People Think My Date Is A Hero
If my partner is not assumed to be a criminal, then he's at the other end of the spectrum: a hero we should all aspire to be one day. Did he save the family from a burning house? Did he singlehandedly save the world from an alien invasion? Nope! He's a hero for having sex with a wheelchair girl. Let's give him the key to the city!
As we travel down the street together, some people will give him genuine looks of admiration. Their eyebrows raise a fraction, they flash a warm, condescending smile, and then they turn to their companions to discuss how sweet he is in whispers so loud they're more accurately described as breathy screams. Few ever speak to him directly. Why would they? Doing so might break the elaborate fiction they've created of a Superman walking among us, throwing lonely disabled girls a pity boning.
Short of shutting ourselves behind closed doors all day, it's inescapable. My fiance has mentioned to me more than once just how uncomfortable this makes him feel, and I can hardly blame him. He's here because he likes me, and he knows that I'm more than the wheels everyone else uses to define me. I read books. I write. I listen to music. I wear too much eyeliner. I attend wrestling shows. I like superhero movies. I'm terrible at Crash Bandicoot. I swear like a motherfucker. These are the reasons he's with me. Pity isn't one of them.
Besides, the closest he gets to heroism is when he remembers to put his underpants on before his jeans when he's drunk.
People Are Utterly Baffled (And Way Too Curious) About How I Have Sex
I've been asked whether I can feel anything. Can I orgasm? Can I satisfy my partner? Can I go for a normal length of time? Do I have to use special positions? Do I have to use contraception? Can I have sex at all? Has my vagina been sealed by a magic curse which can only be lifted by the love of a prince? I get these questions all the time. Fortunately, most people have had the decency to stop short of asking if they could watch.
You'd imagine that the worst offenders here are drunk men outside of pubs, but that couldn't be further from the truth. When I was collecting my contraceptive pill from the pharmacy, the middle-aged woman who was behind me in the queue asked me why I needed them. Out loud. In front of everyone. Truth be told, I take them for medical reasons as well as baby prevention, but that wasn't what she was driving at. So I turned around and told her it was because I got laid more often than she did. If I could sculpt her stunned expression in bronze and put it on my shelf as a little trophy, I would.
On another occasion, my male best friend, who I have never dated and never will, was spotted leaving my room at 1 a.m. after a movie marathon. The first thing one of my female flatmates said to me the next morning was, "So you can have sex, then?" Had I been less hung over, I would probably have had some witty response, but instead tried to create the kind of silence that lets people know you're quietly calling them stupid.
Sadly, this happens on a pretty consistent basis. I don't know what it is about the wheelchair, but the second someone gets comfortable enough with me to start asking personal questions (and it doesn't take long), the topic of sex comes up, and they get pretty goddamn blunt about it. I'm still confused as to why the wheelchair generates these kinds of behaviors in people, and why they take offense when I take offense to these queries. What are they expecting? For me to crack and give up all the juicy details like it's a police interrogation? No. I owe them nothing and they should expect nothing, other than a punch to the face as they're doubled over in pain after I've run over their foot in yet another perfectly executed exit.
Emma Steer, a.k.a. "Mini" (long story), has her own blog, "Diary of a Disabled Person," with new posts discussing her life released every Sunday. She also has a Facebook page accompanying the blog, sending out notifications with every new post, as well as the obligatory silly photos.
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