Thursday, January 18, 2007

all things damp and snuggly....

Though I am far from a vintage blogger, I have started finding myself convinced I have written about subjects that I then dismiss from consideration only to find no trace of them on my blog (Coming soon, Ashley X). Hmm, perhaps Blogger search is not as efficient as I hoped.

This recent article in the Guardian discusses an issue which has been around in the world of disability, well, forever I'd imagine. A young man, who cannot, or feels he cannot, get a girlfriend resorts to paying for sex as he fears he cannot get a full relationship. This article is a particularly well written, it is not coming down on the side of assuming that disabled men cannot ever have relationships, or on the side of a Right to have sex, or any particular view point. Such articles are not always about men; though in the many I have read the only woman who has publicly written about paying for sex has been a Dutch woman who has made use of a government funded sexual surrogacy service. (Interesting article about sex surrogacy here)

To give context; my disability isn't a million miles from the man in the articles, and my husband is not disabled. I didn't have a particularly free and wild sex life before meeting him - this may have been due to my disability, or going to an all girls school, or significant bereavement in my early 20's and having Other Stuff to sort out. At the time I thought 26 was Terribly Old to meet your future spouse and that I was On the Shelf. I don't know that my allegedly late development into the world of relationships was entirely due to my disability, or that it entirely wasn't. I don't think I'm going to find a specific answer there.

I'm uncomfortable with the use of prostitutes because I'm a feminist, and I am, and/or because I believe that the issue is also about whether or not we believe as a society that anyone can be sexually attractive and desirable. I worry we are getting close to saying that prostitution is wrong; but that sexual surrogacy is OK because who'd shag disabled people. I don't think that sex is a right, necessarily, although I don't think that sex between consenting adults should be restricted.

I guess I think its sad that Nick had his first sexual experience in exchange for cash. Lets hope next time its a shared experience.
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