Co-designing Sex Toys for Adults with Motor Disabilities


Although our society still perceives them as asexual, people with motor disabilities still have the organ that regulates libido: the brain. Due to their pathologies, people with motor disabilities often face multiple difficulties when they wish to masturbate. Sex toys are often a means of reaching their genitals. Since the toys now on the market are not adapted to their condition, the objective of this article is to document their masturbation practices and to design adapted sex toys for people with motor disabilities. The study is based on two co-design meetings (semistructured individual interviews) with participants with motor disabilities and with a focus group of professionals (caregivers, occupational therapists, sexologists). Ultimately, this study will allow for the design of sex toys that are adapted to the condition of people with motor disabilities, and efforts will be made to ensure that these designs are accessible to this population with motor disabilities.

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This research project was possible thanks to the funding received from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et Culture grant program for “innovative projects.” The research team would also like to thank all of the participants who gave their time and trust to answer questions during the interviews. The principal investigator would like to thank his colleagues for their expertise, support, suggestions and passion invested in the project.


This study was funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et Culture granting program for “innovative projects,” award number: 2015-AN-184604.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ernesto Morales.

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Conflict of interest

Ernesto Morales received a research grants from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et Culture granting program for “innovative projects,” award number: 2015-AN-184604.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in the studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institut de réadaptation en déficience physique de Québec (IRDPQ). The name and date of birth appeared only on the consent form. All other information was kept in a separate database, identified by a participant code and locked in a safe place.

Informed Consent

The Consent Form was approved by the ethics committee of the CIRRIS and signed by all participants included in the study.

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Morales, E., Gauthier, V., Edwards, G. et al. Co-designing Sex Toys for Adults with Motor Disabilities. Sex Disabil 36, 47–68 (2018).

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  • Sex toys
  • Motor disabilities
  • Masturbation
  • Sexuality
  • Co-design
  • Canada