I came across a Medium post in which my dear friend, rapper Esoteric Quality, wrote that boundaries and consent was one thing the blind community must change in order to become more solid and coherent and get things done. I couldn’t agree more. There were predators that I told him about that preyed on the friends I’ve made here in Colorado. A young woman from Idaho was preyed upon by a man who now lives the easy life in California and denies the existence of a ten-year-old son. This man, whose name I won’t mention, says the kid isn’t his, but my old friend Doc knows all. He’s hardly the only one, this California cassanova I speak of, and there are more blind men out there who have deviant sexual behaviors and attitudes toward women and young girls. HEre is a composite sketch of what sex offense treatment should look like for blind sex offenders, men and women.
Let’s suppose that the cowboy Cassanova in the previous narrative did get popped for sex offense, rape and assault. What is the consequence for normal sex offenders? Well, serial rapists get registered, their names and addresses get flared up on all sides of the Sex Offender Registry. This guy is hardly, like I said, the only blind person who needs sex offender treatment, but we often deny that there are predators in our midst.
HEre in my composite sketch, we have Jason, a man who is about six feet two inches, blonde hair, and blue eyes, and happens to be blind. He had a privileged childhood, for the most part, but when Jason turned 12, he was exempted out of sexual health and education class. His mom said, on the teacher’s right side without Jason knowing it, “He’s blind. HE’ll never have sex, and I don’t want him to get married. Who’d marry him?” Jason later went home one day, and got bored. As a blind person, he thought he’d be exempt from boundary issues, but his sister, Shannon, was hanging out with friends in her bedroom. Jason went in to Shannon’s room, and the next thing the girls knew, he had his poor sister on the floor, was fondling her down there, and squeezed her breasts. Shannon went ballistic, told her mother, and her brother, blind and a sexual deviant, went to juvenile detention.
Let’s suppose Jason did not do the deviant thing I outlined earlier. LEt’s suppose, then, that he is 24 years old, and is a student at a rehabilitation center for the blind. Jason with the clean record at this age could still have deviant sexual attitudes towards women because by this time, even without deviance towards a sister or a friend of his sister’s, Jason is lonely, bored, and anxious. Suppose by now, his mom has never told him one thing about sex, never taught him about sex, not through books or classes or anything. One day, Jason finds Susan, a young girl of 18, autistic and blind, perhaps in Jason’s mind, the perfect target. While they’re making out furiously one day outside in a gazebo, Jason takes off the girl’s clothes, and without her consent, he rapes her.
Either way, it is imperative that if we want to avoid blind sexual deviants in our midst, we must force them to take a sexual education and civics class. I will stress the class’s module design, for I don’t know if books exist for blind people that are up to date and talk about sexuality and disability. LGBTQIA peoples should get the best and most up to date information about sex and sexuality, period, and have healthy discussions about sex with family, friends, and neighbors.
HEre’s how the class would look, and who it would be taught to.
- Start with anatomy. Most sex books start with male and female anatomy, but do realize that the pictures of male and female anatomy don’t add up as much as seeing a 3d model. I’ve seen a plastic penis, for instance, so why not show both sexes the plastic penis and vagina models? Show them plastic nude male and female bodies, I mean plastic ones. This way, they know and are familiar with what is to touch and what is not good.
- Consent for both sexes. Blind male sex offenders should be encouraged to be accountable for their behavior as with normal sex offense. With the middle and high school students though, they should learn consent for both sexes. IF a female says no, it means no. IF a male is allowed to pressure a female into sex, he’s got it wrong. Males should learn not to rape, so let’s say we teach all males, blind ones included, to worship women in appropriate ways. This means sure, you can hug a female in crisis, but sexual parts of the body must be kept sacred for both sexes, period.
- STD’s and STI’s. All sex ed classes for high school and middle school folks should include comprehensive information about how you get STI’s. For example, AIDS cannot be gotten through handshakes. And not all teens who choose to have consentual sex get these. Blind female teenagers as well as their male counterparts should learn consent, and if they do decide, should not be ashamed of it. BLind teen girls and guys alike should know all the ins and outs of STI infections and how to treat these. AIDS may not have a cure, but Hepatitis C does, so does Chlamydia and many others. HErpes may not have a cure, but there is the gardicil vaccine that may be able to protect boys and girls against HPV, human papilomavirus, which causes not only warts and herpes, but cervical cancer.
- Sex is not a dirty word. Teens should be taught that marriage may never happen for them if they are disabled, not to say it won’t happen, but about 80% of blind adults are single, live at home with their families, or both. And how hard is it to find a mate? A lot harder for us blind folks than we’d like to admit. Relationships should never be judged on the basis of religious holy text and decrees that a disabled person should wait until marriage to have sex. Marriage costs a lot of money, more than the $30 license that says you are bound in marriage. For a blind couple, money is cut from their checks, and their checks might not be enough to live on. We are 80% likely not to find work, or able to get a meaningful job because employers simply won’t hire us. Therefore, sex without marriage is often the only expression of love that two disabled adults can do. So what do we say to those disabled teenagers who could or could not become sexually offending adults? It’s okay to tell your family how you feel, safely in words, of course, but the big thing is consenting on both parties. If a male doesn’t want it rough, that’s his call. Females should be allowed to pleasure themselves, practice feeling sexy, or perhaps find it within themselves to find all the sexy stuff within.
- For both genders, sex toys should b e used as an enhancement for the couple’s spiciness in the bedroom. If you’re alone, the toys are great for pleasuring yourself and relieving stress if needed. IF you’re not feeling particularly sexy enough, you could grab a stress ball, a stuffed animal, a favorite comfort object as my middle school teacher would say, and just hug the comfort object in your arms or squeeze the ball. A punching bag is much much better than punching out your spouse on Jerry Springer, which is happily over. Most adults who sexually offend don’t realize they are impacting their victims the way they do. They are told to take anger management classes, do therapy and group counseling, and for those who abuse children, they are not allowed contact with them. Back to my example. If Jason is in a group of sex offenders, he should have access to the treatment so he can of course be motivated to change, and the therapists should strip his right to use his disability as a means to abuse people, including a sister or girlfriend, and replace it with genuine empathy as illustrated in many books and templates by others. Empathy is hard to teach, sure, but my boyfriend, my fiance has empathy. He has the healthy image of me as a female, doesn’t have deviant sexual attitudes. I’d like to thank him for who he is from the bottom of my heart.
So what is the basics of sex offender treatment? Leigh Baker’s book Protecting Your Children from SExual Predators explains all the basics and how sex offenders, male and female, get treated. However, Dr. Baker forgot that blind adults sexually offend. So calling out such people is not a crime, it’s a service we must do in order to protect females from being impregnated unnecessarily by blind sex offenders. I’d like to thank Esoteric Quality for writing about this, and allowing me to share in the triumph of your writing, it’s amazingly awesome. I’d also like to give credit to all the guys who understand the all important “No means no.”