Tag Archives: disability sex

Wheelchair Lovers Dating Paraplegics

We have been dating for about a month now. Our relationship is still as exciting as it was on our first dating paraplegic girls night you may have read about. We have a very open relationship at work now that Jeff is comfortable with dating paraplegics and wheelchair lovers. We have even made friends with other wheelchair couples who are new to dating.

Cindy is a paraplegic girlfriend of mine. I’ve known her for a few years. We met in a social group for disabled women I used to be involved in. Like me, she is a paraplegic in a manual wheelchair, but she retains some feeling in the lower parts of her legs and feet. There is another friend of mine from the same group that is a double arm amputee. She uses prosthetic hooks. I would like to take her out with Jeff and I sometime. Recently, a co-worker Rick, told Jeff he is interested in dating wheelchair lovers. So we set Cindy and Rick up on a double date. Two wheelchair couples means twice the fun!

Rick had often asked Jeff things about wheelchair lovers. He asked if I had any paraplegic wheelchair friends that might be interested in dating. Of course, I knew just the girl. Cindy is very attractive and interested in dating wheelchair lovers. She exercises her legs most every day to keep the muscle tone. She’s had a better head start on that than I did, because she’s only been a paraplegic for a few years after an accident left her paralyzed. She joined the group for support and we became instant friends. She tells me I am brave wearing skirts and dresses all the time with high heels and nylons, showing off my thin legs.

dating paraplegic wheelchair lovers nylon stockings

Wheelchair lovers nylon stockings

Her legs look great, having not lost much muscle tone due to her regular exercises and therapy. Her doctors say she may even regain some movement, but for now she spends her day’s mobile only through her wheelchair. She always wears pants and very safe tops, even though she has a chest that any man would want to see more of. She has a hard time believing a handicapped girl in a wheelchair can be sexy – so tonight when we go out, she’s agreed to let me chose what she wears! Since we’re the same size, from waist up anyway) I’ve promised her something very sexy from my own wardrobe that is going to cause Rick’s eyes to bulge!

Couples Dating Wheelchair Lovers

So far, we have been on three dates with Cindy and Rick. Rick’s curiosity of wheelchair lovers is paying off. He enjoys dating is new paraplegic girlfriend. He has yet to see Cindy’s legs. He’s been polite; not talking about her disability since he knows it makes her a little shy. And except for a few kisses, there has been no intimacy between them. She has never even been out of her wheelchair when she’s around him. But they make a cute couple and are getting along really well.

Cindy asked me about the leg braces I wear at work, if I like using them and how they feel on my legs. She swears she would never wear them but I’m going to see if I can change that. Of course she couldn’t wear my right one, since my leg is shorter and right shoe smaller for my smaller foot. But my left one is just right I think. I know she wears the same size shoes as I do on my left foot, and the length is right. The only thing may be it fitting too tight around her leg, since my legs are so thin. We’ll just have to see I guess.

So right after work we head to my house in our separate cars. Cindy is used to driving with her hand controls that are just like mine. The only difference is her wheelchair easily collapses so she can load the chair into her car after she gets in. She just has to re-assemble it when she gets where she’s going which only takes a few minutes.

I arrived home first, and when she wheeled up my ramp to my open front door I was still in my braces but using my wheelchair to move around the house. I was still in my skirt and blouse from work, and had my right leg crossed over my left one in my chair. She knew my house well and made herself at home with a drink from the kitchen. I told her I was going to wash up before changing clothes and she could do the same since I have the accessible shower. She went ahead since I still had to take my leg braces off and undress.

Naked Paraplegic Girls Wheelchair Beauty

From my bedroom, I could see her undressing in her wheelchair in my bathroom – lifting her legs to her lap to remove her flat dress shoes, wiggling out of her pants and panties, and taking her blouse and bra off. While I took the straps loose from my braces, I watched her transfer from her chair to the shower chair and pull her legs into the stall behind her. Even though I have to do these things myself every day, it’s still interesting to see how another paraplegic does things. Also, to see another beautiful woman doing them is a treat too. I’m not a lesbian by any means, but I do admire her very attractive body.

So I finished with my braces, and removed my limp feet one at a time from my three-inch pumps. I left the braces on the bed, shoes attached, hoping they would spark interest in Cindy and she would want to at least try them. I didn’t want to push her into anything she wouldn’t be comfortable with but a little secretive suggestion like this wouldn’t hurt!

I laid back and pulled at the waistband of my white pantyhose, sliding them down my thighs leaving my panties on since I had a guest in the house. I sat up and pulled my left leg to my chest to pull the hose off over my thin knee and calf, then off my foot. Same for the right leg and tossed the pantyhose in the laundry. The blouse followed the hose, and I was left sitting in just my bra and panties when I heard the water shut off.

I looked through the hallway to see the curtain slide and Cindy sitting there. She looked embarrassed when she noticed me, not because of her naked wet body sitting there but because she realized she had forgotten to get a towel before getting in the shower. I quickly pulled myself off the bed to my wheelchair and lifted my legs together into the footrests. I grabbed two towels, and laid one in her wheelchair for her and tossed her the other. My bathroom is big, but not big enough for two wheelchairs. So I sat in the hall while Cindy dried and transferred back to her waiting wheelchair.

We made small talk while she pulled her panties from her bag and got ready to pull them on her limp legs, which were crossed in her wheelchair with her towel around her midsection. Like I said, we’re the same size in most respects, so I told her to wait a sec before she put those panties on, I might have something special for her. She started to protest saying it wouldn’t matter, no one will see them but her, but I reminded her of her promise to me.

Sex And Intimacy With Wheelchair Lovers

Cindy longed to be intimate with a man. She had not had sex since becoming paralyzed so she was long overdue. It takes time for wheelchair lovers to build self confidence and be intimate. I promised her tonight was her night. If she would just take a little advice and forget for one night that she was disabled. Sex with paralyzed girls is the same as sex with any girl. I know she likes Rick and he is a confident wheelchair lover. I told her to act like any other date she had ever been on, and let Rick know she likes him. No doubt he wouldn’t be able to keep his hands off her. I also suggested she come out of her wheelchair to make love. For newly dating wheelchair lovers sex in a wheelchair can be a little tricky.

I told her to come to the bedroom. I had three brand new still in the packs pair of expensive panties that were very, very sexy. A wheelchair lovers delight. One silky white pair, one black pair with some lacy trim, and a bright red pair. All with bras to match I told her. She was playfully protesting, but I knew she was ready for this. She chose the black lacy ones, and slipped the bra onto her large breasts. I told her to get on the bed because there was no way she would get pantyhose on sitting in her wheelchair. She knew I was putting her in a skirt or dress of some kind, but hadn’t given thought to the pantyhose.

dating paraplegic wheelchair lovers black bra and pantyhose

Wheelchair lovers black bra and pantyhose

“Can’t I just go with my legs bare?” she asked me. I told her how a lot of men like the feeling of pantyhose on a woman’s legs. That clinging nylon, smooth as silk over a wheelchair lovers legs just does something to a man. Add the intrigue of those legs being paralyzed and it’s got to be very exciting for a man who is into dating paraplegic girls.

Experimenting With Leg Braces Dating Paraplegics

Cindy pulled her legs onto the bed and pushed against her wheelchair, sliding her bottom on and pushing her useless legs out across in front of her. Having been a paraplegic only a short while, she was very agile and good at making transfers out of her chair. As she pushed across the bed, her foot came to rest on the metal of my leg braces. “Wow, that’s cold!” she said, referring to the cold steel of my braces against the bottom of her foot. I almost forgot she still has some feeling in her legs and feet, something I have none of.

“How do you really walk in those things, they look so uncomfortable! And those high heels have to be hard to manage too.” I told her with a little getting used to, she could get used to them pretty quick. And they give you more accessibility than a wheelchair does, there are lots of advantages. The shoes, that’s just my preference. I like to look sexy, and Jeff likes them.

“Why don’t you just put one on, and see how it feels on your leg. It’s just the two of us here, you might be surprised.” I told her. She actually said okay, she wanted to see how it felt. She confided she watched me a lot, swinging through my crutches, watching my shorter leg with the buildup, and seeing my left leg drag the ground a little when I swing through. She had watched me many times work the knee locks, and cross my legs in my office chair so she knew how they worked.

I told her to grab the left one, since the right one would be too small for her foot. She positioned herself straight on the bed, and pulled her left leg out straight in front of her. I spun around in my wheelchair to my drawer where I had several new packs of pantyhose. I threw her a suntan pair and she looked at me like “What am I going to do with these?” She opened them and pulled them out, stretching them a little. She told me she wasn’t sure how to put pantyhose on since she has been paralyzed, and she always thought it must be impossible with legs that don’t work.

So I instructed her: “Take one side and just roll them up until you get to the bottom. Pull your leg up to your chest and with your leg between your arms, pull the stocking onto your toes, then around your heel and up around your ankle.” She did these things, sloppily at first but got the nylon around her foot. “Now just let your leg fall while you let the hose out pulling it up your leg.” She did as instructed, and was amazed when she saw she had pantyhose on up past her knee. She did the same with her right leg, and wiggled around until she had both thighs covered. Leaning back, she pulled the top over her black panties and around the waist. She stared in awe at her newly decorated legs.

After a few seconds she told me she could even feel the stretchy nylon around her feet and some of her legs where she had some feeling. I was surprised to see how tightly stretched they were over her legs. I always buy the small size, since my legs are so thin, and my right one a little shorter. My legs don’t come close to filling out a pair of hose, and usually show a few wrinkles where they are loose on my legs. Her tone legs filled them out nicely and kept them smooth from her hips to her feet.

It was time now for her to put the brace on. Cindy laid the brace out beside her leg, and lifted her leg over into the steel cradle of the brace. I ask her if she minded a little help, and went to the end of the bed to help her on with the shoe. Feeling her limp foot in the nylon gave me a jolt of excitement as I put her toes in the high-heeled shoe and pushed her foot the rest of the way in. She had just about finished with the straps, and in a few seconds her leg was rigid from the steel brace.

Standing After Paraplegia With Leg Braces

I was right, the brace was pressing into her leg in some places where her legs are bigger than mine, but just for trying it out they would do fine. I turned for my crutches, and told Cindy to swing her legs to the side of the bed. She pulled her left leg by the brace, and her right one by the knee, and pulled it out over the bed. I locked the knee of the brace for her with her leg outstretched and handed her the forearm crutches. She placed her arms in the crutches and put them to the floor. Slowly she slid off the bed until she was leaning on her left leg. She pulled herself the rest of the way up until she was standing upright, looking great in just her bra and pantyhose, wearing the one brace and letting her other leg hang freely.

