Meeting 13: 7th October 2011

June 28, 2020
Report on 13th Meeting

Many thanks to Jackie Redding and
the THT Lighthouse team for once again hosting our meeting – your
support is much appreciated.

Minutes

Theme of meeting: Using
props to seduce and enjoy

ATTENDANCE LIST (with email addresses):

Dr Tuppy Owens (convenor, scribe and speaker) Outsiders

Adam Thomas (chair) – Elfrida
Society

Katie Wiltshier (secretary)
Occupational therapist

Els Payne (coordinator) –
Outsiders

Victoria McKenzie – Freelance
trainer

Alex Cowan – Disability
Consultant

Lorraine Stanley – training
consultant/author

Dominic Webb – (speaker)
trainer

Sally Lee – Social
worker/researcher

Anji Page – Sense

Greg Sams – Chair of Outsiders

Miguel Tudela de la Fuente –FPA

Owen Hughes – psychologist

Marcus Burge – client of Sally
Lee’s contact via Lesley Burge

Lesley Burge

Aoife Nic Chartaigh –
International Development of Sexual Health and Rights

Gill Leno – Brook

Andy Greene –Disability Action
in Islington

Simon Parritt – psychosexual
therapist

Barry Roberts – Outsiders

Nic Dickman– Silversex
(speaker)

Jahnet de Light – Tantric sex
worker

Andi Cooper – Theatre director

Apologies

Sue Newsome, Lorna
Couldrick, Jayne Horton, Paul Casey (FPA), Roshan Nair, Andy
Beckingham, Emma Cooper, Eleni Stephani, Paul Amey, Catherine de
Lacy, Helena Barrow, Laura Skorupa, Eirwen, Karen White, Eliot Lamb

ACTION (including ongoing from last
meeting):

Everyone
interested to look at www.silversex.net
and give feedback to Nic about content etc.
Sexual Respect
Tool kit team to report back on progress at next meeting.

SHADA members
invited to help by testing out the potential success of the Tool Kit
in their workplace (hopefully with their colleagues)

Miguel
and Adam to co-produce a guide to accessibility.
Group developing sexual respect
tool kit to look at presenting to partnership boards, joint local
government and NHS bodies overseeing health and social care
functions as a way of raising the issue of sexual health and
expression on the agenda.

Need SHADA members to write up
scenarios involving personal assistants supporting disabled people
with sexual expression including use of sex workers.

Miguel to report back at next
meeting about progress made with Westminster.

Lorraine to
explore funding possibilities for SHADA to be represented at NAIDEX
next year.

The next meeting will be on Friday April 13th from
11am to 4pm

Susan Quilliam (authoress of The New Joy of Sex) will speak about her
work, and Alex Cowan will speak about Peer Support around Sex and
Relationships

Introductions

everybody introduced themselves and said what they did and what they
hope to get out of the meeting.

Presentation
by Dominic Webb –
Exploring ‘D/S’(domination and submission)’ to enhance sexual
experience for someone who is a tetraplegic on a ventilator
Dom spoke about his
explorations into using D/S to enhance his
potential sexual experience with a partner. Dom is a tetraplegic who
uses a ventilator and described how using D/S may enable him to enjoy
a sex life, when in many other areas of his life he has no control.

If he chooses the role of
the dominant (dom), he needs to find a submissive (sub).

Dom shared the
findings of his research into D/S – here
are the main points:

It is not
about abuse, more about a consensual
power exchange between two partners.
The ‘sub’ has to
agree in advance whatever is going to happen.

Subs are not always
female or ‘weak’. In fact subs often set the agenda with the dom
beforehand.

Many subs work in
powerful jobs (e.g law) and want to experience a different type of
relationship dynamic.

It is more than
‘kinky sex’ – it is about a consensual power relationship.

Physical contact is
not a necessity, it can be through phone/text/email.

Roles can switch
during sessions.

Sub can be able to
enjoy sex in this role whereas in other situations may feel guilt.

Costumes can
sometimes be used to reinforce roles.

There is still social
stigma attached to BDSM, so it is general kept secret.

