As told to Dilvin Yasa.
University graduate Amy Calladine, 32, has cerebral palsy and Hashimoto’s disease. Here, she reveals why she decided to book a sex worker for a night of intimacy.
I’ve been aware of how my body sits in relation to others for as long as I can remember.
In high school, I got around in a motorised wheelchair – a huge hulking bit of metal. While it was great for navigating school, it also gave me a disquieting sense of physical isolation from my peers. While my friends had begun having boyfriends and enjoying physical affection, I couldn’t help but wonder what intimacy was going to look like for me when the time came – if at all.
I’ve enjoyed a handful of relationships over the years, but dating when you’re someone with a disability isn’t easy. Physical safety is always on my mind. I use a wheelchair full-time and I live alone, so I’m acutely aware that if I brought someone home and things were to take a bad turn, I wouldn’t be able to get myself to safety.
While you're here, learn more about sexuality and dating for someone with a disability. Post continues after video.
The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability in 2021 found that women with disability are twice as likely to experience sexual violence in the course of a year than women without disability. And, from the age of 15, 46 per cent of women with cognitive disability and 50 per cent of women with psychological disability have experienced sexual violence (compared to 16 per cent of women without disability).