Touch, Sex and Disability in the time of COVID-19

When the Coronavirus pandemic hit I was concerned. Ok, scared shitless. As a disabled person with complex disabilities who uses a wheelchair and needs help with just about every single aspect of their day to day life, social distancing was kind of impossible. As the numbers rose daily, I began to ask "What in my life will need to change?".

Those who know me won't be surprised to hear that one of the first things I considered was how it would affect my sex life. I had worked so hard to give myself access to sex the way that I wanted; by working with sex workers to have my needs met. I had spent time finding workers who were willing to learn about my disabilities, and who wanted to give me the sex I craved. It was one of my favourite activities because allowed me to unleash all the pent up sexuality that I couldn’t express elsewhere. I was really angry that because of Coronavirus, all that would be put on hold.

As I type this, it has been over 5 months since I have been able to work with a sex worker as a disabled client, and that has been really hard on me - harder than I realised it would be. I haven't been touched for pleasure in the way I want, and have only been handled by caregivers when I need help in the washroom or getting dressed. My body has reverted back to something only to be cleaned or dealt with clinically. And in order to minimise the risk of a COVID19 infection, I made the decision early on to have a catheter placed inside me so that my carers wouldn’t have to touch my genitals 4-5 times a day. This means that whenever I look at my genitals, I see a tube sticking out of them, which isn’t entirely the sexiest thing ever, if I'm honest.

But all is not lost. Like everyone else living through these strange times, I've had to get creative. As much as I miss the touch of another person and access to the deliciously dirty parts of me, I am extremely grateful for technology. I've been able to connect with some of my favourite sex workers through digital chat and sexy, private videos just for me. This allows me to retain some form of sexuality during this time, and I can be reminded that despite it all, I am still a sexy, disabled man who deserves to be seen that way, pandemic or not.

How have you been filling the void during COVID?