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    Sexual Assistant to Disabled People: 'They're Doomed to Lonely Existence'

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    The debate about the sexuality of disabled people is not new. Generally, in Europe, sexual assistance for the disabled has been operating for almost 20 years, whereas in the Czech Republic it appeared only in 2015, when 5 assistants were trained.

    Public discussions about how to behave are ongoing. Documents, manuals, and research have been produced. 

    Sputnik turned to one of the assistants and asked her what sexual assistance is, and how it works in the Czech Republic.

    Sputnik: Many people think that sexual assistance is a kind of prostitution. What kind of sexual assistance services do the assistants provide?

    Yes, some people class us like this. But we don't just have sex. Every assistant has his/her task, so everyone offers just what he/she wants to offer. This means that some of them offer massage, masturbation assistance, delays, educational activities, help with selecting erotic aids and help with masturbation when clients' hands are affected and are unable to help themselves to release their sexual energy.

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    When there's a lot of sexual energy in the body, people are aggressive, evil, angry, etc. That leads to various psychological problems. Once the sexual energy is released, people relax and get calmer. We also have educational activities; so it's not like someone simply comes, we go with him, spread our legs and that's it. People just don't understand. The point is that many of these people, even if they are 35, haven't had sex in their lives. They haven't experienced intimate contact. They are doomed to a lonely existence until their end. Or maybe they have someone, but they don't have this type of contact. They don't know sex — they are totally oblivious. We work for people with disabilities, we work for people with both physical and mental disabilities, as well as for old people, who are also lonely and have no intimate contact.

    Sputnik: Is interest in sexual assistance increasing? According to official data, there are only five trained sexual assistants in the Czech Republic.

    Yes, it is not enough. But we have to realize that this is a new project and came to the [Czech] Republic only in 2015. It was being developed for two years before its launch. The organization Rozkoš bez Rizika and Mrs. Lucie Šídová had to work hard to get the project running. They had to have different permits and fill out a lot of paperwork. For almost 20 years such services have been working in Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands, but it's something completely new for the Czech Republic. Sexual assistance is just starting to take off. As the saying goes, a train full of customers can't start. When something new starts, it always starts slowly, after a little bit it will be seen how it catches on.

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    Sputnik: What kind of training do Czech sexual assistants need to have and how is it going?

    We had workshops together with the Swiss. There were two types of training going on at the same time. First, we went to different residential facilities, where mentally handicapped people live. Then further training was ongoing throughout the year: spinal cord injury and sexuality, led by sexologist Petr Eischner. There were tantric massage workshops led by specialists that work with people through touch. We have been doing practical exercises with a Swiss expert in order to be able to take on the role of a blind person, so that we can sense the energy of a person in front of us.

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    Each assistant, of course, must have her own sexuality worked out. That's why new assistants are hard to choose, as they need to have their own sexuality well taken care of, so that it is not about someone coming only for their own self-satisfaction. It's so hard to recognize.

    It must be a person who has a great, strong, social feeling and empathy for those people. This person should accept people with disabilities as if they're healthy. This job isn't for everyone. It can only be done by a person who has experienced a lot. For example, I have always been working with people and I have worked with disabilities before sexual assistance. So for me, it is quite normal.

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    sexual activity, assistance, disabled, Czech Republic
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