How do people with spinal cord injuries really feel about their bodies when it comes to sex and intimacy? Graham Streets, founder of an online specialty group called the Mad Spaz Club, came up with a unique idea to help people understand.
By using pictures with thought-provoking graphics written on the skin of men and women in wheelchairs, Streets shows the intimate and sometimes dark secrets of both the disabled and those they love.
Streets was injured in a motorcycle accident 18 years ago. “I was intelligent charismatic and sexy-fit,” he says. “It is hard to see guys like me [in the hospital], knowing I stand to lose it all– my work, business, six pack abs and positive attitude… And in looking at the other 45 patients in the ward I soon realized I was in for the fight of my life.” Inventing the interactive website, www.Streetsie.com helped him do just that.
As a man with quadriplegia himself, Streets created the pictures to illustrate that “…life in a wheelchair raises many deep emotional thoughts and feelings regular people never have the benefit of hearing or have to contemplate.” He says that partners and lovers of wheelchair users often have thoughts they don’t express, and questions “they don’t feel comfortable asking.
Streets took it a step further by opening the topic up to the website’s subscribers. He says: “A spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia invokes many heartfelt emotions and secret thoughts. You don’t have to talk about it,” he says. “Just write it on your skin and take a photo. Or send us your photo with what you would like written on it. You do not need to be disabled to make a submission. We have had a tremendous response to the concept and to the stunningly beautiful images in the collection so far.”
You can see the entire collection here and learn how you can submit a photo here.