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After Porn Debut, This Quadriplegic Man Opens Up About Ableist Stigma

HimEros

A Star Is Porn.

Kenneth Connin’s porn debut has already already caused quite a stir online. Connin, a quadriplegic, is paralyzed from below his biceps and on Monday, HimEros released his scene starring him and actor Pierce Paris. The scene, from YouTuber Davey Wavey’s adult film site dedicated to showcasing queer intimacy, includes plenty of sensual making out, and a personal sexual favorite of Connin’s.

“Facefuck Me,” is the title of the film, and comes with the description, “Kenneth enjoys when guys kiss, touch and tease his neck, face and ears. But what he really loves is a deep, hard, aggressive facefucking. And today, that's exactly what he'll get.”

Connin, 27, told Out that the journey to his starring role began with an email he sent to Wavey in July. In the email, republished in Towleroad, Connin said he has wanted to do a scene for a while, but no company has ever given him a spotlight to create content featuring a disabled actor.

“I have been injured for 9 years and realized that there's not really anything in the adult film genre that isn’t like fetishizing someone [with disabilities],” Connin said in a phone interview. “It’s not of any interest to me to be someone’s fetish. But if I’m someone’s partner and equal contributor to a great time, that’s what sparked my interest.”

Connin’s July email turned into an October shoot in Palm Springs, California, where he finally met Paris — “one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met,” Connin said. The two began with an open dialogue about what their sex would look like. Connin said that Wavey’s process before filming includes bringing in a sex coach to work with actors and facilitate “icebreakers” to get actors comfortable with each other. A lot of the video’s proceedings — Paris transferring Connin from his chair to the bed and Paris pulling his penis in and out of Connin’s mouth — were only possible because of a “natural dialogue” that emerged between the two.

When a non-disabled person talks to a disabled person about sexuality, they often approach their bodies from a place of deficit, or as too fragile for sexual activity, Connin said. Often, Connin added, non-disabled people who do approach disabled people sexually will ask “What’s wrong with you” rather than something like, “How can I make your body feel good?”

“You should have the same dialogue you’d have with any other person,” Connin said. “Just have that same human connection. That gets lost really easily.”

Being recognized as sexual is an ongoing struggle for people with disabilities, including queer disabled people. People with disabilities are often desexualized, even by medical professionals, which often leads to poorer sexual health outcomes for disabled people.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to the doctor and they’ll speak for me and be like, ‘Oh well you don’t need this shot because you’re not sexually active,’ and it’s like ‘How do you know that?’” Connin said.

Couple the desexualization of the disabled with the fit-body-obsessed world gay men operate in and you have a recipe that often spells exclusion for people with any kind of othered body type, but especially queer men living with a disability.

“We live in the world of Grindr and I can’t tell you the dozens and dozens of times that I will start a conversation with someone and either a comment is made about me in regards to like, ‘Sorry, you're not my type, I’m not into guys in chairs’ or they’ll just block me,” Connin said. “Things of that nature happen probably more times than people actually engage in a conversation with me.”

Since the film’s debut, Connin hasn’t received any negative feedback, but he has received praise and appreciation both from disabled and able-bodied people about the work. He also said that if the opportunity were right, he’d add a second film credit to his resume.

“It’s a very powerful message that needs to be presented,” he said. “There are a lot of people that are disabled that maybe don't want that direct spotlight on them, but would like it if there was more of an open communication around sex and disability, and would like it if it was less of a fetish or a taboo and more of a norm.”  

Related | The Best Sex I Ever Had as a Disabled Gay Man

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