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Friday, July 22, 2011

Sex Volunteering

It is with some trepidation to write this post. After all, sex and disability, they are on its own taboo. When put together? It’s a lethal combination. Disabled Sex.

I may be judged for being insensitive, judgmental, stereotyping and much more crude comments by the narrow minded. Yet, I do so because I believe in the power of speaking the unspeakable as a way of decreasing shame, isolation and perhaps even highlight a disappointing façade of mankind.

When Sinema sent me an EDM promoting their latest art film, the title decided my interest. 

The synopsis wrote:
A group of three people – a young female student, Yeri; a disabled handicap, Chunkil; and a priest – gets arrested in a hotel room for suspected prostitution. During police investigation, the group claims that the girl was a sex volunteer. Chunkil, who cannot use arms or legs, has taught himself to become a poet. However, he failed to express his feelings to his first crush. He also fails to meet his online date due to her family’s objections. Feeling desperate and knowing his death is imminent, Chunkil confesses to the priest that he wants to feel a sexual pleasure in his life time. As the priest contemplates Chunkil’s confession, Yeri, a young film student, comes to the light. Yeri, who has made a short film about Red Light District prostitutes, wants to create a film about “sex volunteering” based on her own story. —

Alot of people Googling it.
How much sensuality has a paraplegic person (impairment of motor and sensory)? Can a man with multiple sclerosis (twisted backbone) have an erection? And does a mentally disabled person have sexual needs? There is a lot of uncertainty in the society when it comes to disability. Even more if sexuality is involved. The subject is a taboo even for many parents of disabled children. They can barley leave the role of the watchers, the protectors - even if their children have reached adulthood.

The thought of their son or daughter having sex embarrasses them and is often unimaginable. Sex may also mean reproduction, and thus also transfer - if it is a hereditary disability - of defective genes, which is usually not approved. Or the children are not thought of being able to be potential parents.

The movie demonstrated a mother's love, one that is sacrificial and enduring. I have seen with my own eyes how fathers have abandoned their wife and child, not being able to tolerate his child's disability. After a few years, the men call it quits, divorced and found another woman who can bear him a normal child, hopefully. Of course, there are the real men who stood by their family, then there are the incorrigible ones like I've witnessed.

Mankind is great at feigning ignorance and living in denial. The truth is the disabled ARE sexual beings, as much as you and I. And their needs are not met….until Y2K.
Even more people Google this.
Doing a search, more results on shady business emerge than as a charitable service. In Japan, a sex therapist started a sort of therapy that treats Japan’s long suffering wives. He hand-picks sex volunteers to treat his patients. A team of 40 men, aged between 32-60 and chosen for their looks, sense of humour and ability to listen while the women unburdens herself of the shortcomings of her husband.

Is there then a difference between this touted medical practice and the brothel signage I saw in Tokyo? 
Offering services to Office Ladies, Students and Housewives.
A Japanese marriage seems very odd, if all those text online were found to be true. Married couples have sex just 46 times a year. I have heard many stories about misbehaving Japanese men as well as them who upon touch down would head to Cuppage Plaza for the KTVs equivalent to Orchard Towers. They would also visit Geylang as business entertainment while proclaiming, “so cheap compared to back home.”

The problem among many Japanese men is that fairly soon after they get married, they begin to see their wives as their mothers, there to cook and clean for them. That makes it very hard to find them sexually attractive again. It may not be too far off from Singapore’s culture too. Whether it’s work stress or husbands and wives not maintaining an upkeep, the sexless marriage is driving these women to doctors or psychologists.

Dr Kim charge SGD 200 for an initial two hour interview and the women are given a book containing photos and the personal details of Kim’s volunteers, whom he claims are not gigolos and he emphasized that he earns nothing from anything that happens beyond his clinic’s walls.

The history of a vibrator is also a very interesting one, it is actually invented to cure women of hysteria.

What is a REAL Sex Volunteer?

Sex volunteers, the movie, depicted the main actress having a heart for volunteering for the disabled since young. She would play games with them and do what normal charitable people do. But when she starts spending time with the disabled male for her research, she found it in herself wanting to have sex with him, out of charity and compassion.
That is very novel and admirable, but in reality, the love for charity is different from the love between two normal people.

Should the disabled be discounted on experiencing the heartbeat of pursuit, romance and sex? The main actress and priest helps him with pursing his love (a disabled girl whom he has exchanged emails with but never met). Her parents rejected his proposal because they said he isn’t fit to take care of their disabled child. The discriminated discriminating another discriminated, such a vicious cycle.

The movie taught me not to deprive a disabled of a romance even knowing that he/she may likely to be rejected.

An interview with a Male Nurse, Karl
Lifted from Viceland Today

Karl: I’m a licensed vocational nurse and I work for two patients who is married with muscular dystrophy who were on ventilators, which is why they needed 24 hour nursing care. They were unable to move their limbs or pretty much anything whatsoever. So I basically did anything and everything for them. I cleaned them up, got them dressed, and put them into their wheelchairs. Once they were in their chairs they could drive themselves, but still, in the wheelchairs they could only move around; I was still their hands and their arms.

How long were you helping that particular couple? 
Eight years.

Did you know you would be helping someone give hand jobs when you got hired?
At first it was Jen’s nurse who had been helping them out. When she was going to leave for a different job, she approached me and asked if I’d be cool doing it. So when she left the baton was passed to me. It’s funny; Doug and Jen had her scout me out.

I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of gnarly stuff being a nurse, where does helping two people bone rank? 
The sexual stuff is weird. The stuff you see in nursing school makes you feel prepared for the job, but they didn’t teach you how to help two people have sex.

