Sooo…. A little while ago we had a fantastic interview with Tuppy Owens, disability sex champion. It sparked a certain amount of debate and some interesting opinions, and it’s been interesting to follow the flow of the argument. This was followed up by an (anonymous) first-person account from someone with a high degree of disability and their experiences with a sex worker. *That* generated quite a bit of interest, but you might find the post is difficult to find now. That’s because the author decided that he wanted to rewrite the post in more detail and less anonymously. So today we have the second part of the story.
Again, this certainly isn’t a route I intended to go down when I started this blog, but when I look down the list of popular disability blogs, I really can’t see this sort of content fitting in many places. If this is a topic people would like to hear more about, then please let me know in the comments.
From “Johnny M Y wheels”,
I’m 21 and I was born with cerebral palsy. I am severely visually impaired. My eye condition is called CVI: I can get around OK, but have difficulty recognising faces and reading.
I am very sociable and like to hang out with friends, meeting new people. I have been able to do a lot more of this in the last year, since I decided to use my wheelchair full-time. It was getting too difficult for me to walk and stand for long periods of time. So I have been experiencing a lot more, and learning new things.
Trying to meet somebody, ‘on the pull’, is difficult because they don’t see me as a person, they only see my wheelchair – so it is very hard for me to get talking to girls, especially in pubs and bars where there’s loud music. So, I had never really been able to experience real intimacy and last year, I started to get annoyed. I was also beginning to get really low and depressed, I was on antidepressants and my mobility really started to deteriorate.
I also had a relationship breakup last year. This was with my childhood sweetheart but we lived quite a long distance from each other. She was disabled, and her parents would not put themselves out to bring her up to see me — it was always left to me for me to go down and see her, which I did about once a month. We were not allowed to sleep together and we never had sex. The rest of the relationship was based around social media. Anyway, the relationship ended last April — we were having a lot of arguments because she only really wanted an Internet relationship.
I was attending special school/college for blind students at the time. I tried telling them how I was feeling about not having any sexual experience and one of the staff said to me that he couldn’t me help there.
The so-called sex education lessons at school and college were so boring I used to sit there with my head on the table! It was the same crap over and over. Hands-on sex education was what I needed and that’s when I started thinking about escorts.
I was really beginning to get pissed off with everyone around me, including my mum, saying I needed to meet somebody new. I ended up bursting into tears in front of my mum and told her I actually wanted sexual experience. I went ahead with my booking which I had made to see Charlotte, a sex worker. There, I experienced sexual intimacy for the very first time, and it was lovely. I came away feeling more “with it” and less irritable.
When I first told my mum she didn’t like it but I have had a conversation with her since about it all, and she’s telling me that she can understand, but at first it was a big shock. Still, I feel alone in my ventures to see the sex worker. I guess if I didn’t have communication or the ability to use my wheelchair so well, I don’t know how I would have accessed one.
I went to my sex and relationship tutor and I said that I was thinking about employing a escort to help me, and the response I got was that it’s the wrong thing to do this sort of thing, and it’s totally unhealthy. I showed her the TLC Trust website, and she was surprised it wasn’t not blocked. I said that I had already seen an escort and it was the best thing I’ve ever done, and tutor looked at me with disapproval.
Just before I left college, I had a couple of liaisons with girls, but we had to sneak somewhere to be together, and it was never like going to bed together. I asked the staff the question why safeguarding took priority over pleasure. I didn’t really get an answer, and I think they don’t really know what to say to you, because they want to work within their policies. A lot of the time these organisations don’t even realise that they are breaking the law by discriminating against disabled people by not supporting them to enjoy the same pleasures as others can do at home.
During my first session with the beautiful Charlotte, I was really nervous. But I learned a great deal and she knew how to interact with my impaired body and give me a good time.
I began to believe that sex workers would be the best people to be teaching disabled people about sex. Why not pay an expert, rather than a biology teacher, a health professional or a nurse? But there seems to be this stigma surrounding sex work. It’s okay to pay PA to help you with everyday tasks, but when it comes down to paying for sexual needs, everything seems to be taboo.
Sex work is professional line of work. I know its not like a relationship and no feelings are involved, but it’s not that different to having a one night stand. It’s really nice because you are asked, “would you like to try this or would you like to try that, or would you rather do it this way? So there’s a lot of teaching involved, and that can lead on to help me with future relationships. Plus it’s fun as well. I think society need to get over themselves.
It cost me £160 first time and £280 the second time, but it is really good to have sex with somebody who is experienced, accepting of disability, and actually takes you seriously.
The thing that surprises me most is that these organisations are not even aware that they are actually breaking the law by denying disabled people the same rights as everybody else. This is, after all, the 21st-century, when the words equality, acceptance and tolerance are banded about daily.
I am also shocked even to this day that the general public think that it is illegal to buy sex. Well, it is the best thing that I have ever done, because I’m becoming more and more confident ( tt’s still “work in progress). That the majority of people believe that it’s illegal to buy sex is really surprising and it makes me angry because it has helped me so much. MPs and politicians have to always twist things and get it wrong.
The government wants to criminalise the buyers of sex. This makes it more difficult for disabled people to access sex workers than it already is I think that they should look at brothels legalising brothels if they want to make the industry safer not criminalising the buyers what they should do they should legalise brothels make the brothels wheelchair accessible and make the Industry safe but at the end of the day its only because there is money involved in the situation that’s why I think it gets seen as undesirable
But if politicians would open their eyes and see what sex workers do for disabled people maybe they’d have a different opinion.
Of the responses – I like this gem from an independent escort and chocoholic on Twitter:
Re last tw thought about diff between saying client or disabled client. Decided it's like engineer vs female engineer, unneeded adjective
— Corrine (@LovelyCorrine) June 5, 2014