Margaret (she/her) is a queer, disabled graphic designer and journalist who writes about accessibility in design, technology and the built environment.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The Transistance Network
Black Inmate Commissary Fund
Indigenous Karuk and Yaruk Ceremonial Leader
Sovereign Spirit Death Care
Cofounder, CEO of BE-IMAGINATIVE
Freedom Community Clinic
Somatic Experience Practitioner
Cofounder, The Grinding Stone Collective
Nature Center for Meditation
Black Men Speak, Inc.
Peer Support Space
Black Boys Om Inc
Gender Expansive Liberationist Medicine Person
Founder, Rising Hearts
Assistant Professor of Linguistic and Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado Boulder
Anishinaabe Cultural Specialist, Anishaable Agriculture
Founder, Black Mermaids
Cofounder, Toj + Tijax
The Dream Experiment
I Am Yoga CLT
Founder, Pink Opal Magic
Founder, Financial Liberation Movement
TouchBot Pleasure Tech
Founder, Queer Kanaka
Black Creative Healing
End of Life Doula
Founder, Latinx Grief
Founder, Postpartum Healing Lodge
Founder, Zepp Wellness
Transgenerational counselor, Acupuncturist and Reiki practitioner
Founder, Keep It Cute
Executive Director, Semillas y Raices
Founder, Tristan Katz Creative
Founder, Ancestors in Training
Founder, Xude Yoga
Rest In Power Yoga + Reiki