Kaleigh Trace’s honest personal story sparks conversations about sex, disability and body positivity
Kaleigh Trace is a self-proclaimed disabled, queer, feminist sex expert (sexpert, if you will) living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her recent visit to George Brown College, organized by The LGBTQ Student Group at the Community Action Centre, pulled in a full room of students and community members. This event, a book reading and workshop hybrid, sparked a much-needed conversation about sex, disability, and body positivity.
Trace’s debut book, Hot, Wet, and Shaking: How I Learned to Talk About Sex, is a short read, full of stories that are brimming with humour and authenticity, flipping from an instance of pulling a large dildo out of her bag while in line at a grocery store by accident, to an honest reflection of a past abortion.
Based off of Trace’s blog, The Fucking Facts, this isn’t a “how-to” guide or an anthology of academic essays. Hot, Wet, and Shaking reads more as a memoir, laced with mild profanities and matter-of-fact descriptions of sexual fumbles, which many of us aren’t as bold enough to admit to. Trace’s self-awareness and openness invites the reader in whether they can personally relate to what Trace is writing or not.
Our bodies, sexuality, and ways in which we have sex come in many forms and all are equally legitimate. The media puts images of what is acceptable or “sexy” and what is not in our heads as we are bombarded with images of the “ideal body” on a daily basis. The sexuality of people living with physical or intellectual disabilities is often erased, as they are often assumed to be asexual (not interested in sex) or unable to engage in sex, which is not often the case.
Hot, Wet, and Shaking is an important read as the most authentic portrayals of sexuality are found through personal stories. Trace’s writing style allows for fluidity between addressing ableism and societal assumptions of disability to body positivity and self-love.
This book fights the myths about sex and disability and starts discussions that are long overdue.