Thursday, 30 December 2010

The too hard basket

Definition: 'Too hard basket' - a metaphorical in-tray, or basket, into which ideas and/or tasks are mentally placed because they are are deemed to be taboo or extremely difficult to handle.

Sex and Disability

This is a huge topic... one which many able bodied people put into their 'too hard basket'. It involves the heart breaking depression and frustration experienced by large numbers of disabled people who find it impossible to have their sexual needs met... something most (or many) able bodied people take for granted.

The need to be touched, intimately, is an essential human need. Most people consider it a basic human right. The United Nations charter of human rights has enshrined it as such. Yet some would question whether that right extends to disabled people.

In Denmark, Holland, and other parts of the world, local governments sometimes pay for sex workers to visit disabled people. In the UK and America the topic of sex and disability is more often than not a taboo one - perhaps one of the last taboos - one which seriously adds to the suffering of an already severely disadvantaged segment of the population.

John Blades, Radio Presenter
The Too Hard Basket... is an audio documentary about sex and disability produced by ABC Radio International in Australia. It won The Walkley Award for Social Equity Journalism, The Human Rights Award and Best Documentary from the Asian Broadcasting Union.

To listen to the documentary click here. To download the audio file to your hard disk (just short of 50Mb in size), right-click here and select "Save target/link as..." The program contains material of an adult nature.
Introduction (from the website): Disabled people are rarely touched in a loving way or thought of as sexually desirable yet they have the same need for a sexual life as everyone else. In this confronting program John Blades, who has a major disability himself, talks to sex workers about why they work with disabled clients and the importance of touch to every human being.

He also meets other people with disabilities; Gary who has burns to 60% of his body and finds that being touched by his wife on his burnt skin makes him feel desirable; and Caitlin, who has cerebral palsy, and whose first sexual experience was with a sex worker.
SonicErotica ... For disabled people, erotica can often be a life line, helping them to experience a certain level of sexual fulfilment. Visual erotica, however, is clearly of little use for blind people, and may be unhelpful for other groups because of it's emphasis on the able bodied. For these individuals sexy audio material can be very helpful. Many able bodied people also find it to be a highly charged and appealing addition to their sex lives.

Outsiders... and the TLC Trust... are London based organisations which have been working with disabled people - who often feel like outsiders - for more than 20 years. They run a national paper based introduction agency, and aim to help link up disabled people with caring sex workers, or other like minded people with disabilities.

Outsiders recognises that disability can be an inner thing - an emotional/psychological handicap - so it offers its services to all comers, and those who find it very difficult to 'cum', for whatever reason.

Other links:
Outsiders ... Disabled People and Paid Sex
BBC Ouch! ... Disabled women who pay for sex
The Telegraph ... Councils pay for prostitutes for the disabled
Google ... Sex for disabled people

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