Everything in
BDSM (bondage, dominance, sado-masochism of which D/S is a section)
must be safe, sane and consensual.
It is based on trust, respect and mutual understanding.
D/S
is more acceptable than other forms of BDSM. There is no pain
involved (no S/M.
Dom is concerned
about his sub’s welfare. The sub must maintain their integrity.

A ‘code word’ is
set up with the sub – traffic light system – green – all OK,
amber – on the edge, red – stop.

Often people meet on
line – ‘informed consent’ website has a good reputation.

Following Dom’s
presentation, he and Tuppy did a role play of a first meeting between
a dom (Dom) and sub (Tuppy).

Discussion points:

The main points of
discussion were around the difficulties encountered by people who
rely on PA’s/carers to support them. Some carers feel
uncomfortable facilitating D/S as
concerned that person is vulnerable and they want to protect them
from potential exploitation. It was pointed out that sometimes
carers can act as an ‘archetypal mother’. There is also
potentially a subconscious view of some PA’s/health professionals
that people who are disabled/paralysed are ‘helpless’ – those
in caring roles need to explore this issue within themselves.

**The issue at the heart
of this is the balance between privacy and safeguarding, also carers
allowing disabled people to take risks. This is an interesting point
as people who do not rely on carers take risks, and carers themselves
may take personal risks.

 world of
opportunity vs world of danger. Need to look creatively at
safeguarding rather than going over the top….people who require
carer support have the right to be given the freedom to make
mistakes.

Choosing PA’s –
Need to check out PA views on enabling sexual encounters of any sort
when interviewing so make sure right staff are working for you.
However this isn’t always easy to bring up during interviews.
Miguel is doing work with carers of people with learning
difficulties about shelving their own values or don’t take on the
job

Carers could be
involved through discussion, and maybe having a ‘safe word’ or
panic button.

However not everyone
wants their carers to be involved as would lose the ‘sexiness’
of the encounter. There could be a role for sexual enablers instead.

Mental capacity –
if someone has capacity, they have the right to make their own
choices. However where capacity is an issue, this becomes more
difficult due to issues around consent.

It is vital
that health professionals, carers, etc do
not judge the clients’ choices
especially people who are parents who may be worried their children
will be taken away.
Roleplays

Those who felt comfortable
got into pairs and acted out a D/S scenario so that they could
discover what it feels like and begin to understand the dynamic.
Feedback was that it was useful but one person found it tiring being
a dom.

3. Presentation
by Nic Dickman from Silversex – www.silversex.net

Nic showed us a sex swing
that he had developed. Nic is a furniture designer and developed
swing as a result of becoming arthritic (he has 2 forms of arthritis)
which made intimacy difficult in his marriage. The swing is designed
so that it can be used by someone sitting/lying in different
positions. Its height can be changed and can be positioned over a
bed. Three fixing points are needed on the ceiling, and it takes 2-3
minutes to set up. It will slide under conventional beds to be
discreet.

Please check out
www.silversex.net
to find out more about the swing. The site also has lots of
information aimed a older people who are experiencing difficulties
with sex. Information on the site would also be relevant for other
people experiencing physical difficulties with sex such as restricted
movement through arthritis.

Nic would welcome feedback
on how to improve the information on the site including the swing.

4. Discussion– how
can we make sex more accessible to people with different
disabilities?

One way, inspired by this
meeting, would be to use alternative sex practices.

Firstly look at
what you can
do, then look at how you can use your abilities to enjoy sexual
expression/intimacy. For example, someone with paraplegia could
explore D/S roles; someome with arthritis could use the Silversex
swing.
So why haven’t disabled
people been proactive about empowering themselves in their sex lives?

Environment you’re
brought up in. Often disabled people are very protected.

You’re made
to feel
disabled by society…easy to buy into this attitude and not break
out of it. Takes a lot of effort to keep yourself independent even
emotionally and mentally resourceful.
It is very difficult
to maintain your own identity as a sexual person when you are a
recipient of care.

