Wounded Warrior Project

I’m sure you’ve seen my previous reviews on Sportsheets,  who are now involved in the Wounded Warrior Project.   Their products are good quality, made well, hold well during play and for the most part are well designed for the intent.
I only have two issues towards the company. Firstly their overtly heteronormative marketing campaign and product packaging design. Whilst i understand that there is a difference between the Sportsheets brand (marketed towards heterosexual couples) and manbound brand (marketed towards queer men).

Wounded Warrior Project

This however, can be reduced to simple marketing and gearing towards your clientelle. However, my second concern is more prominent. Tom Stewart founder and CEO of Sportsheets has, from my understanding, been involved in the Wounded Warrior Project since 2009. One of the listed purposes of this project is;
‘To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.’
This project is a necessary service to men and women who return from war with missing limbs, spinal injuries, mental health issues and the multitude of other issues that concern service people in the aftermath of returning home from war. It’s a worthy cause.

Men and Women Who Suffer From PTSD

The men and women whom service their country come back to feelings (Potentially including PTSD) they’ve never felt before, and on top of that, (for those who have lost mobility, limbs etc).  They find themselves facing difficulty when it comes to sexual pleasure or intercourse. As Tom states in hie interview with Erin Meisenzahl-Peace:
‘Dealing with an injured spouse is stressful enough. . . when it comes to the effect it has on their sex lives it can be devastating for couples’.
 Whilst this statement is directed at returning service people, it can be easily transferred to people who have been in a recent accident, and also with those with life long disabilities.

Aids For Those With Disabilities

The comment can serve to highlight the impact a disability can have on what many able-bodied people take for granted, a healthy active sex life. What I particularly like about sportsheets is their involvement in the development of sexual aides for those with disabilities. What i dislike is that they hardly mention this, nor do they include how it could be helpful to those with disabilities. Take for example their product description on the Sportsheets Thigh Strap-On.
‘Our thigh strap-on allows your partner to grind on your thigh, freeing up hands to do other things.  Soft, comfortable neoprene forms to your body making this comfortable to wear as long as you need.  Reinforced opening accommodates flared base dildos . ‘
Wounded Warrior
Logo: Wounded Warrior Project
In Tom’s interview with Meisenzahl-Peace he mentions that he was in Canada demonstrating the thigh strap product. A male confined to a wheelchair saw it and wanted to try it, after putting it on they brought over his girlfriend and told her to straddle it. The couple were impressed.

Accessibility For Those Injured or Disabled

There is no mention of the accessibilityof this product towards people with disabilities. Though i will commend them for their product description on the Everlaster Stud which was
‘Fits over your Flaccid Penis. Great for men suffering from premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction.’
I find myself torn. I understand from a marketing point of view to a certain extent.  However it could be taken that the product descriptions are hiding the notion of sex and disability when in actual fact, we should be pointing it out. To raise awareness and consideration of the difficulties that those with mental and physically disabilities can have when considering sexual pleasure.
The Door Jam Sex Sling, which could potentially also be perfect for someone with limited mobility or confined to a wheelchair sees the benefits towards those with disabilities reduced to a singular sentence;
‘Finally, sex standing up is possible for everyone!’
I think my disgruntlement stems from an idea succinctly put by Nick Mahler;
‘Most toy shops would rather concentrate on the mainstream public, which leaves a growing segment to figure it out for themselves’.

Dallas Novelties

Nick Mahler is a Texan man who has Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, a rare gentic disorder which sees muscles, joints and ligaments fuse together over time. Sensing a gap in the industry he opened Dallas Novelty.  A sex store that focuses on servicing the sexual needs of the disabled population.
The lack of description within the products from Sportsheets, despite its obvious benefit for those with disabilities, leaves the majority of people to essentially, figure it out for themselves. Is there any harm in explicitly stating the direct benefit to those with disabilities if not only to make the individual feel included but to spread awareness concerning sex and disability.

The Adult Lifestyle Centres

The Adult Lifestyle Centre in Kogarah is one of the few ground floor Adult Stores in the Sydney Metropolitan area and sees numerous clients with disabilities every week. The staff are trained in a diverse range of disabilities and for the most part can recommend suitable products.
From things such as position masters like the Sex Sling by Sportsheets which the providing support
‘reduces leg fatigue and lower back pressure’
to provide enhance angles for penetration.

External Sex Toys

 To large external toys such as the Bodywand favoured by those seeking clitoral stimulation who have limited hand movement.
Even the Rends A10 Piston. An electric masturabator which provides hands free stimulation to the penis and essentially jacks you off and blows you to climax.
The Octopuss Pulse which provides penile stimulation regardless of ones ability to maintain or even obtain an erection.
There are a multitude of products out there which can be used for and by those with disabilities. Sometimes, it’s just a little difficult finding them. If you’re in the Sydney Metropolitan area check out the wheelchair friendly location in Kogarah,.

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