Relationships & Sex

Is it OK for disabled people to visit an escort?

Following the news that famous Madam Becky Adams hopes to open and disabled-only brothel in the UK, a lot people have got in touch with Disability Horizons recently to air their varied opinions on disability and sex and the wrongs and rights of escorts. So, we thought we’d speak to blogger and comedian Ted Shiress about his take on the subject…

As a Guardian reader I am shocked by the amount of hostility fellow lefties have for the idea of someone with a disability bypassing buying countless drinks and meals out and putting the cash straight towards a bit of rumpy-pumpy. “It’s wrong” and “it’s immoral” they cry. But yet they say little about the man spending his money on alcohol to get a random girl in a nightclub drunk so her senses may become weak enough for him to appear slightly less than repulsive.

One of the problems with this whole area of ‘business’ is the fact is hasn’t been legalised (although the ‘paying for dates and companionship’ loophole adequately covers it). The truth is that it isn’t all abusive pimps and poverty-stricken immigrants forced into the trade against their will; there are some very well-to-do women who enter the trade and become self-employed through choice. Some are so above board they put the cash in a special box for the taxman before commencing with the proceedings (not saying how I know this!), therefore to say it’s all ‘illegal’ and ‘immoral’ is unfounded.

The ‘paying for dates and companionship’ loophole is actually more accurate than it seems. Sometimes we just need someone there with open arms to make us feel OK, and this is all part of the service with certain workers. Perhaps it is a bit more meaningful if you knew that affection came from someone you knew well, but you’d be surprised how irrational some can be when in the heat of romance.

The trouble is that it is seen as taboo and no-one wants to talk about it. On top of that (pardon the pun!), it’s seen as non PC to argue that people with disabilities find it hard to get their leg over. But I never modify my opinions due to what God or others think is or isn’t acceptable, so I’ll say it: it is. I’m not saying it’s impossible, nor am I talking about finding long-lasting special loving relationships (my failure in that probably has nothing to do with my disability and more to do with how I see it as being OK to write blogs like this).

But pursuing a casual fling is a lot harder. Someone who can talk clearly, stand stably and walk in a way that doesn’t look like they’ve had fifteen-too-many, can normally hang around in a bar until late and find someone looking equally pathetic. However, for a number of quite obvious reasons, this simply doesn’t work when you have a disability. I’ve been knocked over (purposely!) by women due to them thinking I was really drunk (I was, but I also have cerebral palsy!). Therefore where have we got to go?

Although I said it has nothing to do with finding that special someone, sometimes you need a bit of the cheap stuff to get into the good stuff. A crucial part of being good at flirting is sexual confidence. You need to know that if your efforts to impress this person work far better than anticipated, it won’t go arse over tit when you get to the bedroom. The only way you will know that is through experience, and you’ll get more from a high-class escort than the semi-responsive drunk that a guy has picked up in the sweaty nightclub.

I recently spoke to a young chap, also with cerebral palsy, who found himself so horny he couldn’t think straight. He was engaged, but mainly because he worried that no one else would have him. He even admitted that they had nothing in common and all they did was fight. And he told me this before going back to his default subject of pornography.

Although I decided against it, I wanted to tell him to book an appointment with an escort just so he could clear his head and think straight. This was the same for me at university. During those years my hormones were very demanding, and combining that with the fact that I felt I was missing out on what everyone claimed to be getting all the time, I was frustrated and depressed. If I could go back in time and book an appointment with a high-class escort then, I would!

After all, what is the perfect lover? Isn’t it just a ‘best friend’ who you want to – and will let you – share a bed with? Perhaps ten years of being without a long-term girlfriend has made me jaded. But I have a good handful of friends in my life whom I value and love dearly, something I consider much more important. And if you, like me, are happy with that but would like a bit of ‘fun’ while waiting for someone special, surely this is the safest guilt-free way to get it.

So, what am I saying? Unfortunately, this is one of those articles where I’ve decided to crack a bottle open in the middle of writing it, so I don’t entirely know. Just if someone with a disability wants to purchase some high-class fun, it might help, so don’t discourage the poor crip!

By Ted Shiress

Read more of Ted Shiress’s opinions on his blog.

Check out…

Accessibility and sexual expression.
Reclaiming our sexual stories.
Does basic instinct = basic right? The honest courtesan’s view.

We’d love to know what you think about this, so get in touch by emailing us at, messaging us on Facebook, tweeting us @DHorizons or leaving your comments below. And don’t forget to visit our Relationships & Sex section for more articles on sex and disability.


  1. attitudes of the general public towards disabled people and relationships- plain sexual or long-term- tend to be real head-scratchers. You’d think that steady relationships and marriage would lead to a bit less bias, but just try finding a wedding dress shop with disabled access… it’s like, ‘who on earth would want to marry someone in a wheelchair?’ it’s never said, but just the ignorance of it implies it even though you can break your leg weeks before the wedding and need a chair suddenly.

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