Marianne is technically a 39-year-old prostitute, but after reading her story labelling her like a common hooker didn’t seem appropriate. You see, Marianne doesn’t just have sex with people for money – she also has sex with DISABLED people for money. Same thing really, but the average hooker most likely would not be willing to spend 2+ hours helping you move from the train station to her apartment in addition to safely getting you out of a wheelchair. For being that caring towards her clients, Marianne deserves a special name…maybe something like “Cripple Queen.”
We’ll work on it.
In any case, all of Marianne’s clients leave happy and satisfied, regardless of their disability. “Most of my disabled clients have repeat visits so I assume they are happy,” she explains to Mirror. “I saw a man with a brain injury about three or four times. He was very happy and smiled a lot after and his carer said he looked forward to seeing me.”
A former social worker, Marianne has been working in the sex industry (why yes I AM trying to make her sound classier, thanks for noticing!) for the past four and a half years. She estimates that approximately 10% of her clients have either physical or mental disabilities.
“I don't recall the first time I had a disabled client but one gentleman had had an acquired brain injury since he was 14. He was in his 30s and lived alone with full time personal care. He had opened up to one of his carers about his sexual urges and not being able to get them met and she very sensitively spoke to his parents with his consent and got their consent to source a woman for him.
I don't think he would have had the capacity to do it on his own and he was very vulnerable and wouldn't have known how to be safe about it. I visited him in his home and his carer was downstairs while we were upstairs and I was his first sexual experience.”
Not all of her meetings with the physically and/or mentally disabled end in sex though – some people are simply interested in the physical touch of a woman rather than intercourse. “With another client I saw, with quite severe learning disabilities, I was contacted through a charity worker,” she explains.
“He had been exposing himself in public places and displaying unwanted sexual behaviour, and they ascertained from talking to him that it was due to sexual frustration and not ever having had any kind of sexual experience. He was more taken and interested with physical contact with a woman - the cuddling, the kissing and the physical contact.”
“He was a 58-year-old man who had never had a naked woman in his bed. Although he doesn't have the same understanding of relationships and the world as everyone else, he still had those physical urges and they were creating problems for him in his life which could have led to him being criminalised.”
Marianne charges $170 an hour for her time, however if the client is disabled she allows extra time for “getting undressed” or “dealing with bodily functions and things like catheters” for free. “I see a gentleman who is paralysed from the chest down and he has no sensation down below but we have tried a drug you can get which you inject into the penis to try and achieve an erection. He can't feel that but to him it is psychological - he wants to see his dick hard, he wants to have that feeling of manliness. And he can still give pleasure to a woman and be with someone and be affectionate with someone.”
“I have a [another] regular gentleman who has multiple sclerosis and he has had sexual experiences in his life before the onset of his illness. He is in his mid 40s and is quite severely physically disabled now and, although he is in a electric wheelchair, he can't weight-bear at all and we have to use a hoist. I visit him every couple of months.”
As for parts of the job she doesn’t enjoy, Marianne admits that one of her clients with a learning disability “used to be really slobbery on my face…but those are the parts of the job you accept.”
In the end, Marianne hopes that in the future there will be less stigma around mental health as well as sex work. “To the public you are either a high class call girl or a drug addict walking the streets but a lot of us are middle class women fulfilling a real need in society.”