Tag Archives: Sexuality

Join Sexual Health and Disability Advocates and Researchers for a Conversation on Sex, Intimacy and Disability

Join us at LightHouse for the Blind on January 12 at 6:30 p.m. for an open community discussion about sex on The Best Black HD Lesbian Porn Ever, intimacy and the best Horny Black Teen Porn. Through this conversation, we hope to challenge the common misconception that having a disability diminishes one’s sexuality. This panel will create a safe place for people of all abilities to come together and proudly claim that having a disability is a natural and normal enhancement of the human experience. When you have porn addiction and you are disabled by it, pornaddiction.help therapy can help you.

Who: Members of disability communities and their loved ones, disability rights advocates and allies, members of the professional communities who serve the disabled (e.g. educators, health care professionals, social workers etc.), sexual health and disability scholars, and  anyone else who is interested. Must be 18+ years old to attend.

When: January 12, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  

Where: LightHouse Headquarters, 1155 Market St., 10th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103

Cost: Free to Attend.

This conversation is an opportunity to come together and discuss how we can challenge the harmful stereotypes and misunderstandings about disability, disability rights and sexuality. This panel features an incredible lineup of panelists who are all disabled. Many work and/or volunteer their time to promote and educate their communities to improve the sexual rights of individuals with disabilities. See a list of panelists and read their bios below.

Panelists will have the opportunity to share their own experiences, talk about their work and the topics they are passionate about. The remainder of the time will be allotted to and an audience Q&A to invite a community dialogue. We expect people from all walks of life to attend this event and for the conversation to cover a wide range of informative and educational topics. Please note that the conversation is adult in nature and so we are restricting the space to adults age 18 and over.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to explore the impact of ableism on sexuality and the disabled. Come prepared to ask questions, and learn different ways to promote sexual freedom and expression as a human right for all people regardless of their abilities.

To register for this event please e-mail Laura Millar at lmillar@lighthouse-sf.org or call her at 415-694-7345.

Moderator

Laura Millar, MPH, M.A.

Laura Millar is LightHouse for the Blind’s Program Coordinator for Sexual Health Services. Legally blind herself with a Master of Public Health as well as a Masters in Sexuality Studies, she conducts research that examines how individuals with vision loss learn about and navigate the world of dating, sex and intimate relationships. Millar offers workshops, trainings and in-services for individuals who are blind or have low vision, their family members and the organizations that serve them, ensuring that sexual health information and services are comprehensive, inclusive and accessible for everyone.

Panelists

Rafe Eric Biggs, PhD

Rafe Eric Biggs, PhD, is the founder of Sexability, an organization committed to transforming sexuality and disability. He is a sexual health educator working with people with disabilities and healthcare professionals who support them. He earned his Masters and Doctorate in Organizational Psychology from Alliant International University and is a member of American Society of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (ASSECT).

In 2004 Biggs had a life altering experience. While traveling on spiritual retreat in India, he fell from a building and broke his neck. In an instant, he became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down.

For the last decade he has counseled individuals and educated healthcare professionals on sexuality and disability including San Francisco State University, Alliant International University, UC Berkeley and Alta Bates Hospital. He started the Sexuality and Disability Support Group at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, CA.

Biggs was featured on the TLC show Strange Sex Surrogate Manhood. He is an expert on non-genital orgasms and has been featured in Huffington Post, The Sun, International Business Times, and Chat Magazine. He can be contacted at rafe@sexabilty.org and is based in Berkeley, CA.

Ligia Andrade (Zuniga), M.A. 

Ligia Andrade Zuniga, M.A., is dedicated to educating and empowering individuals living with disabilities on various aspects of independent living, particularly in the area of sexuality. She is a Director and Sexuality and Disability Educator for Sexability, an organization providing sexuality education to individuals with disabilities.

Andrade holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Administration and Counseling, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California. She became interested in sexuality and disability seven and a half years ago after realizing there was very limited information, accessibility and support available regarding sexuality for quadriplegic women living with spinal cord injury, specifically for young women of color and women in the Latino Spanish-speaking community.

