Becky Adams: disability and sex at Para-doxies
By now it’s likely that everyone has heard of ex-Madam Becky Adams, who runs a not-for-profit organisation specifically designed for disabled people to fulfill their sexual needs. But where did this all begin? Tuppy Owens, owner of Outsiders, a club where members can discuss sex freely, recently met up with Becky to find out what inspired her.
(UPDATE 2016: the Para-Doxies service is no longer being offered. Feel free to check www.TLC-Trust.org.uk instead.)
It all started with a book… Last year Becky Adams’ book, Madam – Prostitutes, Punters & Puppets, was shortlisted in the 2012 Erotic Awards, an event designed by Outsiders to celebrate sexual expression and diversity. The judges decided her book was gutsy, funny and a must-read, and she won the Golden Flying Penis trophy.
Not knowing much about the Erotic Awards or Outsiders before, when Becky heard the news she was moved to tears by the work Outsiders does to encourage sexual expression for disabled people. She’d never thought about disabled people needing sex and how some may not be able to access it as easily as others do. Inspired, she decided to come out of retirement and spend the rest of her life devoted to helping disabled people fulfill their sexual needs.
Becky’s dream initially was to open a brothel for disabled people, with hoists and other mobility equipment along with expert sex workers who can assist people with all forms of impairments. But eventually she realised that nobody would take her seriously if she ran a brothel, because brothels are illegal. So, she needed to set up a place where disabled people could experience sex but where she would not make any profit from doing so.
So, Becky set up Para-Doxies, a not for profit company that enlists sex therapists, sex workers and enablers to assist elderly, disabled or ill people to enjoy sex in a monitored and secure environment. She was soon inundated with requests for TV appearances and had a myriad of articles written about her plans.
To help move the organisation on, she called up famous PR consultant Max Clifford to ask for funding. He told her that he could probably find someone to give her a million pounds, but only if it were all on television. So, the word went out, and over 400 TV production companies clambered to her, in the hope of making the program.
Becky wanted to have full editorial control on what was produced so that the people who appeared in the production could trust that she had their best interests at heart. She was adamant that it must not be made for Channel 4 who, according to Becky; “have made programs such as the Undatables and Dogging Tales, which seek to manipulate the contributor and have the Twittering population sniggering behind their hands.”
I met Becky for lunch at this stage and listened to her story. Life is difficult for her at the moment; her mother is sick, father’s had a stroke and Becky herself suffering terrible migraines. I mentioned my current projects, including our new one, Sexual Advocacy work, whereby our advocates will discuss a persons’ needs and work to fulfill them as well as work around obstacles. She immediately wanted to join us, and become a sexual advocate.
It is not generally recognised that many people, disabled or otherwise, visiting sex workers come away disappointed because they have not thought it through properly. This is quite understandable with a disabled person, as they may not have even had the chance to experience orgasm or any sexual touch. Indeed, it is well known that seeing a sex worker helps many to reclaim their body from the medical profession.
Our advocates will discuss all the options available, including sex toys that are strapped onto the body in a ‘Happy Harness’ and work without hands; porn and webcam sex, body work and all the things that can take place with the sex worker, many of which need not include intercourse.
They will discuss doubts, fears and guilt, and how paying for sex can work, if you look at it as a learning process rather than a taboo or shameful activity. They will discuss things you can learn to set yourself up as a really knowledgeable, confident catch for someone looking for a partner, so you may find love as a result. They will also discuss the potential of experiencing “the time of your life” if your life is soon to end.
Madam Becky admits she knows little about disability, but is eager to learn. I feel confident that whatever she achieves will be ground breaking and wonderful. I am happy to have Outsiders working in partnership with her.
Take a look at Becky speaking on the Alan Titchmarsh show about Para-doxies:
By Tuppy Owens
You can buy Becky’s book, Madam, on Amazon for £9.99.
We’d love to know what you think about Becky’s Para-doxies, so get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, messaging us on Facebook, tweeting us @DHorizons or leaving your comments below. And don’t forget to visit our Relationship section for more articles on sex and disability.
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