Posted on 2014.07.27
Bill C-36 and the disabled
There are so many things wrong with the Bill C-36 (worthy of another blog), but one in particular is the criminalization of men and women who are customers of sex-workers. Completely non-existent in our dialogue is the inherent effects of this bill on the disabled. Yes – the disabled: members of our society that also yearn and need regular sex.
Below is a brave letter written to us from one of many of our disabled clients.
A letter from our client
Growing up with a disability is hard. You are hit by wave after wave of things you either can’t do, or which will be very hard for you. I always grasped the physical aspect of things, but the social barriers I faced really came into focus later. Adolescence was when I was really shown how different I was, or how differently able bodied people regarded me. Add that struggle to everyday coming of age and, you’ve got a lot on your plate.
My hormones raged and like anyone, my wants and wishes grew. I soon learned though, that for most, my wheelchair equaled a barrier or, they just assumed no function. I spent years being the best friend to numerous girls I wanted. I was underestimated and overlooked intimately.
Clinging to hope
I clung to the hope that things would improve as I aged and society learned more. Still, I was fussed and fawned over but, nothing more. I knew and was actually told at times, people we afraid to be with me. Misunderstanding brings fear, and it was very hard to get anyone to see past what they weren’t sure about.
By my mid twenties I was still not in the role I so badly wanted. I was well liked and accepted but…stuck in a platonic nearly asexual perception by most. Many of my other more disabled friends had already turned to services just to get a little of what it seemed everyone else got. They accepted it. They understood it was only a fraction of what they craved but….it still helped.
I resisted going this route. I viewed it as giving in and giving up. I felt people viewed using a service as “the only option” when you’re in a chair and, I didn’t want to fulfill that. I held out for a lot of years. I put myself in a great many environments where I was hit again and again with how few even regarded me as sexually capable.
Starting to use services was a hard choice for me. I still wish and hope, more in society start linking disability and sexuality, I haven’t given up. I understand now though, that using these services has never made me a pervert or degenerate. It has never altered my perception or treatment of women. I remain romantically viable and socially well adjusted. Using these services and meeting these women has simply offered me a safe, decent, conduit by which to get a little piece of a much larger want.
It’s not just sex
It’s not all about sex. It’s about being beside someone, learning my body, learning theirs and so much more. I have likely been better prepared for actually being in a relationship BECAUSE I turned to these services, than I ever would have been had I had no experience while waiting.
– A grateful client