Her toes pointed down and dangled above the floor because of the three-inch pump on her left leg. I could see the excitement in her – standing for the first time since her accident. I told her how to take a step, and with caution she put the crutches out in front of her and swung her braced leg to them, letting her right leg dangle behind. Then another step, and another, and soon she was crutching around the bedroom and doing quite well. I told her after she got used to Rick seeing her legs, and watching her move around she could wear my leg brace out one night with him. But for tonight she would use her wheelchair as normal, so she returned to the bed and removed the brace.

Brace off now, we had to get Cindy dressed. I needed to get dressed too, as I was still in my bra and panties. I went to the bathroom and quickly washed off while Cindy and I talked about her shyness and letting Rick see her bare legs, and seeing her outside of her wheelchair where she would have to move her legs with her hands. I told her that it’s something Rick wants to see, and to have some fun with it. Let him help her out of her chair, and move her legs. I told her how Jeff even likes to put my leg braces on and off for me, and how that one time I even let him put my pantyhose on for me.

Dressing to Impress Wheelchair Lovers

I returned to the bedroom, and headed for the closet. I had the cutest red skirt for Cindy, with a too-tight black blouse. The skirt is a little shorter than knee length, and had a slit in one side. Cindy pulled her legs to her, and slipped the skirt over them and up around her waist, adjusting it after it was on – a perfect fit. Then the blouse over her firm, round breasts and she was almost ready. I went through my shoes and found a pair of peep-toe pumps I had never worn. They were both the size of my left foot, so they would fit her feet nicely. She pulled her legs to her chest again and slid the shoes over her feet. She was gorgeous! I had worked magic I thought and I knew Rick would feel the same way.

I pulled her wheelchair to the bed, and she slid off into it. I could see that with just the right movement, her shiny nylon-clad thigh could be seen through that slit in the skirt.  She put her legs into the footrests and moved back so I could get to the bed. I had picked a light flowered sundress that hugged my body tightly, nude hose, and these open toed heels with the thin straps.

wheelchair lovers dating paraplegics dessing to impress

wheelchair lovers dating paraplegics dessing to impress

I was a little self conscious about my feet being seen, I have to be honest, but I was trying to make a point for Cindy that it was all okay to be put out in the open. Cindy watched as I dressed now, commenting on my quickness from being paralyzed my whole life and so used to doing everything without the use of my legs. We were both in our wheelchairs, legs crossed and skirts hiked up just a little when Jeff and Rick arrived.

This was the moment of truth for Cindy – Rick was about to see Cindy’s paralyzed legs for the first time. And great legs they were, I would love to have the muscle tone in my legs that Cindy has in hers. The knock came at the door, and we hollered for them to come in. Jeff came in first, followed by Rick. I could see Rick’s eyes bulge as he saw his beautiful date – more of her this time than he had seen in the past. She smiled at him and gave a little twirl in her wheelchair while he complimented her outfit and stunning appearance.

Wheelchair Couples Disability Dating

We decided on taking separate cars since we had two wheelchairs, and that Cindy and I would drive. Once outside, I watched Cindy make her transfer to her car while Rick stood beside her trying not to look down at her pulling her legs inside. It was amusing really, knowing how badly he wanted to look. Jeff and I shared a little laugh about that. Cindy instructed him on how to break down her chair, and put it in the backseat. Jeff helped me into my car by picking me up out of my chair and putting me in the seat. He loves to do that – he carries me all the time. My chair disappeared into the rooftop lift and we were off to dinner.

Dinner was wonderful – we must have spent two hours at the restaurant talking, and drinking. I noticed Rick whispering to Cindy, then in the next second his hand slide into her wheelchair and rubbing the inside of her leg, just below her skirt. He must have asked if he could rub her leg, and I’m glad she told him he could.

When we left, I got Jeff to drive my car, and he picked me up again and put me in the passenger seat. Rick drove Cindy’s car too, and she made her transfer to the passenger seat, pulling her legs in behind her, only this time, she showed a little bit more of her legs to Rick as her skirt rode up high while she pulled her legs in the car. His eyes were trained on her legs, and she didn’t seem to mind. She was finally starting to become comfortable with her disability around him. And Rick was very happy dating paraplegic girls.

Back at my house I ditched my chair for the comfort of the couch, and pulled the straps loose from my heels, taking them off my feet. Jeff picked my legs up and sat under me, rubbing my calves with his hands. Of course I couldn’t feel his hands on my legs, but knowing his hands were on my legs like that began to arouse me. I could tell Jeff was getting aroused too, but we still had company so our fun would have to wait. I could tell Cindy was still unsure of what to do. I told her to get comfortable on the loveseat across from Jeff and I, and Jeff could put a movie in for us to watch. Jeff slid out from under my legs and headed to the bedroom for a DVD.

Rick offered a hand to Cindy as she transferred her bottom to the couch, and the lifted her legs from the footrests onto the couch and folding them almost under her. Her skirt played its trick again, and I almost felt bad for giving her one with so much exposure to her thighs! Her toes still peeked out from the front of her pumps, and I could tell she was nervous about taking them off in front of her date. Rick had sat beside her, and placed his hand back on her leg.

He wouldn’t dare ask her to remove her shoes, but being cuddled on the couch would seem silly with high heels on, so Cindy began taking them off. She didn’t make a deal of moving her legs much, just pulling the pumps off one at a time, revealing her feet now in just the nylons. She slid back on the couch farther, letting her legs move where they wanted while she kept them together, not wanting to reveal too much of her thighs. Sliding back made her skirt ride up a little farther, making the dark top of her pantyhose peek out under the slit of the skirt. Rick didn’t seem to notice, and she quickly pulled her skirt back into place.

They got comfortable as Jeff returned with the movie, and came to sit back under my legs on the couch. He had turned the lights low and the movie on, and we made the most of the time by pulling a blanket over us so we could rub each other without being seen. I noticed our date partners doing the same, and I could only imagine what Cindy’s naughty hands were doing to Rick under that blanket. Surely she was priming him for what was to come later.

We had already arranged to have the both of them stay with me, in my guest bedroom, for the night, so I wasn’t surprised when they decided to cut the movie short, and go to the bedroom early. Rick ask as he was getting up if she minded if he carried her to the guest bedroom. She obliged, and he took her by the waist, and under her knees and whisked her off down the hallway, the both of them telling us good night while her limp legs flopped a little as Rick walked. Somehow I knew for them, it would turn out to be a good night!

Kristi Eden

All you ever wanted to know about dating paraplegics and wheelchair users

Dating Paraplegics the Ultimate Guide

Dating paraplegics and wheelchair usersThere are many reasons for and against dating paraplegics and wheelchair users. We answer the common and complex questions people have in “Dating Paraplegics the Ultimate Guide”. Some answers may surprise, we cover all you need to know dating wheelchair users in short easy to understand terms.

“Dating Paraplegics the Ultimate Guide” is a great read for anyone dating. Begin to date a wheelchair user the right way. Discover the secrets to dating paraplegics and wheelchair users.

Dating Paraplegics and Wheelchair Users

  1. Pushy: I want to ask a wheelchair user out but I’m afraid I will scare them off.

    True: You may scare them off, so don’t hang around waiting for a relationship that will never happen. Go ahead and ask them out. They may feel the same way about you. Be creative, “If you behave, I will let you take me out to dinner Friday night.” Most who feel the same way will be flattered. At least you will then know where you stand.

  2. Personal Care Nurse: I don’t want to be a care nurse. That is to much work for me. I don’t want to help with personal care, help toilet shower and dress etc. It is a huge burden and turn-off.

    True: It is a huge responsibility yes. It is alright to feel that way. But you do not have to be their care nurse. They got along fine before they met you. And they will be fine if you leave. Paraplegics are quite able to take care of their own personal hygiene. The very few paraplegics who do need some help with personal care will have, or should get, support services in place.

  3. No Sex: Dating a paraplegic wheelchair user means no sex. They can’t feel it so they don’t enjoy sex or make love very often.

    False: Sex is not usually one of the things we talk about on a first date. Most men and women dating paraplegics do report a healthy active sex life. Those in long term relationships with paraplegics describe them as above average lovers. Some may, but don’t expect all of us to talk about sex on the first date.

  4. Bad Sex: Paraplegics are bad in bed. They just lay there all paralyzed and lifeless during sex.

    False: Paraplegics have great upper body strength. Most can be on top if they want to. Paraplegics are physically active and hands on during the act of love making. If things are boring introduce scented candles, oils, music etc. Appeal to the other senses. Wheelchair users are very visual when it comes to foreplay and sex.

  5. Erections: All wheelchair users have trouble getting and keeping an erection.

    False: What you need to know is if their Spinal Cord Injury is “complete” or “incomplete.” Most with SCI are incomplete. They can get an erection by touching or rubbing their penis, or in the case of girls, wet by rubbing their clitoris. Generally it is only men with a complete spinal cord injury who find it hard to get and keep an erection.

  6. No Children: People in wheelchairs can’t have children. They should not have children. Dating a paraplegic you will not be able to start a family. They can’t look after or raise children very well.

    False: Paraplegic women have the same chance of conceiving a child as any other fertile woman. Pregnancy and childbirth are carried out in much the same way as able-bodied women. Paraplegic women make excellent mothers. Paraplegic men have a slightly lower fertility rate than other men do. Paraplegic men make excellent fathers.

  7. Bad Genes: People with a spinal cord injury have a high risk of giving birth to disabled babies.

    False: A spinal cord injury is not genetic. It cannot be passed on to children.

  8. Short Life Span: Wheelchair users don’t live as long as regular people.

    True: Doctors say a spinal cord injury can shorten an otherwise 80 year life span by a year or two. However, by far the biggest factor influencing life span is lifestyle.

  9. Scarred For Life: Wheelchair users have nasty scars weird legs and a fucked up body.

    True: Most paraplegics do have some scars. In fact most people over 25 have some scars. Injuries involving broken bones require surgery. Unless obvious only trusted people get to see a paraplegics scars. Behind every scar is a story. Paraplegics often have thin limp legs (flaccid legs). Most have a well defined strong upper body to compensate.

  10. Angry: I have been dating paraplegics for some time, they are angry hurtful and mean. I figure it will get better in time.

    False: If you are dating a spinal cord injury wheelchair user who is mean and angry, 90% of the time you will come to find they were mean and angry before the wheelchair. Everybody has their bad days but that is no excuse. You should never tolerate abuse. Do not make threats to leave. Pack up and leave. At the very least, move away from anyone who is angry and abusive to you.

  11. Easy Target: Wheelchair users are easy to rape use and abuse for sex.

    False: Wheelchair users have open access to protective services and often carry a vital call alarm. The rape and abuse of disabled people is a very serious crime. Paraplegics can fight back. They have more upper body strength than regular people and know how to use it.

