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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 October 2005, 08:32 GMT 09:32 UK
Dane fights for state-funded sex
Prostitutes in Amsterdam, where brothels are legal
Mr Hansen called for Danish sex laws to be more like Holland's
A disabled Danish man is fighting for the state to pay for him to have a prostitute visit him at home.

Torben Hansen, who has cerebral palsy, which severely affects his speech and mobility, believes his local authority should pay the extra charge he incurs when he hires a sex worker - because his disability means he cannot go to see them. His case is currently being considered.

In Denmark, local authorities compensate disabled people for extra costs incurred because of their disability.

"I want them to cover the extra expenses for the prostitutes to get here, because it's a lot more expensive getting them to come to my home rather than me going to a brothel," Mr Hansen told BBC World Service's Outlook programme.

"It's a necessity for me. I can't move very well, and it's impossible for me to go there."

'Unfair'

In Denmark, prostitution and other forms of sex work are not illegal so long as it is not a woman's sole means of income.

Mr Hansen started seeing a prostitute after attending a course at a social centre.

There, he and other disabled people were taught that if they had needs, they "could do something about it".

"I had a strong desire to have sex, and I think I gained the confidence around that time to get the call girls to come to me.

We spend tax money on trying to prevent prostitution - and we have a clear policy that this is a social problem that we want to solve
Danish MP Kristen Brosboel
"Since then I've had a lot of escort girls coming to see me - but I've also had girlfriends."

He had been with his last girlfriend for six months, but she died in 2003. After that, Mr Hansen began arranging for visits to begin again.

He also said there had been "much research" into people in his situation, and that it had showed that not being sexually fulfilled can lead to "frustration and aggression".

"It's unfair to deny people with disabilities the right to a sex life," he added.

Mr Hansen said the reaction to his campaign had been "very mixed."

"Most of it's been positive, but I've read some very angry letters and comments in the papers... a lot of politicians have been critical, especially women politicians against prostitution."

Kristen Brosboel, a Social Democrat member of the Danish Parliament, is among those who have argued against Mr Hansen.

"Obviously I recognise that he has a problem that people without a disability may not have - but I disagree with the fact that we should support his visits with a prostitute with tax money," she told Outlook.

"We also spend tax money on trying to prevent prostitution, helping women out of prostitution - and we have a clear policy that this is a social problem that we want to solve.

"So I think that's very much in contradiction with spending tax money on requiring prostitutes."


SEE ALSO
Making sex pay
17 Jul 03 |  Europe
Dutch OK sex for sale
30 Sep 00 |  Europe



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