Do we know each other?

Hello, my name is Jose, I am 45 years old and my boyfriend’s name is Luisfer, he is 13 years older than me and together we rediscovered our sexuality, but this time starting again from a process of self-acceptance, valuing and respecting first of all the emotional rhythms of the other person, not thinking only about oneself but also and above all about the other. It was very difficult in an institutionalized environment like a nursing home, a micro world where everything is magnified because we are often objectified, not only our rights but also our spaces, our emotions… A place where we stop living and limit ourselves in the broadest sense, just surviving, and that’s why independent living is so necessary: to be able to have a real home in which we can rely on personal care, to be the architects of our lives and be able to choose how and with whom we live. And, of course, sexual accompaniment is also very necessary, an essential human support in our case, as in many others, to be able to decide and realize how we want to live and enjoy our sexuality as a couple. It is necessary, we would almost dare to say indispensable, to make this figure visible, and it is the first step to be able to legalize sexual accompaniment, which has nothing to do with prostitution. The sexual escort is a person who under no circumstances replaces us, but follows our directions to make, for example, postural changes as we would make them ourselves. To make an analogy that everyone can understand, it is something similar to a personal assistant but related to sexuality.

What is commonly called “coming out of the closet,” is such a trite, worn-out, and outdated expression that, as you can see, I don’t like it at all. For me it was more of an open-handed reality check, facing my fears, seeing in the mirror something that I already knew and wanted. I just couldn’t recognize the fact that I wasn’t what was expected of me. This broke all my patterns and after two years of difficult, intense and continuous inner struggle, one day, without knowing how, I looked in the mirror and said to myself, “Jose, stop this nonsense, you are in love with a man and that’s all there is to it.” Suddenly an invisible but very heavy backpack fell off my back, which is why I identify the process people call coming out of the closet as letting go of the backpack, that ballast that too often drags you down, preventing you from being yourself.

Hello, my name is Luisfer, I am almost 58 years old, and meeting Jose has turned my life around in many ways. Perhaps the most important was the change in my attitude toward life itself, something I saw in him from the very beginning. His courage in crossing the country to meet me, his affection, love and understanding for me made many things in my life skyrocket-and of course everything changed for the better. He made me see things from a different perspective, he gave me and still gives me unconditional understanding and support that I was not used to, and so, in time, I became a different person. Hand in hand we rediscovered many things: our bodies, giving ourselves to the other person in such a different way, where everything is deeper, more sensitive and more complete, and independent living (which I invite readers to learn about because it goes far beyond the desire to live at home with personal care, it is the realization of yourself as a person). Love and mutual support not only redefine you as a person, but also open up a new life full of possibilities.

Independent living and sexual accompaniment in Spain, another great unfinished business

Although it often does not seem like it to our surroundings, people with functional diversity have a sexuality as vibrant and intense as any other person’s, sometimes even much richer emotionally, precisely because we often do not enjoy it when and how we would like to, so when we have the opportunity we give it the value it has and deserves.
Every moment of our life as a couple, no matter how difficult it may be, is sometimes magical, and our few but intense affective sexual encounters are a source of communication, an explosion of affection, desire and a continuous demonstration of mutual admiration and respect; every caress, every gesture, every look, every kiss and, why not, every ejaculation is an orgasm that physically is fleeting, but emotionally leaves an indelible mark that illuminates our souls.
Sexuality is not only a source of life from a biological point of view, but also a perfect and great conductor of sensations. Perhaps we should reflect, see and understand that fellatio and/or masturbation, although it may not seem like it, are acts that go far beyond our genitals. They are sources of sincere affection, love and respect in the same way that caresses, kisses, glances, attitudes and gestures of complicity can be. Sexual and emotional relationships: the magical play of the senses, the chance to know and explore our bodies as well as our emotions, seeing ourselves as we are in our pure state, without sociological disguises, stereotypes or prejudices.
Even with different kinds of help, human and technological support, sexuality is an augmentative and alternative means of communication, since communicating means transmitting, expressing; in short, body language in all its glory.
In this as in many other matters, I wonder on what basis certain organizations call us, who belong to the independent living movement in Spain, elitist. Does working, struggling and betting to try to achieve our happiness seem to them something illicit? Our view is that this constant and relentless pursuit is precisely what humanizes us, since it is an inseparable part of our nature. We often give and share our souls through it, but we must not forget that sexuality can and must be adapted to the many different needs and realities of each person. Sexuality is in itself and in all its forms a factor in human development, knowledge and personal growth, as well as a wonderful vehicle for connecting with our psyche.
Personally, I rarely experience it as fully as I would like, but as much as the different phases and circumstances of my life allow me to, in one way or another I always practice it and enjoy it as if each day were my last. It is true that on many occasions being forced to live it and experience it with only the support of one’s own hands and imagination makes it insufficient, not from the physical point of view, where with greater or lesser difficulty one almost always achieves fantastic orgasms, but it is true that sometimes a deep emptiness floods the soul, because one feels the need to share and feel the breath, warmth, passion and vibration of a person who in this case is of the same sex as me, a man with whom to share unforgettable experiences. Sexuality is an exercise of full emotional, sensory and certainly supra-rational awareness, in which we liberate and empower ourselves by connecting in all its fullness with our inner and outer selves, our deepest desires and fears, wishes, dreams, fantasies and needs for self-actualization. In short, in my case, a whole cycle that generates a continuous “emotional spring” with storms and clearings. This is “diverse pleasure,” a human right in all its fullness.
When love, desire and pleasure merge into one, we are elevated, we reach the pinnacle of awareness understood as the highest connection and form of communication with the true, authentic and pure essence of the human being, which in our case is summed up in the following sentence: There was a before and an after we met and connected with each other.

Jose López Marín and Luisfer Sánchez-Moreno