Educational needs, motives and experiences of sex care workers for people with disabilities in the Netherlands

    Publication of Innovations in Care

    S.R. Hilberink, H.A. Stege,van der, Y. Kelders | Article | Publication date: 26 October 2022
    In some countries, personal assistants may facilitate sexual engagement of people with disabilities. A specific form of facilitating sexuality are services that offer paid sex with sex care workers. In the Netherlands, there is no training available for sex care workers. To provide input for such training, this study examined sex care workers’ (perceived importance of) knowledge about sexuality and relevant aspects of sex care, their educational needs, motives for becoming a sex care worker, and experiences. An online survey was completed by 29 sex care workers (response rate 52%). The sex care workers expressed high importance of knowledge and generally reported good, but slightly lower current knowledge levels on these aspects. Educational needs included both general and disability-related sexuality and sexual problems and how to deal with problem behaviors and/or emotional disinhibition. Some participants indicated that learning how to prevent physical strain was important. The importance of setting boundaries was reported. Overall, participants experienced little stigma, although few reported negative experiences. Important motives for sex care work included the lack of attention to sexuality support for clients with disabilities and wanting to contribute to clients’ sexual citizenship. The formulated educational needs may be helpful in the development of such training. In addition to knowledge and practical skills, the training should pay attention to discovering and setting boundaries, providing a safe space for reflection on one’s own body experience and ethics, as well as considering the clients’ perspectives.

    Author(s) - affiliated with Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences

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