Relationships & Sex

Discovering my last taboo

DH contributor, Ben Davies, recently shared a controversial article about his trip to Las Vegas and his decision to pay for sex. Here, Ben shares a thought provoking article exploring the reasons behind his decision to do so.

Hello Horizons readers. If you are reading this, I guess my first article wasn’t too bad. In this article I am going to explore the morality of paying for the company of a female, or indeed male, if you are a disabled person.

But first I am going to talk about relationships and the potential barriers I feel exist as a disabled person. I personally really struggle with relationships and socialising full stop. Whether it’s going the pub with the boys or chatting someone up. I simply cannot do it as my confidence in this area is really low. Overall I’m ok with the boys as we talk about football and drinking, the usual stuff. But when it comes to the ladies, this is where I really struggle.

When I meet a woman I’m attracted to, I know instantly whether they are seeing me or the four wheels I’m sitting on.  In my experience a lot see the wheelchair and feel uncomfortable when I start checking them out, just like any other bloke would.  Then I have the added barrier of impaired speech so if I do pluck up the courage to speak to them, I get the look that says something like ‘you’re in a wheelchair and you can’t speak properly so piss off.’

The speech is of course made worse when I’ve had a few drinks so what chance does a disabled person really have of finding a female companion in a pub, bar or club?  To be honest the chances are really low. And then of course you’re able bodied mate then snogs the face off the girl you have had your eyes on all night and this one has been paying you a bit of attention more out of pity than anything else.

However there are plenty of girls out there who do see past the disability and see you for who you are (wait a minute isn’t that a Jessie J song?). The trouble with me is because of my confidence issue people have to really get to know me. If they don’t take that time they think I’m an arsehole (I would too if I were them). I’m often told that I’m a bit full on with girls that pay me attention and that I get the wrong idea. I disagree with this because I think that if you knew me as a person and understood the struggles some disabled people go through when trying to find a girlfriend perhaps you wouldn’t be so judgemental. Ok I have my faults but I think I’m an alright guy if you get to know me.

Given this, there are two possible options to find a girlfriend, online dating sites such as match.com or disability dating sites such as disableddate.com. The question with disabled dating sites is should a disabled person date a disabled person?  A lot of people would say yes as its square pegs in square holes right a perfect fit right? My answer would be why? You can’t help who you fall in love with and if that’s a disabled person then fair play but at the same time, you could be settling for second best just because people think you are a better fit. Why can’t a disabled person sign up to match.com and fall in love with an abled bodied girl so that the square pegs fit the round holes?

Personally I haven’t ruled out a relationship with a disabled girl but I’m really looking for an able bodied girl. I have explored the world of online dating and it’s not really something I’m interested in as I prefer to see what’s on offer first hand so to speak, which is why I plan in the very near future to explore the world of meetup.com and citysocialising.com but until my recent trip stateside I didn’t feel I had the confidence to do so.

Everyone knows what happened in Vegas aside from the crazy pool party adventure of course. Was it morally right to pay for sex so or was it just amoral and exploiting women simply to get a quick thrill? You may also think sleeping with women for money is simply treating them as a sexual objects rather than human beings.

Because of my previous struggles in finding a girlfriend and with my low confidence and self-esteem I needed to discover my last taboo. I have my own flat, live completely independently, work full time and have my circle of male friends, so finding someone to share my future with really is my last taboo. After all, there are a lot of disabled people who don’t get the opportunity to date or sleep with the woman of their dreams.

Sex in Vegas is freely available and easy to come by. The girls are either lap dancers in strip clubs or prostitutes or both.  They do it to make a better life for themselves. A lot have children or are in debt and do it for the short term.

I don’t think that it’s moral or amoral to sleep with a prostitute. If both parties are happy to exchange money for sex, then what’s the issue? It’s simply a business transaction which suits both parties. I get to discover my last taboo which will give me the confidence to attend meet up groups and she gets money for her daughter. Plus even if I had confidence with the ladies I’m not sure I would ever sleep with anyone as attractive as Jennifer was.

When I asked Jennifer why she went all the way with me and didn’t stop at the strip club she said ‘because I like to give people like you the opportunity to experience something they wouldn’t normally experience’ and so Jennifer helped me discover my last taboo.

I don’t condone or encourage what I did and I didn’t go looking for it, but as a disabled person I just want to live my life to the full and Jennifer gave me the confidence to do that.

