Majority of youngsters spend a massive amount time speaking about sex with the mates of theirs. All sex types in point – the other sex, the sex of ours, how much sex, good sex and bad sex. We are quite prepared to be upfront about the fact we believe speaking about sex (and thinking about it too) is completely normal and completely healthy.
Then something came along that made me realise that there was one area of sex we did not ever talk about. That an item was an Oscar nominated film performance from an actress called Helen Hunt. The film is called’ The Sessions’ as well as it’s all about disability and sex. I realised that we have not been talking about disability and sex. The issue is being brushed under the floor covering and that is not good. I reckon it is time to get talking.
THEY DON’T TALK ABOUT DISABLED PEOPLE GETTING SEX AT SCHOOL EITHER
Sex education at just about all schools school is usually only really focused on relationships between people who do not have a disability. This could mean people which are young with a disability aren’t informed about relationships and sex. Think it through and you start to realise this can add as much as the notion that sex isn’t for disabled individuals. Reflected in the ideas of wider society it turns into a taboo subject.
You have probably seen or at least heard of the Channel four programme’ The Undateables’. It is basically a dating show for people with disabilities. The show challenges the point of view that getting a disability somehow makes you asexual or non-sexual. It shows that disabled individuals, pretty much as anyone, want to search for a partner for sex, love and most of the other products boys and women (or maybe boys and boys, and women and girls) do together.
Some folks are worried that the programme exploits men and women in the show. Actually, the name of the show give’s the wrong impression and it is quite exploitative.’ Undateable’ in who’s views – who’s judging. Jumping to conclusions about exploitation can bring about sexual rights being compromised, leaving folks feeling as if they cannot, or have no perfect, to sexually express themselves.
THE GLEE OF SEX
As mentioned above sex and disability is topical with the release of’ The Sessions’. It tells the real story of a male with a man paralysed from the neck down who works on a sex surrogate to relinquish his virginity. The film challenges the viewpoint that people with disabilities don’t wish to acquire physical relationships. The notion that people with disabilities don’t include sexual desires means that these desires are overlooked.
The film shows a man overcoming the own insecurities of his as well as fighting for a right that he thinks he deserves. The film has done a wonderful job at getting people bringing and talking issues into the spotlight.
Sex and disability are not addressed together much in films and TV. But remember when Artie from Glee dropped his virginity to the hot cheerleader? Among the items he said was that he was not really certain he can have sex after his accident. This is a typical worry and one which may make individuals careful of entering into a relationship in the first place.
What’s A SEX SURROGATE?
A sex surrogate isn’t the same as a prostitute. Sexual surrogacy is based around remedy and calls for participating in a number of times over some months. A surrogate addresses psychological and physical issues.
Individuals with physical disabilities which rely on a carer think it is especially challenging to have sexual relationships. Often people’s carers are their parents, who may be overprotective making it a lot more complicated to express sexual desires.
On one hand this tends to lead to feelings of isolation as well as shame. However a number of parents who are carers pay for sexual surrogates for their children when they’re old enough. It isn’t part of living that a parent expects to be involved in to ensure that it can be difficult. But being open about wants can stay away from resentment as it recognizes the validity of sexual thoughts.
There are a few companies that are particularly for this that find sex workers for handicapped people. They work within the law, are vetted and are used to dealing with people with disabilities.
IN THE NEWS – SUS-SEX
Back in Disability and march sex were in the news when it was revealed that sex workers were being utilized in care homes in Sussex. The revelations received a diverse response. Some people are concerned that this opens the door to the possibility of exploitation. Others look after it, stating the sexual surrogates are doing one thing that care workers are powerless to, both morally and by law.
For some, using a sex worker and understanding that they can be intimate, can easily offer the confidence that they need to be in a relationship with an long-term partner. Learning they’ve a few actual physical sexual capability to back up their sexual desires raises their self-esteem.
Others may well not need to use a sex worker and would like to wait until they are inside a relationship. Heading directlyto Glee, Artie was worried he lost his virginity through’ meaningless’ sex – albeit as an expression by a caring friend. He was encouraged to lose his virginity as he was not certain he might have sex. After the encounter he was left wishing he had waited.
You can make your own personal mind up about whether first sexual encounters are always significant. However this response in itself is a reflection that men and women with disabilities experience exactly the same worries about sex and love as everyone else.
And so, We need to GET TALKING
There’s a great deal to think about. Some have concerns that the use of sex workers might cause abuse of people which are vulnerable. While sexual desires are essential, exploitation is an issue. Although if you stick to the notion that sex workers are themselves being exploited the problem becomes who’s exploiting whom.
For this reason it is crucial for there to be open and honest conversations about the issues. As a result, disabled people can believe that any sexual desires they have are normal.
One half of the fight is making society far more conscious of the issues; this’s first step to fighting stigma on the topic.