Margaret	Andersen

Margaret Andersen

TouchBot Pleasure Tech

she/her

Fall 2021

Margaret (she/her) is a queer, disabled graphic designer and journalist who writes about accessibility in design, technology and the built environment.


What excites you about your work?

TouchBot Pleasure Tech has been evolving for about two years, first as just an idea which moved into very rudimentary prototypes made from off-the-shelf parts that led to our current phase, a custom design system of tools and toys that we’re preparing to send to testers for feedback before opening our web shop.

One of the most exciting things about launching TouchBot has been getting to connect with more people from the disability community from all over the world. After working privately on this project for so long I'm thrilled to be able to share what we’ve made with others and learn from them as we grow.


What feels rich and abundant in your work right now?

The creative collaborations that make TouchBot possible have been such a rich source of abundance and inspiration. Brainstorming as a team while also reaching out to people in the disability community and the fields of sexuality and sex tech has been integral to our development as a brand and continues to guide our design process and decision-making.

We think expansively about pleasure and the ways in which people access it, and we're dedicated to building inventive and playful tools that center the needs and desires of diverse bodies”

Who do you dedicate your work to?

I dedicate my work to anyone who has been tricked by ableism into believing that they are not worthy of joy or pleasure. There is so much stigma and shame around sex and pleasure in general and for people who identify as disabled, unlearning shame also means unlearning internalized ableism. I hope TouchBot can help to facilitate that unlearning while providing easier access to sexual expression and pleasure.

Who inspires you? Who are you learning from?

One of the most impactful learning experiences for me has been discovering the Bay-Area performance group Sins Invalid and the 10 principles of Disability Justice they developed. Disability Justice is a framework and practice for achieving collective liberation through collective action and connects us in solidarity to other liberation movements rooted in racial justice, reproductive justice, queer and trans liberation, fat liberation, prison abolition, and environmental justice.

I’ve also learned a great deal from educator and sexologist Bianca Laureano whose workshops and writing explore how Disability Justice challenges normative ideas around disability and sex. As for what I'm reading, I’ve been really enjoying Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights, a series of essayettes that document his yearlong meditation on all the small joys and pleasures of daily life; things like strong coffee, nicknames, fruit from public trees, or feeling the sun on your skin through the windows while you’re still in bed. Truly a delight to read!

How can people reading this support the work you are doing?

Our sex toy design research survey is still accepting submissions and we’d love to continue to learn how our pleasure products can meet your individual access needs. If you'd like to participate, you can access the form on our website at https://touchbottech.com/.

You can also donate to our project at https://linktr.ee/hellotouchbot or share our story with friends IRL and on social media. Our social media handles on Instagram and Twitter is @hellotouchbot.

What something you didn’t know, that you now understand differently with wellness?

I think for years I equated wellness with fitness, and that was reinforced by a lot of ableist messaging from the health and wellness industry at large. I’ve grown to understand that the concept of wellness it’s a deeply personal experience that can exist beyond capitalism and the wellness-industrial complex, and finding what makes you feel good and brings you happiness is a radical act.

Sexual wellness can be a key component in our individual well-being, and my goal is to help remove the access barriers to pleasure for people who have found conventional sex toys inaccessible from both and physical and financial perspective.

What is your own wellness practice? How do you find balance?

As a freelance designer and journalist I rarely keep a 9-5 schedule, so my work hours often bleed into the evening or weekends, and that can lead to burnout. I've had to create boundaries with myself to not allow the expectations of grind culture consume my life, and to make time to do things that bring me joy like drawing just for fun, connecting with friends and my partner, or spending time in nature, even if it’s just a walk in my neighborhood or tending to my succulent garden on the patio.

Like so many of us, quarantine and the ongoing pandemic has forced me to relearn the ways in which we can experience intimacy and pleasure during times of isolation, so adopting an embodiment practice has helped me to engage more deeply with my own body, with others, and with the natural world.


Meet other grant recipients

Adrian-Xavier Scott

The Transistance Network

Angel Alicea

Black Inmate Commissary Fund

Ash "Lightning Woman" Frandsen

Indigenous Karuk and Yaruk Ceremonial Leader

Ash Canty

Sovereign Spirit Death Care

Ayesha Walker

Cofounder, CEO of BE-IMAGINATIVE

Bernadette Lim

Freedom Community Clinic

Betania Ridenour

Somatic Experience Practitioner

Brooke Rodriguez

Cofounder, The Grinding Stone Collective

C. Marie Long

Nature Center for Meditation

Chelsey Thomas

Sexuality Educator

Damon "Shuja" Johnson

Black Men Speak, Inc.

Dandelion Hill

Peer Support Space

Danny Fluker

Black Boys Om Inc

Ekua Adisa

Gender Expansive Liberationist Medicine Person

India Harville

Embraced Body

Jordan Daniel

Founder, Rising Hearts

Joseph Dupris

Assistant Professor of Linguistic and Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado Boulder

Joshua Biron

Anishinaabe Cultural Specialist, Anishaable Agriculture

Julia Mallory

Founder, Black Mermaids

Karen Faulkner

Yoga Instructor

Katherin Canton

Cofounder, Toj + Tijax

Kelsey Daniels

The Dream Experiment

Kiesha Battles

I Am Yoga CLT

Kristie Cabrera

Occupational Therapist

Kristina Jones

Guardian Lane

Krysta Venora

Founder, Pink Opal Magic

Laura Yohualtlahuiz Rios-Ramirez

Lotus Do

Founder, Financial Liberation Movement

Louis Mitchell

Reverend, Activist

Mangda Sengvanhpheng

Founder, BACII

Margaret Andersen

TouchBot Pleasure Tech

Megan (Pumehana) Cabral

Founder, Queer Kanaka

Micaela Zamora

Community Aid

Natasha Thomas

Black Creative Healing

Oceana Sawyer

End of Life Doula

Paulina Almarosa

Founder, Latinx Grief

Queen Hollins

Earthlodge Center

Raeanne Madison

Founder, Postpartum Healing Lodge

Raegan Robinson

Yoga Instructor

Raquel Savage

Founder, Zepp Wellness

Roshni Kavate

Grief Healer

Sally Ortiz Castro

Transgenerational counselor, Acupuncturist and Reiki practitioner

Stef Mandingo

Founder, Keep It Cute

Tejal Patel

Tejal Yoga

Tomas Ramirez

Executive Director, Semillas y Raices

Tristan Katz

Founder, Tristan Katz Creative

Veronica Agard

Founder, Ancestors in Training

Xā Carter

Founder, Xude Yoga

Zami Tinashe Hyemingway

Spiritus Wellness

Zel Amanzi

Rest In Power Yoga + Reiki

Ready to make a change, for good?

Get in touch