A fetish is like a spider web. A fetish means to have a sexual arousal to an object behavior or type of person. Simple enough, until you try to describe an individual’s fetish to someone. It is like trying to guide them to one particular span of a spider web, without pointing at it. Adding to the complexity many fetish can overlap each other. A person with a disability fetish may also have some parts of a medical fetish. We separate the two, explain them, and look at their differences.
I think most of us have been guilty of over using the term fetish at one time or another. Bragging about your favorite fishing rod does not mean you have a fishing rod fetish. While I have heard some of my friends describe their fishing rod as if it were an extension of their penis, in clinical terms it does not qualify as a fetish.
Abasiophilia is the medical term given to those who are sexually aroused by and attracted to disabled people. It may be a minor disability like missing fingers, or a profound one like blindness. Some of the most common disability fetish are a strong sexual attraction to amputee’s and paralyzed wheelchair users such as paraplegics and quadriplegics with a spinal cord injury.
The extreme form of disability fetish is a very strong desire to be disabled. So strong, a person with an extreme disability fetish may elect to have their legs broken, limbs amputated, or even paralyzed by having their spinal cord cut. These people are often called wheelchair wannabes, because they are attracted to and want to be in a wheelchair.
I know of one girl who loves wheelchairs so much she spent her first year of college living in one. At the end of the year she went to stand up out of the wheelchair and collapsed on the floor. By using a wheelchair for so long her leg muscles had wasted and they could no longer support her. She was quite happy about her new found disability.
Many find it hard to understand why any one would want to have a perfectly healthy limb amputated. I try to explain it this way. They do not find perfect people attractive. They see disabled as normal, and normal people as disabled. With an extreme atypical disability fetish they can feel very uncomfortable with a healthy limb. Only once that limb is disabled or removed do they feel good with it.
Less extreme disability fetish include the sexual arousal and attraction to disability equipment. The medical term for this is Paraphilia. By wearing leg braces, plaster casts, and using a wheelchair to feel disabled, they become sexually aroused. You may have heard of the term wheelchair pretender. Because wheelchair pretenders fake a disability for sexual arousal they are a much maligned group. Wheelchair pretenders are not seen in public very often. Please don’t go tipping people out of their wheelchair because you think they are faking it.
A disability fetish does not have to be a love of a particular object. It can take many forms. Some feel a strong sexual attraction to the actual disabled person. In the case of spinal cord injury they are known as wheelchair devotees. With an attraction to wheelchair users, a wheelchair devotee often knows what life in a wheelchair is like. Therefore, they make good lovers and life partners to wheelchair users.
Very few real wheelchair users have a disability fetish. They only use a wheelchair because they have to. Most wheelchair users do have an interest in disability and medical devices but it is not a sexual attraction or arousal. Wheelchair users may also be attracted to other wheelchair users, but again it is not usually in a disability fetish, or love interest kind of way. They are simply interested in like-minded people.
An atypical medical fetish is a strong attraction to medical apparatus purely for erotic sexual gratification. People with an extreme medical fetish use torturous medical devices, speculum’s, mouth and anal spreaders, enema kits, probes etc. They may even consent to false operations where they are surgically opened, and with nothing fixed or removed, sutured closed. An extreme medical fetish can be a dangerous thing.
In recent clinical observations extreme medical fetish are being aligned with identity disorders and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorders). OCD are an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, obsessions, or behaviors. They get a very strong compolsion to think or act a certain way. Often when it is acted on it results in self harm. For example, an obsession to wear a neck collar constantly will result in weak neck muscles causing all kinds of harmful problems. We do not condone self harm in any way.
Our featured model is sexually aroused by a skin tight rubber dress, wheelchair and stiff neck collar. It is not a case of extreme fetish or OCD. The restrictive elements are disability fetish. She likes the feeling of being disabled that they give. The apparatus that excite her, wheelchair and neck collar, are medical fetish. This is a prime example of how several fetish can overlap.
These less extreme medical fetish, the sexual arousal of wearing orthopedic leg braces (calipers), plaster casts, spinal braces, and wheelchairs are common. In such settings the wheelchair simply becomes a device to fuel erotic pleasure. The same way some people find a vibrator or lingerie sexually arousing. Some like the feel some like the look. For the most part these mild forms of medical fetish are harmless.
A medical fetish can include a sexual attraction to medical people. Doctor and nurse porn movies, people receiving medical examinations and so on. Most are simply role play, and they are not very good actors at that. You know, the movies where the patient suddenly finds their spinal cord injury is cured by the sight of a half dressed doctor or nurse, and well… you can guess the rest. If it were only that easy I would be walking. These “actors” give doctor’s, nurses, wheelchair pretenders and real wheelchair users a bad name.
It is rare for a real wheelchair user with a spinal cord injury to have a disability fetish. They may be interested in medical apparatus, wheelchairs and mobility equipment. They may have a great appreciation for doctors and nurses. But seldom is it in a sexual medical fetish way. Just as some people with a spinal cord injury use an enema, it is not by choice, they consider it a chore. We don’t find probes sexy.
Disability fetish are grossly mis-represented in the commercial sex industry. Gimp calendars and videos of amputees having sex are a poor representation of real life. In true atypical form a disability fetish is a sexual arousal to disability equipment or a desire to be disabled. A medical fetish can range from an attraction to wheelchairs to torturous medical devices. In the extreme a fetish can be harmful to your health.
Most disabled wheelchair users do not like to see wheelchair pretenders use a wheelchair to gain pity, sympathy, money, or special service. Neither does the general public. Wheelchair devotees are attracted to wheelchair users and so make good partners to them in love and life. However, not all wheelchair devotees have the best interests of wheelchair users in mind.
- All images used in this article are courtesy of Ultimate Psycho. Model; Lou Moon. You may not use or redistrubute any of the images that appear in this article without express written permission from the copyright holder; Ultimate Psycho.
- Blais MA, Smallwood P, Groves JE, Rivas-Vazquez RA. Personality and personality disorders. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 39.
- Feinstein RE, Connelly JV. Personality disorders. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 60.
- Koran LM, Hanna GL, Hollander E, Nestadt G, Simpson HB, et al. Practice guideline for the treatment of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 2007;164:5-53. [PubMed: 17849776]
- Abasiophilia: http://sites.google.com/site/abasioinfo/Home/
- Disaboom: Understanding disability fetishes and devotees
- Lou Moon: http://www.myspace.com/moon_lou
- Ruth Madison: http://www.ruthmadison.com/devoteeism/
- Ultimate Psycho: http://www.ultimate-psycho.com
- Wikipedia Disability Fetish: Attraction to disability
- Yahoo Answers: My Wheelchair Fetish Boyfriend, Do I need a wheelchair?