As a disabled person who is sexually active, I have chosen to engage with sex workers to have most of my sexual needs met. This may not work for everyone, nor will it be a choice that everyone wants to make, so I can only speak from my experiences. On the blog today, I want to offer sex workers some tips on how to engage with a disabled client for the first time. Maybe someone with a disability saw your ad and reached out to you, but you have no idea where to start? Maybe you are interested in working with disabled clients, but you’re nervous you’ll say or do the wrong thing? Rest assured, dear reader, I have some pro crip tips to help you make sex work accessible for all!
Sex Worker Pro Crip Tip #1: Recognize YOUR ableism.
The world we live in is full of ableism; it’s everywhere we look, but it is especially noticeable when we talk about sexuality. There are rarely depictions of disabled people having or being sexual at all, and as a result of this lack of representation, you as a sex worker will undoubtedly have some ableism to unpack around that (trust me, I am a disabled person, and I do too). So, before you immediately jump to work with a disabled client, have a serious sit down with yourself. Ask yourself some key questions like: what are my biases and prejudices around disability? What do I really think about disability? Does the fact that this client is disabled scare me in any way? These questions are not easy, but by putting them out there for yourself before seeing a client, you can start doing the work to make sex work a safe, anti-ableist place to explore pleasure.
Sex Worker Pro Crip Tip #2: Ask Questions About Your Client’s Disability
I think that one of the most important parts of building a good sex worker/client relationship is asking your client a lot of questions. Because you are dealing with a disabled client, I think it is important to ask questions about their disability. Now, I think it goes without saying that you should NOT start by asking, “What’s wrong with you?” or “What happened to you?” (I have been asked these kinds of questions before, and it is a definite mood killer.) Another question that I feel you should NEVER ask a client is this one: “How Disabled are you?” I hate this question because it implies two things; 1. It suggests that if I am too disabled for you, I am not worthy of your time or energy as a sex worker, and 2. It implies that my disability is static, and will not change. Here are some examples of questions that you CAN ask:
- What has your sexual experience been like as a disabled person? This is a great question, because it allows the disabled client to share with you some history and allows for you to get a good baseline of what they are looking for during their time with you.
- What are your access needs to engage in a sexual experience? I think that this is a really pertinent question because you can understand the type of help your client will need to fully engage in a sexual experience. You may also want to ask as a part of this question, Will you have an attendant to help you or is this something you want me to attempt? For me, as a disabled person, I love having my sex workers do a lot of the caregiving during our sessions because I feel that it creates an intimacy and a bond that can lead to better sex. However, that may not be something you can provide as a sex worker to a disabled client, and it is okay to express that, and let the client know.
- What is your biggest sexual fantasy and what are some of the barriers that your disability creates to achieving that fantasy? ASK THIS QUESTION. So many of us disabled folks who engage with sex workers, do so for a little bit of an escape, a fantasy. When I first started with sex workers, I made lists of all the things I wanted to try but was scared that I couldn’t due to my disability. By asking this, you let your client relax a bit, and the two of you can explore and problem solve a fantasy to make it accessible. HOT!
Sex Worker Pro Crip Tip #3: Set Good Boundaries
When I first started seeing sex workers, I would get really attached to them much too quickly. I suppose I got overly excited because as a disabled person, I had never experienced consistent sex with the same person on a regular basis, so the idea became intoxicating. As a result, I ended up texting WAY TOO MUCH and being disrespectful of their time and their life outside of sex work. Not cool. So, as a sex worker, you must set good boundaries, but I would suggest doing this gently and with kindness should a disabled client become over-excited at the prospect of being with you. Perhaps sit down with them and sort out ways of communicating that keep them feeling engaged with you, but that don’t feel overwhelming in any way; a set number of texts per week, etc. It is important to express your boundaries as the worker, but also to be mindful of the emotions of your disabled client as well. That can be difficult to navigate, but it is so, so important.
Sex Worker Pro Crip Tip #4: Have Fun!
One of the best tips that I can offer a sex worker looking to work with a disabled client is to have fun with them. Yes, the way that they engage in sex and pleasure may look and feel somewhat different than others, but that’s part of the fun. Lean into that and fucking enjoy yourself! As disabled clients, we get to take you out of your every day, and that’s really sexy!
I hope that these Pro Crip Tips for you sex workers give you a great starting point to explore working with disabled clients. Try them out and see if they work. Maybe they’ll help you engage a different clientele base and broaden your sexual skill set… nothing wrong with that, hey? Happy Sex working to you out there, friends!