Sexpert Spotlight Series with Eva Sweeney
Meet Eva Sweeney from Cripping Up Sex. Eva is a sex educator and freelance writer, whose passion and advocacy focuses on sexual health and wellness for all bodies, genders and abilities. Betty's had the privilege of interviewing Eva for our inaugural Sexpert Spotlight Series.
How did you get started in your career as a sex educator?
It’s funny, I so did not want to be a sex educator; however, when I was 19, I was trying to find information about sex and disability just for myself. I called many disability organizations to ask if they had any resources for me. I was either curtly told no or just hung up on. So I decided to create this information myself. I wrote a book called Queers on Wheels and traveled the country giving workshops on sex and disability.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I find it really powerful when people come up to me after my workshops (when in-person workshops were a thing) and tell me that this was the first time they had ever talked about sex! I have had people in their 50’s telling me that! Also recently, I did a private consultation with parents who wanted to get information for their son, and I got to work with the family. That was really cool because not many parents would try to get resources and information for their disabled kids.
What do you feel is the biggest misconception about people with disabilities and sexual health?
The biggest misconception people have is that disabled people can’t, and don’t want to, have sex. This is because we are often not seen in media or even in society.
What advice can you give to folks with limited mobility to explore their sexuality and ask for what they need?
I always say communication is the biggest tool for having a successful and good sexual encounter.
What supports need to be put in place in order for everybody, regardless of ability or mobility to have a happy and healthy sex life?
Again, talking about what you like and can do is vital for a happy and healthy sex life. Letting your partner ask any questions they have is good too. Because able-bodied people don’t interact with a lot of disabled people, they might have questions and that just means they’re trying to get to know you. Of course, if you don’t feel comfortable answering a question, then you can say so.
What do you think is missing in the market of pleasure products or the adult industry at large?
I think more hands-free toys would be awesome! The only ones I’ve seen are the Moxie from We-Vibe (which is awesome) and universal vibrating underwear which is less accessible because they’re usually a “one size fits all” which never works for most people.
What’s a little-known fact about you?
When I was in my early 20’s, I was a drag king named Tyler Crips! It was so much fun.
What is your favorite pleasure product of all time?
My personal favorite is a Magic Wand, but I always say even though I like magic wands, I don’t recommend them for everybody because everybody is different.
What do you most want to be known for?
I would like to be known for being one of the educators who helped break down the myth that disability makes someone asexual. There are of course asexual disabled people, but the fact that someone is disabled does not mean they are asexual.
Where can our readers and customers find you online?
Eva Sweeney is a 37-year-old genderqueer disabled female who works primarily as a sex educator and freelance writer. Her topics include disabilities and sex, gender, and queer culture. She has been doing sex and disability workshops for over 15 years and started doing this work because she found a huge lack of good sex-positive information for people with disabilities. Eva wrote the book “Queers on Wheels” and has traveled the country giving workshops about sex and disability. She continues to give workshops online and in-person through “Cripping Up Sex with Eva”, and she is also available for private consultations.