Ex-Madam Uses Her Sex Skills to Run 'Brothel' for Disabled

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Sex Is 'Complicated' for Disabled

The disabled often require an "enabler" -- a third person to help them with their physical needs.

"It gets really complicated," she said.

Services can include a "fluffer," a helper who sets the scene and assists with sexual logistics. One of her clients is a disabled woman with an able-bodied husband.

"She likes us to get her in her lingerie and make her beautiful and set the scene so her husband doesn't have to take care of her tubes and lift her," said Adams. "We are kind of part of their sexual experience by holding things out of the way so he only has to be responsible for himself."

Just recently, Adams heard from a wheelchair-bound soldier back from Afghanistan who is paralyzed below his neck and lives at home with his parents.

Although he has no genital sensation, he wants a "lady who can kiss him all over and he can kiss all over," she said. "Think about the logistics of that. He is a big man, an ex-Marine, and he wants a petite lady. That means someone has to go with her to get the gentleman out of his chair into bed and position him. That's not her job. She is fulfilling a fantasy for him."

It's not always "all about sex," according to Adams. A mothers' group for boys with autism has even requested her services.

"The lads never interact normally with girls of their age and they wanted to pay for someone to spend time with their boys to kiss and cuddle them," said Adams. "That's not necessarily what you would imagine in a brothel. People think of chaps having a load of sex with a busty blond girl -- but it's far more than that. You are educating someone who has never had sex before."

Such was the case with Alexander Freeman, a 25-year-old American filmmaker who was born with cerebral palsy and craves intimacy but has never had sexual intercourse.

"It's not just the act, but to touch another person who feels you are attractive," Freeman said. "If we are denied our right to sensuality, we are denied being human."

He, too, has become an advocate.

Alexander Freeman co-produced a film, "The Last Taboo," about the sexual desires of the disabled.

Freeman explores the unmet sexual needs of the disabled in a documentary he wrote, directed and produced, "The Last Taboo," which is now being submitted to film festivals. It tells the story of six people with various physical disabilities and an able-bodied partner who was in a relationship with one of them. These individuals share their perspectives on intimacy, relationships and what their experiences have taught them about themselves.

Freeman, who lives in Brookline, Mass., said he'd had a relationship with a close friend in college that ended with no closure.

"She saw that I had those desires and she made me feel good about myself," he said. "But afterwards, I had so many questions."

So in 2011, his company, Outcast Productions, and a team of 30 made a documentary that asked viewers to rethink misconceptions about disability, identity, gender and sexuality.

"I decided to make the film because disability is very much a taboo in this country and I think other countries as well," said Freeman.

He credits editor Ryan Egan, as well as producers Anne Scotina, Andrew Christenson and Gabriella Iarrobino, for lending their skills to make the film a reality.

"I think what she's doing is fantastic," he said of Adams' work. "Because face it, when you have a disability, there are certain things you can't do."

Bethany Stevens, a disabled sexologist who teaches at the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University, applauded Adams' work

"Sexuality is central to who we are even though, in our culture, it's everywhere," said Stevens. "We have a saturation of sexual content, but we don't have healthy conversations about what sex is. Then, you add on disabilities, which people don't want to talk about, anyway."

Stevens was born with brittle bone disease and uses a wheelchair.

"We trigger lot of discomfort and fear," she said. "When you bring the two together [sex and disability], see how stifling the conversation gets."

Married to an able-bodied person, she has found that when they express affection in public, they are "socially erased." "Waiters pass us by and they think of us as siblings or one as a caregiver," she said.

The discrimination is based in fear, the "slippery-ness" of being able-bodied, and how quickly a person's physical condition can change through birth, accidents or illness, she said.

Research around the world shows that the disabled are often viewed as "not full people -- sort of suspended in childhood," said Stevens. "The majority of our culture sees us as non-sexual or desexualized, simply because we are not perceived as human."

Adams had not given much thought to the disabled until the nonprofit Outsiders recognized her book. The group runs a sex and disability hotline and other health services to support the handicapped.

"Oh, my God," she said. "I was ashamed and quite humbled. In all I had seen in my 20 years of work in the sex industry, I didn't realize how difficult it is for people with disabilities to have their sex needs met."

She began learning more and joined the speaker circuit. As her passion to help the disabled grew, so did the controversy over her mission.

"Since then, I am always in the tabloids, getting into trouble for something," said Adams, including a comment that she would have "no problem" with her teenage daughter going in to prostitution.

"It's better than banking," she told the press.

For now, Adams said, it's mostly the feminists and not the police who are her worst enemies. But a bordello of sorts for the disabled could change all that.

"I am expecting a legal battle, but I am prepared to fight," she said. "I genuinely don't mind going to prison for this."

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