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I Have Cerebral Palsy And Just Shot My First Porn. Here's Why (And How) I Did It.

As scared as I was that my disabled body wasn’t hot enough or on par with the other gay porn performers I’d seen ... I knew that I had to do this.
Andrew Gurza starred in his first adult film to "help shift a long-standing narrative that gay men with disabilities aren&rsq
Andrew Gurza starred in his first adult film to "help shift a long-standing narrative that gay men with disabilities aren’t sexual ― or deserving of or even interested in having hot sex."

Whenever I watch gay porn, I always feel left out. I’m usually watching muscular, white, able-bodied dudes go at it, and while I found that really hot for many years, I was always hyperaware that my disabled body had no place in those scenes. I never saw a wheelchair user like me in porn, and I always longed for that type of representation.

I desperately wanted to see my body reflected back at me ― so much so that I began to wonder what it would be like to perform in a porn myself. Not only would it be a new experience for me, but I believed I could help provide the kind of visibility I wanted for other disabled people like me. Still, I never dreamed that I might actually get that chance. “Who would cast a guy with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair in an adult film? No way!” I thought.

One day three months ago, my friend Davey Wavey, a YouTuber, sent me a text telling me that the adult site he runs was planning to celebrate its two-year anniversary by inviting internet personalities and others to recreate some scenes featured on his site. 

“Would you be interested?” he asked.

When I got the text, I remember taking a second to reread it to make sure it said what I thought it said. “Whoa! Is he really asking me if I want to do porn?” I wondered. I casually texted back something like, “Sure. Sounds great.” And then the reality hit me: I had been searching for this type of representation since I was a preteen getting off in my bedroom at home, but I never in a million years thought that it would be me who might get to create it.

The longer I rolled the idea over in my head, the more I recognized the importance of what this could mean both for me as a disabled man and for gay porn in general. If I did this, I could help shift a long-standing narrative that gay men with disabilities aren’t sexual ― or deserving of or even interested in having hot sex. This would be a chance to challenge those stereotypes and change how the world sees and understands disabled people. It could also be instrumental in forcing nondisabled gay men to confront their own ableism in a sexy way.

So, as scared as I was that my disabled body wasn’t hot enough or on par with the other gay porn performers I’d seen ― and despite my fears that people might look at me differently afterward ― I knew that I had to do this.

This would be a chance to challenge those stereotypes and change how the world sees and understands disabled people. It could also be instrumental in forcing nondisabled gay men to confront their own ableism in a sexy way.

I reached out to my friend and adult performer Jon Shield and asked if he would be the one to participate in the scene with me. He’s a cute, scruffy, blue-eyed porn star with a smile that makes me melt. I explained the importance of the scene to him, and he eagerly agreed to take part in it.

Because we were tasked with recreating a scene already on Davey’s site, Jon and I took our time to figure out which one would work best with my disabled body. What sex acts could I physically perform? How might this look on camera? We spent a lot of time texting and talking about the ways we could make the sex and the scene as accessible for me ― and the audience ― as possible. I enjoyed this part of the process the most because it was a true collaboration that took my needs as a disabled performer into account and changed the way I looked at the project.

We decided it would be easier and more realistic if we shot the scene in my home. This was an ideal location because all of my disability equipment was there: my special lift to transfer me in and out of my wheelchair, my adjustable bed and all of the cripple creature comforts I need to feel safe. 

On the day of the shoot, Jon knocked on my door with a big grin and gave me a soft hug. He brought his friend to act as a cameraman, and he had his iPhone charged and ready. I was excited but also so nervous about the uncertainty of what would happen next and how it would all play out.

We began by blocking out the scene and figuring out where my wheelchair would go and exactly what things we would film. I expressed that I wanted visuals of me being lifted out of my wheelchair using my special sling, so that the audience could get a sense of exactly what goes into having sex when you’re a wheelchair user.

I wanted viewers to see this initial act as a moment that could also be sexualized, so Jon was filmed helping me out of my wheelchair while we made out. These scenes are my favorite of the entire shoot simply because they aren’t glossy or inauthentically staged. Instead, they show a real part of disabled sex ― the logistics that go into preparation ― that is rarely ever talked about, let alone shown.