  12. Easy to Disable: I feel safe dating paraplegics because I can easy tip them out of their wheelchair if they annoy me.

    False: You can tip them out but they can get back in quickly and heaven help you when they do. When others learn of what you have done you will not be safe. Never tip any wheelchair user out of their chair unless they ask you to.

  13. Baggage: When dating paraplegics you have to put their wheelchair in the car. Lift them in and out of the car. Carry a butt-load of medical supplies. It’s just a big drama to go out.

    False: Paraplegics can transfer from their wheelchair into a car without help. Some use a sliding board (short smooth board to slide on) to make it safe and easy. They can pull their wheelchair apart and stow it in the back seat of the car. It is polite to offer assistance. Don’t feel bad if it is refused. Many paraplegics will already drive their own car with hand controls.

  14. Catheters: I want to know what the deal is with catheters but I do not want to seem rude and ask my date how they pee and stuff. Should I just go ahead and ask?

    True: Yes go ahead and ask. Most dating paraplegics and wheelchair users don’t find such questions rude. They are happy to talk about and explain how they go to the bathroom. After all, if things go well, you will both get more intimate than that at some point. It is good to know how your wheelchair partner functions before that happens.

  15. Repulsed: I cannot get over the catheter thing. It really turns me off sex.

    True: It is fair to say that kind of thing is not pretty. No paraplegic likes having to poke a tube up their private to drain their bladder, but they don’t get much choice. Ask them how they got over it. Give it some time and you might get more used to the idea. If the catheter is in during sex, ask them about taking it out for sex. Most paraplegics can go without a catheter for several hours.

  16. Parking Permit: I am only dating paraplegics for the parking.

    False: You are only easy to please or just butt lazy. Disability parking permits only apply to people who medically qualify for them. Sticker or no sticker, if they are not in the car, you may not park there. Everyone knows the best thing about dating paraplegics is the oral sex!

  17. Restricted Access: You miss out on things dating paraplegics. It’s like dragging an anchor around. You can only go places that have wheelchair access. That means boring and not spontaneous.

    False: Many people dating paraplegics enjoy all kinds of physical activities. They can fly, hike, swim, etc. and play most any sport. Night clubs, rock concerts and cinemas are just a few places where wheelchair users are given priority seating and access.

  18. Opening Doors: Should I open the door?

    False: Ask them, “May I get the door for you?” If you do open it, don’t stand in the way or stretch your arm out for them to go under. In general when dating paraplegics it’s polite for a man to open the door for a woman.

  19. Travel: There are limited places to go dating paraplegics and it costs extra to travel.

    False: Paraplegics often qualify for discounted fares. Some airlines allow a companion to fly free with any full fare paying wheelchair user. No country in the world bans wheelchair users or dating paraplegics. It may just take a little more planning.

  20. Beaches: Don’t go to the beach when dating paraplegics. They get stuck in soft sand.

    True: A standard manual push chair will get stuck in soft sand. You can drag them through backwards but that will exhaust you quickly. Wheelchair users love the beach and warm sunny places. Just stick to beaches with a boardwalk or pier until you get to know what they are capable of. They might prefer a quad bike or 4 wheel drive.

  21. Never Say Walk: It’s rude to say let’s go for a walk when dating paraplegics.

    False: They don’t care. They know what you mean.

  22. Second Person: If someone asks me, what my date wants, should I answer for them?

    False: Politely tell them to ask your date instead.

  23. Income: I do not want to work all day while they sit at home and do nothing.

    True: Paraplegics do sit all day. Many work part-time to supplement a disability pension or hold down a full-time job. Some are career professionals. They may not like you sitting around doing nothing all day either.

  24. House Maid: Dating paraplegics is good because they like to pick up after you.

    False: You won’t be dating paraplegics for long if you are messy. Wheelchair users do not like clothes left on the floor. They get tangled in their castor wheels, and may cause them to fall from their chair. They do not like to pick up after you. That includes your friends, if they make a mess, they better clean it up.

  25. Home Access: Back at their home they told me, “Don’t touch my stuff.” But I am not a klutz.

    True: It is something dating paraplegics have to say a lot. Not because you are a klutz. If they go for the phone in an emergency, only to find you have moved it beyond their reach, you may cause them harm. Their stuff may look out of place to you, and most won’t mind you touching, but always put things back the way you found them.

  26. Yard Work: Can they mow the lawn and keep the yard tidy?

    True: Gardening is a very popular hobby amongst wheelchair users. Paraplegics can drive ride on mowers, tractors, harvesters, handle a saw etc. Most with a house in the suburbs pay someone to mow their lawn, and clean the gutters out. The rest they can take care of. Pot plants, home gardens, and raised garden beds are easy to look after.

  27. Drug Addicts: Paraplegics are a good source of drugs.

    False: Paraplegics require little to no medication. They avoid taking prescribed drugs as much as possible.

  28. Retarded: All wheelchair users are retarded in some way. A spinal cord injury causes brain damage. Paraplegics have all kinds of emotional issues and mental problems.

    False: A spinal cord injury is certainly a traumatic event. It does not cause brain damage. For the most part, rehab after a spinal cord injury gives paraplegics a new lease on life. Paraplegics who are open to dating are more than often well adjusted, and emotionally well balanced.

  29. Plenty Of Fish: There are so many non-disabled why bother dating the disabled?

    True: There are more able-bodied. Dating paraplegics is just as risky and rewarding as dating able-bodied people. No one group or type of person should be excluded. But we all have our own likes and dislikes. We are all free to chose who we date.

  30. Approval: Pressure from family and friends. He is only dating paraplegic girls because he can’t get a real woman. My friends and family don’t approve.

    False: This is a very narrow minded and ignorant statement for anyone to make. There are many positives to dating paraplegics. More than often in public these days those dating paraplegics get noticed and praised. Paraplegics are smart people. They will be quick to tell anyone with such bias opinions to grow up or go away.

  31. Rejection: I would like to date a paraplegic but I know nothing about disability and wheelchair life. I am afraid I will be rejected.

    True: Your advances may be declined, not because you know nothing about disability. When it comes to love, the feeling is not always mutual. C’est la vie (such is life). If a disabled person rejects you it does not mean you are un-lovable. They simply aren’t ready to date or don’t feel a strong enough love attraction toward you.

  32. Bunny Boiler: Wheelchair users are very needy. If I am dating paraplegics and it doesn’t work out, when I leave they will have plenty of time on their hands to stalk me.

    False: With that attitude they will be glad to see you leave. Paraplegics are no more or less needy than anyone else. They got over breaking their spine, I’m sure they will get over you.

Resources

 

wheelchair disability fetish woman

Disability Fetish and Medical Fetish

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.

Disability 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.

wheelchair disability fetish woman

Wheelchair disability fetish woman with crutches and neck brace

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.

[nggtags gallery=disability-fetish]

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.

Medical Fetish

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.

Medical fetish woman in wheelchair and neck brace

Medical fetish woman in wheelchair and neck brace

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.

[nggtags gallery=medical-fetish]

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.

Conclusions

wheelchair fetish disability fetish medical fetish woman

Wheelchair fetish disability fetish medical fetish woman

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.

Resources

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Feinstein RE, Connelly JV. Personality disorders. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 60.
  4. 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]

 Websites

Dating Paraplegic Girls

Dating Paraplegic Girls

This is the story of how I met Jeff and our first date together.  Dating paraplegic girls isn’t for everyone.  Jeff doesn’t seem to mind dating paraplegic girls or that I’m handicapped.  We have really hit it off.  I still can’t believe, if I wasn’t running late for work that day, we may have never met.  Being in a rush, I decided to go in my wheelchair, without the leg braces I usually wear.  I am a paraplegic, paralyzed from just above my waist down to my feet.  I have been a paraplegic since I was a little girl.  I’ve really never known anything different.

My legs are very thin and flaccid, but I still think of myself as attractive, even sexy.  I’ve have long flowing hair over a pretty face and large breasts over a tiny waist.  My ample breasts are my best feature so I like to show them off a little with a tight blouse.  Most men say I’m attractive but are not interested in dating paraplegic girls or dating wheelchair girls in general.  I guess it’s just hard for some men to commit to a relationship with a handicapped girl. Most of the reasons I have been given for not dating paraplegic girls are based on false beliefs.

Wheelchair Friendly Workplace

I work in a big wheelchair friendly office building where I have to go from room to room a lot. About a year ago I started wearing long leg braces and using crutches to maneuver around the building. It’s much easier than getting a wheelchair through crowded hallways and elevators. The braces start at the tops of my thighs and go down to knee locks so I can bend my legs if I’m sitting. From there they go down to my ankles where I can attach any number of shoes I like to wear.

I have all kinds of shoes from athletic shoes to sandals for the summer.  My favorites though are the high heels I wear at work.  I have all kinds, mostly around three inch.  My right leg is also a little shorter than my left one, another part of my disability.  My right leg just stopped growing when I was about 13 and my left leg continued to grow until I was about 17.  It’s really not that much difference, but to make up for it most of my shoes have a built-up sole on the right side, and are one size smaller since that foot is smaller.

Why Use a Wheelchair Leg Braces and Crutches

dating disabled girls in wheelchair crutches and leg braces

Dating disabled girls leg braces

I’ve learned to use my leg braces pretty well and walk with a swing through gait. That means I put both forearm crutches out in front of me and swing both legs through the middle.  Since I don’t have any control of my waist or legs my shorter right leg kind of swings first and my left drags the floor just a little as it swings through.  Wearing leg braces under slacks is difficult.  I am used to people staring at my legs as I am almost always in a skirt or dress.  Once it would have made me uncomfortable.  Now I even like to show the leg braces off a little.  Sometimes my skirts barely cover the thigh straps on the tops of my braces.

I’ve become used to wearing pantyhose too which I never used to do.  Without the pantyhose, the pads on the braces rub my legs too much.  But that day I was just in my wheelchair wearing a little skirt just above my knees.  The blouse was a little on the tight side with pantyhose and my two inch platform style heels.  Getting around in my leg braces on crutches is slow and I’ve fallen many times.  My wheelchair is safer and faster but I cannot stand up to reach things without the leg braces. So I mostly use both wheelchair and leg braces together. Guys into dating paraplegic girls are often into stockings and pantyhose as well.

Meeting Paraplegic Girls

When I use my wheelchair I don’t need a pair of shoes with a build-up.  There’s no reason to and it’s hardly noticeable.  The footrests on my chair are in the middle and close together. The right footrest plate is just a little higher to make up the difference in my leg length.  I was on the way to the file room when I took a corner too fast and actually ran into this very handsome man in a suit.  I was so embarrassed!  Not so much because I ran into him, but when I did, my right foot actually came off the footrest, knocking my shoe off.