By Ben Davies

13 Comments

  1. I don’t know why this issue is considered tacky or something to be discussed behind closed doors, we are humans (male and female) and have the same needs and desires as others. I am aware that there are those who consider sex with disabled (particularly amputees) a deviant act, they are short-sighted bigots with no concept of life as a disabled individual.

    Congratulations on an insightful article Ben, I found it refreshingly open and commend you for your honesty.

  2. The issue of paying for sex isn’t wrong if the person being paid is in the “business” for a career, by that I mean I don’t think its okay if the woman has been forced into it.
    I think that it should be legalised as it would 1. Stop the abusive relationships between pimp and girl. 2. There would be checks on health and STI’s. 3. The trade would then be subject to paying taxes.
    I am fortunate in that I am married and became disabled later on and so I didn’t have the problem of trying to chat up a girl whilst wondering about ow they saw me. I do think that it would be right for you to find an able bodied partner, certainly things are more difficult when it comes to sex and having an able bodied partner to take care of the physical side of it is easier.
    I wish you luck on your quest for love, I always managed to woo the ladies with humour and also showing an interest in them and asking about them. Make them feel like they are the only woman in the room and that you aren’t interested in them just physically but also mentally. I had the added bonus of slipping in the fact I was a fire fighter and that was always game set and match then lol.
    I am sure that there is a “Mrs Right” out there for you!

    1. Dream on that legalization works. In The Netherlands human trafficking has increased ever since. Even West-European girls are kidnapped and put in windows. They particulary aim at girls who have no family so no one will search for them. Legalization creates the mentality that all women must be doing it in free will, so no one questions force anymore. As well in The Netherlands, almost every man goes to prostitutes, because it became so normal, and they are all convinced there is no human traffick, especially when the girl is not of colour. Dutch men are very sexist and rape apologists. That is what you get when no one has moral issues with buying female bodyparts for own sexual pleasure!
      In Sweden there is another system that charges pimps and johns, and isn’t that actually one of the countries with the least gender and class inequality??
      My roommate is from Argentina and she has lived in many countries. She is lesbian, short and a bit fat, and she has blue hair. She doesn’t do grooming pits and other rediculous beauty standards for women. She says that Sweden is the best country to live in for women and gays, in general anybody who is not sheep in the herd.

  3. Ben read both your article & found them really interesting! I have no problems with confidence bit really I’d like to think of myself as a funny approachable guy but I still experience the pity pulls from some women.

    Most of the time I find people see a disability and automatically put you in the ‘Friends’ category before you’ve even spoken to them… I guess that’s down to the myth that disabled people don’t do sex

    Countless times I’ve been in this ‘Friends’ category only for something to happen to suggest I was more than a friend. Some women in my experience are more worried about what people will think of them for dating a person with a disability than anything else.. they think they’re settling for second best & what the all singing all dancing version.

    So don’t beat yourself up about the confidence thing it’s more about people and their attitudes than you.

    I’m sure the confidence will come …so keep at it!

  4. My major concern here is that by losing your virginity to someone who was paid, you are not fully addressing the underlying problem you clearly identify: your confidence. Sure, you’ve established that the mechanics work, but you don’t want (I hope) to go on buying such experiences forever.

    I am a disabled woman and I remained a virgin for a long time. Put simply, I believed that it was my disability that stood in the way. (There were other factors too: we are none of us made up only of the disability.) Because I believed that any attention I got was out of pity (and looking at it logically, few people are that altruistic), I was a bitch to any man who came near me and I gave them very clear put-off signals as a result.

    It wasn’t until I recognised that it was my confidence that was the obstacle that things started to turn around. Although I considered paying someone for my first time, I went an even more sordid route – advertising in the ‘casual relationships’ section on a classified ads site. By doing that I slowly built my confidence – first with phone sex and over msn (sometimes without mentioning the wheels, but usually I did), then meeting men. As I placed ads, I learnt a) not to let them know how inexperienced I was – they were always surprised and usually put off by it, but also b) that only a proportion would be turned off by the wheelchair.

    I lost my virginity on a one-night stand. He didn’t know he was my first – I never told him. But he did more for my confidence than he could ever imagine, because not only did he sleep with me, but he gave me the ‘normal’ experience that everyone else is expected to have – of having no doubts that he fancied me and wanted me. I realise now, looking back, that men had been approaching me in that way all along but I’d been too cautious to see it.

