Exploring Sexual Communication, Pleasure, and Freedom for Gender Minorities with Chronic Illness, Pain, and other Disabilities (2021, 4CEs)


October 16, 2021 | 2pm-6pm EST

Presented by: Dr. Lee Phillips 

Available Live Via Zoom OR via Video Recording

In the field of sexuality, there is limited research on exploring sexual communication, pleasure and freedom of sexually marginalized adults such as those who as identify as LGBTQ, practice kink and BDSM, and those who identify as polyamorous or consensually non-monogamous with chronic illness, pain, and other disabilities. This workshop will introduce and explore sexual communication, pleasure, and freedom through a sex positive lens using clinical interventions, sex surrogate therapy with a focus on body work, acceptance & commitment therapy for body acceptance, kink and BDSM as communication, sensate focus, and imago relationship therapy.



In this 4-hour virtual workshop, we will explore:

  • Gaps in the research literature will be presented as there is a need for research about the sexual expression and partner communication among marginalized adults with physical disabilities
  • Misconceptions of Sex and Disability
  • Sexual Expression, Sexual Freedom, Gender, Sex Positivity, Identities and Coming Out LGBTQ with Disabilities
  • Kink as Communication: Using Kink/BDSM to cope with Chronic Pain
  • Redefining Sexual Communication in Polyamory
  • Case Studies
  • Clinical Interventions and Sex Surrogate Therapy

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and list the misconceptions of sex and disability.
  • Explain the coming out process and how LBGTQ identified people with disabilities may be required to perform their coming out process more than once with the same partner, around different identities.
  • Discuss Sexual Expression, Sexual Freedom, and Sex Positivity in working with Gender Minorities.
  • Discuss how kink and BDSM can be viewed as a framework for establishing specific communication between partners in coping with chronic pain.
  • Identify and list the tools for treating gender minorities with chronic illness, pain, and other disabilities.

Activities (Total 4 hours)

  • (10) Introduction to instructor and the problem with Ableism
  • (60) Battling the Medical Model: The Social Model for disability and the misconceptions of disability
  • (60) The Gift of Sexual Pleasure: Pleasure in a cultural perspective and the world of gender diversity
  • (80) The Good Pain: Using kink and BDSM as a way to cope with chronic pain, acceptance and commitment therapy for chronic illness, Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) for LBGTQ+ couples, Sensate Focus and Body Work, Sex Surrogate Therapy for people with disabilities
  • (30) Applying clinicals interventions to cases.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Melvin L. Phillips, Jr. is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Dr. Phillips has worked in several mental health and substance abuse treatment settings including outpatient community mental health, inpatient treatment, and  private practice for the past 12 years. He is a speaker and has lectured on topics including preventative services, anxiety and stress management, caregiving stress, depression in the elderly, mindfulness and cognitive strategies for chronic pain, ethical decision making, and the assessment of mental disorders. He has published in the Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, conducting a research study on LGBTQ-Affirmative Teaching at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Understanding Program Directors Views. He holds a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Behavioral Health from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. In addition, Dr. Phillips holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Norfolk State University and is an adjunct professor in the Master of Social Work Program with the School of Social Work at Western New Mexico University. Dr. Phillips is employed at a group  private practice in Washington, DC., Capitol Hill Consortium for Counseling and Consultation where he treats chronic illness and sexual dysfunction.

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