Nobody is very
proactive – we tend to leave love and sex to fate

Small group discussions
around different disabilities:

DeafBlind:

DeafBlind people would benefit from
workshops on gentle touch and movement, offering sensory experiences
so that they can learn how to be sensual. These would hopefully be
easy and cheap to run.

Conclusion reached that we could teach
organisations to set up their own “Salon of the Senses” in order
to teach the deaf and blind skills using touch, smell and taste. This
could incorporate music, candles and incense, massage (basic skills
of touch and massage which are sensual not erotic, but it could be
explained they can be used in an erotic context), different
materials/fabrics, hugs or holding hands,exotic foods being fed to
each other. The environment could be sensual but lighthearted too –
the aim to learn skills to take with them into relationships. A
leaflet will produced for the SHADA website in due course.

Ideas should be put on a website
and into portfolios for staff
DeafBlind people often need to be
taught appropriateness.

Learning difficulties:

There was a lot of talk about the lack
of appropriate, non-patronising, resource material to support the
work. Felt that there was a shocking co-relation to be made between
the very high rates of sexual abuse among this population group and
the lack of effective education about sexual health and
relationships.

In all of the workshops that Adam has
run with learning disabled clients, there have been abuse disclosures
of some kind. It’s very difficult to collect accurate data about
the prevalence of abuse among this group but reports from
professionals working in this area present at the SHADA meeting
estimated it at around 80-90%.

Adam feels that there was a strong need
for funding to be found to produce an educational resource that
doesn’t use cartoons or childish imagery and presents the
information as it would be presented to any other adult whilst paying
particular attention to simple language in short, easily digestible
sentences.

Aspergers Syndrome

This was a very lively group, comprised
of one woman married to a man with Aspergers, two professionals who
have clients with Aspergers and Tuppy who has many Aspergers members
in Outsiders. The group worked out a strategy which can be found at
the end of these minutes.

Spina Bifida

Discusssions were more general and no
strategy was formulated.

Tool Kit

This is still going well. The
documentation is written and undergoing final edits. There is also a
DVD with interviews to be finished, a CD ROM with sound, and a CD
with posters to put up in surgeries and other appropriate places. The
website is not yet started but, once created, will be updated with
any new additions as progress is made.

Dictionary

Tuppy is compiling a Dictionary for GPs
and other health and social care professionals with a GP, Dr Antony
Lempert. She has almost finished the C chapter which is over 20,000
words, and will be submitting this with the Tool Kit to Jessica
Kingsley publishers. She already has other experts helping her but if
anyone is interested in adding their own contribution, please contact
her.

AOB

Tuppy has been asked by the Festival of
Science in Aberdeen to do a scientific presentation but she feels
unable to take on anything new. Would anyone else like to do it?

APPENDIX
: Beyond Impairment – Aspergers Syndrome

How to move
forward so you can
meet girls, form relationships and enjoy sex

To a man with Aspergers, the
process of finding girls who will accept them, starting a
relationship and enjoying sex freely does not come naturally. For
some men, the lucky few, it’s a dance, for most men it’s a struggle
but for nearly all Aspergers men, it seems impossible. At Outsiders
we aim to change that by

looking
at the qualities and abilities you have and working out ways to use
them to your best advantage
Writing
instructions about what not to do
Providing
lists of books, ideas

Skills you may have that women
like

Each one of you will be different
but there are traits that many have in common, and most of them are
things that really appeal to women.

You
are good at learning rules
You
are truthful
You
are nice and considerate
You
are intelligent
You
can become very knowledgeable on certain subjects
You
like pleasing people
You
can focus on, and give attention to detail
You
have a photogenic memory
You
can impersonate
You
have a sense of humour

How we can help you put these
skills to best use to help you

Write
you rules about finding girls, starting relationships and making
love
Tell
you when it’s not helpful to be too truthful
Tell
you how women like you to be nice and show consideration
Tell
you how to use your intelligence without putting women off
Subjects
to become very knowledgeable on — sex and relationships
Ways
to please women you fancy
What
to focus on, and what will impress women with regards to attention
to detail
Use
your photogenic memory to remember her birthday and things she
likes
impersonate
to make women feel comfortable, if you mimic their posture, likes,
etc
Using
your sense of humour to your best advantage

