The taboo of sexual assistance

By Audrey SomnardLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

The sexual life of people with disabilities is a challenging topic for associations. Without a legal framework, they struggle to support their beneficiaries who are nevertheless in need of carnal contact. In our neighbouring countries, solutions have been found. Here are some explanations.

Touching, caressing, kissing, gestures that seem simple but are not accessible to a part of the population. People with disabilities are in need of human contact just like everybody else, but in many cases they don't have access to intimate relationships. According to the definition of the World Health Organisation (WHO), access to sexual health is an individual right. But the issue that is regularly debated ─ and Luxembourg is no exception ─ is that of sexual assistance, presented by some as "the" solution to meet the sexual and/or emotional needs of people with disabilities.

Some associations advocate sexual assistance, which covers a wide range of actions: from simple prevention, explanations, guiding the first steps, touching and caressing, to the sexual act. These sex assistants simply do not exist in Luxembourg, due to the lack of status and legislation. If the associations were to coordinate these assistants, Luxembourg law would punish all parties: the assistants for prostitution and the associations for pimping according to the law of 28 February 2018 which reinforces the fight against the exploitation of victims. In other words, this is enough to dampen the spirits of all those involved in the sector.

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