Not having any feeling in my legs or feet I didn’t know my shoe was off until I noticed the man kept looking down.  I looked too and could see the pink polish on my toenails through my tan pantyhose.  Now most everyone has seen my legs of course, but I realized at that moment no one at work has ever seen my bare feet.  They are so limp and thin. I was really was embarrassed. This man had to see me pick my leg up with my hands and get my foot back on the footrest of the wheelchair.

I’ve noticed before that people like to stare.  Especially men dating paraplegic girls.  They like to see how a handicapped girl moves her legs with her hands getting out of a car, and things like that.  Sometimes, when I know I have an audience, I put on a little show.  I struggle a little more than I really have to.  Not this time.  After the man noticed my red face, he quickly looked away, fumbling around reaching for my shoe.  He handed the shoe to me awkwardly.  He looked so cute now blushing just as much as I was.  I thanked him and pulled my leg up by lifting under one knee.  This makes my foot point down. I hooked my toes with the shoe and pulled it onto the heel of my foot.  He introduced himself as Jeff. We both made our apologies and started talking about where we were going, what our jobs were, who we knew and things like that.

Somehow we got on the subject of baseball. Jeff asked me if would like to watch the game that night with him at a bar a few blocks from the office.  I really didn’t know what to say at first.  I would love to go on a date with this handsome, polite man.  But I get so nervous on first dates.  I’m also very cautious of guys only interested in dating paraplegic girls.  Being in a wheelchair we are a bit more vulnerable.  I always feel like my disability is just hanging out there.  Like, I know men new to dating paraplegic girls, want to ask me about my disability.  But if I start offering information about my disability, or ask them about dating paraplegic girls, they seem to get uncomfortable.  So I took a chance and just said yes.  That I would like to see him after work.  We made a meeting place and parted ways for the afternoon.

I am having a very hard time of going from one end of the desirable scale to the other virtually overnight. My ego is shot to bits as I am constantly passed over. Imagine having someone hounding you to get together but they have failed to read the profile. When they finally learn I am in a wheelchair they suddenly do a fast reverse as they run for the hills. The reality of the situation is I am still able to do most everything I did before. I downhill ski, enjoy my water access only cottage, I drive my car, I work. I still crave all the emotional and physical needs we all want. – Little Lady 57, on dating paraplegic girls.

Dating Paraplegic Girls Vulnerable to Insecurities

dating paraplegic girls in wheelchairs

Dating paraplegic girls in wheelchairs

That evening, we met as expected and walked, well I wheeled, down to the bar for a few drinks.  Nothing serious just good conversation and all to soon I was home.  It wasn’t even dark!  Walking me to my car I couldn’t help but think he didn’t like me.  My disability was a turn-off.  Oh well, just another guy not interested in dating paraplegic girls I thought.  I tried to push all my insecurities to the back of my mind.  Just then, he asked me how I came to be in a wheelchair.  Jeff confided that he had noticed me around the office but only knew me as, “the girl who wears leg braces.”  I was greatly relieved when he told me he thought I was sexy.  He had wanted to approach me many times but was too shy to talk.  He said he knew nothing about dating paraplegic girls.

Back at my car Jeff offered to help me get in.  Of course I told him I could manage as I did it every day.  We made plans for dinner the next evening.  He pecked me on the cheek and walked away to where his car was parked.  I slid my butt into the seat of my Volvo and put my legs in one at a time.  My car has hand controls and a wheelchair lift that keeps the chair over the roof.  I don’t have to get the wheelchair into the car after I get in it.

Intensions Dating Paraplegic Girls

Our dinner date the next evening couldn’t come fast enough.  He dropped by my office around lunch on his way to a meeting to say hi and to make sure he was still picking me up at 7:30.  That day I was in my wheelchair wearing my leg braces as usual.  I couldn’t help but notice his glancing eyes when he came in my office.  I was wearing a longer skirt, around mid-calf, so he could only see a little of my braces and my black three inch high heels. I was still curious about his exact intension dating paraplegic girls.

Jeff asked if I would be “walking or riding” that night (meaning was I going to be using my braces or wheelchair).  We shared a laugh at his cleverness and I asked which would he prefer.  He told me he was interested in seeing me use my leg braces.  Admitting he had no experience dating paraplegic girls. He had never been out with a disabled woman before, only regular girls.  That was exactly what I needed to hear. I immediately thought, I have just the outfit for you handsome.  Again feeling aroused at the thought of him wanting to see me.  Before I got to wet I eagerly agreed to use the leg braces and he went on to his meeting.

Shower and Dressing Handicapped Style

That evening when I arrived home I bathed myself in the shower. I have a special shower chair just for bathing.  Most mobility handicapped folks use one.  It stays in the shower. I transfer from my wheelchair into it and back out again.  Sitting on just a towel, naked in my wheelchair, I dried my hair and my upper body.  Then I pulled each leg up to my lap and dried them off.  I put on some makeup and teased my hair then went to dress.  First I needed just the right bra.  A sexy bustier to push my breasts up would work.  Skimpy and lingerie like enough to be inviting. If Jeff proves okay with dating paraplegic girls, he would be getting to see a whole lot more of me, than on our first date.

[nggtags gallery=bra]

I went with a silky, dark purple bra with black lace over most of the cup.  The mirror over my dresser told me with a close look you could actually see my nipples through the lace.  My nipples hardened as my thoughts drifted off to my date seeing me in my delicate bra.  I smiled taking panties that matched the bra and a pair of tan pantyhose from my dresser and wheeled to my bed.  Shifted my butt to the bed and pulled my legs up behind me.  One foot at a time through the panties and up my legs got them to the tops of my thighs.  I bunched up the waistband and with a quick bum hop motion slid my bottom into my panties.

The pantyhose were next.  Still sitting up with my lifeless paralyzed legs out in front of me, I pulled one leg up to my chest.  Bunching up one leg of the hose, I worked it over my small foot and over my ankle.  By letting my leg fall back into place, I pulled the nylon up along my leg to around my knee, and repeated the process with the other leg.  I straightened the hose around my feet and calves, making it a little tighter.  Then I worked the hose up my legs and to my thighs just like the panties. A tip for any guys dating paraplegic girls. We go to a lot of trouble to look nice for you, be sure to compliment us.

With the pantyhose, I have to lay back on the bed and kind of lift my bottom as I pull the hose to my waist.  I’ve known other paraplegics my whole life, and just about all of them find it easier to wear thigh-high hose, so they only have to worry about dressing one leg at a time.  My problem is my legs are so thin around my thighs. Those type of hose would actually end up sliding down my legs before I made it to my car.  My legs just aren’t big enough to hold them up, so the full pantyhose are my only choice.

[nggtags gallery=pantyhose]

I rolled over to the side of the bed and picked up both leg braces, laying them on the bed beside my legs.  Using one hand, I lifted my leg from just above my ankle.  I could feel the pantyhose under my hand.  I wondered what it felt like for a woman that could feel her legs.  Wonder what it would feel like to have your legs wrapped in pantyhose.  Feeling them rub against each other under your skirt, or what pantyhose felt like over your feet.  I guess I’ll never know. I just enjoy the feeling that comes from my hand.  I took my other hand and laid the leg brace under my leg. Where I could place my leg in the shiny steel cradle of the brace.  The strap under my knee gets tightened first, then above my knee, then my thigh strap.

I do the same with my right leg, lifting the leg into the brace and fastening the straps tightly on my legs.  I still can’t walk with the braces yet because I don’t keep any shoes attached to the braces.  I unlock the knees so my legs will bend and slide myself back to my waiting wheelchair.  I can lift my legs now using my hands on the braces, so I lift them one at a time into the footrests of the chair and go to my shoes.  The dress I’ll be wearing is a cute one piece black one, so my black pumps would probably look best.  I place the shoes in my lap, now it’s back to the bed.  Once in the bed, knees still unlocked, I pull each leg up so I can reach my foot, still naked in its nylon.

My shoes have to be tight to support my weight with the braces so it’s a little hard getting them on.  Putting a high heel shoe onto a foot that you can’t stiffen is not an easy task.  So with a little work I get the shoes onto my feet and attach them to the braces.  Now lowering my legs to the floor, I lock the leg braces straight and reach for my crutches.  Standing, slowly at first to keep my balance, I begin to take my first swinging step to my closet.  I’ve been using these leg braces for a year now, and I still can’t believe how stiff they keep my paralyzed legs. 

[nggtags gallery=leg-braces]

After spending 28 years not being able to walk, sometimes I can’t actually believe it’s my legs I’m standing on. Showered and dressed in my bra pantyhose and leg braces, I can stand to wiggle into that tight black dress.  I know it will make Jeff’s eyes pop!  I can stand without crutches as long as I have something to balance myself on. I just can’t take any steps without crutches.  So I balance against the dresser and lean the crutches against the bed.  I pull the dress over my head and around my body, smoothing out the soft fabric and letting it fall just above my knees. 

There’s a slit in the side that almost exposes the very top of my braces, and probably will once I sit down somewhere.  After a few looks in the mirror I decided I was ready for the evening date and crutched it back to my wheelchair.  I told you dating paraplegic girls go to a lot of trouble.

Pre Disability Dating Nerves

I use the wheelchair at home even if I’m wearing the braces.  It’s just easier and it keeps my hands free.  Since the one footrest is a little higher for my shorter leg, and I was now wearing my braces with the built up shoe on that foot, my right leg sits up higher than my left.  I like to cross my right leg over my left, which I did of course by picking the right leg up and pulling it over the left.  I took notice of the slit in my dress when I did that to see just how much of my leg was exposed.  I could see to just under the thigh strap of my brace, perfect I grinned.  It should be just enough to get Jeff wanting to see more.  I was very keen to make his first time dating paraplegic girls enjoyable.

I sat staring at my disabled legs in braces wondering how the events of the evening would go.  I heard the knock at my door I had been waiting on.  I turned my wheelchair and headed for the door.  When I got to the door, I invited Jeff in, the door was open.  He entered looking great and holding flowers. He immediately complimented me on my choice of dress.  It’s like this guy swallowed the book on dating paraplegic girls.

I retreated to the kitchen with the flowers for a vase as he sat down in the living room.  We made typical small talk about work that day while I tended to the flowers.  Then I went to the bedroom for my crutches and returned to Jeff swinging my legs a little slower than usual, and dragging that left leg a little more than usual.  I had already decided that I wanted to put on a good show for Jeff.  He would see just how crippled I really am, a kind of acid test to sort the men from the boys.

With my thin legs wrapped in the nylons and leg braces, and my sexiest black pumps Jeff couldn’t take his eyes off my legs.  I could feel his eyes burning on me as I descended the ramp off my front porch and to his car where he held the door open.  I ask him to take my crutches for me, which of course he did, and I transferred myself down into the car seat, still stiff-legged.  I showed him how the leg brace knee locks work (in case he wanted to know for later).  I pulled both legs in at once to keep my dress from opening up for the world to see. Jeff stowed the crutches and wheelchair and off we went.

