Guardian article on sex workers and disabled people

(409 Posts)
fllowtheyellowbrickroad Thu 11-Apr-13 21:43:38

http://m.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/10/sex-workers-disabled-people

Has this already been done? Will put together something literate soon. An currently choking and splitting too much.

Verycold Thu 11-Apr-13 21:55:57

What is your issue with it?

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Thu 11-Apr-13 22:05:47

It's been around for a while and I truly hate this idea.

It fuels the myth that disabled people cannot find consenting lovers.

It promotes the sex industry and the idea that buying womens bodies to wank into is fine (the article says even disabled women go to female sex workers).

It promotes the idea that sex is more important than decency (i.e. not paying for the use of orifices).

And it begs the questions of where you stop; if sex is such a necessity/human right, what about those who are incarcerated/ unpleasant/ rude i.e just don't have access to a willing partner? Do they get to buy humans for use of their sex organs too?

The people who use the TLC-Trust to gain experience and lose their virginity may also struggle to find subsequent partners who are happy that they once used sex workers.

NiceTabard Thu 11-Apr-13 22:28:16

I agree with lala.

The idea that disabled people are not "fuckable" apart from by people paid to do it is downright offensive.

Sex is also not a right. Plenty of non-disabled people can't get any and don't use prostitutes.

There was an article about this a couple of years back and it was all about disabled men and female prostitutes. So perpetuating unhealthy ideas about men and women and sex. I have yet to see a piece where parents of a disabled young woman talk in a positive and keen way about paying men to fuck her.

The whole thing just stinks.

YonirockandrollbutIlikeit Thu 11-Apr-13 22:33:43

I agree. It makes me very uncomfortable.

Leithlurker Fri 12-Apr-13 00:25:44

Perhaps some reading other than the guardian article will help people, it also addresses the "Disabled women do not pay for sex" trope.

www.disabilitynow.org.uk/article/sex-rights-disability-and-some-ticklish-questions

Leithlurker Fri 12-Apr-13 00:43:26

Another good article that opens up the complex area of sex for people with impairments, this time if a debate about "entitlement" to sex, and to use sexworkers is going to be had, I suggest it would benefit from thinking about the whole issue as outlined in these two articles, both written by women incidentally.
www.disabilitynow.org.uk/article/sex-some-facts-life

NiceTabard Fri 12-Apr-13 01:01:45

Yeah I clicked the first link and didn't get past the opening line

"Sexual activity, stimulation and gratification should be just as much a right for disabled people as it is for anyone else."

Those things are not a right for anyone. I can't start to look into an argument which starts with these things as a right. They are not rights.

Leithlurker Fri 12-Apr-13 01:14:23

In that case tabard you are not bothering to look at the views and experiences of the people you wish to pontificate about. Your assertions about rights not being rights are just that assertions. You would have read that indeed many people seem to want to define what the right of people with impairements are, few however have to suffer the consequences of having their right to a full and meaningful life denied them.

Must be nice to live in a world where you can take your own freedom of action for granted. Not worry about bullying or ridicule, never thinking that your not a full human being, always being able to get a shag even a pity shag if you want one, or even just to have someone hold you for a reason that has nothing to do with your inability to function.

The right is not about sex it is about being human, having sex is part of being human.

NiceTabard Fri 12-Apr-13 02:09:01

There is no right to sex. There is no human right to sex. I find it scary that anyone, anywhere maintains that.

I am disabled, BTW. Does that help? Is my opinion that sex is not a right, and that many many people live their lives without sex, people of all sorts of ages, sexualities, levels of disability can get by perfectly fine without paying for sex...

The idea that if you don't have a sex life there is something wrong is rampantly patriarchal.

your idea that everyone has a right to express their sexual urges with a real life person who meets their specifications makes me ill, frankly.

NiceTabard Fri 12-Apr-13 02:11:07

the idea that disabled people are eminently unfuckable is also rampantly patriarchal.

I have no problem with my views smile

LinusVanPelt Fri 12-Apr-13 02:19:38

Well said, NiceTabard.

Leithlurker - "The right is not about sex it is about being human, having sex is part of being human." Hmm. Another part of being human, surely, should be recognising the humanity of others?

And therefore not buying them as things to use for your own pleasure?

Sex is not a right. For any of us, disabled or not.

LinusVanPelt Fri 12-Apr-13 02:26:31

Scratch "sex is not a right". That misses the point, really, because the person wanting sexual gratification can of course do what they like with their own body and / or with any object that floats their boat.

But access to other people's bodies is not a right.

fllowtheyellowbrickroad Fri 12-Apr-13 05:01:04

Sorry to post and run. I agree. Having sex may be part of being human but if in doing that there is a need to buy another human I think human decency must come first.

The fact that other people are organising this as surprise "gifts" leaves me cold.

alwayslateforwork Fri 12-Apr-13 05:27:27

Lots of v interesting stuff looked at by Treloar. how to facilitate consensual relationships for young people with severe disabilities etc, who may not be physically able to position themselves for a peck on the cheek, let alone any other sort of intimacy - young people who are aware of peer group behaviour/ their own hormone surges/ body changes etc. how to evaluate whether both parties are freely consenting etc.

V complex.

Not about buying and selling though. Even without the cash changing hands, most folk recoil in horror about the idea of people with severe physical disabilities having a sexual identity. It makes discussing the subject merely in terms of prostitution almost impossible.

In reality, the only person I have ever heard on this subject was a woman with a learning disabled 18yo dd. (I've never heard anyone seam about men's rights in this arena - must be the circles I move in...) she even admitted herself that whilst she wanted for her dd to enjoy a sexual relationship, she struggled with the societal view that disabled people shouldn't be allowed to do that sort of thing, moves towards compulsory sterilisation, medical interventions to prevent puberty and growth in order to make personal care/ lifting easier compared to human rights of the individual etc.

