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  • Writer's pictureSamuel Hunter

Touching Base

Originally posted November 18, 2021

I was working in an adult shop in Western Sydney the first time I heard about Touching Base. There was a story in the news cycle about a woman using her NDIS funds for time with a sex worker. My manager told me about Rachel Wotton and Touching Base, and something just clicked in my mind. For the first time I understood the barriers that people with disability (PWD) face with sexual encounters of any type. The most glaring was the medical model of disability, where a PWD is seen as someone broken, and like Peter Pan, an eternal child, and therefore how society has been led to view these people (who make up 15% of the global population).

Finding sex toys can be a huge challenge even. Shopping online fails to give an idea of how one could handle a toy, or operate the buttons, should there be lower or no functions in the hands and fingers, let alone knowing if the toy can actually reach the preferred area. And the vast majority of sex shops, our own included, were located upstairs. It was this conversation with my manager that first planted the seed to me becoming an escort.

Fast forward a few years, towards the end of Sydney’s most recent lockdown, I reached out to Touching Base about their social media, or lack thereof. I’d been a member for a year and a half and even before lock down, I knew I wanted to start giving back. First up, I ran a give away, and then found I definitely had enough spare time to volunteer for this organisation that had put me in contact with some amazing clients.

Touching Base is a not for profit (NFP) organisation run on the smell of an oily rag by a dedicated group of volunteers. Established in 2000, the goal of Touching Base was to connect people with disability and sex workers and advocate for both of these marginalised communities. I’d give more of a spiel, but you’re better off reading it directly on the website.

It’s been amazing to work with this team over the past few months, and has certainly made me feel more connected to both of these communities. Generating content that relates to the stakeholders has definitely been a challenge, as my number of bookings have gone crazy, but it’s also rewarding to be trying to keep track of relevant news and delve into potentially suitable content.

If you’ve read this far, Touching Base doesn’t receive any government grants and therefore any donation is greatly appreciated. Beyond that, we also love support in the form of liking and sharing on socials. You can even buy wine that helps support us!

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