Friday, June 3, 2016

Phallic Friday - Sex and Disability

Sometimes, strange things happen in my life where I begin to wonder how the Fates have conspired to make all this happen - how do they stitch such odd occurrences together so they come back to make sense?

Many many years ago, I met a guy (let's call him G) through a friend (let's call him F) who suffered from Muscular Dystrophy. He was fairly crippled and confined to a wheelchair, but he was my age (at the time late 20s) and there was nothing wrong with his mind/emotions/feelings/needs.

These two guys had been childhood mates and they remained the closest of friends until G died a few years ago. One of the things that struck me about F and G was that they had very similar minds - intelligent, enquiring, evaluating, and open - yet G was trapped inside his body. So while F was leading a 'normal' life that included picking up women, G was stuck in his chair. I can't imagine how frustrating this was for G, yet he never seemed to let it bother him.

And then I found out that when they hit their late teens, F argued (and organised) that G should be allowed to have sex. Physically, G could do this if the woman took care of his needs and was sensitive to the things he could not do, but G couldn't just pick up a chick in a bar like F did. So F organised for a prostitute to regularly visit G. It was my first awakening to the fact that people did need sex and connection and intimate friendships, regardless of their limitations.

It's something I greatly admire about F - that he can see the needs of others, and can work out solutions to problems.

So, fast forward more than a few years and in a quirk of fate I've found out about an organisation that actually does what F did. Touching Base is a charitable organisation based in Sydney, that enables people with disabilities to connect with sex workers. It's existed since 2000, so I'm late finding out about it.

I'm really pleased to find out that there's such an organisation. And I feel some sort of synergy when I stumble across an organisation that takes me back in time, to a discussion that began to open my eyes to the need for sex/intimacy/connection regardless of ability.

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