Tuppy Owens in 1998
|Born||Rosalind Mary Owens
November 12, 1944
|Occupation||Writer, therapist, campaigner|
Tuppy Owens was born in Cambridge. She gained a degree in zoology from Exeter University, and then worked in ecology in Africa and Trinidad. She settled in London, and worked as a scientific administrator at the Natural Environment Research Council. Then, in the late 1960s, she established a sex education book publishing company, for which she wrote and published The Sex Maniac’s Diary successfully between 1972 and 1995, and which she operated as a thriving business from her Mayfair flat — for example, the 1975 Sex Maniac's Diary was launched in August 1974 with a reception at the Bristol Hotel in London which was reported on the following day in the Financial Times.
From 1974, Owens also began lecturing on the subject of sex. In 1979, she started Outsiders Club, for people with disabilities seeking new friends and partners. From 1984, the Sex Maniac's Diary was published as The Safer Sex Maniac's Diary and provided the first visual instructions to the public on how to put a condom on securely; it also reviewed condoms and offered safer sex advice, all at the beginning of the outbreak of HIV.
In 1979, Owens started the Outsiders Club for socially and physically disabled people to find partners. She was helped by Nigel Verbeek, who had recently lost his sight. Both worked voluntarily, which Tuppy continues to do today. Outsiders is a warm and friendly club providing peer support to members, a beautiful online Clubhouse, and lovely monthly lunches around the country.
In order to ensure she answered the members' questions with accuracy, Owens trained as a sex therapist at St George's Hospital Medical School in London, where she gained a diploma in Human Sexuality in 1986. She was also subsequently awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Institute of Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. In 2009 Tuppy was named one of the Family Planning Association‘s 80 most influential achievers in the field of family planning.
For disabled men and women who want to learn what pleasures their bodies are capable of enjoying, and how to please a partner, Owens set up the TLC Trust website, where they can find responsible, safe sexual services.
In the 1990s, after more than 30 years living in London Tuppy Owens moved away and has, since then, lived in a croft in the North of Scotland.
In 2005, Tuppy Owens founded the Sexual Health and Disability Alliance (SHADA) to bring together health professionals interested in sex and disability. In November 2009, a conference with the title "Disability: Sex, Relationships and Pleasure" was held by SHADA with the Royal Society of Medicine. Tuppy produced the Sexual Respect Tool Kit and started the sexual advocacy service, ASAP. Tuppy also answers the Sex and Disability Helpline. Her book "Supporting Disabled People with their Sexual Lives" was published by Jessica Kingsley on 19 November 2014.
Owens remains active in running Outsiders. At the same time, she also oversees the Sex Maniacs Ball to fund Outsiders, and is the founder of another fundraiser, The Erotic Awards, now called The Sexual Freedom Awards. Owens is the chair of the Sexual Freedom Coalition
Owens is working with the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering in the hope that they will be able to create sex toys that can be used by disabled people who, without them, cannot masturbate.
Owens has won the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Lifestyles Awards.
- Photographs of caterpillars in Trinidad Scientific American: August 1967
- Sexual Harmony. London: Highbury Press, 1969
- Love in the Open Air. London: Cand Haven Ltd., 1970
- The Sex Maniac's Diary. London: Cand Haven Ltd., 1972-1995 (from 1987 called The Safer Sex Maniac's Diary)
- Column in Club International. London: Paul Raymond Publications, 1975–6
- Take Me I'm Yours. Edinburgh: Paul Harris Publishing, 1978
- Mothercare Diary. London: Readers Digest, 1980
- Practical Suggestions. London: Outsiders Trust, from 1980 to present
- Emotions in Focus — catalogue of the Exhibition of the same name which opened at The Round House in 1983 (International Year of Disabled People). London: the Outsiders Trust, 1983
- INSIDE. London: the Outsiders Trust, 1984–1998 and 2002–present
- The Sex Maniac's Bible. London: Cand Haven Ltd., 1989
- The Sex Maniac's Address Book. London: Cand Haven Ltd., 1989
- Little Book of Delights (annually). London: the Leydig Trust, 1989–present
- The Organ monthly. London: Cand Haven Ltd., 1990–1993
- The Making of Sensations. New York: Rhinoceros, 1993
- Introduction to Half Dressed, She Obeyed. Stockport: Divine Press, 1993
- The Politically Correct Guide to Getting Laid. London: Cand Haven Ltd., 1995
- The Sexual Skills and Needs of Disabled Men — A Female Perspective Sexuality & Disability Journal. New York: Kluwer Academic/Human Sciences Press, 1996
- Planet Sex — The Handbook. London: Cand Haven Ltd, 1996
- Disabled People Make the Best Clients presented at the ICOP Conference, Los Angeles 1997 and then globally
- A column in Desire 2000–2008
- Contributions to The Sex Book. London: Cassells, 2002
- Foreword to Baby Oil and Ice. London: The Do-Not Press, 2002
- Columns in Forum and Erotic Review, 2005–2009
- Content for the Sex and Disability section of the Lovers' Guide website 2007
- Philip's Aspidistra: the Owens' Bequest in About Larkin, Journal of the Philip Larkin Society No 24, October 2007
- Sex and Disability, an article on TheSite.org, Youthnet, 2009
- Chapters in A Guide to Sexual Dysfunction in Men. Leicestershire: Troubador Publishing Ltd., 2010
- Ten Things to Know About Sex and Disability. London: Royal College of Art and Imperial College, 2010
- Chapter entitled Disability and Sex Work in book Queer Sex Work, Taylor and Francis Books 2014
- Supporting Disabled People with their Sexual Lives, — a clear guide for health and social care professionals Jessica Kingsley 2014
- Cole Riley, SexIs magazine & website, 18 November 2010: article Dr. Tuppy Owens: The Sensual Patron Saint of the Disabled
- "Tuppy Owens: Interview with a Love Doctor". The Skinny. 17 June 2008. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009.
- The Observer Review, 24 September 1972: article by Pendennis Tuppyware
- Excerpt at allmediaScotland, 2 October 2008 from memoirs of Scottish war correspondent Paul Harris More Thrills than Skills — A Half-life in Journalism, Part 68
- The Financial Times, Thursday 22 August 1974
- The Evening Standard, Tuesday 9 April 1974, page 5: article by David Bentley Tuppy finds a way with the little red love book
- The Sex Maniac's Diary and The Safer Sex Maniac's Diary published annually 1972–1995.
- "Northern sexposure". 8 June 2008.Highland News: article about Dr Owens
- "Disability: Sex, relationships and pleasure". Royal Society of Medicine. 13 November 2009. Archived from the original on 29 October 2009.
- The Realist, Number 136: article by David Steinberg The Hookers Convention
- Grayson Perry (30 August 2006). "I'm all for good, clean dirty fun, me". The Times. Archived from the original on 1 May 2009.
- Marie Claire March 2009: article Meet the Sex Professionals