@Shtanto

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Shtanto

Sexual Assistance programs?

In the Netherlands and Denmark, people with disabilities are facilitated with access to sex workers. https://www.independent.co.uk/…/germany-sexual-assistance-p… So I got to thinking to myself there: if women can choose pregnancy or MS, which do they opt for? Both are a fairly major deal As for men, it is known that testosterone is neuroprotective in MS. Suicide rates in MS are higher than baseline, factor multiplied for young men with MS. Is this a solution? Sex workers for MSers? I had envisioned it for myself as close intimate care with a professional who would look after my sexual, psychological and emotional wellbeing, up to 4 times a month. Simply to be kissed and told I'm a good person would solve a myriad of health issues. And the testosterone kick alongside DMDs would mitigate MS progression. Obvious problems spring to mind - I'm already welfare dependant, very much undermotivated (possibly due to anxiety and depressive habits) and it'd be expensive training the MS sex carers in the various disciplines required. Not to mention all the social taboos. Then again, disabled people need to express this aspect of their humanity just as much as everyone else. This is recognised in the UN convention on Human Rights. If it was a thing here in Ireland, how would it work? Should there be a charity to regulate this?

Stumbler

@Stumbler

@shtanto . given that MS affects more women than men, won't this idea come across as somewhat misogynistic. And, it would have to be subject to clinical trials before NICE would approve this on the NHS. Double-blind trials could be fun! 🤣

supermum1983

@supermum1983

If they look like henry cavil, send one to my house asap!! Does sound a bit strange though id pefer an actual relationship..

Shtanto

@Shtanto

Not at all @supermum. Dating however is a bit of a challenge as it is, then you throw in MS and things get very muddy very fast. Thing is, if you've got MS, chances are you've also got anxiety, so close intimate personal contact with others might be undiscovered country. It's good to know what you like and don't like in dating, and this would certainly help. Given the choice, I don't think anyone would want to date someone with no previous experience of what to do between the sheets. @stumbler why did you immediately presume this was exclusively for men? Consensual sex makes everyone feel better. If you've a disability in your way, how are you supposed to experience this? Unique challenges need unique solutions. And yes, double blind trials would be fun, for everyone involved.

Beefree

@Beefree

Hi @shtanto, I appreciate the sincerity of your post, and agree that meeting the human need of intimacy is something that we should be discussing more, but funding sex work isn't the answer. Sure, the kind of service you suggest could be accessed by women too, but the difference will be in demand. If there isn't demand from women for such a service, or a disproportionately high demand from men in comparison to women, and most MSers are women, it would be an extremely questionable (i.e. misogynistic) spending decision. But to challenge your suggestion that "consensual sex makes everyone feel better. " I'm afraid in the case of sex workers, this is not the case. Sex work is an economic activity, and women who engage with it are most often forced to from necessity (see this paper for more extensive detail https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/303927/A_Review_of_the_Literature_on_sex_workers_and_social_exclusion.pdf) This paper on the mental health of sex workers finds that 48.8% of the 692 women involved in the study had been diagnosed with a mental health condition (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5735638/). It's possible that the mental health issues precede the sex work, which takes us to the exploitation of vulnerable people. Where sex work is decriminalised, it's not because it is deemed ethical or ok for the wellbeing of sex workers, it's to offer sex workers some protection in highly exploitative circumstances. Yes, people living with a disability should be able to express their sexuality like everyone else but at the cost of another's wellbeing, whether they consent or not? You're entitled to your own standards, but targeting scarce resource, and public finance, towards a service that could contribute to/cause the harm of another, isn't appropriate.

Shtanto

@Shtanto

I don't believe I ever suggested anything other than fully consenting adults in this situation. There is precedent for parents of disabled people seeking out suitable sex workers and pre-formulating consent agreements with them for the benefit of their adult children. Given my moderate position, I would have hoped you might have presumed I intended to avoid any kind of exploitative behaviour by any party. Many sex workers are independent sole traders. Obviously if a scheme like this was going to work, there'd be a lot of prescreening and psychotherapy involved, as well as appropriate training, development and education for all parties concerned. The ethics of deprivation of a basic human need to the disabled are (to my mind at any rate) just as weighty an issue as sex trafficking, albeit far less often discussed. Consent is word 1 page 1. Next is compassion, then well-being. Maybe not a government agency directly, so the few charities that arrange suitable and appropriate meetings might get better funding for the specific services they provide. They could then help fundraise, negotiate rates with service providers, arrange assistance if required and maybe even subsidise meetings with the disabled of limited means. Additionally because the charity would operate in strictly confidential terms, if it detected a sex worker in duress of any sort, it could render assistance. So you see it wouldn't be solely designed to help disabled people. It could help the exploited at the same time. Regarding the misogynistic angle, with a charity there'd be a confidentiality wall, so no way to tell. Of course I would want everyone to avail of it, regardless of race, colour, creed, ethnicity, orientation or gender. The health benefits of intercouse are well documented. A charity facilitating this would be useful for conducting research into the value of emotionally invested encounters versus professionally provided services. Assuming the conditions are right, is any sex better than no sex for MSers?