    Since then, I’ve pulled people under more normal circumstances and I have become a fairly sexually confident person. It’s enabled me to move on and have relationships. I am just as disabled as I ever was, but I now understand that if a guy chats me up, it’s unlikely to be out of pity.

    I am sure, Ben, that Jennifer really wanted your company and enjoyed having sex with you – we girls cannot maintain the facade for three days even with financial reward…. But I fear that in your dark moments you might occasionally doubt that, which won’t help your ongoing confidence. I would also be willing to bet that at least one of the girls from Liverpool of the night before wanted you for free!

    Thank you for being so candid and starting this discussion. Sorry that Evie is not my real name 😉

  5. I just wanted to say a massive thanks to those who have shared very candid and frank comments to this article. As David alludes to in his comment @11:06am, a topic like this shouldn’t be a taboo as it is so natural, regardless of disability. At this magazine we will do everything we can try and ensure that the issue of disability and relationships is no longer a taboo or something to be hidden away.

    Thanks!
    Srin

    Co-editor, Disability Horizons

  6. I’ve enjoyed reading the comments here. Evie’s story is particularly inspiring and makes a very important point, often our realities are far too obscured by our conditioned perceptions and entrenched thought patterns about ourselves. When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change!!

    Very encouraging to see this subject appearing in the media and online discussions such as this. It’s certainly something that’s been on my mind for a while 🙂

  7. Very interesting article and kudos to Ben for being so candid. I actually don’t see anything wrong in paying for sex as long as the woman/man is not forced into it and is not a minor! Ben’s case is not strange in the world of disabled people, I have experienced rejections many times and I’m a confident person, I get along very well with women but many just see you as a friend and will gently reject you for any form of romance!
    The sex trade is alot wider than just sleeping with escorts though and even non – disabled people fancy an act of deviancy sometimes. I agree with one commentator here that sex for money should be legal in this country so many more disabled people can experience it if the non -disabled people dont want anything to do with us! It is not also strange for disabled people not desiring other disabled people however for me its all about character, openess and some attributes of the woman that I will keep to myself – if a disabled woman has all these qualities I will find her attractive….think I have said too much 🙂

    1. It is forced prostitution when women are in financial problems, which is happening in this article. He literally states “women in debt” and how the woman he used needs money for her daughter.
      It’s crystal clear that women, especially women of colour and single moms, are over represented in sex industry. All other jobs are discriminating them. Especially top management and politics!
      If there weren’t so much discrimination of both women and people with disabilities, there would be no need for discrimination. If everybody should have decent living standards, care and accessibility, people should simply fall in love no matter what and there would be no “need” for prostitution.
      Sex industry simply grows on putting people down. “Come to me, poor man in wheelchair, your crippled creature, I bet no one wants you! Come to me!” “Watch me strip, I am much prettier than your wife!”

  8. With regards to paying for sex. About twenty or so years ago – i had a creative writing residency. I think it was in the North East. I was going into young peoples homes to help them with any creative writing projects they wanted to be involved in. There was one young man, who after visiting him for a few days started to tell me about a young lady who came to ‘service’ him. His words. His C.P. was severe so all money’s were sorted out in an envelope by his cares before the working girl came to his house. He told me she came about every four to six weeks and she only worked with severe disabled young men and had never been a street worker. It seemed an ideal arrangement . It was something he so looked forward too. And from the woman’s point of view – she was safe. Clean. She had a regular round of young men, regular money and she was providing a valuable service – so what’s so wrong in that?

    peter street poet

  9. I completely recommend the Australian film apropos Ben’s experiences (and kudos to you, Ben, for writing about it). Scarlet Road. It is so forthright and honest about the contract between sex workers and clients, and about working with clients with a disability, that it ought to be compulsory viewing for everyone. Check out Scarlet Road here:http://www.scarletroad.com.au/trailer/ (and note, I’m not in any way affiliated with it or its makers).

  10. Can a disabled person date a disabled person? Hell yeah!!
    i met my partner on-line and gradually fell in love. We both have different disabilities and realise the future will need some social care for BOTH of us.
    Two most important things in ANY relationship: COMMUNICATION AND KNOWLEDGE.
    Can’t stress that enough. Talk to your partner or would be partner, frankly about HOW he’she can please/excite you and vice versa. Acknowledge limitations, like, “I can’t lift my legs” or whatever and try to gain a knowledge of OTHER ways to be intimate.

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