Sexational!, Accessibility, and The Accessibility Upgrade Initiative

There are so many new things coming to the website; my intention is to begin speaking more about experiences and revelations I’m having about my own sexuality and relationships, in the hope that that information will be useful to others. I also hope to bring more interviews, political content, sexual health and pleasure-based sex education, creative explorations of sexuality and gender, and product reviews, tips, and information.

After a few years of being near-dormant as I poured everything into other people and tried to find my way as a freelancer, I’ve come back to prioritizing the work I set out to do here, work that has expanded in scope as I’ve learned and grown as a person. I’m hoping that the things I’ve learned and what I share will be useful to others, and part of the effort to make my work useful–or merely entertaining–is to make it more accessible to more people.

So let’s talk about accessibility. I need or benefit from a few forms of accessibility, myself: as a non-binary trans, non-monogamous, queer human, it is important for me that content considers and includes me. As someone who has experienced a variety of trauma over the course of their life, I appreciate and sometimes need trigger warnings to access content in a way that is at a minimum safe, and ideally positive for me. I also experience chronic pain and fatigue. While my background is middle-to-upper middle class, I’m poor and struggling in part because of past abuse and trauma, as well as because of my chronic illness: I have chosen self-employment because it’s the best choice for me, but I’m still figuring out how to thrive.

I mention these things about myself not because I want or expect pity, or want to center my struggle over that of others. I mention these struggles because I know that privilege makes us blind to the oppressions that are experienced by other people. I have found that one beginning point for considering, understanding, and making room for others is by considering our own needs and the accommodations they require. It’s asking yourself, “what kinds of accessibility do I need and therefore must advocate for?” can lead you to “and what does that show me about the struggles of others, what they might need, and how I can advocate for them? What can I do with my work and in my communities to uplift those around me, especially those who are more marginalized than myself?”

Accessibility shouldn’t be about giving the bare minimum, it should be about creating content, spaces, and communities where we can more than just survive: we can thrive. Since this year is very much about learning how to thrive for myself, I want to extend a hand to others on this website, on social media, in my communities, and in society at large. I want to share what I learn and what resources I have to make the world just a little bit of a better place.

As part of this, there will be some adjustments on the site, my social media, and my work going forward. This is going to be an ongoing process because that’s what growth is, but I want to begin by doing a few things:

  • Continuing to strive to make my content as inclusive of different experiences–including race, gender, sexuality, class, and bodily experience including weight, ability, and sex characteristics–which also means speaking with and amplifying the voices of people who have experiences that are different from my own.

  • Advocating for inclusivity in the adult industry, sex blogging community, sex education, and other sexuality-based communities.

  • Finding ways to make my content on-site and on social media more accessible to more folks, which means things like the inclusivity above as well as:

    • Audio recordings of blog posts.

    • Transcriptions of audio interviews and content.

    • Creative and engaging image descriptions.

    • Trigger warnings.

I want to hold myself to higher standards with new content because that’s one way I can actively show my support: because “ally” is an ongoing act, not an identity. I’m holding myself to a new standard of content creation on the site going forward, and part of that is asking myself questions about what else I can be doing. One question that came up was what I’ll do with older content on the site: while much of it is outdated, a lot of it is worth upgrading and updating. Recognizing that it is already difficult to invest the time and resources I am into the present and future of the site–I’m struggling to even make end’s meet right now–I asked myself how I’d be able to justify putting even more energy into updating old content. With some thought, I realized there was a solution. Introducing:

The Accessibility Upgrade Initiative

Over the years, I have had companies ask if there were less expensive options for sponsoring posts on the site, or who were interested in putting links into old content on the site. I’ve also had individuals ask how they could contribute to the site. When considering the question of updating old content, I realized that I had an opportunity to meet this demand. With this initiative, I can give companies an opportunity to support accessibility, access less expensive advertisement options, and be compensated for the work it will take to update my backlog of posts.

An Accessibility Upgrade will cost a flat rate of $100, and this is how they’ll work:

I have a list of posts that are available for upgrade that a company or individual can choose from. The old post will remain live, with two changes: they’ll feature a banner at the top that links to the newly upgraded post, with text below that briefly explains the program and gives credit to the Upgrade Sponsor, with a link of their choice.

I will create a new post with an updated version of the text to reflect any new information or opinions on my part, as well as any necessary adjustments to language for greater inclusivity. They will also include:

  • Audio recording of the text being read.

  • Engaging, informative, and creative image descriptions, where applicable.

  • Content notes and trigger warnings prominently displayed at the top of the post.

  • A banner marking the post as part of the Accessibility Upgrade Initiative with recognition for the Sponsor–which will include a link of the Sponsor’s choice.

  • Text below the banner recognizing the sponsor and using the link of their choice.

In exchange for Sponsoring, the Sponsor will receive:

  • The link of their choice featured in the text of the original post, as well as in the Accessibility Upgrade Program badge, and text in the new post: a total of three links on-site.

  • A mention and tag on twitter and my instagram story when the new post goes live.

  • A pat on the back for supporting greater accessibility.

Sponsorship of Accessibility Upgrades is available to anyone: if you’re a company, you can have me link to one of your websites or social media.

 Image description: a pale, cherryblossom pink is overlaid with an acidic yellow-green. Navy text reads "This post is part of the Accessibility Upgrade Initiative and was sponsored by Sexational!"

Image description: a pale, cherryblossom pink is overlaid with an acidic yellow-green. Navy text reads "This post is part of the Accessibility Upgrade Initiative and was sponsored by Sexational!"

If you’re an individual, I can link to your blog, portfolio, website, or that tumblr account you use for shitposting. Anyone can choose to, alternatively, link to one of a list of awesome organizations I support, to give them a little boost. You can be credited by your name or pseudonym, or be anonymous, if you prefer.

This is an example of what the Accessibility Upgrade Initiative badges will look like for this quarter!

Recognizing that there are many sponsored posts already on the site, I will be reaching out to the original post sponsors to see if they’d be interested in sponsoring the upgrade of their post, or would be willing to allow someone else to upgrade their post: their links will remain intact in both the original and updated post, and they can stack the new links on top of those for even more awesomeness. If I reach out to a former sponsor and don’t hear back within three months, I will add their post to the list of those available for upgrade.

 Image Description: a pale cherryblossom pink background features a rough and sketchy illustration of a cappuccino in acidic yellow-green and navy blue. Steam rising from the coffee contains subtle dollar signs and the words "Tip Jar" in navy blue.

Image Description: a pale cherryblossom pink background features a rough and sketchy illustration of a cappuccino in acidic yellow-green and navy blue. Steam rising from the coffee contains subtle dollar signs and the words "Tip Jar" in navy blue.

Want to support this project or my work in general? your tips go towards caffeine, food, rent, and materials for my projects. 

This is just my first step. If there are other ways I can make the site more accessible to you, please feel free to reach out in the comments, via email, twitter, or instagram. If you’d like to support this work in ways aside from Sponsoring a post of your own, you can also see my Tip Jar and Amazon Wishlist (which includes tools for recording). Very soon, there will be a drop-down menu above with information about the program and a full list of available posts. In the meantime, feel free to get in touch with interest or questions!

I’m looking forward to revealing all the things that will be coming in the new chapter of this site, and especially sharing them with you. This is just the beginning. Keep an eye out, follow on social media, or follow in whatever ways work best for you if you’d like to follow along.