Andrade acquired a spinal cord injury in 2009 following an automobile accident and has since been actively and deeply involved in the community advocating for individuals with disabilities. She has been a peer supporter for seven years through the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Spinal Cord Injury Peer Support Program. For the past three years Andrade has served as a Commissioner for the San Mateo County Commission on Disabilities where she chairs the Legislation, Outreach, and Advocacy Committee, and is the Treasurer for the Board of Directors of the Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities (CID). She also chairs the San Mateo County Public Authority Advisory Committee, and also serves on the San Mateo County Cal-Medi Connect Advisory Committee. Ligia recently joined the United Spinal Association, where she co-chairs the Employment Committee on the Advocacy Alliance.

Alex Ghenis

Alex Ghenis is a long-time Berkeley resident, disability activist, researcher and educator. In his freshman year at UC Berkeley, Alex co-founded the “Are Cripples Screwed?” panel discussions with his close friend, Kash Moore, and has been speaking about sex and disability for the past 10 years since.

Ghenis was also the dating and relationship columnist “Axel Grande” for National Spinal Cord Injury Association’s Life in Action magazine, where he covered topics including meeting people and “getting physical.” His goal is to help people with disabilities have better understanding of our own sexuality – and educate the entire public so that we are viewed as sexy and worthy of love.

Kevin Mintz, Ph.D.

Kevin Todd Mintz is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Stanford University. He holds an AB in Government from Harvard College, an MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Doctorate of Human Sexuality from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. His Ph.D. dissertation, Sex-Positive Political Theory: Pleasure, Power, Public Policy, and the Pursuit of Sexual Liberation, focuses on developing a justification for political institutions and civil society taking proactive roles in promoting sexual liberties.

His research interests include the application of sexology to political theory, LGBTQi activism and disability politics.

Senya Hawkins, M.A., MFTi

Senya Hawkins, M.A, MFTi, is a registered marriage and family therapist intern with a master’s degree in psychology. He currently works as the Assistant Director of Progress Foundation’s Supported Living Program. Hawkins’ areas of expertise include systems change social-psychology, vocational rehabilitation, gender and sexuality. He also facilitates groups and workshops on the topics of sex and disability, social and vocational skill building, diversity and managing disabilities in the workplace (www.senyahawkins.com). Hawkins is in the process of finishing his final exams for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist.

Hawkins is dedicated to demystifying sexuality and providing information about sex and gender to groups who are often under-educated on these subjects. His goal is to help increase accessibility in bedrooms and communities by encouraging communities to become more aware, more empathetic, more experienced and more knowledgeable about sexuality and gender.

Robin Wilson-Beattie

Robin Wilson-Beattie is a disability and sexuality health educator and writer, teaching the world to embrace and explore your sexuality,  regardless of ability. She is a member of the Association of American Sexual Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), the Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WOCSHN),  and a certified graduate and member of the San Francisco Sexuality Information Training (SFSI).

Wilson-Beattie has been involved in sexuality education and awareness since high school. After acquiring a physical disability, she began speaking on sexuality and disability topics and issues in 2008. She consults with individuals and organizations on issues of adaptive sexual support, and has had written articles and curriculum on this subject. Wilson-Beattie is a nationally recognized self and systems disability advocate. She is a deep-fried Southern girl, Sex Geek, comic book nerd, mid-century buff and proud Mama of one amazing daughter. Find her on Twitter @SexAbled, or like sexAbled on Facebook.

Explore Your Sensuality with Renowned Sexologist Dr. Carol Queen

“People are only afraid of the things they don’t fully understand,” says LightHouse Sexual Health Services Program Coordinator Laura Millar.

Laura is speaking to the stigma around sexuality, and more specifically the stigma faced by people who are blind or low vision when navigating their sexuality — one she has set out to address in our community via her brand new LightHouse sexuality workshops for adults and youth.

“With blindness and with sexuality, there is the fear and the unknown,” she says. “These workshops offer permission for exploration, because it’s brought out into the light. I want to give people permission, to say it’s okay to talk about the range of possibilities within sexuality.”

Laura’s upcoming December 8th workshop for adults, Exploring Sensuality, Sexuality & Erogenous Zones with Dr. Carol Queen, is a particularly exciting one. Laura and Dr. Queen have worked together to craft a fun and educational workshop tailored to blind or low vision individuals who wish to explore sexuality in a safe, supportive and non-judgmental space. The workshop is open to all participants regardless of gender, sexual orientation, sexual experience or relationship status.