Gurza and his costar, Jon Shield, make out in a still from the scene they filmed together.
Gurza and his costar, Jon Shield, make out in a still from the scene they filmed together.

I also really liked that from the moment we called, “Action!” I was able to let go a little more than I usually do in the bedroom. Most of my typical sexual encounters are bogged down by my own internalized ableism. I am so often consumed with worry over things like whether or not my disability will be a hindrance to my sexual performance, and whether the guy I’m with will like me and want to meet up with me again. But in this scene, I got to play with Jon and the nerves I’d felt beforehand vanished. I loved all the attention, and I’ll be honest: Knowing that I was being filmed made it even hotter! In fact, because it was being filmed, I found myself leaning into the performative aspect of the situation and I let a little more of my aggressive side come out, which felt completely freeing and was a huge turn-on for me.

There was a moment during filming when Jon and I were performing, and I broke out into the biggest smile. All of a sudden, I was so happy. Here I was, a man with cerebral palsy, with a disabled body that doesn’t look “normal,” who had so deeply internalized the belief that he wasn’t sexy, shooting my very first porn. This sounds really cheesy, but it’s one of those moments that changes a person inside. It helped me recognize that my disabled body is sexy, and I’ll never forget that.

Everything went off without a hitch or any glitches. Being in a porn was certainly different from what I had imagined it to be, but that was because my disabled body was finally being showcased on film, doing what I had always wanted ― having great sex. I didn’t have trouble cumming or performing because I was so excited. At the end of the shoot, Jon and the cameraman both thanked me for the work I did, hugged me and left. I grinned for days after, and to this day I continue to speak about the experience with a sense of pride I haven’t had before. I know what I did was a revolutionary act, and that, too, is hot.

I actually didn’t tell anybody what I did until after I shot the scene. I was worried about the stigma and backlash that I might receive, and I didn’t want to be shamed out of doing it. I eventually told people by posting on my social media that I had shot a porn, and the reactions were overwhelmingly positive. Everyone was really excited because they knew how important this was to me. All of my really close friends reacted with light ribbings and variations of, “Gee, took you long enough!” When I told my mom that I had shot a porn, she simply said, “That’s great ― and important.” She wasn’t really that surprised, since earlier this year I told her that I hired sex workers and it had made our relationship even stronger.

I want to create content for disabled people on the internet who are searching for a version of themselves in porn, and I hope my scene with Jon makes nondisabled gay men stop and think, "Wow, I never realized gay disabled men could be so hot."

The biggest takeaway from shooting my first porn as a queer disabled man is that I want to do more. I want to be a pioneer in gay porn and help bring more disabled bodies into that world. I want to create content for disabled people on the internet who are searching for a version of themselves in porn, and I hope my scene with Jon makes nondisabled gay men stop and think, ”Wow, I never realized gay disabled men could be so hot.”

I also hope my scene with Jon makes porn directors think about how to make their films more accessible and who else still isn’t visible in the industry ― and how to change all of that. Most importantly, and above all else, I hope my scene sends the message that disabled people are sexual and sexy, and that they deserve a place in porn ― and anywhere else nondisabled people are, too.

Andrew Gurza is a disability awareness consultant and cripple content creator whose written work has been featured in Daily Xtra, Gay Times UK, Huff Post, The Advocate, Everyday Feminism, Mashable, and Out.com, and several anthologies. He has guested on a number of podcasts including Dan Savage’s Savage Love and Cameron Esposito’s Queery. He has spoken all over the globe on sex, disability and what it means to be a queer cripple, and what it’s like being a disabled creator. He is also the host of the DisabilityAfterDark: The Podcast Shining a Bright Light on Sex and Disability available on all podcast platforms. You can follow the podcast @disaftdarkpod. He is also the creator of the viral hashtag #DisabledPeopleAreHot. You can find out more about Andrew by going to www.andrewgurza.com and connecting with him on Twitter and Instagram via the handle @theandrewgurza. 

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