PAs, Residential Staff & Health Professionals
Guidelines for dealing with clients who want/need sex workers
When a disabled person expresses sexual needs, the first thing to sort out is what they really want – sex in a relationship, paid sex, or both (perhaps at different stages of their sexual journey). We see both as valid choices.
TLC hopes to help reduce the stigma surrounding sex workers and initiate a move towards sex work being integrated into all other health care.
TLC is well aware of the sensitive nature of dealing with disabled clients who want to use the services of sex workers. You may be juggling between the needs of the client, the views of their family, your own feelings, and the moral indignation of your colleagues, your boss and the Board of Governors. Here are some guidelines to help you
1) The buying and selling of sex is not illegal in the UK. A huge number of perfectly respectable people hire sex workers and most sex workers themselves are highly professional, not the "victims" commonly portrayed in the media.
2) Calling up on behalf of a client is not illegal. If you feel uneasy or at risk making the phone call, TLC has an advocate who is happy to do so. He is a confident, kind-hearted disabled man called Greg whose telephone number is 020 8459 5002. Best request that the sex worker dresses like your client's aunty, to avoid gossip and other residents guessing what is happening. Not that we feel this is shameful, but people appreciate being given privacy.
3) It is Illegal to deny disabled people the same opportunities that other people enjoy in their own homes and helping your client or resident book and see a sex worker is duty of care.
4) For those disabled people who do not have the capacity to choose, members of your practice can decide what is in their best interest and document how this decision was reached and, once this is done, legally proceed to find sexual help for him or her.
If you feel ill-equipped to discuss sex with clients, or feel insure about initiating discussions, see www.sexualrespect.com.
It is your responsibility to ask you clients about sex to find out if anything is troubling them, and discuss the options. When you consider the healing power of touch alone, sex workers can provide an invaluable service to people recovering from strokes and accidents, old people, those with progressive disabilities, and lonely people in general.
Sometimes, health professionals come across clients who are seriously sexually frustrated and lonely, with no funds to pay a sex worker and no opportunities to form relationships. Perhaps they could be encouraged to join a local group, or Outsiders? If paying is the chosen option, expenses for a sex worker should be included in their personal budgets, or other income support. Rarely does TLC receive bursary funds to rescue them.