None of this is really pertinent for nt types, so to attempt to draw exact parallels to bolster arguments against prostitution is a bit simplistic.

I'm entirely anti- prostitution, if it matters. I suppose I should read the articles now.

sashh Fri 12-Apr-13 05:34:46

I have not read the articles, I just want to throw into the mix that in Holland there are volunteers who have sex with disabled people, there it is seen as a human right.

the person wanting sexual gratification can of course do what they like with their own body

Not always.

Just to throw into the mix, and I will come back later, read the articles and have a think but what about a person who wants to use a sex toy but who cannot get it 'in place' by themselves. Would it be OK for someone to do that?

I basically mean placing a vibrator where it needs to be and then leaving the room. Is that different to lifting someone on to the toilet?

alwayslateforwork Fri 12-Apr-13 05:43:11

Sassh, that's the sort of thing I'm talking about. I know Treloar have quite explicit policies about these things, and the role of carers/ support workers.

'Prostitution is a bad thing' is nowhere near nuanced enough to deal with sexuality and disability. However much you want it to be so.

Leithlurker Fri 12-Apr-13 06:45:34

Exactly sash and always, the articles should anyone read them cover exactly the complexities involved, not least by the FACT that time and again in surveys of disabled people and able bodied people, a high number of able bodied people would never go on a date never mind have sex with someone with a disability.

More research is being done, both (I think) the articles are written by academics doing further work, part of the problem has been probably always will be, the inability of parents of adults with the whole range of impairements to see their children as adults with all the needs and desires that adults have. This stops the adult children from being able to express or do anything about their sexuality, particularly for women, and for LGBT people.

Leithlurker Fri 12-Apr-13 06:58:54

Tabard I would have hoped that someone with a disability would be able to understand the idea that what ever the impairment or level of difficulty Those who're the most effected by the views of others are the ones with the most sensitivity towards their own impairment. Whilst you have no problem with your views, other impaired women and men would find it belittles them and denies them the right to speak about a need or desire to engage in a part of every day human life that is being denied to them through people saying "you do not have a right to sex"

LinusVanPelt Fri 12-Apr-13 09:09:50

The person wanting sexual gratification can of course do what they like with their own body.

Not always.

I meant that "can of course do" in terms of a person's rights, not in terms of their physical ability to carry out their wishes. Perhaps it was clumsily phrased, sorry about that. But I would have thought in the context of this discussion that my meaning would have been clear.

Spero Fri 12-Apr-13 09:12:49

I would just like to know if the people so annoyed by the 'myth' that disabled people are considered 'unfuckable' are disabled themselves?

I am physically disabled and can tell you very clearly that it is not a 'myth'. It is clear to me how a large number of abled bodied people regard the disabled.

Spero Fri 12-Apr-13 09:18:50

I will now read the articles, I have posted quickly and in anger.

I don't know the 'status' of most of you posting.

But may I just say, as a disabled woman who has time and time again been shown with absolute and horrible clarity just how a lot of able bodied people perceive me, to have any able bodied person pontificating on my experience is absolutely enraging.

For anyone who thinks that there is a level sexual playing field for the disabled, open your eyes and see the world as it, not through the lense of your liberal sensitivities.

If anyone wants to volunteer to provide sexual gratification to the disabled, bloody good on them. I am less comfortable with commercial transactions because that does open door to exploitation.

A sex life may not be a 'right" but for many people it is an important and valuable part of being alive.

Leithlurker Fri 12-Apr-13 09:47:01

Spero I am sorry you have had the experiences that you have had, I fear the number of people who are disable and who have a sexual aspect to their life without paying for it, or without having to fulfil someone elses fantasy about "gimp" sex, is low compared to the total number of people with impairments. It would be interesting to see the gender breakdown between male and female disabled people to see if more women or men with disabilities have a regular sex life.

YonirockandrollbutIlikeit Fri 12-Apr-13 10:57:21

I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear above. I am uncomfortable with a commercial transaction. My discomfort isn't around people with disabilities having sex.

Spero Fri 12-Apr-13 12:36:15

But if the only way for some disabled people to have sex is via a commercial transaction, why this horror and disgust IF the transaction can be regulated to be as sure as we can be that the men or women working in this field are safe from explotation, trafficking etc.

I am uncomfortable with this notion that adults cannot consent to sell sex - it seems unnecessarily paternatlistic and my fear is that it does mask a hidden shock and disgust at the thought of disabled people being sexual beings.

The only way I could guarranttee an active sex life is to visit various fetish web sites or pay for it. I am certainly not having sex with someone who values me only for my disability and I am not keen on paying!

But I am troubled by the very strong emotions this subject seems to arose. It is important for able bodied people who are expressing an opinion on whether or not disabled people should have a sex life to be honest with themselves about what they know and understand of life with disabilities.

For the vast majority of my friends I am the ONLY person with a disability that they have regular social contact with. I would be VERY surprised to learn that any of them had had sex with a disabled person. I am tired of well meaning comments such as 'you are so pretty! I am sure your disability isn't an issue'.

It most certainly is. And I can quite understand why. Disability is not 'sexy', I am not going to shriek at the able bodied for not wanting to wine and dine someone who is disabled. Being perfectly blunt, neither would I. If I met someone lovely, kind and funny hopefully I would look beyond the disability, but those kinds of relationships take time and trouble to build up and most people just can't be bothered.

So I am really troubled by the contemptuous and outright dismissal of any attempts to think of a solution for the disabled. From the tone of some of these posts we are expected to just shut up and go away, we don't have any 'right' to the kind of expressions of sexuality that the able bodied take for granted.

Seriously, check your privilege.

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