Ask a Sexual Advocate Professional
The Outsiders Trust has launched a new service of sexual advocacy: Ask a Sexual Advocate Professional (ASAP).
ASAP’s mission is to empower people so that medical procedures, illness, and disability do as little as possible to disrupt sexual expression and pleasure.
Our aim is to provide men and women with the opportunity to have confidential, non-judgemental, and safe discussions about their sexual needs, and to support them in meeting those needs. We also support parents who do not want to be involved in helping their adult disabled children with their sex lives, and health and social care professionals who address sexual issues in their work.
Advocate support is through visits, through Skype, and by phone. It complements the Sex and Disability Helpline, and will one day be running this service too.
ASAPl supports patients, care users and disabled people, parents, PAs, and all those working in health and social care to deal with issues surrounding sexuality, using education, discussion, negotiation and enablement. We are especially useful to shy, inhibited, and physically-, sensorally- or learning- impaired people, who may struggle with sexual expression.
Individuals may wish to book a sexual advocate for themselves because their health professional is unable or has failed to offer help, or because they feel uncomfortable discussing private matters with those health professionals, especially if they feel this could adversely influence their care support.
Some people feel under pressure today, being told “just say no”, being told that sex is dirty and masturbation is wrong, being bombarded with images of perfect (often shaved and enhanced) bodies. Some people are labelled as having been a sexualized child, as being a sex addict or over-sexed, promiscuous or sexually ignorant, or someone who has picked up bad habits from porn. When all this becomes internalised, it damages sexual self esteem, leaving people nervous of moving forward. Our advocates are aware of this, and can help people towards a strong sexual self esteem so that they can enjoy sex, and self-acceptance so that they can enjoy intimate relationships.
Guidance on how to raise your sexual self esteem can be found in the second chapter of The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex, (Cathy Winks, Cleis Press, 2002).