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Sexuality and Disability India

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Training the trainers at the National Association for the Blind

The participants of our Train the Trainers workshop accompanied us to the National Association for the Blind on April 27, 2017 to have a session about sexuality and disability with around thirty visually impaired teenagers. With talks by doctors as well as activities we delved into the basics of sex and sexuality. The session started with fun icebreakers to warm up the group and create familiarity between participants.

We then separated the groups so the boys had their session with Dr. Chandy and Dr. Parikh led the conversations with the girls. The groups were introduced to puberty, discussed physical and hormonal changes, anatomy and functions of the reproductive system as well as concepts of consent and violence. For Dr. Parikh’s question about menstruation, the girls seem confused about what it contains. “There is no such thing as impure blood” she clarifies. Talking about wet dreams and masturbation elicits giggles and laughter from the boys. As the models of reproductive organs are passed around, the girls learn their names and functions. When it comes to condoms, the girls offer that they’re used to “prevent AIDS”. “Anything you don’t do on your period?” Cook food, pray- the girls answer. The doctor patiently busts these myths. We then welcomed Dr. David to talk to the boys about sex, organs and reproduction. Dr Parikh also made sure she emphasised pleasure for women throughout. The girls are familiar with consent in terms of rape. Bringing up the topic of homosexuality, the girls say they’ve never heard of it. “It’s perfectly normal, it’s not wrong” explains the doctor.

Post lunch, and some songs for a quick energizer, the participants are divided. Negotiating love and relationships, the participants have come up with some very heavy but hilarious topics for their plays. And with that, we have now reached the end of our four-day national train the trainers workshop on Sexuality and Disability.