So tell me about the first time. Was it special? 
The first time you just look at everything and try to figure out the mechanics of it all. For a while you are so busy thinking about how you are going to do it that you sort of forget about what you are doing. But once you get it all figured out and things begin to happen, you start thinking, “I can’t believe I’m doing this shit.” It’s crazy.

Were you putting them in position? Were you putting it in? What were you doing? 
Well they have this track above their bed with a lift attached to it that rolls on the track. Attached to the lift there’s a cloth and canvas sling with straps affixed with hooks. I would put the sling underneath Doug or Jen and lift them up using the lift. It was designed for nurses who are too weak to put them in their chairs. Doug and Jen figured out how to modify it so it works more or less like a sex swing.

Doug could move his fingers, so I would put Jen in the lift and lower her down on his hand so he could wiggle his finger. And then I would get this vibrator and position it in his hand so that it was on the right spot for Jen. So I’d do stuff like that and then I could just leave the room so they could concentrate on whatever they were doing. But for stuff like hand jobs, I had to wrap Jen’s hand around his dick and basically move it myself. Essentially I was just using her hand to jack him off.

Sorry to laugh. That’s insane. 
I was wearing gloves.

Did helping them out ever turn you on? 
No, it never turned me on. I always tried to distance myself from what I was doing.

Did you feel a lot of pressure to give a good hand job? 
Well, I mean, I wanted to give a good one because I wanted it to be over as quickly as possible. I was lucky that Doug, as a disabled man, never got a lot of sexual stimulation. It’s not like he was masturbating and stuff his whole life, so he was always a premature ejaculator, which I was very thankful for.

What are some of the gnarlier things that have happened? 
I always wore gloves, but one time I wasn’t watching where I was aiming his dick and he came on my hand. Even though there was a glove there I still felt his cum land on my hand. It was one of the grossest things I felt in my time with them.

Also, doing the whole blow job thing, I’d have to, like, grab Jen’s head and move it on his dick, which is just weird. Like grabbing a girl’s head and forcing it on a dick. It’s just weird and violent and felt really strange. And, because she has muscular dystrophy, she couldn’t really move her mouth. So as soon as he came, it would just run out of her mouth, down her cheek, and into her hair. Cleaning the cum out of her hair was a bitch.

You said it went pretty quick. Did you ever try and get creative with positions?
No, it was pretty much always her on top. He couldn’t really tolerate being in any position other than his back. For some reason–it probably has to do with the disease–Jennifer’s pussy is tight. Like totally small. Like it was always painful for her to have sex. And Doug wasn’t really that big. I’d say below average, actually. But for some reason she could take it in the ass like nothing. She tried toys and tried sticking them in her pussy and she could only take it vibrating on the outside. But for some reason you could shove the thing in her butt like nothing. It was like backwards.

So Karl could get off. Did Jen get off? 
Yeah. I mean they were really sensitive. They could just talk dirty. He could just talk dirty and she’d get off from that. So one time I put them to bed and there was a new nurse and I was showing her the routine and got done putting them to bed. And they had this intercom system where they could call the nurses and be like “Hey” if they needed to be turned in the night or needed suctioning. So Doug and Jen just start doing this dirty talk and they didn’t know it was coming out over the intercom. Because the muscular dystrophy their mouths are always open and their tongues don’t really move the way ours do, so the language was kind of garbled. And they start doing this dirty talk, and the nurse is talking to me about nursing stuff but all I can hear in the background is Doug saying stuff like “Oh my god baby yeah,” and Jen is moaning like crazy.

To be completely honest, it was an absolutely entertaining and amusing read. However, from a site like Viceland, I doubt its authencity. Then again, it does sound very believable.

If the above is true, then it is very lucky to have two disabled people falling in love with each other, but most, fate is not on their side. And so they pay for a service.

After a thought-provoking experience reviewing Air Doll about sex dolls coming to life, I should have thought Sex Volunteers; a film being promoted by an Art House would be just as artsy and not on the real act of intercourse. Alas, my human mind thinks of sex and just sex, I’m blatantly honest that is the real reason why I bought the movie tickets.

Then again, anything can be called art.

Besides, I’m a little demented thus sex with a disabled? I am curious.

Upon entering the theatre, I judged all the 30 other demented people who came in. Most were heterosexual couples, which I immediately assumed they came to watch this film as foreplay. 

One woman in her thirties, hair greying and bespectacled came alone. She must have come because she ain’t getting any.  I am judgmental.

At the end of the 2-hour movie, I was wet. My eyes, and not-where-you-think.  There weren't nudity or explicit scenes, but instead the fictional film gave the hard truth about the disabled and their sexual needs. I was disappointed with the lack of demented imagery, but I was enlighten, educated and deeply touched with the plight of the disabled. Moved enough to be a sex volunteer myself?

Read on.

A sex volunteer for the disabled, as explained by the movie, are people who help buy adult toys on the disabled person’s behalf, help with masturbation or disabled couples like the interview above. They do not engage in intercourse themselves. But of course, the female lead did engage in intercourse because she wanted to experience it herself before making her movie. Her boyfriend broke up with her after being her cameraman.

It reminds me of the true story of Annabelle Chong, the infamous Singaporean who had sex with 251 men for her feminist statement. Anything for the passion of their art.

Prostitutes and the disabled aren’t too different. People judge them because of their appearances.  Do they not have dignity, pride and self worth? Why should society care any less or look them with disdain?
A self determined life, however, also includes sexual self-determination. Whether it’s the disabled wanting to experience sex, or a prostitute who provides sex for a better living, it is you and your strength to determine what you want out of life.

Sinema is showing its LAST show this Sat (7pm), catch it if you can!
Meanwhile, i'll be at the Omy blog awards for the What-The-Hell blog category.

Truly Yours,

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