The Czech Republic introduces training for sex workers to provide legal, paid services to people with disabilities. Five sex workers, called sexual assistants, were trained by the Czech charity Rozkoš bez Rizika (Bliss without Risk). Their services are approved by the Interior Ministry. Sex work in Czech Republic is not illegal, but organised sex work is prohibited. Despite this the sex industry is widespread.
The sexual assistants signed an ethical code and received training of effective communication about clients needs and desires. They were also instructed in the use of sexual aids and how to establish an appropriate power balance with their customers. They were also trained in leading one-to-one consultations with the relatives of people with disabilities. Experts from Germany and Switzerland were invited to co-facilitate the training.
“There are two types of sexual assistance. One is mostly counselling, but also helping with the choice of special toys and devices to help the disabled to have sex. This help doesn’t involve any touching. The other is an active assistance, which happens on various levels. It can be touching, masturbation and of course the highest level is sexual intercourse" says Hana Malinová from Rozkoš bez Rizika. “There was a demand from our clients. We know that many people living with disabilities have problems getting sexual experience at all. Officially, it was possible to provide counselling, but not active experience. But to reach arousal, there must be someone who is involved in the process and who can help them.”
Sexual expression can provide emotional and physical benefits, while unsatisfactory levels of sexual expression can lead to low self-esteem and depression, especially in a society where sexuality is seen as having an important role in peoples’ identity and lifestyle.
Vladana Augstenova, a former sex worker, tantra masseur and current sexual assistant trained by Rozkoš bez Rizika, explains that sex can have a very positive effect on the health of people with disabilities. She decided to take part in the training to expand her knowledge about the work she has been doing since 2011.
Rozkoš bez Rizika will provide both male and female clients with a list of trained sexual assistants and hopes to train male assistants in the future.