Accepted paper:

Pornography for blind and visually impaired people: on sexuality and monstrosity

Authors:

Elia Charidi (Panteion University of Athens)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores how the negative concepts of carnal pleasure and sin, of animality and the non-rational, with which the body and sense of touch has been attributed in western contexts, construct the sexual desires and behaviours of blind people as anomalous and monstrous.

Paper long abstract:

One of the main claims that the disability movement has raised regards the relation between impairment and sexuality. The conversation needs to get out of the narrow private sphere and to be published, it has been contested, deconstructing at the same time the myth that people with disabilities have no sexual identity and desires. The first pornographic magazine that has been created especially for blind and visually impaired people points exactly to this direction. Titled as Tactile Minds (2010), it includes tactile pictures of naked women and men, all accompanied by descriptive texts in Braille, giving blind people the opportunity to access the pornographic experience. Nevertheless, although important, the issue here is not about whether this initiative can actually succeed a step towards their inclusion, but that it seems to recognize for them the access to a very particular kind of sexuality: the one that is reflected in the figure of the foucauldian ''monster''. This paper explores how the negative concepts of carnal pleasure and sin in the contexts of Christianity, of animality and the non-rational in those of the European enlightenment, with which the body and sense of touch has been attributed, construct the sexual desires and behaviours of blind people as anomalous and monstrous.

panel P39
'Alternative' beauty in 'alternative' communities, scenes and subcultures