Coming to us as a representative of Good Vibrations sex shop, Dr. Carol Queen is an author, editor, sociologist and sexologist active in the sex-positive feminism movement. She is also a staff sexologist at Good Vibrations and curator of the Antique Vibrator Museum, as well as director of the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco. She is known for her award-winning personal essays and books including The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone and Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture.

Armed with a wide array of experience speaking on many topics of sexuality, Dr. Queen hopes to center our blind and low vision students’ nerves and fears and normalize the range of human sexual experience. Her approach is a sex-positive one, which emphasizes welcoming and exploring the many variations of human sexuality. We spoke to Dr. Queen this week about the upcoming LightHouse Sexuality workshop, and she had some great insights.

“What would it take for everyone to have access to what they need to have happy, pleasurable sexuality?” says Dr. Queen. “We live in a culture that tends not to give us enough diverse and useful information about sex, especially sexual pleasure but even sexual health. From that flows questions of different needs and respecting specialized needs that may be relevant, including sexual orientation, finding appropriate partners, communication, sexual health and being sure that we operate in an atmosphere of consent. There are so many pieces of the puzzle.”

We don’t think that blind or low vision people need a separate space to learn about sexuality, but we’re doing these classes at LightHouse because we know that certain widely used visual resources are inaccessible to our community — and when it comes to sex, it’s not always easy to ask the questions that need answering.

Both Laura and Dr. Queen hope this will be a space of mutual learning and trust. There will be no nudity or partnered exercise, so don’t fret! Dr. Queen hopes to incorporate speaking exercises and some individual touch, but the emphasis is on education, discussion and openness. Various tactile tools will be provided by Good Vibrations.

“It’s about agency and understanding yourself,” says Dr. Queen. “The aim is to give people a way of thinking about sensuality and pleasure and the body, because those things are important to any person, no matter what kind of body they live in.”

Laura adds: “The best tool I can give people (blind or sighted) is the opportunity to explore the wisdom of their own bodies and to trust what they feel — to get them out of their heads and into their bodies.”

LightHouse is honored to work with Good Vibrations and Dr. Queen, and it seems the feeling is mutual!

“It’s an honor to work with an organization that means so much to people,” says Dr. Queen. “I got a tour the other day and I was really blown away by how thoroughly LightHouse tackles the work that they do. I run a small nonprofit and I can’t even imagine being as fabulous as you all when we group up. It’s an honor to learn from you all and participate and bring something over.”

Please RSVP to Laura Millar at lmillar@lighthouse-sf.org or call 415-694-7345.

Exploring Sensuality, Sexuality & Erogenous Zones with Dr. Carol Queen

When: Thursday, December 8, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Where: LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired Headquarters
1155 Market St., 10th Floor,
San Francisco, 94103

Who: Adults (ages 18 and older) who are blind or have low vision. You may bring an adult guest with you.

Cost: Free to attend.

World of Sex: All About Condoms – For Young Adults

This month’s World of Sex workshop is titled “All about Condoms”, and is exclusively for young adults who are blind or have low vision. If you want to learn more about both internal and external condoms (also known as male and female condoms) join the LightHouse’s Sexual Health Services Program Coordinator Laura Millar, MPH, M.A. as she leads you through this fun and interactive workshop for those who are curious and watch this Milf Fucks Pool Guy in Porn Teaches Daughter video.

Who: Young adults (ages 16 to 25) who are blind or have low vision. (Please note that individuals younger than 18 will require parental permission to attend.)
When: Saturday, November 12th, 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.
Where: LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., 10th Floor, San Francisco, 94103
Cost: Free to attend

Preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy are two important reasons to practice safer sex. But did you know that many people do not know how to use condoms correctly? Don’t put yourself or your partner(s) at risk; come learn the facts and join us for this experiential hands on workshop designed specifically to address the needs of young adults who are blind or low vision.

