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article imageCatalan organization fights for legal sex workers for disabled

By Anne Sewell     Jul 19, 2013 in World
A Catalan organization is pushing to help provide disabled people with sexual relations by providing legal "disability prostitutes."
Jaume Girbau was born with a congenital disease that left him in a wheelchair from a young age. He had a bad experience with a sex worker, which left him wondering why there was such a distinct lack of professional sex workers specializing in people with disabilities.
“She didn’t know what to do, she wasn’t prepared," Girbau told 20 minutos.
After this traumatic experience, Girbau decided to start a group called "Sex Asistent Catalunya", made up of sexologists, sex counselors, therapists, and people with disabilities.
“We think it would be useful for there to be qualified professionals capable of providing a service to people with physical and mental disabilities,” he said.
“This could be in the form of hugs, caressing, sexual massages, body exploration, games or aiding sexual relationships for couples who require it," he added.
Now the group wants the Spanish government to back a motion to make sexual assistants legal.
This is already reportedly the case in many countries across Europe, including Denmark. Germany, Holland and Switzerland and according to Girbau, France is debating whether to follow suit. Some of these countries apparently even pay for the services with public funds.
The organization has started compiling teaching material, with the aim of offering professional training with an official university degree to those interested in participating.
“There’s already plenty of demand,” Girbau told 20 minutos.
Patricia Carmona, President of Aspaym (an association for people with serious spinal injuries), is also in favor of a law which would guarantee sexuality to disabled people.
“Unresolved sexual issues lead to behavioral problems,” she told 20 minutos.
“It should no longer be the parents or staff at the clinics who have to masturbate them. Why not have a professional do it?”
Carmona runs workshops and debates in which participants open up on two of modern society’s biggest taboos: sex and disability. The primary aim of the workshops is to prevent those with disabilities being treated as if they were children.
This brings to mind the 2012 Hollywood film "The Sessions". directed by Ben Lewin and starring Helen Hunt.
The movie tells the story of a 38-year-old man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity and contacts a professional sex surrogate with the help of his therapist and priest.
The movie has raised awareness for the cause of Sex Asistent Catalunya.
More about Spain, catalunya, Catalonia, Sex worker, Disabled
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