Wednesday, 6 August 2014

'You Mean You Want To Have Sex Too?'

As she climbed on top of me, a warm tingling sensation went through my body. I gathered this is what sex felt (like).    
Last week I linked to a very important project on social media. It makes people feel uncomfortable because it is a discussion about people with disabilities having sex. Hosted by the SBS website, the project is entitled I Have Cerebral Palsy and I Enjoy Having Sex. It features 60 year old Colin Wright as well as sex worker, and scholar Rachel Wotton, who featured in last year's documentary Scarlet Road.

Sex is a difficult topic to talk about especially when you have a disability. Even more so when you do it in blog form where your parents, friends, friends of parents and complete strangers can get an insight into what is generally the most private of areas. But as I've discussed before privacy isn't an option for me, especially when it comes to sex. Never has been. Never will be.

So unfortunately I have to get over the duel taboos of sex and disability. And if I have to, you have to as well.

Here is a true scene that occurred when I was 16 years old while at my local shopping centre. I was in my favourite book store.

A random shopper comes up to me, with his girlfriend they both look around 25-30

RS Can I ask you a question?
Me: Umm... ok
RS: Does it work?
Me: Does what work? My wheelchair?
RS No. Down there? (points to my groin)
Me: You mean 'Can I have sex?'
RS: Yeah
Me: It depends. Is it you or your girlfriend asking? If it is her, I'll happily give her a demonstration and she can report back to you afterwards.

Random Shopper walks away very embarrassed.

This was the first time that such a conversation took place, but it wasn't the last. People have come up to me in the strangest places and asked me the same thing: at the end of a class I taught, at gigs, and in the back of taxis.

Therefore it is my responsibility to tell you that yes, I am a sexual being.

I am guy who gets turned on as much as you do. I know I have a definite type of woman that I find attractive. And I have had sexual encounters just like most of you. Some have been thrilling, some spontaneous, some embarrassing, some sexy, and some unusual. There are women who will be able to tell you that yes it does work. It was ten years ago that I lost my virginity. Thank god I was only 20 and not in my 50s like Colin.

I have a jovial relationship with a man who works with me, and we often have the traditional masculine discussions about sex. He has learnt from my experiences, he says.  So I showed him Colin's story. About halfway through the video, another staff member came in, stood there blankly for a minute and then said:

I can't watch something about disabled people having sex, it makes me feel uncomfortable.

Me: Is it the sex, or is it the disability?
SM: No, its not sex. They're not doing anything.
Me: Ok I can respect that. But one day you might accidentally walk into my apartment while I'm having sex, and because this is my bedroom, I might have this hot girl over who finds me sexually attractive. And we will have sex. I'm not going to flaunt that in front of you, and its going to be private, but there's a small chance that you could hear or see me having sex. Just a fair warning. What you just saw was my story too.
SM: You mean you want to have sex too?

Just to clear things up, I don't blame the staff member for this. I was more than pleased that we could have an honest and open conversation about sex. Society infantilises people with disabilities unconsciously. Of course, no one expects people with disabilities to have sex. But we do. Some of us want to and cannot. Some of us find stable partnerships and don't have to use sex workers.

You have to know that we might want to have sex.

So click the link and have a look even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. I promise I won't offer demonstrations.

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