Beefree

@Beefree

Is sex for you a higher priority than the wellbeing of vulnerable people? That sex workers give consent isn't the nub of the issue; using public finance for activities that undermine the mental health of a section of society is. Like I said, you are entitled to your own standards, as are the parents of people living with disabilities, but then it is for you to finance. A can't see a charity securing the funding, from government, public or philanthropists, given competing priorities. The more urgent needs for surplus finance, public or charitable, of which there is none, to list just a few are: meeting the basic living needs of people with disabilities who are unable to work and being failed by the welfare system; activities and research to support the inclusion of people with progressive MS; increased access to stem cell therapy; more MS nurses... A hierarchy of needs exists, and therefore spending to meet the needs of the few rather than the many would be extremely poor decision making.

doubleo7HUD

@doubleo7HUD

Can u tell my bloomin missis sex is good for ms please she does not believe me. I did say 3 times a day tho setting the bar high 😂

chezy17

@chezy17

I kinda read this on the bus at 1 in the morning and thought what am I reading 😱! I think personally, this is crazy idea. Just because you have MS doesn't mean you'll never have a relationship, and saying it's harder to date because most of us have anxiety is rubbish. Dating has always been hard, even more so now with social media and dating apps, people constantly chase greener grass when really they need to be watering and nurturing their own grass. I agree with supermum, an actual relationship is better. Personally speaking, dating is probably harder when someone has left, now that does leave a scar, which is what sometimes happens when you're diagnosed so I think it's a trust thing too. I read a quote which I think is very true, ' ' What you focus on, you move towards. What you feel, you attract!' If you're coming across as unhappy and in self defeated way, you think that's attractive? Work on yourself, make yourself happy and approachable and regardless of whether you have MS or not, the right person will come along! However, should Mr Beckham knock on my door, it would be rude to refuse 😉!

DominicS

@DominicS

I gather robotics is making great leaps forward. @chezy17 and @beefree have nailed it. There are countless studies showing there is a very unequal and seemingly insurmountable negative power dynamic for the females in a transactional sexual relationship.

wobbleone

@wobbleone

Well, I was told you can ask anything on here and waking up to this on a Sunday morning definitely confirmed that 😳😅 Nope sorry, can’t see this being available on the NHS ... I can however see it in NICE guidelines along with the treatments we should actually have as .....”do not recommend ...” 😉

wobbleone

@wobbleone

@chezy17 .. I love the quote.

Shtanto

@Shtanto

It happens elsewhere: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/germany-sexual-assistance-prostitution-disabled-people-greens-scharfenberg-a7519721.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Raz-5vDpHoA I mean we could sling links at each other - that's easy. I read about this first and thought about why it was happening. Is it helping people? Could it help people? Consider the sex workers who help the disabled - are they not empowered? I find their work in this context morally commendable. Imagine a situation where a charity exists (Scarlett Road, Safe Harbour Outreach Project, Hand Angels etc.) to help connect disabled people with sex workers who want to help. If sex workers were thought of in a similar context to chiropractors, osteopaths, chiropodists and other providers of wellbeing, would the same problems exist? You'd nearly need 2 or 3 charities to cover the different aspects of the issue. There'd be the practicality to deal with of finding sex workers who want to work with the disabled to afford them their human rights, the wellbeing charity to make sure everyone involved is having a positive experience, the rescue charity that screens and detects the vulnerable (both sex workers and disabled people alike) and renders assistance to them , the charity to deal with all the legal issues, the charity to help MSers and other people coping with disabilities to be better at dating and recognise the full gamut of their own self worth (which might be the best place to start), the charity to help change attitudes, the charity to help deal with the power dynamics and transactional end and a few others besides. Within current paradigm, yes, this is nuts. But then so is what is happening in the Netherlands. Direct government funding of such a programme won't work. That much is agreed, even if it is helping some of the most vulnerable people in society (both workers and disabled alike, because I reckon you could screen and detect problems if you were in there). Government funding a charity? Maybe. I don't think people can object to the disabled being able to fully explore their humanity, given their challenges. Publicly funding the same charity? To me that seems like something that would be more likely to work, though as has been pointed out, the stigma, taboo and shame around prostitution is fairly well embedded in society. The general goal remains the same. Robots would be a possible compromise.

chezy17

@chezy17

Dude you can chuck as many stats at me as possible and I'll say exactly the same thing. So sleeping with a disabled person is commedable? "Oh, aren't I good citizen for providing this service, my good deed for the day? I can sleep better at night knowing that I slept with someone with a disability!" What you're saying is having MS or any type of disability means we should be treated differently and only paying for a man's attention is the only way to have a connection? Jeez, having MS doesn't make ya less of a woman or a man, it just makes you more cautious about the type of person you let into your life. Seriously, if your having a bad day, it's the last thing you'd be thinking about, a healthy relationship is better than a quick, wham, bam thankyou man 🤦🏻‍♀️! @wobbleone Thank you, I saw it and thought it was so true 😊.

Shtanto

@Shtanto

Of course not. This isn't for everyone, only those who might want it or need it. Absolutely a healthy relationship is the way to go. I agree with that completely. The idea was to get people comfortable with aspects of situations that might come up if they got to being in a relationship. What to do and such. Disabled people needn't be sexually inexperienced. Might need a bootstrap, and this might be it. Point is to make the *choice* available. So the question becomes "Should accessing prostitution be morally objectionable for the disabled?" Everyone agrees that prostitution is hugely damaging to society world wide. I have so far crafted 3 magic wands on the woodturning lathe. None of them seem able to end the scourge of sex trafficking. Actually, you're right. This is a bad idea because people would begin to legitimise a bad practise. People who want to help the disabled will volunteer as they see fit.