e-Duke Books

Loneliness and Its Opposite:

Sex, Disability, and the Ethics of Engagement

By Don Kulick and Jens Rydström

Few people these days would oppose making the public realm of space, social services and jobs accessible to women and men with disabilities. But what about access to the private realm of desire and sexuality? How can one also facilitate access to that, in ways that respect the integrity of disabled adults, and also of those people who work with and care for them?

Loneliness and Its Opposite documents how two countries generally imagined to be progressive engage with these questions in very different ways. Denmark and Sweden are both liberal welfare states, but they diverge dramatically when it comes to sexuality and disability. In Denmark, the erotic lives of people with disabilities are acknowledged and facilitated. In Sweden, they are denied and blocked. Why do these differences exist, and how do both facilitation and hindrance play out in practice?

Loneliness and Its Opposite charts complex boundaries between private and public, love and sex, work and intimacy, and affection and abuse. It shows how providing disabled adults with access to sexual lives is not just crucial for a life with dignity. It is an issue of fundamental social justice with far reaching consequences for everyone.

  1. Page xi
  2. Page 1
  3. Page 39
  4. Page 119
  5. Page 174
  6. Page 217
  7. Page 262
  8. Page 299
  9. Page 325
  10. Page 345

Subject Matters: new book alerts from Duke University Press