Bruce’s story

Karen is Bruce’s personal carer. She explains the procedures she went through to arrange consent and finances before making an appointment for a gay male sex worker to visit Bruce at home.

NB: All names have been changed for privacy.

Bruce’s First Time

First Contact:

Dear S
I have found your contact details in an old article on the Touching Base Forum 2001. I am a social worker working with people with a brain injury. One of my clients is a young man who has asked for assistance to find a male sex worker. Would you have the contact details of a male sex worker or who is experienced in working with people with a disability. My client has had no sexual experience with men but is giving very clear and informed consent that he would like to try this.

from Karen
Personal Carer

Later the Touching Base Committee asked Karen, “What processes did you to go through in order to achieve consent for your client?”

Karen replied: Nothing surprising in the process – essentially had to be able to say to the Public Guardian that Bruce was making an informed choice, that he knew what the risks were, that we had done what we could to minimise the risks and were requesting permission to use a legal sex worker.

Had to assure them I had thought out the pros and cons of an ‘out’ service – largely that it meant Bruce couldn’t later arrive at ‘in’ premises unannounced with no money, etc. The initial guardian had said get the sex counseling and education done and “then we will talk.” But as it panned out, she was on annual leave when I rang to say we were now ready to go ahead and the Duty Guardian for that day said that with all the above noted, the Public Guardian even with ‘service’ function, cannot stop a person from accessing a sex worker.

Had to convince the Office of the Protective Commissioner that $xxx.00 seemed a fair price for service being offered and also that paying cash was preferable as a means of helping Bruce gain an understanding of what the service costs and how often he could afford it.

Had to negotiate with the care agency to find a carer comfortable and with suitable interpersonal skills to be rostered on for the shift – particularly for once you have left in case Bruce wants to discuss the experience. Also negotiated carer to leave premises but stay local and available on mobile.

Bruce still on antibiotics and a bit crook – will be in touch at the end of the week.

Take care
Karen
Personal carer

PS: Thanks for the website address – has helped a lot because now when Bruce asks attendant carers “Are you my sex worker?” they can answer no and wave the sex worker’s photo around, we downloaded it from the site!

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