‘I help disabled people lose their virginity – I’d describe myself as part therapist, part prostitute’

“There isn’t a job title for me,” Beverlee Lewis confesses.

The 49-year-old mum of three has sex – or does other sexual acts – with severely disabled people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

“Part therapist, part prostitute” is how she describes her job in simple terms.

“It’s like being a regular sex worker,” Beverlee, who lives in West London, tells My London. “Although, I don’t let my clients objectify me or use me for their entertainment, or for their instant gratification; It’s about sexual health and wellness recovery.”

She got into the unique career from a background in dance movement therapy and after completing psychosexual somatics training, a type of sexual therapy.

Beverlee describes her work as helping disabled people explore their sexuality by straddling the line between being a partner surrogate and sex worker.

“I don’t get turned on by people ‘s disability, I am not fetishising them but I do ask myself how can they have a happy, healthy sex life,” she says.

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Beverlee is listed on the TLC Trust – an online listing for sex workers that work with people with disabilities

People with disabilities looking for this treatment find Beverlee listed on the TLC Trust – an online listing for sex workers that work with people with disabilities, something she started doing in August 2020.

She says it’s not about sexual gratification but the reward of giving people with disabilities a chance to do something they thought wasn’t possible.

“Many of my clients never had the opportunity to explore sex as teenagers, they were dealing with health problems or fighting for basic rights, like accessibility and funding for basic care needs.

“They feel like they don’t have a right to sexuality. Their disability or their physical health has overridden that part of development.”

She stresses that while some disabled people have active and full sex lives, many don’t and some choose not to.

“It’s all about having the choice. Sexual expression is a human right.”

Clients from their 20s to their 70s will approach her and begin the process of unpacking what it is that they want to explore about their sexuality.

She says she asks “how I can facilitate and enable their sexual expression and erotic potential?”.

Their desires can be anything from them wanting to lose their virginity to yearning to explore some kink or discover their sexual identity. It’s often something from porn that they want to re-enact.

“That’s a challenging one for me,” Beverlee admits. “It happens a lot because that’s where my clients are getting their ideas about sex from.

“They ask me to do things they’ve seen and I don’t do it straight off the bat, that might be something we can explore later, but I’m going to unpack that with them first.”

Once Beverlee is comfortable to work with a new client, she will travel to their house or sometimes a hotel room – although she prefers not to use the latter – for a minimum two-hour session. Sometimes they are longer and can be overnight.

Nothing sexual happens in the first hour of the session – that’s for “laying the foundations for intimacy.” She does this by playing different games like the ‘no game’ where both parties learn to feel safe enough to say no in unwanted situations.

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“I ask them a list of things like ‘can I sit next to you? Can I hold your hand? Can I put your penis in my mouth?'”. She says it’s about exploring boundaries and teaching consent.

In the second hour of the session they become more intimate. Each session is different and depends on what the client is looking to explore.

But it isn’t only her clients who get satisfaction.

“More often than not my clients are unable to meet me in my sexuality, but sometimes they specifically say they want to do a session around pleasuring me and they want to learn how to pleasure a woman,” Beverlee explains.

She shared a particular client story that she believes encapsulates what both parties get out of her work.

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One of her clients, a man in his 50s, had bladder incontinence so wore a catheter. Unfortunately their session became very messy and unhygienic.

“I thought there’s no possible way we can have sex,” she said.

Her client was left distraught by the situation and asked Beverlee to come back and cuddle him.

“I really didn’t want to,” she said. “So I was honest and said how I was really turned off and I don’t know how to work with him.”

He asked to see Beverlee again but she was conflicted: “I thought there must be some kind of way this guy can express his sexuality. That’s my job, to help him work that out in a way that’s okay for me as well.”

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‘Most of my clients never had the opportunity to fumble with their girlfriends when they were teenagers, they were busy having surgery’

“Afterwards he cried with joy. It was so beautiful. He’s said no one’s ever done that before or given him that kind of attention.

“They are so marginalised and discarded by society so to see him and others smile and know their worth makes me feel amazing. He’s now a regular client,” she said.

The experiences Beverlee provides have been life changing, she says. “They have more confidence, love themselves more and they give themselves permission to have more pleasure.”

But sometimes there have been attachment issues. “A lot of clients fall in love with me,” she says.

She recalls one client who was living out the fantasy of Beverlee being his newly-wedded wife. He sent love letters and poetry to her every day, which she called “time consuming”.

“It’s to be expected, but they know we are in a transactional agreement and sometimes I have to remind them of that,” she says.

Beverlee has seen 40 clients in the past year. The going-rate for such a tailored service is between £125 and £175 per hour depending on their financial circumstances, allowing her to earn a yearly salary of around £60,000.

She sees between three to five clients a week, never on the same day, and they usually have two-hour sessions.

Many pay extra for four-hour sessions and some pay for her to stay overnight to experience the sensation of waking up next to a woman.

However, she claims she “doesn’t do it just for the money” and cuts her hourly rate substantially for anyone not employed and having to use government funding to pay for her services.

One client, a 30-year-old with autism and cerebral palsy, had his £225,000 funding cut by the NHS in April because it was deemed “an inappropriate use of taxpayers’ funds”.

Of that, £23 a week was allocated for sessions with Beverlee, who was his first sexual partner in September 2020.

“It’s not helpful when lawyers and MPs say things like ‘we don’t want to use taxpayers’ money to hire prostitutes’, which completely misses the point and it’s just a slur and really degrading to what we do,” she says.

“[That client] was getting funding because of his issues around whether or not he was allowed to have sex, he thought no one wanted him.

“Then there are MPs paid with taxpayers’ money and how many have been caught in sex scandals with prostitutes? It’s so hypocritical and they’re denying someone who has a disability and clearly needs funding to explore their right to have a sexual experience.”

Beverlee, whose three daughters are aged 18, 20 and 25, says she has never had negative feedback for her work from her friends or family.

“When I tell people it’s exclusively with disabled people, it’s like they get it straight away knowing it’s a marginalised group in society and that there is a valid reason for it. That helps to legitimates my work.

“But regardless of how you dress it up it is sex work. Even though I’m not letting people objectify me, at the end of the day they are still paying me for a sexual experience.”

She admits was difficult to step away from the shame and stigma of her job, but she’s now let go of those feelings and now wants to set an example to her clients that “what they are doing isn’t bad, wrong or shameful.”

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Beverlee says honesty is the key to making her job work

“These disabilities are so common yet they are put to one side and not catered for,” says Beverlee.

“Disabled people don’t fit the beauty standards in our culture and partly that’s because the standards of what is sexy and desirable in our culture is ridiculously unattainable for anyone, let alone if you are in a wheelchair.

“Like the dating game for instance – if you are severely disabled it’s not so easy to hook up on Tinder. A lot of my clients can’t even use Tinder because they can’t use their hands to swipe.

“Other than what I provide, their only option is to hire an outright sex worker but all of my clients say that their experiences with sex workers is not what they want.”

She continues: “They don’t want to be serviced, they don’t want an impersonal encounter with someone who comes in, does the job and leaves. It leaves them feeling empty and shameful, like what they’ve done is seedy.

“People want genuine, authentic, intimate connection and that’s what I provide.”

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