Sexy Handicapped Women and Public Reactions

The valet at the restaurant couldn’t believe his eyes when he opened the car door.  The common public reaction to seeing a sexy handicapped girl is one of confusion.  Many have trouble connecting the two, sexy and handicapped.  They often look my date up and down for signs of a disability.  Like they think you have to be disabled to be dating paraplegic girls.

I swung my braced legs out and let the knee locks snap into place.  Jeff quickly came around with my crutches and helped me to my feet.  Jeff sternly pointed out to the valet how the wheelchair ramp was blocked with a sign that had fallen from the building.  I told them I could manage the four steps up to the entrance.  I was actually secretly excited that Jeff would get to see me conquer the steps.

I told Jeff I needed him to hold one of my crutches and stand behind me in case I slipped.  With my left crutch on the first step, and my right hand on the handrail, I pushed against the crutch and let my legs drag behind me up onto the step.  My right leg came first as usual, and then my left.  I had to twist my body a little to get my left foot over the step.  I could then stand to move my crutch to the second step.  I took the steps slowly, giving Jeff plenty of time to see the braces through the slit in my skirt and enjoy my struggling up the steps.  I made it to the door fine, where the doorman held the door for us both.

A True Gentleman Dating Paraplegic Girls

Dinner was perfect, with a little wine Jeff seemed to be enjoying his first experience dating paraplegic girls.  Wine gets people talking and it certainly did its trick on us.  Jeff confided that he had never known my legs were different lengths and was interested in the thick sole on my right shoe.  I explained how my shoes were of different sizes due to my right foot being smaller.  He told me how gracefully I moved in the leg braces, and how beautiful he thought I was.  This one is a keeper I thought to myself.  Despite never dating paraplegic girls before Jeff remained a true gentleman sensitive to my dsability.  I hadn’t felt so safe and comfortable to just be me in a long time.  When it comes to dating paraplegic wheelchair girls, and dating women with a disability, being called special is very different from being made feel truly special.  A true gentleman knows the difference.

One time I shifted under the table and moved my leg out just far enough for him to feel my brace against his leg.  I saw his cheeks blush and gave him a little smile.  I quietly reassured him that I was okay with him touching the braces and that I admired him very much.  I even pushed my chair in a little where the pad on the knee was rubbing the inside of his thigh.  We sat like this through dinner and through our second bottle of wine by the time the check came.  Jeff kept his hand around my waist as we made our way outside and down those steps to the car.  Jeff took my crutches without my asking and I pulled my legs into the car.

Disability Parking and No Stopping Short

We leaned into each other on the ride back to my house. Jeff’s hand wandered over to my thigh where he politely asked, “May I?”  His hand rubbed gently, first on my dress, then around through the slit and between the upright parts of my brace.  His strong warm hand paused when he softy touched the skin of my silky smooth thigh making me gasp.   I couldn’t exactly feel his hand, but knowing it was there gave me chills, and greatly aroused me.  Even though I’m paralyzed, I can still function sexually, and feel an orgasm.  The physical part is a little hard, since I can’t really move my waist or legs, but the feeling is there all the same.

dating paraplegic girls lovers emnbrace

Paraplegic lovers embrace

When we got home, I invited him in and got out of the car where he was waiting with my crutches.  I crutched up to the door, again with his hand on my waist only it was a little lower this time.  We went in and I started making coffee, crutching with my braced legs around the kitchen.  I told him I was going to take my braces off so we could get comfortable on the couch when he said something that shocked me.  He ask me if he could help take my leg braces off.  I could see that he was beginning to get aroused and thought I could have lots of fun with this, as I was aroused too.  So I said he could and swung my legs through my crutches over to the couch.

I thought about getting my wheelchair first so I wouldn’t be totally helpless after my braces were off but then thought better or it.  Jeff had gotten this far, perhaps he would like carrying me to my bedroom.  I sat on the couch with my legs straight out in front of me with feet resting on the floor.  I instructed Jeff to move my skirt to the side and unlock my knees so my legs would bend in.  He released the locks and pulled the lower parts of my legs in toward the couch.  He was fast becoming an expert at dating paraplegic girls.

I suggested, “I’d like to lay back if you could pull my legs to the couch for me.”  With a nod I reclined and he pulled my legs to the couch and up into his lap.  He did them together so as not to spread. My skirt rode up anyway past the tops of the braces and revealing the darker part of my pantyhose.  He said sorry and pulled my skirt back over my legs.  I told him it was okay.  I kind of knew it would happen and didn’t mind one bit.

dating paraplegic girls removing leg brace

Removing paraplegic girls leg brace

I have to say I’ve never had a man touch me like this and help me with my leg braces. I was getting extremely turned on by watching his hands on my thin flaccid legs and touching my braces.  I asked if he would mind taking the upright part of the leg braces off of the shoes.  Then slide my shoes off of my feet.  I bit on my bottom lip as he did so eagerly but gently. 

I watched him slowly ease my pumps off revealing my left foot then my smaller right foot.  He took a minute to study the difference in my feet.  All the things I thought were a drawback in dating paraplegic girls.  My disability, spinal cord injury, the wheelchair crutches and leg braces, my flaccid legs and crippled feet.  To Jeff these things are a bonus that regular girls dont come with.  He noted the nail polish on my toes and rubbed my feet for a few minutes. I could tell he liked the feeling of my feet in the pantyhose.

He began undoing the straps on my calf and leaned in just far enough to kiss me when he reached up my skirt for the thigh band.  One hand was caressing my leg as the other took the thigh band apart, the whole time kissing me more and more intently.  After the leg brace was loose around my leg he picked my leg up letting the foot dangle. Placing the brace on the floor he moved in closer gently pushing my shoulder.  I realized I was awfully tensed up and relaxed back on the couch. 

dating paraplegic girls making love

Making love to paraplegic girls

He has the most beautiful smile.   He lay on top of me with his hands around my face.  Caressing my waist and my legs he slowly began coming closer to my breasts.  I wanted him to touch my breasts and lick my nipples so badly I could hardly stand it.  Since my right hand was already pulling his shirt from his pants, I used my left to guide his hands into my blouse.

Here I was on the couch, one leg brace on and one off, still pretty much dressed, under this man I couldn’t wait to get to my bedroom.  My blouse was off and on the floor, sexy bra not far behind.  My nipples stood erect with pleasure. I had his shirt off admiring is shoulders and chest.  The bulge in his pants told me he was erect with pleasure as well.  He pulled away just long enough to take my other brace from my leg. My skirt bunched up around my waist revealing both thin limp legs in tan pantyhose.

I now felt Jeff was very comfotable with dating paraplegic girls.  I whispered to him to carry me down the hall to the bed, and with much pleasure he did just that.  One hand around my waist, the other under my knees letting my legs fall where they wanted, he carried me down the hall to my bedroom.  He moved my wheelchair with his leg so he could place me on the bed, then fell on top of me.  He pulled my skirt off first, sliding it slowly down my nylon-clad legs and letting is slip under my feet and off to the floor.  We rolled in the bed a little longer, me just in my hose and panties underneath now, which were becoming more wet with every minute.

Paralyzed Legs Don’t Disable Lovers

Paralyzed and lusting heavily my lover took control.   His willingness to dating paraplegic girls was about to pay off.  We were ready to shift up a gear to sex with paraplegic girls.  He rolled me over wrapping my legs around his waist where I would be comfortable.  I tugged his belt off unfastened the front of his bulging pants and pulled him hard against my naked breasts.  He was huge now fully erect.  I slid his pants and shorts off his waist.  He pulled and kicked them the rest of the way off and began pulling at the waist of my pantyhose.

He slid my pantyhose down both legs at once thin and pale they are.  As he was sliding my feet out of the nylons I was already pulling my panties down, eager for him to enter me.  He was on top and had spread my legs wide at first, pulling them together around him as he came in at me.  He was lunging harder and harder.  It wasn’t long sex but I’ve never had better.  We moved together in furious rhythm.  Reaching orgasm at the same time both collapsing exhausted.

We lay laughing together for a long time talking about the act we had so passionately committed.  Jeff went to the bathroom to wash off.  I waited for him to finish and had him to bring me a towel for my wheelchair.  I put the towel in the chair and slid over into it.  My paralyzed legs followed.  Wrapping the towel around my midsection I put my feet in their rests.  Naked except for the towel, I too washed off and returned to bed where we both slept. Knowing soon we both would have to prepare for work.

Disability Lovers Finding New Legs

This morning was almost as exciting as last night. I got to do something I’ve never done before.  Jeff had a change of clothes in his car which he got while I was bathing.  While he showered I went about getting ready as usual.  I chose my outfit for the day:  Red skirt and black top, jet-black pantyhose, and the same black pumps from the night before.  I retrieved my braces and heels from the front room using my wheelchair.  As I was returning to the bedroom Jeff came in.  His hair wet and oh so sexy fresh from the shower.  He took my leg braces and put them on the bed for me, asking if he could put them on.  Wow I thought, of course I didn’t mind, I was excited by the idea.  I had to keep reminding myself Jeff was actually new to dating paraplegic girls.  I had to take things slowly.

I needed to get my panties and pantyhose on as I was still naked except for the towel.  He picked me up from the wheelchair like the night before and laid me on the bed.  He actually picked up the clothes I laid out and began dressing me!  First the panties which he slid one foot at a time through them and pulled them up my legs.  He stopped me when I tried to help and I couldn’t help but smile. I laid back, and let him lift my bottom while his free hand pulled the panties around my waist.  He took the black pantyhose, and lifting one foot at a time, pulled each stocking onto my feet and legs, and up to my thighs where he had to lift my bottom again.

dating paraplegic girls

Dating paraplegic girls

He smoothed my legs out and picked up the brace for my left leg.  He placed my thin leg into its brace and fastened the straps in reverse order from the night before.  Lifting my foot a little, he wiggled it into the high heel pump and attached it to the brace.  Then he ask me if I could walk using only one leg brace.  Well I didn’t know if I could or not as I had never tried.  Thinking it might turn him on to see me try I wanted to see if I could.  My man would there to catch me if I couldn’t.

Jeff retrieved my crutches from the front room and I lowered my leg onto the floor.  The knee clicked into its locked position.  I balanced on the one stiff leg at first.  Noticing with the three inch heel, my shorter right leg dangled about five inches above the floor.  So I extended the crutches, and pulled my body forward letting my right leg swing freely.  Pulling my left behind it dragged a little more than before on the floor.  My firm naked breasts jiggled as I struggled around the bedroom.  Dating paraplegic girls does have its perks.  My bouncing boobs were two of them. 

