The Right to Sexual Expression
Our culture struggles with talking about sex and sexuality, This aspect of people’s lives are supposed to occur “behind closed doors” and not in common conversation. We fail to talk about this topic and recognise its role in our society. It is time to shed light on this conversation and recognise that sexuality and sexual needs are a part of every human’s life. The more this is denied the more dysfunction and shame is formed.
One’s respect and self-esteem are often linked to developing a positive sexual identity. Research shows when one’s sexual identity is denied due to a disability has a number of negative consequences on one’s mental and physical health from increased distress.
As a Sex worker, who provides services for those with a disability the above statement rings true, I quickly realised how hard it was for clients to find a disability-friendly escort in Queensland. A few years ago I had a client mention an organisation that helps people with disability find a sex worker that suited their needs in their area, needless to say, I joined Touching Base three years ago and I will never look back.
Touching Base Inc is a charitable organisation, based in Sydney NSW Australia, that has been active since October 2000. Touching Base developed out of the need to assist people with disability and sex workers to connect with each other, focusing on access, discrimination, human rights and legal issues, and the attitudinal barriers that these two marginalised communities can face.
My work with people with a disability is fulfilling in so many ways, I have met some of the most supportive clients and carers over the years, providing a genuine service they never thought they would find along with providing them someone to talk to openly about what barriers they want to overcome and grow from. Building confidence in themselves to express what they are feeling and not to be hard on themselves when things might not go according to plan.
Currently Touching Base does not receive any government funding so all donations are most gratefully received.
The stigma that exists around people with disabilities, as not having the sexual desire and a need to express and experience themselves as sexual beings need to be addressed. This desire is a part of being human. People with disabilities are sexual beings and deserve equal rights and opportunities to access their sexuality, including sexual expressing and sexually fulfilling relationships.
I encourage clients to make their bookings themselves where possible, I have been told this is liberating by clients. While this can be a new and exciting experience, setting boundaries and expectations from the start is very important to me & it also promotes personal growth in social & intimate settings along with building a good client/sex worker rapport. For clients who are non-verbal, I also have experience with communication boards & other devices.
Support staff are always welcome to assist in making arrangements for bookings and are always welcome to contact me on behalf of the client to get over the first hurdle which can be a little nerve-wracking for first-time clients. I can provide service agreements for those needing a clear outline of what is expected from each party involved along with optional mutual non-disclosure agreements being used in some cases.
Some questions I may ask clients/support staff are in regards to consent and medical history
- Understanding consent & personal boundaries
- While physical limitations rarely are an issue, but knowing your body’s limits is how we make the most out of our time together.
- While most conditions are managed effectively, being aware of them for the safety of both parties involved.
- Medical conditions such as but not limited to Epilepsy, Diabetes, Hypertension & Mental health disorders are helpful to know about, having a situation arise inside a session is not what we want, but things happen so being prepared is the best option.
THESE MAY SEEM A LITTLE INVASIVE BUT THE SAFETY OF MY CLIENTS AND MYSELF HAVE TO BE A TOP PRIORITY.
To help ease my client’s worries, I am first aid trained & I am familiar with mobility and medical devices.
I offer Skype consults for those wanting to chat face to face before booking a session, these are strictly non-sexual and aimed towards support staff & clients who would like to discuss their needs/wishes and gauge if I am suitable for your client.