Do you think it is ‘reasonable and necessary’ to be allowed to experience yourself as a sexual and romantic being?
I have been quite upset by the take, which a couple of major disability organisations have had, on sexual expression, recently.
One stated on the phone, that it was not ‘reasonable or necessary’ for clients to be assisted via a specialist dating organisation (btw only ‘reasonable necessary’ things are attributed government funding). Good to know, if you’re planning on running ‘speed dating nights’ for people with a disability, I’ll have to remember to include what they deem as ‘community access’ in the activites (Coz that IS deemed reasonable and necessary)
Another organisation made an example of having almost sacked a worker, because she accompanied her client to a sex store (among other minor grievances I’ll tell you about if you talk to me personally).
There is a lot of focus on teaching clients what not to do, ‘stop touching fellow clients’, ‘don’t come on to the waitress’, ‘don’t hug the women here, or there, or … anywhere really – unless it’s your mum’.
There are specialist courses which teach clients how not to behave. All this is understandable, and necessary.
But where is the ‘yes’?
In rare circumstances, clients are supported to visit escourts, this is true. Nevertheless there are a lot of steps, which come before outright intercourse, which don’t really seem to be supported or acknowledged.
Navigating online and offline dating can be tricky enough for anyone. How much trickier would it be, if you had a disability which was noticeable as soon as you walked into any arena?
Where is the supported environment where people with a disability can take baby steps towards dating?
How are adult clients going to access this, when many still live with their mums, and don’t really see anyone other than their carers and the local hair dresser? Four out of four clients I know fall in this category.
Major gap in human rights here, don’t you think?