I could actually do this I thought. Walking on one brace only if I wanted, leaving my shorter leg hanging.  I got Jeff to take another one of my high heels without the brace attachment made into it and slide it over my right foot.  This almost made up the difference to the floor. Making the toe of the shoe point downward and barely touching the floor.  I crutched around for a few minutes.  Leaning on my one stiff braced leg and dragging the other limp leg behind.  I let the toe of the pump slide on the floor.

Like the night before I could see Jeff becoming aroused at the sight of my frail paralyzed legs. I realized he was attracted not only to me but my disability as well.  I became excited at the idea.  It was nice to know I didn’t have to try and be like any other woman he had been with.  I could be comfortable about my handicap knowing Jeff liked dating paraplegic girls.  He was more than okay with my spinal cord injury.  He liked my wheelchair, leg braces, crutches and my disability.

After crutching around a bit I went back to the bed and pulled myself bottom first onto it.  I pulled my right leg to my chest and took off the smaller pump revealing my foot in only the pantyhose.  I took the other leg brace and laid it under my leg.  Jeff helped me with the straps and put my other pump on.  The one with the build-up on the bottom and attached it to the brace.  He also helped me on with my skirt while I put my bra and blouse on.

Jeff thoroughly enjoyed his first time dating paraplegic girls.  I’m so glad it was with me!  We didn’t bother asking about taking separate cars to work.  He drove and I’m sure after work today he’ll drive me home. We’ll spend another exciting night together as disability lovers.  Maybe tonight I’ll show him how I sometimes drag myself from room to room in the house.  Let him see me pull my thin lifeless legs around without the braces crutches or the wheelchair.  Dating paraplegic girls does require a little patience and understanding.  And with that, I wish you all the happiness and love in dating paraplegic girls, that I have come to find.

Kristi Eden

Resources

Perfect Imperfection Rasso Bruckert photograph of disabled man in wheelchair

Perfect Imperfect

Rasso Bruckert captures disability through the camera lens in a strikingly warm photographic collection Perfect Imperfect themed on nudity and handicaps, showing with sensitivity yet openly and very directly, that disabled people are totally capable of developing their sexuality, self-confidence, individual esthetics’s and eroticism.

Perfect Imperfection Rasso Bruckert photograph of disabled man in wheelchair

Perfect Imperfection Rasso Bruckert

Bruckert challenges us to re-think the concept of beauty. If we desire love, partnership and sexuality in a confident and satisfying way we might first begin by accepting, appreciating and maybe even loving our own bodies. 

Now it stands for us to redefine the term “beauty”, to create it consciously and individually. 

The idea for his photographic series Perfect Imperfect came to Bruckert back when he was studying in San Francisco. Inspired by works of Robert Mapplethorpe he pondered the highly taboo thematic of nude and handicap.

Well-renound throughout Germany photographer Rasso Bruckert explains his reasons for embarking on what at the time was a most controversial undertaking Perfect Imperfect.
 

For decades there have been these dreadful pictures of us (disabled) in the media – the small, pitiable, disabled person in a corner — often badly photographed. This was always a terrible thing for me, and a sort of motivator that compelled me to try and do way with these belittling “hospital pictures” as I used to call them. 
 
Because I myself am disabled, it seemed easier for me to photograph a disabled person in the nude, as opposed to someone who was not disabled in the nude. Nevertheless, when I first asked friends to pose for me, I would approach them fearing that I would be stoned to death. – Rasso Bruckert 

The idea of photographing people with disabilities naked was never discussed openly. It was and mostly still remains a taboo subject. Nevertheless, in Perfect Imperfect Bruckert endeavors to present the physically challenged body aesthetically in all its raw sensual beauty.

Physical disablement and beauty did not coexist. Not even amongst us the disabled. Remarking, I suppose I had more barriers in my head than they did, Burckert was happily surprised to find his modeling requests were met with a spontaneous readiness to consent.

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In the beginning I was too cautious to provoke with my work. I didn’t want to hurt or compromise the feelings of others with my photographs. I have now become more open minded, I want to provoke a positive “aha”. It is my wish that the photographs grip and intrigue the viewers so that they may sense the beauty, strength and self confidence of the subject.
 
Criticism has generally been positive. People like the photographs a lot. They consider them aesthetic, interesting and erotic. They now realize that the subject “the disabled” can be viewed and dealt with in a different light. – Rasso Bruckert

Perfect Imperfect has exhibited in several cities including Germany, Switzerland, and Austria and has been seen in Atlanta, Georgia and Sydney, Australia. Commentaries of this exhibit have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines as well as on European Television. If you get the chance to see this inspiring body of work your life will be the richer for it.

Resources

Intimate Encounters Dominic and Lee

Intimate ENCOUNTERS

The idea for Intimate ENCOUNTERS first came to Belinda Mason-Lovering in 1998. Photographing a conference on Sexuality and Disability, Mason-Lovering became aware that although society attends to the needs of people with disabilities, it appeared unable to deal with the tangled issues surrounding sexuality. This realization spawned the development of Intimate ENCOUNTERS.

Over the next four years, Mason-Lovering traveled around Australia, meeting, photographing and engaging subjects in extensive conversations to explore their feelings and attitudes towards their own sexuality. Belinda worked with each participant to develop an image which reflected their own particular personal and emotional journey. 

Intimate ENCOUNTERS – Disability and Sexuality: features two installations and thirty photographic images with essays by 40 people who collaborated with photographer Belinda Mason-Lovering to express their desires, needs, love and affection reflecting the diversity of their experiences of disability through the lens.

Participating in this project we are making the personal political. There is a dearth of empowering, positive, sexy images of disabled people and we want to be a part of the movement to change this. We chose ‘United we sit’ as our slogan to emphasize our solidarity with other disabled people and to challenge the norms. Dominic often needs to use a wheelchair and so we wanted to incorporate his impairment into the image too. – Dominic Davies and Lee Adams

Intimate Encounters Dominic and Lee

United we sit

Dominic is an activist and a Senior Registered Practitioner with the British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy. He is the co-editor of three volumes of Pink Therapy and a co-author of The Sexual Politics of Disability: Untold Desire. He is a Visiting Fellow at Nottingham University and a Visiting Lecturer at Leicester University. Dominic has scoliosis and chronic pain.

Lee is a curator and interdisciplinary artist, who works extensively in sculpture, theatre design, film, video, live performance and installation. He has exhibited widely. Lee is the Artistic Director and Producer of Sexmutant an international real-time and on-line project reconfiguring (trans) gender and sex(uality) in contemporary visual and live arts practice.

The men and women Mason-Lovering photographs are people with physical, intellectual, learning, psychiatric and neurological disabilities. By being photographed and by talking about their lives they share some of their most intimate thoughts and feelings with those who gaze on their images.

In the words of its creators:

Intimate ENCOUNTERS explores the myriad connections between disability and sexuality. A sense of our sexual selves is as vital to our existence as the air we breathe. This is the pervading message present in every image in the series. The quest is to create images which ‘tell a thousand words’ and which reflect sexual diversity without tokenism.

Choosing how they were represented, working in close collaboration with the photographer and taking control of their image and the text that would accompany it, was seen as a widely liberating experience for the participants, enriching the personal, political and artistic aspects of the project.

Intimate Encounters photography by Belinda Mason-LoveringThat these photographs vary from playful, romantic, passionate or heart wrenching reflects the diversity of experiences of disability, and within that the diversity of lives and desires, an acknowledgement that disability is just one part of a life experience. The intimate connections between the participants underscores the fact that all are activists and allies in a global struggle for a basic human right–the right to be a sexual person.

We all have our own, unique sexual journey, mapped out with secret adventure, whispered aspirations, with the pain of risk and the over riding urge for intimacy. It is a journey that, if fully embraced, determines and moulds our identity and self-worth.

Initmate ENCOUNTERS challenges the hidden myth in our society that only the most glamorous, attractive and successful among us live active, healthy and imaginative sexual lives. Ultimately, it’s about how we feel about our inner selves that let’s us free each other to lead larger lives.

As Kiersten Fishburn of Accessible Arts points out:

For we viewers, it is not only a beautiful and thought provoking exhibition but a chance to identify the commonalities of the need for love, for connectedness, for sexual and creative expression. It creates a dialogue that allows disability “voices” to be heard; it is one step in integrating these voices into all our cultural and community conversations. – Kiersten Fishburn

Intimate ENCOUNTERS has been touring Australia extensively for the past six years. The exhibition was seen in Sydney, Melbourne and through regional Victoria, the Northern Territory and Western Australia and internationally London, New York, New Zealand, Barcelona and Paris.

Belinda Mason has a history of pushing the limits of imaginative social documentary photography I know of no other photographer who has so consciously pursued difficult unfashionable subjects such as the sexuality of the disabled. – a body of work that seems destined for prominence – Rob McFarlane, Art Critic, Sydney Morning Herald

Audiences flocked to see the show around Australia. Media and audience reactions have been varied and not without some controversy. Reaction has ranged across the spectrum with some people horrified and confronted by nudity and the display of disability but with the vast majority finding the show eye opening, inspirational and beautiful in its honest representation of human sexuality.

Resources

Sarah Murray photographs Kyla Harris for Access-Sex

Access Sex

Sex is all around us until disability is concerned, there it remains a taboo subject in society. It may come as a shock to some but disabled people do have sex. Access Sex is a photographic collaboration of a woman’s exploration after disability. Becoming disabled in 2000, 21 year old wheelchair user and co-owner of the Main Artery Gallery in Vancover, Kyla Harris bravely breaks the mould in a revealing expose Access Sex.

One of the first questions I’m asked when I meet a stranger is, so… can you have sex? When people meet me they are inquisitive. I am a relatively attractive young woman in a wheelchair. The reason why I’m asked this may be because of a lack in social graces, curiosity or plain ignorance. This and other catalysts, spurred me to work on a photography project with Sarah Murray called Access Sex, looking at disabilities and sexuality. The main reason why this issue needs to be addressed is because of misrepresentation (or lack of) of people with disabilities in the media. – Kyla Harris

Sarah Murray photographs Kyla Harris for Access-Sex

Kyla Harris in Access-Sex

A collection of thought provoking images that raise questions Access Sex is a collaborative work of photographs taken by Sarah Murray featuring wheelchair user Kyla Harris in a range of provocative poses. Art being primarily subjective these images connect with the many different audiences that view them. The project Access Sex aims to change predetermined ideas and prevent future misjudgments on sexuality with a disability.

Often wheelchair users and people with disabilities are seen as asexual and few examples in the media contradict that message. Similar to able-bodied people, not all people with disabilities are sexy, but that doesn’t mean people with disabilities can’t have sex or can’t enjoy it. 

