Article: Handicapped man pays for sex
I found this article in the Guardian. After reading it, I wondered how his story relates to those of us who are not handicapped.
Original article: http://society.guardian.co.uk/health...990671,00.html
My lifelong desire
Nick Wallis is 22 and has a life-limiting condition. With no girlfriend on the horizon, he feared he would never enjoy a full relationship. Here, he tells why he decided that the only way to experience sex was to pay for it ...
Monday January 15, 2007
I have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive and life-limiting condition for which there is currently no treatment. Having been diagnosed when I was only a year old, this knowledge has always been part of my life and inevitably it has affected every aspect of my life.
The progressive nature of my condition has meant that just when I should be gaining independence and control of my life - I am now 22 - I have become more dependent and reliant on other people, mainly my parents, to do everything for me except think, and sometimes they even try to do that for me! Fortunately I have been able to receive education in mainstream schools and complete a degree in ecology at the local university. But my expectations of enjoying a social life as a student were not realised.
Managing to get to university was relatively simple and the academic work straightforward. Much more testing was interacting with other students and trying to build the social life that I knew my contemporaries were experiencing. University is where many young people make their first serious forays into the world of relationships and sex. For the most part my attempts to form friendships or even to strike up conversation were rebuffed. I felt like a foreigner in a new country, speaking a language no one understood. The idea of meeting girlfriends or even forming friendships with them, which I had hoped would be possible in this new environment, began to seem unachievable. Physical intimacy or, dare I say it, sex seemed completely out of the question. Was there something wrong with me, apart from the obvious? I began to think that I needed to explore these issues in depth with someone else, but it was hard to think of the right person.
After mulling things over, I felt I had already attempted to form relationships without success and firmly decided that I wished to experience sex without fear of rejection or the possibility of spoiling an existing friendship. With the help and friendship of Chris, one of the care team at Douglas House, I knew that the practicalities would be covered. We researched possibilities online so that matters such as cost and the suitability of the person could be ascertained. Although this sounds clinical I felt that I had to ensure I had done everything to achieve my aims.
Just after I had completed my final exams at university last May, the appointment was made with K, as I will call her. Her train was late, which did not help my nerves. She turned out to be an intelligent and pleasant woman, attractive, in her late 20s and unremarkable. She was warm and easy to talk to. She was likeable, and I guess that she was used to relating to nervous people as she put me at ease. I felt that she understood my situation and motivation. The two hours passed quickly and it was, you may say, satisfactory. She left when her taxi arrived and we said, as people do, "See you again".
Looking back, I am pleased I had the tenacity and commitment to see it through. The experience, while not emotionally fulfilling, gave me confidence and a sense that I was not missing out. I did not have unrealistically high expectations and perhaps in this respect I was luckier than some of my friends who found their first experience disappointing. I regret that I couldn't be like everyone else and share a first sexual relationship with someone I knew and loved, and part of me feels that having to resort to paying a woman for sex reflects something lacking in society, not least because I know that some people disapproved of my actions. Although my family have supported my choices, I know they would have preferred me not to do this, or perhaps not to be in a situation where I felt this was my only option. I know many are likely to consider it immoral, believing that sex is only acceptable in a relationship of love and equality.
I do not think I will necessarily choose to repeat the experience, although I have not ruled it out. Sexuality is more than just sex: it is about feeling attractive and attracted to others without feeling guilty or peculiar about something that is intrinsically part of being human. A cliche, I know, but it is about feeling comfortable in your own skin. My experience taught me a lot and gave me a sense of normality to a degree. It also helped me to realise that I could make things happen if I really wanted them enough. But it did not give me what I most want. I continue to hope that I may be able to establish a relationship with the right person. The same as any other "dude", as my older brother Tom would say, I want to be able to hold hands with someone, to love and be loved.
He's got all his ducks in a row, rock on.