"Right now, sexual assistance is not financially supported by the government"

When persons with disabilities have relationships, they also want to physically express their love for each other. This is not possible for every couple without restrictions. Sexual assistants can be a solution.


Photo: Katja

Katja: "Self-determined living means to me that I can live my life the way I want to"; © private

Katja and her boyfriend have chosen this alternative. REHACARE.com spoke with her about intimate moments and her open approach to this subject.

You and your partner use the services of sexual assistants. How should we envision this?

Katja: When I explain sexual assistance to my friends or acquaintances, I always say that sexual assistance is the power in our hands. We are both not able to move our hands and bodies. During the two hours we can afford once a month, we are able to touch each other erotically because our sexual assistants take our hands and place them where we would like them to be at that moment. If my partner wants a specific touch from me, I put my hand there and the sexual assistant moves her hand over or on top of mine to perform the motions and puts pressure on my hand for me. Basically, I am also able to do this on my own but this is physically very strenuous for me.

Both assistants also put us in any position we like and perform the rhythmic movements per our instructions and ideas. To assist with the different positions, the lifting device is often a helpful tool. This lifting device is actually an auxiliary aid my assistants use to move me without difficulty. Actually it almost looks like a sex swing. If I want to be on top, for instance, I get into the lifting device. And if my boyfriend wants to be on top of me, he gets into it. Virtually any position is possible with a lot of creativity and imagination. Sometimes it might actually look like something taken straight from the Kama Sutra.

How does it feel for you both given the fact that you are not alone during these intimate moments?

Katja: At first it was very strange! And there are still moments where I think, "If the two sexual assistants weren’t here right now, I would say this or that to my Tim". Though the two of them would have absolutely no objections to this; on the contrary, they support it. Somehow though I feel a little silly when we are not alone, but I am sure we will still learn to do this. Apart from that, I am quite able to let go and tune out everything else around me at this point.

By now, our sexual assistants have become an important part of our relationship: we can get closer to each other and develop and experience the sexual side of us thanks to them. The best part about the two assistants is that they are truly open to anything and I feel I can express any desire and preference without needing to feel embarrassed. This is the only way you are truly able to let go and let somebody get close during such an intimate moment.
Photo: Katja and Tim; © private

In order to express their love for each other completely, Katja and Tim need the support from sexual assistants; © private

You are both young and want to explore your love. How important is sexuality for you in this?

Katja: Sexuality is very important for me. I can’t even envision a relationship without sex. To me, sex is not just a way to satisfy my urges, though this is an important aspect of course. I am able to express my love and passion for my partner during sex; it is another way to completely let go. Since I have been having sex with Tim, I feel far more attractive, more desirable and more feminine. Sex has a positive influence on my own self-esteem. I simply feel very close to Tim during sex and I love this feeling – because we somehow become one.

These services are not free. What do you pay for a few hours of living your love to the fullest?

Katja: We can only afford two hours of sex a month. That costs about 360 Euros – and only if we drive to see our sexual assistants. We would have to pay 460 Euros if they did this at our own home. We split the amount every month. This is our own money which means, we have to give up a few things for this.

Aren’t there any legal loopholes to receive government assistance?

Katja: No. Right now, sexual assistance is not financially supported by the government. But you could file an "informal claim" that will doubtlessly be denied since there are no rights to sexual assistance. You might be able to plead an exceptional case, but it would involve further legal action.
Photo: Katja and Tim; © private

In some way, the sexual assistants have become a part of the relationship of Katja and Tim; © DW/C. Machhaus

You are very open about your experiences in both your blog and in interviews like this one. Why is this so important to you?

Katja: To me, sex is among the most beautiful things in the world! I am in a relationship which makes the subject of sex even more prevalent. Since we depend on 24-hour assistance in every situation because of our disability, we need to talk openly about sex to get assistance in this area. On the other hand, I believe there are many persons with disabilities who probably think they can’t experience their own sexuality because there might be obstacles. I simply wish that the people who read my blog or this interview find their own way to live a sexual life. What’s more, I generally want to make all people become more aware and perhaps do my small part in making the notion that persons with disabilities are asexual beings, disappear from our society.
More about Katja (only in German) at: www.einfach-katja.de
Photo: Nadine Lormis; Copyright: B. Frommann

© B. Frommann

Nadine Lormis
(Translated by Elena O'Meara.)