According to the World Health Organization, sexuality is a basic need and aspect of being human that cannot be separated from other aspects of life. However, the world being largely media driven all to often people with disabilities are not portrayed in a positive sexual light, as able-bodied people have set the sexual standard.

In popular culture Playboy is the leading pornographic men’s magazine and has been setting sexual standards therein since 1953. All of Playboys models over that time have been able-bodied with the exception of wheelchair user Ellen Stohl, a C8/T1 incomplete quadriplegic who became the first Playboy bunny to model in July of 1987 and Aimee Mullins, an amputee from the age of one.

Aimee Mullins modeled for Alexander McQueen on the cover of Dazed and Confused in August 1998 and starred in Matthew Barney’s “Cremaster Cycle” in 2002. Apart from quadriplegic wheelchair user Ellen Stohl and amputee Aimee Mullins, people with disabilities have largely been typecast as estranged victims, hospitalized seniors and on-set extras sitting in wheelchairs to provide an institutional atmosphere. 

The project Access Sex is necessary to not only make people aware of the fact that people with disabilities are seen as asexual beings but to also highlight the origins of their thoughts on disabilities and sexuality. With a range of images the connection between disabilities and sexuality at times is merely a suggestion to ease people into something they may have never consciously thought about.
 
Ultimately the answer to the question is yes, I can have sex. Want to see some photos that might answer other questions? – Kyla Harris

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After her accident in 2000 at 15 years of age coming to reach her sexual maturity and understanding, strangers often questioned Kyla about her sexuality and whether she could have sex. Kyla felt it necessary to contradict the stereotype of people with disabilities as asexual, a notion she herself questioned after her own spinal cord injury disability. Kyla began to identify with her sexuality and noticed how it was being denied.

In 2006, Kyla Harris approached fellow Canadian artist photographer Sarah Murray to produce the works for Access Sex. The theme evolved to present sexuality and physical disability together – encouraging a general audience to look beyond the confines of the human body. The splendid body of works in Access Sex have been showcased in Vancouver and Toronto at the Main Artery, the Joseph D Carrier Gallery and “Nuit Blanche” in October 2009.

Art and sexuality cannot be separated or extracted from life, Kyla recalls, it made sense to me to explain that notion in reference to my own experiences.

The project Access Sex to me has been successful on many levels. I’ve met an amazing friend, Sarah, whom I respect personally and professionally, my perception of myself has become more positive and made me more passionate about my art and opinions, and I believe the photographs have made a variety of people aware that people with disabilities are sexual beings. Now my hopes are to expand Access Sex and continue to challenge pre-conceptions and stereotypes. – Kyla Harris

Resources

Sexy wheelchair babe shivers in orgasm sitting on top of boyfriend in love swing suspended by personal patient hoist

Wheelchair Hoist Sex Swing

A wheelchair hoist sex swing helps wheelchair users enhance their sex life. Tetraplegics (quadriplegics) and paraplegics often find it difficult to achieve some sexual positions. Sex after a spinal cord injury is made hard by paralysis and poor mobility. The sex aids mentioned in our wheelchair sex article raised many questions. Here we take a closer look at a wheelchair hoist sex swing. Some paraplegics and most tetraplegics will already own a personal hoist and sling of some description. These make suitable assistive devices for intercourse and love making. Avoiding the expense of an actual sex swing.

Who Uses a Wheelchair Hoist Sex Swing

Sexy wheelchair babe shivers in orgasm sitting on her boyfriend in love swing suspended by personal patient hoist

Wheelchair hoist sex swing

By far the majority of wheelchair hoist sex swing users are regular able bodied heterosexual couples. They can however, be of great assistance to wheelchair users with paralysis. Like those with a spinal cord injury. A wheelchair hoist sex swing may be unknown to people with a disability. Few discuss sex with wheelchair users for fear of offending, or getting offended. Also, many hold the opinion disabled people don’t, or should not, have sex. Others believe all disabled people are oversexed. These misconceptions are slowly changing. We encourage healthy discussion on wheelchair sex life and sex after spinal cord injury. We promote the many beautiful aspects of disability.

Suited to lovers of different sizes and disabilities, it’s easy to adjust the height and angle of your body, in a wheelchair hoist sex swing. All without detracting from each other’s arousal. Quality sex swings offer neoprene padded supports for your butt and back, and stirrups for legs or feet. It’s just a matter of finding what suits you and your disability. Adult stores stock sex swings but we suggest searching online first. Research what type may best suit you. Buying online could save you time and money as well.

Why Use a Wheelchair Hoist Sex Swing

Sexy wheelchair lovers bouncing in love swing climax suspended by personal patient hoist

Wheelchair lovers climax in hoist sex swing

Difficult sexual positions are no longer exclusive to the athletic and sexually gifted. With a wheelchair hoist sex swing disabled couples can be more sexually adventurous. They can achieve stimulating sexual positions previously only imagined. Reap the benefits of pleasure a wheelchair hoist sex swing can arouse. A healthy imagination in lovemaking is key to generating pleasure. It helps to renew the desire for sexual intimacy. By experimenting with new positions in the bedroom, you can swing your love life into action. Enjoy weightless sex in unlimited positions. Explore your deepest fantasies.

Take a go slow approach until you are comfortable and confident. It is possible to overbalance in some sexual positions. You may slip right out of the wheelchair hoist sex swing harness performing others. A personal hoist sling can be of advantage in that respect. While not as many positions are achievable, they require minimal balance. Personal hoist slings are purpose designed to prevent from dropping a person, no matter their handicap.

Using a wheelchair hoist sex swing enhances disability sex life. They are not sleazy. They simply make sex with a disability easier. Wheelchair lovers are often amazed how easy these make sex. 

Challenging sex positions, that require exertion and skill, become easy using a wheelchair hoist sex swing. You can find the right angle to achieve deep penetration with minimal exertion. Sexual positions never felt so good effortlessly. Put more comfort and enjoyment into your disabled sex life. Swing into action and sex it up.

Wheelchair Hoist Sex Swing Components

Sex Swing: The sex swing is all you need. Optional extras are a heavy duty spring, frame and hoist. A good quality sex swing harness is made from neoprene padded adjustable ballistic weave nylon straps. These provide maximum comfort and strength. The swing costs around $120.00 USD.

Sex Swing Spring: A heavy duty high tensile steel spring is ideal for those with limited mobility, like quadriplegics, or tetraplegics. The spring helps to minimize the effort required to make rocking and bouncing motions. The average sex swing spring can suspend around 200 lbs. Your local hardware store may have a cheaper option. A sex swing spring costs about $180.00 USD.

Sex Swing Frame: The sex swing frame is like a tent frame. It is a free-standing rigid metal frame to suspend the sex swing from. Most sex swing frames hold up to 400 lbs. There are many types of frames ranging from $150.00 to $500.00 USD.

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Sex Swing Hoist: Some hang their sex swing from an eye-bolt in a doorway, ceiling joist, or beam over their bed. We recommended any eye-bolt installation be done by a qualified carpenter. Or you can hook the swing onto a hospital style, personal hoist. Take advantage of the hoists raising and lowering capability. If you don’t own a personal hoist, there are a few sex swing models that come with a hoist. Using a remote control you can raise and lower the swing effortlessly. Personal patient type hoists cost thousands. Sex swing hoists cost around $550.00 USD.

Already Have a Personal Hoist

Check the maximum weight rating before you go bouncing around in any hospital style, personal hoist. Remember safety first pumpkin. Position any personal wheelchair hoist sex swing over a bed. Or place something soft below you in case you fall. Keep a phone within reach. Just in case it all goes horribly wrong. Good luck explaining your dilema to emergency services lol.

Occasionally, both sexual partners have very limited mobility. Two tetraplegic (quadriplegic) lovers for example. They are restricted by poor hand and arm function. An electric battery powered patient hoist with remote control is ideal. It will help to make wheelchair hoist sex swing positions much easier. That is the purpose, easier love making for people with a disability.

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Some see a wheelchair hoist sex swing as nothing more than a kinky S&M bondage device. Strip teasing, pole dancing, a vibrator, these things are not everybody’s cup of tea. Personal hoists are used for transferring people with high level cervical C1-C7 tetraplegia. Paralyzed from a spinal cord injury, wheelchair users transfer into and out of bed etc, with a hoist. In the home however, a personal hoist can serve many purposes. Limited only by imagination. Most tetraplegics will already own a personal hoist and sling. These can be used as a wheelchair hoist sex swing. It’s just another perk of dating a tetraplegic.

Five Common Hoist Sling Types

Here are five common hoist sling types. Four are suitable for use as a wheelchair hoist sex swing. As an assistive device for sex and intimacy after spinal cord injury. The fast fit, and toileting (or dress) slings, offer the greatest freedom and sexual access. Hammock type slings are restrictive. Material covers the private areas. Hammock slings are fine for able bodied folks. Hammock slings are not well suited for sex with wheelchair users. Or any disability where a severely compromised range of motion, poor motor function, or extensive paralysis exists.

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By not crossing leg straps (sections that come up between the legs) legs spread wider apart in slings. This is great for sexual access, but it does create the risk, of slipping right through the sling. Lengthening top shoulder straps reclines a person into a flat supine (face up) or prone (face down) position.  This is good to hover your partner over you on a bed and rock back and forth.

Wheelchair Hoist Sex Swing Tips and Tricks

Sexy wheelchair lover spread legs in love swing suspended by personal patient hoist

Wheelchair lover in sex swing

The disabled wheelchair user does not always have to be the one in the sling. Switch it around and use your imagination. Try a 360 spinning motion if you dare. Climb in on top of your partner in your wheelchair hoist sex swing sling. Pushing the sides of a sling outward raises it a few inches. By pushing, and relaxing quickly, you can get a rhythmic bouncy motion going.

Try a little something new. Tie your disabed lover up and use the hoist to position them exactly where you want them. Blindfold and spank with a spatula lol. It’s all about having fun. Good love making begins in the brain hours before intercourse happens. Scented candlelight, massage, music, lingerie etc, all enhance the sexual experience. Get into the swing of it. For more tips on sex after spinal cord injury, and sex with a disability, see our wheelchair sex article.

RESOURCES

sexual imperfection

Wheelchair Sex After Spinal Cord Injury

Wheelchair sex and the ability to develop sexuality, participate in sexual activity, and maintain long term intimate relations is desired as much by people with a disability as in the general population. The majority of spinal cord injury wheelchair users are 15 to 45 years of age so sex and fertility often become an important issue. The amount of physical sexual function and ability to feel pleasure or pain sensation after a spinal cord injury depends on level and completeness. In general, an incomplete spinal cord injury affects sexual function to a varying degree if at all, as opposed to complete where no function exists. 

