Impassioned about freedom of sexual expression, Australian sex worker Rachel Wotton has become highly specialized in working with clients with disability. Rachel’s philosophy, that human touch and sexual intimacy can be some of the most therapeutic aspects to our existence, is making a dramatic impact on the lives of her clients, Mark and John. Both have nothing but praise for her talents. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 26 years ago, John now drives around in a chin-controlled wheelchair, but after ongoing sessions with Rachel, he has regained body movement that he thought was lost forever. His self-esteem and overall improvement have amazed his doctors.
Mark, a client with Cerebral Palsy, has gone through life trying to establish an intimate relationship. Confined to a wheelchair and speaking via an electronic communication board, dating has not been easy. Mark has come to love his body and has always dreamt of falling asleep with a woman and waking up beside her in the morning. While Rachel’s clients give a glimpse into their sexual self-discovery, Scarlet Road follows Rachel as she strives to increase awareness and access to sexual expression for people with disability. Rachel is also an active campaigner for both policy makers and the general public to recognise that sex work is work. She has been a part of an international movement to try to gain rights for sex workers and to end the social stigma and discriminatory practices that surround their occupation.
To bring greater understanding of her work she has helped set up ‘Touching Base’ and has travelled overseas to present at conferences. On a journey to the UK, Denmark and Sweden, Rachel meets up with sex workers and people with disabilities, as well as making quite an impression as a speaker at the World Congress on Sexual Health. Up against a hectic work schedule Rachel is endeavoring to graduate from the University of Sydney, with a Masters degree in Sexual Health. She has big dreams and hopes to secure funding for Touching Base to expand their training workshops for organisations and sex workers. Eventually Rachel hopes to help create the world’s first not-for-profit brothel – a centre of excellence for training that enables sex workers to upskill and share their knowledge when providing services to clients with disability.