Smashing stereotypes: Lovehoney announces partnership with disability start-up Handi

Global sexual wellness retailer Lovehoney and innovative start-up business Handi have announced a new partnership, with the aim to smash stereotypes around sex and disability and eventually develop and distribute a range of inclusive adult toys.

To kick off the start of their long-term collaboration, Lovehoney has just started selling The Handi Book of Love, Lust & Disability on its Australia, US and UK sites, which features stories from 50 people around the world with disabilities.

According to Lovehoney, sales from the book will go towards the creation of Handi’s sex toys in partnership with the online retailer, which will help to develop, manufacture and sell the first ever range of adult toys for people with disabilities.

“We’re so excited and proud to be working with Handi. We believe a happy and healthy sex life should be available for everyone, and this is just one step towards ensuring this is true for people with a disability,” said Rob Godwin, director of Lovehoney Australia.

“Inclusivity is something we have been focused on as a brand for a long time now, providing products and information suitable for every size, gender and sexuality. So it’s great to work with an organisation like Handi, bringing sex and disability to the forefront.”

A human right

According to figures from the World Health Organisation, there are approximately two billion disabled people around the globe, 37.5 per cent of the world’s population. 

Today is International Day of People with Disability.

Innovation strategist Heather Morrison and her brother and disability activist Andrew Gurza both launched Handi in May this year when they noticed the yawning gap in the market for adult toys for the disabled community. Its first toy, the Handi Joystick, will be released in early 2021 and plans are underway to launch accessible lingerie and sex-positive, educational materials.

According to a statement from Handi, “hundreds of millions of people around the world can’t masturbate due to hand limitations [such as] pain, immobility, lack of dexterity, weakness”. 

Since social distancing restrictions came into force this year, adults with disabilities around the world have struggled, said Morrison, as many have not been able to meet with sex workers or go on dates.

“Sexual pleasure is a human right, but it’s out of reach for hundreds of millions of disabled people around the world. We’re on a mission to put pleasure within reach for everyone because we know the importance of sexual pleasure for the disabled community, but we also know that huge taboos exist in this area,” she said. 

“We hope this book will allow wider society to see and understand the disabled community in all their powerful, sexy, hotness, and we hope the disabled community will be able to see themselves reflected back in these pages.”