Julie Bindel Julie Bindel

Disabled men don’t have a ‘right’ to buy sex

(Photo: iStock)

In the latest episode of ‘You couldn’t make it up’, a court has ruled that it is lawful for carers in particular circumstances to assist their clients in paying for sex. The case was brought on behalf of a 27-year-old mentally disabled man who was described as wishing to ‘fulfil a natural desire.’ Since when was paying for access to the inside of a person’s body for one-sided sexual gratification a ‘natural desire’?

The ruling, unless successfully challenged, will have major implications not only for carers but for society at large. Government ministers have been granted permission to appeal the decision because it clashes with its aim to eradicate prostitution by way of criminalising the demand for sexual services.

Does a disabled man have a right to sex? Does anyone? The right to sex is not enshrined in the Human Rights Act, nor is there any evidence whatsoever that celibacy, voluntary or involuntary, causes harm. That’s not what the Incel movement would have us believe, but after all, Incels are misogynists with a grand sense of entitlement.

Prostitution is not some kind of social service like meals on wheels

Since 1999, when Sweden criminalised the purchase of sexual services, and at the same time decriminalised the selling of sex, there has been a global debate about the ‘right’ of any human to access sex via prostitution. Those calling for the blanket decriminalisation of pimping and puntering have come up with a variety of ways to justify paying for sex. One of the most persuasive arguments is that disabled people can’t get a real date. They don’t quite put it like that: more that war veterans with their legs blown off are unable to get out to meet women and therefore are left with ‘no option’ but to pay for sex.

One of the most pernicious stereotypes of disability is that it renders a person so unattractive that no one would ever consider them as a consensual sexual partner.

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