Our Founder – Trish St John
Trish St. John is a human resources and communications professional
from Vancouver, BC with over 20 years of experience in the corporate
sector. Her work in developing leading-edge corporate wellness
initiatives is well-known and respected. Among many accolades, she
was nominated for a YWCA “Woman of Distinction” award in 1999.
Trish is the founder and owner of Sensual Solutions.
……”After a long career in the corporate sector, I planned an early retirement in 2002 and then took a year off to travel and dream. I wanted a complete change. And that’s what I got. For the next seven years I worked as a business and communications consultant, and sales/booking agent for one of Vancouver’s top legal escort agencies – helping to take it from a small start-up, to a large successful and legal entity.
During my time at the agency, I discovered that disabled adults, and parents of adult children with special needs and disabilities, were in search of a service that would help them; but there was nothing specifically designed that was available. In 2008, I began to research the topic of disability and sexual health.
Using Craigslist, I gathered a small volunteer focus group of disabled adults ranging from participants with quadriplegia to low-vision. They were very forth-coming in their experiences. I was shocked to hear the stories of abuse and disrespect that some disabled adults faced when dealing with sex-workers. I was saddened to learn about the lack of understanding or empathy in the Care-Aide profession – its an employment/sexual harassment issue – when it came to assisting with such things as condoms or other accommodation. And I was surprised that I couldn’t find any educational components focusing on sex and disability in any of the nursing or care aide programs.
Serendipitously, in my personal life, the universe lead me to a handsome man who happened to not have the use of his body from the waist down. He proved that sensuality begins in the brain. Well my brain thanks him! The summer I spent with him left me with very treasured sensual and satisfied memories. Through his own inclination and perseverance, he learned to rewire his erogenous zones. There was no manual or resource for him to use. After his injury no one wanted to discuss anything to do with his sexual needs. He said he felt like the door is closed if you are different – that’s it – done, over – you don’t get to feel pleasure or be an erotic being or have romance. Thank goodness he didn’t believe it. He was a source of inspiration for me to continue on with my idea of creating something different. Thank you B. Wherever you are.
Why would we marginalize and shut-out a whole group of people based on being differently-abled? Is there an addendum to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs that says “except for those who’s bodies don’t function the same as ours?” Basic human rights include all humans regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability or challenge.
In the autumn of 2011, Sensual Solutions was launched in Vancouver, BC. We were thrilled with the positive response from groups like EASE Canada, Vancouver sex therapists, SCI-BC, and other individuals who work in spinal cord re-habilitation. Thank you Vancouver!” ………
If you would like to learn more about Sensual Solutions and re-inventing intimacy for yourself or someone you know, please contact us. We are also on Facebook and Twitter.