I am going to cure your disability if you do cardio”, to “I’m going to make sex feel better for you as a disabled person if we work on this together”.

Jase: Hey. I think you just figured out your next career move is start teaching that class. That’s brilliant. I also probably be a good way to get some more dates. The sexy trainer teaching the exercise class.

Andrew: I’m down for that. I’m down for [laughter]

Jase: Cool. We are getting close to end of our time here. One of our Patreon supporters was also a guest on your show, Kelly Bracken who was on, I forget which episode, like 43 or something like that.

Andrew: 49ish, something like that?

Jase: Yes. She was on your show too so it was like, “Oh cool. Look at all this overlap between these podcasts". I'm really excited that we finally got to have you on. I would definitely recommend listening to Andrew's podcast. Andrew can you tell our listeners where they can find out more about all the stuff that you do.

Andrew: So many places. First www.andrewgurza.com. Secondly Andrew Gurza on Twitter. can follow the podcast at disaftdark on Twitter as well, on Facebook. Disability after dark is the podcast and Andrew Gurza one is my stuff. Support cripple content. Anybody who creates content needs to be supported because creating stuff like this is super hard.

If you want to see my show patreon.com/disabilityafterdark. I don't have- What sucks about it is, I don't have any cool merch yet because also merch is expensive and getting it shipped is expensive and like making it expensive. I was going to do buttons and I said, well, no the cost of buttons No no no. Right now, it's just a nice shout out, I'm trying to find ways to do stuff that won't cost me. Patreon.com/disabilityafterdark. Those are all the places.

Jase: Awesome thank you so much. If you're already a patreon of ours and want to support more creators getting content out there that there isn't a lot of other stuff like it. Andrew is a great person to support for that.

Emily: Absolutely.

Andrew: Awesome. Thank you so much.