By David Knox on November 27, 2011
On Friday night, SBS screens a documentary which is nominated for a Walkley Award tonight.
Scarlet Road: A Sex Worker’s Journey explores the world of sex workers who service disabled clients.
One of the best signs of a good doco is access to its subjects.
What’s remarkable about this one isn’t just that sex workers are giving interviews -that’s been done before. But how brave of disabled clients to talk about their needs for sexual gratification, and allowing cameras to discreetly film intimate moments.
The doco is frank, but not explicit, and educational to those of us who have no understanding of how fragile this world is.
Impassioned about freedom of sexual expression, Australian sex worker Rachel Wotton works with many clients who have disabilities. Her work is the subject of the 2011 Walkley Award-nominated documentary, Scarlet Road: A Sex Worker’s Journey.
Filmed over a three year period, the program follows Rachel in her relationship with John, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 26 years ago, and Mark, a client with cerebral palsy and reveals the therapeutic aspects of human touch and sexual intimacy. This unique documentary gives voice to two men generously sharing moments of sexual self-discovery.
Scarlet Road: A Sex Worker’s Journey shows Rachel in her daily life and follows her on a journey to the UK, Denmark and Sweden, where she meets with sex workers, people with disabilities and their families, as well as making quite an impression as a speaker at the World Congress for Sexual Health.
In addition to undertaking a Masters in Sexual Health at the University of Sydney, Rachel is an activecampaigner for the rights of sex workers. She co-founded the charitable organisation Touching Base to connect people with disabilities and sex workers – focusing on access, discrimination, human rights, legal issues and the social stigma that these two marginalised communities can face.
Rachel’s dream is to raise enough money to set up Touching Base in every state and territory in Australia -and then the world.
10:05pm Friday on SBS ONE.