7th October 2011

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.


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

Katie Wiltshier (secretary)
Occupational therapist


Els Payne (coordinator) 


Victoria McKenzie – Freelance


Alex Cowan – Disability


Lorraine Stanley – training


Dominic Webb – (speaker)


Sally Lee – Social


Anji Page – Sense


Greg Sams – Chair of Outsiders


Miguel Tudela de la Fuente –FPA


Owen Hughes – psychologist


Marcus Burge – client of Sally
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


Barry Roberts – Outsiders


Nic Dickman– Silversex


Jahnet de Light – Tantric sex


Andi Cooper – Theatre director





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


  • Everyone
    interested to look at 
    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




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

  1. 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.


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 – 

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

Please check out
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

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

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 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


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


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.




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




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?





: 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

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


      1. Write
        you rules about finding girls, starting relationships and making
      2. Tell
        you when it’s not helpful to be too truthful
      3. Tell
        you how women like you to be nice and show consideration
      4. Tell
        you how to use your intelligence without putting women off
      5. Subjects
        to become very knowledgeable on — sex and relationships
      6. Ways
        to please women you fancy
      7. What
        to focus on, and what will impress women with regards to attention
        to detail
      8. Use
        your photogenic memory to remember her birthday and things she
      9. impersonate
        to make women feel comfortable, if you mimic their posture, likes,
      10. 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

      1. Going
        on about things you’re interested in, like trains, and boring them
      2. You
        cannot deal with more than one thing at a time
      3. You
        need permission to bend the rules
      4. You
        may need a quiet space whereas she likes somewhere noisy
      5. You
        may not realise what is appropriate, and where
      6. You
        may need time for social and emotional progress
      7. You
        prefer explicit instruction rather than using your imagination
      8. You
        cannot process facial expressions or express emotions through your
        own facial expressions
      9. You
        cannot show empathy and sympathy
      10. 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

      1. Nice
        bars (not pubs)
      2. Cafes
        and events, and holidays in pretty places and for gentle pursuits
      3. Evening
        classes in things like cooking, massage, homeopathy, amateur
        dramatics, foreign languages, yoga. Not photography, model
        engines, cars, politics, record (or any other) collecting,
      4. Concerts,plays
        and cultural events
      5. 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

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


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

  1. The
    Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability
  2. The
    New Joy of Sex
  3. The
    Sex Book
  4. 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

  • Read
    up to become knowledgable (see list of books etc) to give you
  • 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
  • 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

      1. She
        can trust you
      2. Lots
        of nice things about her
      3. You
        cannot read or do facial expressions
      4. 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
      5. She
        should give you time, explicit instructions, and permission to
        bend rules
      6. She
        should, please, put up with your idiosyncrasies
      7. Tell
        you politely if you do something inappropriate
      8. Feel
        free to ask for romance and affection, and to seduce you
      9. With nice kind words, give
        her bunches of fresh flowers, or a little gift of something she’s
        already told you she particularly likes
      10. All the things that you like
        about her