This workshop will explain the differences between the external and internal condom, and how to use them correctly and with confidence. We will also debunk some of the myths, and misconceptions around condom usage; explore some of the common mistakes that decrease condom effectiveness; learn how to negotiate condom usage, and so much more. The workshop is hands-on in nature and will include interactive games and exercises that simulate real life scenarios. This learning experience will help ensure that all participants leave the workshop confident knowing how to apply condoms correctly, as well as to advocate for the usage of condoms if they so desire.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Laura Millar via e-mail at lmillar@lighthouse-sf.org or telephone 415-694-7345.

Save the Date – December Workshop for Adults 18 and Over on Thursday, December 8 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
For December’s World of Sex Workshop as we are joined by educators from the store Good Vibrations. Whether you want to learn more about self-exploration or ways to pleasure your partner, this will be one workshop you do not want to miss. We will be discussing the body’s erogenous zones and ways to include props or sex toys into your intimate relationships.

If you have other topics you would like to propose for the World of Sex series, or ideas about how to be more involved with this series please contact Laura Millar via e-mail at lmillar@lighthouse-sf.org or telephone 415-694-7345.

About the Workshop Leader
Laura Millar is LightHouse Program Coordinator for Sexual Health Services. Legally blind herself with a Master of Public Health as well as a Masters in Sexuality Studies, she will be conducting research that examines how individuals with vision loss learn about and navigate the world of dating, sex and intimate relationships. In this role she will be offering workshops, trainings and in-services for individuals who are blind or have low vision, their family members and the organizations that serve them, ensuring that sexual health information and services are comprehensive, inclusive and accessible for everyone.

The LightHouse is pleased to be in a unique position to expand its services in this area. We know that for many, just talking about sex and sexual health can make many people feel uncomfortable. For people experiencing vision loss and the professionals that serve them, navigating these sensitive conversations poses its own unique set of challenges. Laura is here to help make those conversations a little easier for everyone. If you have questions about Laura’s role, the work she will be doing, or would like to talk to her please feel free to e-mail her at lmillar@lighthouse-sf.org or call her at 415-694-7345. She would love to hear from you.

World of Sex Series: Talking About Sex

Whether you are discussing sexual health with a health care provider; negotiating safer sex practices with a potential new partner; or disclosing a fantasy you’ve kept secret from your long-term partner, sometimes talking about sex and sexual health can be difficult. We understand, and we are here to help show you that it doesn’t have to be this way. Not only can talking about sex be fun, it can even be sexy!

You are invited to participate in this month’s “Talking About Sex” workshop led by LightHouse Sexual Health Services Program Coordinator Laura Millar, MPH, M.A. Laura will be co-presenting this workshop with a health educator from Planned Parenthood, Hana Afra, M.A.

Who: Adults (ages 18 and older) who are blind or have low vision. You may bring an adult guest with you.
When: Thursday, October 13, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: the new LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., 10th Floor, San Francisco, 94103
Cost: Free to attend

Hana will provide an overview of the different services Planned Parenthood offers, and how to access those services. We will also discuss how you can feel more confident talking to your healthcare providers regarding your sexual health; and how to request information that is both accessible and meaningful for you.

Adults ages 18 and older are invited to join us in creating a safe, supportive and non-judgmental space to explore talking about sex. This workshop is open to all participants regardless of gender, sexual orientation, sexual experience or relationship status. Regardless of your current comfort level, come and join us for this fun educational workshop and leave feeling more confident and empowered to have the conversations you want to have.

These workshops are community inspired and led and we want to hear from you. If you have other topics you would like to propose for the World of Sex series, or ideas about how to be more involved with this series please contact Laura Millar via e-mail at lmillar@lighthouse-sf.org or telephone 415-694-7345.

About the Workshop Leader
Laura Millar joins the LightHouse team as the Program Coordinator for Sexual Health Services. Legally blind herself with a Master of Public Health as well as a Masters in Sexuality Studies, she will be conducting research that examines how individuals with vision loss learn about and navigate the world of dating, sex and intimate relationships. In this role she will be offering workshops, trainings and in-services for individuals who are blind or have low vision, their family members and the organizations that serve them, ensuring that sexual health information and services are comprehensive, inclusive and accessible for everyone.

