MELANIE Hawkes, 43, is a civil servant from Perth, Australia.
“Opening the door to his apartment, Chayse the male escort smiled and welcomed me and my support worker Tracy* in.
While Tracy helped me from my wheelchair on to the massage table, I couldn’t believe that, aged 43, I was about to have my first intimate experience.
I was just two when I was diagnosed with transverse myelitis – a disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord, which led to my legs becoming paralysed and the movement in my arms limited.
Some people fully recover, but I didn’t. I got my first wheelchair a year later and I’ve been in one ever since.
Growing up, my parents treated me the same as my three brothers and encouraged me to do things for myself. While I led a fulfilling life with friends and family, I’d never had a sexual experience.
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At university, I liked a guy – but after he was teased about having feelings for me, he kept his distance, which hurt. Afterwards I told myself I’d never have a relationship.
When I finished uni, I began working part-time as a civil servant and made my life a success, despite needing support workers such as Tracy to help with everyday tasks. Then, in December last year, I got Covid.
Because I’d had to sleep upright to help me breathe, I developed neck and back pain, and Tracy offered to massage them. It was the first time I’d been touched so intimately.
It made me dizzy with pleasure and prompted Tracy to tell me about disability escorts. Initially, I was surprised, but, working from home the following day, it was all I could think about.
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I decided I wanted to experience sex and felt a thrill as I found an independent escort website. When I saw Chayse’s picture, I knew instantly he was the one.
As well as being gorgeous, he’d had experience with disabled clients, which was a plus – I wanted my first time to go as smoothly as possible. I sent a message and 10 minutes later he rang, putting me instantly at ease.
We arranged a video call where I explained my disability.
He suggested we start with a two-hour erotic massage, costing £215, and build up from there.
Tracy was delighted for me.
A few days later, she took me to Chayse’s house and helped me on to the massage table, before waiting outside for 20 minutes to make sure I didn’t need help before she left. I was scared, but also excited.
I wrote Chayse a list of what I was and wasn’t comfortable with to avoid any awkwardness, and when he stripped down to his underwear, my heart fluttered.
Over the next two hours, he made sure I was comfortable as I experienced sexual touch for the first time. I knew I was safe as Chayse regularly tests for STIs.
Afterwards, I couldn’t wait to see Chayse again. Two weeks later he came to my house, as it was better equipped for my needs. We were together for three exhilarating hours, costing £455, during which I lost my virginity.
We used protection and tried different positions, which all felt so good, although I did ache the next day as I’d used muscles I hadn’t used before. I have now seen him eight times, and he’s opened me up to a world I’d been missing for so long. I’m loving every minute.
I may see Chayse again, but I do want to find a partner. Before now, I didn’t think men would find me attractive, or I’d be able to arouse them, but Chayse has shown me I am and I can, and now I feel differently.
I know some people will judge me, but if you don’t have a disability, you don’t know what it’s like.
When I told my parents, Dad told me to do what made me happy and Mum told me she was proud. Looking back, I wish I’d done it sooner. But then, I might have never met Chayse.
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I’m telling my story so people with disabilities know there are options for intimacy, via fully vetted escorts. We deserve to feel loved and desired, like anyone else.”
Around 300 new cases of transverse myelitis are diagnosed each year in the UK.
The peak ages for the disorder are 10-19 and 30-39.
User-led charity Enhance The UK has launched an online hub for disabled people on all things sex-and relationship-related.
- As told to: Natasha Todd *Name has been changed
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