Problems you may have that put
women off

There are irritating and
off-putting traits about Aspergers men which include

Going
on about things you’re interested in, like trains, and boring them
You
cannot deal with more than one thing at a time
You
need permission to bend the rules
You
may need a quiet space whereas she likes somewhere noisy
You
may not realise what is appropriate, and where
You
may need time for social and emotional progress
You
prefer explicit instruction rather than using your imagination
You
cannot process facial expressions or express emotions through your
own facial expressions
You
cannot show empathy and sympathy
You
cannot tolerate certain materials, textures, foods, colours etc
But a way around these things is
that the women can provide guidelines
to help you overcome these things, so they do not affect her. Perhaps
she needs someone else to provide her with empathy and sympathy when
she feels down. It’s up to you to write down your limitations, and
give the list to women you meet, after there has been some time of
mutual interest.

Show her a basis list of rules
and ask her to adapt them to suit herself.

Lists of things Outsiders
thinks might be important for you

List of where to find girls

Nice
bars (not pubs)
Cafes
and events, and holidays in pretty places and for gentle pursuits
Evening
classes in things like cooking, massage, homeopathy, amateur
dramatics, foreign languages, yoga. Not photography, model
engines, cars, politics, record (or any other) collecting,
computers.
Concerts,plays
and cultural events
Singles
clubs but you are warned that the women to go might be looking for
good-looking young men who are well dressed and have money).
Plenty of Fish is a national club.

When it’s not a good idea to
be totally truthful

Saying
she looks weird or ugly, in fact, any criticism
Telling
her bad things about yourself, eg you have no money
Don’t
tell her things you may have forgotten, like putting a clean pair
of pants on
Don’t
tell her about your ailments or life story
Don’t
tell her you have an erection !

Good Sex Books to read to
become an expert on women’s bodies and functioning

The
Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability
The
New Joy of Sex
The
Sex Book
A
Guide to Getting it on (probably the best)

Why it’s very difficult

In the past few decades, women
have become more assertive and the feminist movement has been very
influential. This is good because we don’t want women just to be
passive sit-at-home people who can’t manage their own affairs.
However, feminism as brought with the concept that men are all
football hooligans (unless you are gay) and abusive to women. Men
have been made to feel bad about being horny and about approaching
women because they fancy them. All men are suffering, except the most
outgoing and extrovert. Men with Aspergers are hit much worse because
you tend to take things at face value. When you are told that
approaching girls is abusive, you will be afraid to ever approach
them. You will become even more timid.

In fact, women like a man to
whisk them off their feet, be like a “knight in shining armour”
be confident and approach them with style. Just as long as you are
gentle. Some women would really like to have you as a partner, but
you must have the courage to approach them (and not bore them).

Rules about approaching
women

Read
up to become knowledgable (see list of books etc) to give you
confidence
Say
something nice about them or what’s going on around you both (humour
is helpful)
Smile
and don’t bore them talking about yourself or your hobbies
Ask
her a question about her life (eg “what is your favourite early
memory)
Tell
her how impressive that is and, to show you were listening, ask her
a follow-up question
Listen,
admiringly, agree and enthuse
Ask
her if she’d like to do something similar
Offer
to take her to do this, or her favourite thing
Take
her phone number
Ask
her out on a date, there and then, or later by phone

Things to tell a new
girlfriend

She
can trust you
Lots
of nice things about her
You
cannot read or do facial expressions
She
should tell you when she is upset because you cannot always tell
when to be sympathetic or empathetic, so she myst tell you and
please find someone else to off-load on if you fail
She
should give you time, explicit instructions, and permission to
bend rules
She
should, please, put up with your idiosyncrasies
Tell
you politely if you do something inappropriate
Feel
free to ask for romance and affection, and to seduce you
With nice kind words, give
her bunches of fresh flowers, or a little gift of something she’s
already told you she particularly likes
All the things that you like
about her

Meeting Minutes