Melanie Hawkes has lived with a disability for most of her life and “never felt sexy or wanted” until a decision changed everything for the better.
The 43-year-old from Perth was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a condition caused by inflammation of the spinal cord, as a toddler and is quadriplegic with limited movement in her arms.
Earlier this year in January, she lost her virginity to a male escort and says it helped her find a newfound confidence in herself.
Melanie told FEMAIL that December’s recovery from Covid sparked her curiosity about sex, and she wishes she’d tried it sooner.
These days, she’s busy dating and eager to meet eligible suitors — she even keeps a spreadsheet of the people she’s met, kissed, and slept with.
Melanie Hawkes (pictured) has been living with a disability since she was 23 months old. As a toddler, she was diagnosed with transverse myelitis – a condition caused by inflammation of the spinal cord
She has “never felt sexy” all her life but everything changed when in January of this year she decided to hire an escort and had sex for the first time. Now she goes out and meets new people
“I never thought I would ever have sex in my life. I never thought anyone would want me or think I’m sexy,” she said.
“I was always curious about other people’s sex lives and asked my counselors about it, but I just didn’t think it was an option for me. In high school, the thought of romance or boys never crossed my mind.”
Everything changed when she caught Covid and initially thought it would kill her.
“Covid wasn’t half as bad as I thought it would be — so when I recovered I said to myself, ‘OMG! I’m going to start life,” she recalled.
One night after being lowered into the bath, Melanie told her nurse that she had a sore, stiff neck from sitting up all night.
“She was washing my hair and then started massaging my neck, which felt really good. No one had ever touched me like that before. I told her afterwards,” she recalls.
Then she asked me, “Have you ever thought about employing a sex worker with a disability?” I laughed and replied, “Is that even legal here?” she said yes. From there I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
“I was so fascinated and spent all weekend Googling.”
She searched for independent escorts through countless websites, but only a handful worked with people with disabilities.
“Only a few showed their faces, fewer registered disabled clients among their services, and I didn’t want someone in their 20s,” Melanie said.
It was then that she ran into 35-year-old Chayse.
“I really liked his beautiful smile, he looked mature, I read his profile and he had reasonable rates too, so I emailed him on Monday – 10 minutes later he called me,” she said.
“We talked for 20 minutes, I asked what felt like a million questions about where to start, and I told him I hadn’t had any sexual experiences yet.
“So he suggested a two-hour erotic massage.”
“I was always curious about other people’s sex lives and asked my counselors about it, but I just didn’t think it was an option for me. In high school, the thought of romance or boys never crossed my mind,” she said
She eventually booked the session with Chayse for January, and they arranged a video call beforehand with the help of her supporter to discuss technical details, consent, and boundaries.
“On the day I was so nervous but also excited. I didn’t know what to expect. My assistant Tracy* accompanied me to his place to help me onto the massage table,” Melanie said.
Although she felt “completely at ease” and “comfortable” in Chayse’s presence, the massage was “uncomfortable” at times, but the two laughed it off.
The experience left Melanie more curious and wanting more, so the next day she emailed Chayse a list of her fantasies.
“It was a bucket list of things I’d never done before — like kissing, slow dancing with a guy, spooning in bed, and taking a bath together. Sex wasn’t on the list.’
She booked Chayse back in and he came to her house two weeks later.
First he started massaging her and they were able to check kissing off Melanie’s list.
Later in the session, the two had sex.
“It was like an out of body experience, he was very gentle and thoughtful,” Melanie said.
For four months, the two also had several baths together.
Melanie searched for independent escorts through numerous websites, but only a handful worked with people with disabilities. It was then that she ran into 35-year-old Chayse. During the second session, the two had sex
Over the course of four months, she booked Chayse for eight sessions and spent a total of $13,150, a portion of which she was able to recover through NDIS
Over the course of four months, she booked Chayse for eight sessions and spent a total of $13,150, a portion of which she was able to recover through NDIS.
Since then, she has also recently started dating and wishing she had sex sooner.
“Chayse opened up a new world of fun that I had been denied all my life,” she said.
“He made me feel like a woman first, not a disabled woman. I learned that I can wear lingerie, feel sexy and please a man.’