Performer shares perspective on disability and sexuality at Women of the World Poetry Slam

Kelsey Warren performs spoken word poetry
Kelsey Warren performs spoken word poetry

Kelsey Warren is asked many weird and random questions from strangers. In the video below, she uses spoken word poetry to respond to these questions and describe the misconception that people with disabilities cannot have sex, as well as her relationship with her body. Usually, the questions Warren receives relate to her use of a wheelchair. Warren explains how she navigates the invasiveness of strangers with a mixture of emphatic passion, humor, sarcasm, and gravity.

Often, she is able to brush off rude questions, or offer sarcastic answers. Warren explains that in response to the inquiry of what happened to her, she often replies by saying that, “It was actually a rollercoaster incident.”

Yet there is one question Warren encountered, that is not as easily dismissed: “So do you, like, let your partner have a side relationship so they can have normal sex every once in a while?”

Warren’s response to this question is at once enlightening and gratifying. She explains to her audience that yes, sex with her is never normal, but no, it is not limited due to her disability. Rather, sex with her is exciting, fun, and as vanilla or as kinky as her and her partner desire. Kind of like what sex should be like between two consenting, communicative individuals.

Warren states, “Cripple copulation may be slightly more complicated, but it is always climactic. Not once has someone I had sex with, said my sex was ‘less than.’ Do I let my partner out of this pair because of my body? This body wasn’t made to meet your definition of desirable.”

Watch Kelsey Warren’s full performance of her poem, “My Body,” below!

This video contains discussion of mature content.

This video may begin with a commercial which was not chosen by or for the benefit of Rooted in Rights.

Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.