The LightHouse is pleased to be in a unique position to expand its services in this area. We know that for many, just talking about sex and sexual health can make many people feel uncomfortable. For people experiencing vision loss and the professionals that serve them, navigating these sensitive conversations poses its own unique set of challenges. Laura is here to help make those conversations a little easier for everyone. If you have questions about Laura’s role, the work she will be doing, or would like to talk to her please feel free to e-mail her at lmillar@lighthouse-sf.org or call her at 415-694-7345. She would love to hear from you.

If you have other topics you would like to propose for the World of Sex series, or ideas about how to be more involved with this series please contact Laura Millar via e-mail at lmillar@lighthouse-sf.org or telephone 415-694-7345.

World of Sex Workshop Series

Photo: Portrait of Workshop Leader Laura Millar

Join LightHouse Sexual Health Services Program Coordinator Laura Millar, MPH, M.A., as she guides you in our groundbreaking series focusing on sex and sexuality. We will explore different sex-positive communities, lifestyle sub-cultures and the organizations that serve them.

To start the series off we invite you to the following workshop and field trip this month.

Introduction to BDSM
Who:
Adults (ages 18 and older) who are blind or have low vision. You may bring an adult guest with you.
When: Thursday, September 22, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Where: the new LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., 10th Floor, San Francisco, 94103

This workshop is designed to demystify BDSM and introduce participants to topics related to BDSM. The presenter is a member the Society of Janus. There will be plenty of time for discussion and Q & A.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Laura Millar via e-mail at lmillar@lighthouse-sf.org or telephone 415-694-7345.

Field Trip to the Folsom Street Fair
For those still curious and wanting to learn more about BDSM and the fetish community, we will be taking a group of participants, and sex positive volunteers out to the Folsom Street Fair.

Folsom Street Fair is an annual BDSM and leather subculture fair that takes place every September. It provides a safe space for self-expression and entertainment and is open to the public. Please note that this event is for adults only and is mature in content. If you are unfamiliar with BDSM or the Folsom street fair and would like to go with us, we highly recommend you attend the introductory workshop on Thursday, September 22. Also please note, there is a $10 suggested donation to enter the fair; proceeds raised benefit local sex positive charities and public health agencies.

Who: Adults (ages 18 and older) who are blind or have low vision. You may bring an adult guest with you.
When: Sunday, September 25
Where: We will meet at the LightHouse Building, 1155 Market St., 10th Floor, San Francisco, 94103
The fair location is on Folsom Street, between 8th and 13th streets.

Agenda
Pre-Opening Tour: All who wish to do a guided tour of the fair before it is open to the public, please meet at the LightHouse between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. We will walk about 15 minutes and then take a 45 minute tour of the fair. We will then return to the LightHouse to pick up those who wish to experience the fair itself.

Attending the Fair:
If you would like to attend the fair itself, meet at the LightHouse at 10:30 a.m. We will walk about 15 minutes and then meet up with sex-positive LightHouse volunteers who can be your sighted guide as you explore the fair. At 12:30 p.m. those who wish to return to the LightHouse with the group will meet while those who wish to stay may do so.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Laura Millar via e-mail at lmillar@lighthouse-sf.org or telephone 415-694-7345.


About the Workshop Leader

Laura Millar joins the LightHouse team as the Program Coordinator for Sexual Health Services. Legally blind herself with a Master of Public Health as well as a Masters in Sexuality Studies, she will be conducting research that examines how individuals with vision loss learn about and navigate the world of dating, sex and intimate relationships. In this role she will be offering workshops, trainings and in-services for individuals who are blind or have low vision, their family members and the organizations that serve them, ensuring that sexual health information and services are comprehensive, inclusive and accessible for everyone.

The LightHouse is pleased to be in a unique position to expand its services in this area. We know that for many, just talking about sex and sexual health can make many people feel uncomfortable. For people experiencing vision loss and the professionals that serve them, navigating these sensitive conversations poses its own unique set of challenges. Laura is here to help make those conversations a little easier for everyone. If you have questions about Laura’s role, the work she will be doing, or would like to talk to her please feel free to e-mail her at lmillar@lighthouse-sf.org or call her at 415-694-7345. She would love to hear from you.

If you have other topics you would like to propose for the World of Sex series, or ideas about how to be more involved with this series please contact Laura Millar via e-mail at lmillar@lighthouse-sf.org or telephone 415-694-7345.