For men with incomplete spinal cord injuries involuntary motor and or sensory function still exists below the level of injury. The ability to achieve a sustainable erection for wheelchair sex and reach orgasm is usually possible. After a complete injury the ability to achieve erections, ejaculate, and father children can be greatly compromised. For women complete or incomplete, following an initial absence of menstrual cycle, fertility is rarely impaired, though vaginal lubrication may be. In both sexes limited to no sensation below the level of injury is common. By having wheelchair sex many couples are re-discovering sex after spinal cord injury. Wheelchair sex enriches their lives and results in a more understanding closer relationship. 

Safe Sex and What to do With Catheters

Never assume a spinal cord injury causes infertility or makes one incapable of catching and spreading Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD). Practice safe sex as you would normally. Men with a permanent Indwelling Catheter (IDC) can remove or fold back and cover with a condom or otherwise secure to penis shaft. Women with an IDC can also leave a catheter in during sex unless it causes problems. Stoma and those who self-cath (pass a catheter several times a day to drain bladder) usually do so just prior to sex to avoid any unwanted urine leakage. Supra Pubic Catheter users are free to engage in wheelchair sex, intimacy and sexual intercourse anytime.

Quadriplegia sex with catheters after spinal cord injury

Quadriplegia sex with catheters after spinal cord injury

Usually high level quadriplegics cannot go without a catheter for long. Care should be taken not to pull on a catheter during sex but don’t let it spoil enjoyment. If either wheelchair sex partner (or soloist) has major concern about a catheter for medical or aesthetic reasons tape it and any tubing to the body prior to love making. Be aware tubing pressed hard against skin can cause blisters. A sleeve of soft material slipped over the catheter and or tubing may avoid blistering. 

Orgasm Erectile and Vaginal Function

Men with incomplete spinal cord injuries may achieve reflex, but not psychogenic erections. That is; an erection may be achieved by physical stimulus, touch, not erotic vision or thought. While a more than adequate blessing for most, such erections are not always sustainable or strong enough for penetrative sex. Not only can unpredictable erections cause embarrassing situations during sexual intimacy but for wheelchair users in public (being void of sensation below the level of injury) unaware they have an erection. It has been reported that 45 percent of men have experienced orgasm after spinal cord injury. 

Complete injuries involving S2 to S4 affect the nerves responsible for two main chambers (corpora cavernosa) of the penis which fill with blood to create an erection, damage at and above this level makes reflex (physically stimulated) erections totally unachievable for most. If a sphincterectomy has been performed reflex and psychogenic erections are rarely possible. Difficulties with erections may eventually be experienced by nearly half of men with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) caused by lesions of the thoracic spine and autonomic nerves. 

The most sensitive area of the penis is the fraenum (underside of penis head). A vibrator applied to the fraenum can not only induce erection but orgasm, ejaculation. For a woman laying face up the erogenous zone is two to three inches inside the vagina and upward, called the G-spot. During wheelchair sex a womans G-spot might be more easily reached by sliding her hips up to the front edge of the wheelchair seat.

Women with incomplete spinal injuries are generally able to produce vaginal lubrication and enjoy wheelchair sex. For women with complete injuries between T10 and T12 there is typically an absence of either psychogenic or reflex lubrication. Attempted penetration of the vagina by any means may trigger adductor and pelvic floor muscle spasm. Be patient and never force entry. It has been reported that 53 percent of women have experienced orgasm after spinal cord injury. 

Medications and Sex Aids After Spinal Cord Injury

The introduction of oral medications Viagra and Ciallis have largely replaced their intracavernosal predecessors. Swallowing a pill has much less shock value than injecting and massaging meds into the penis. While both methods can help sustain an erection, the ability to achieve some form of erection in the first place, is most desirable.

I am one of the lucky quadriplegic wheelchair users who can get an erection simply by touch. I have tried Viagra several times. In the interests of research for this wheelchair sex article of course. I did not notice Viagra of any benefit to my usual sexual function. Viagra is really only of benefit to those who can achieve psychogenic erections (erections from erotic thoughts). 

Devices such as vacuum erection pumps can initiate erection and tight rings or bands applied to the base of penis will restrict blood drain from the penis once erection is achieved. Penile pump implants are also available but carry risk of erosion, leakage, or infection requiring removal. Some men with intact sacral anterior nerve roots are able to achieve stimulator-driven erections, though the primary reason for doing so is urination, not sex. 

Disability sex wedge, paraplegic sex swing, hoist bondage and armrests for wheelchair sex

Disability sex wedge, paraplegic sex swing, hoist bondage and armrests for wheelchair sex

Disability sex aids like sex wedges, sex swings, vibrators, the height of a bed or table, power tilt on a wheelchair and easily removable arm rests are worth consideration when purchasing equipment with wheelchair sex in mind. Partners of wheelchair users will attest the wheelchair itself becomes a sexual aid at times. 

For the more sexually adventurous, electric powered mechanical sex seats and fetish equipment like neck braces, casts, catheters, crutches, straitjackets, bondage, electrostimulators, mouth spreaders, and speculum devices exist.

Sex lubricants such as K-Y Jelly can assist in achieving sexual penetration and increase enjoyment of wheelchair sex. Application of these gels or “body sauces” and massage oils to other areas where greater sensation exists may also prove pleasurable during wheelchair sex. 

Wheelchair Sex Positions

Wheelchair sex positions

Wheelchair sex positions

How do people in wheelchairs have sex? Just like any other person, usually in bed. Some sexual positions are more difficult in bed after spinal cord injury as paralysis makes it hard to roll over or climb on top, compounded by loss of leg function for support, and hips for thrust. Therefore some sexual positions are more easily achieved by practising wheelchair sex. Most modern wheelchairs have easy to remove armrests, swing away footplates, folding backrests and locking brakes and such easily accommodate wheelchair sex and greater sexual freedom. Those in wheelchairs due to spinal cord injury often describe their wheelchair as their legs and therefore it becomes a part of their sexuality.  

Paraplegics rely on upper body strength to perform adventurous wheelchair sex positions. Quadriplegics or Tetraplegics rely on assistance from their partner to do the same. For wheelchair sex sliding the paralyzed male or females bottom to the front edge of the wheelchair seat gives greater access for sex. When both sex partners have high level spinal cord injuries a sex worker may be employed to assist in wheelchair sex and intercourse. Be aware when limited sensation below the level of spinal cord injury exists, sensitivity above the level of injury often increases, and can become hypersensitive. Go easy on those nipples. 

Some find paralysis and wheelchair users very sexually attractive and actively seek them as partners. Most are caring empathetic people genuinely interested in people with disabilities. Occasionally however such relationships are sought assuming that a position of dominance and control will be given and can result in conflict or violence. Wheelchair sex fetish should not be thought of as perverse. Like any sexual practice it only becomes unhealthy or inappropriate and often illegal when forced into or thrust upon minors and unsuspecting, unwilling parties. For example; public masturbation, flashing and up-skirting. 

Throw Clinical Approach Out The Bedroom Window

As a C4 incomplete quadriplegic male able to achieve reflex but not psychogenic erections the sight of my beautiful girlfriend still makes me want to pin her to the wall and tear her lingerie off with my teeth. A clinical diagnosis deeming psychogenic, sexual thought and erotic vision of no benefit to establishing erection, bares no relevance in the bedroom. Scented candles, rose petals, lingerie, nudity, enticement, foreplay, wheelchairs and other apparatus can hold new use and appreciation for both sexes. Blessed with a patient willing partner I even turn my head sideways looking at my hoist lately. 

“Sexy is not about sensation. It took time to recognize that what I was feeling during sex was less about physical sensation and more of a mental build-up. It’s mind over matter, but there’s definitely a release. It was completely frustrating at first, but I think part of the healing process was learning the ways my body works differently after my accident.” – Angela Rockford

Experiment with your partner to discover the new frontier spinal cord injury and wheelchair sex brings. Talk with them to learn about their body, likes and dislikes. People with a physical disability often have a poor self body image, thinking they are damaged goods, broken, somehow less than. This perception or stigma is difficult to change in both the disabled and general public’s mind. Often an able-bodied sex partner will feel guilt for having full sensation. These feelings are normal and should be discussed, but don’t dwell on them. Healthy love making is about pleasing your partner. The person with limited sensation from spinal cord injury often derives great joy and sexual satisfaction from simply pleasuring their partner. 

A girlfriend of mine was asked what she sees in me because I’m, “not a whole man.” Resisting the urge to punch them out of their seat she replied, “He’s more man than any I know, I see the man not the wheelchair.” 

Spinal Cord Injury Emissions and Ejaculations

For seminal emission to occur the spinal cord nerves from T11 to L2 to the vasa deferentia, seminal vesicles, and prostate must be intact. Emission being a trickling or leakage of semen with no rhythmic contractions of the pelvic floor muscles as in true ejaculation. Some with complete cord lesions at lumbar or sacral level may be able to achieve psychogenic erections and emission. Retrograde ejaculation, where the semen is ejected into the bladder rather than the urethral meatus is common. 

When ejaculation cannot be achieved by sexual intercourse it may be induced by masturbation or vibrator stimulus of the fraenum (underside tip) of the penis. Emissions may also be induced by rectal electroejaculation (a vibrator applied to prostate via the anus). A hypo-gastric plexus stimulator can also be implanted to achieve emission, using a single inductive link across the skin. When neither ejaculation nor emission can be achieved collection of sperm by epididymal aspiration or testicular biopsy (a sample collected from testicles by needle) is possible. 

Fertility After Spinal Cord Injury

Fertility in men progressively reduces after spinal cord injury. A low sperm count with diminished motility (swim strength) is often due to continuing non-ejaculation, infection and raised testicular temperatures from sitting in a wheelchair and laying in bed for long periods with little mobility and poor air flow. Earliest collection and storage of sperm after a spinal cord injury might therefore be enacted. Seminal fluid quality may improve after repeated ejaculation. All good reasons to engage in regular wheelchair sex. 

It is essential to obtain microbiological cultures of the seminal fluid and eradicate any infection prior to proceeding with an attempt at fertilization. Fertilization success rates after spinal cord injury have improved with the use of seminal fluid enhancement techniques, intrauterine insemination, In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). 

For women after an initial absence of menstrual cycles fertility is rarely compromised. If the spinal cord lesion is complete above T10 labor may be painless. When unable to bear down effectively during the second stage of labor forceps are often used to assist in delivery. Autonomic Dysreflexia during labor is a risk for mothers with a spinal cord injury at T6 and above, this can be prevented with an epidural anesthesia. 

Sexual Access and Opportunity for Disabled

“(Sex)abled Disability Uncensored” celebrates people with disabilities as sexual beings. This 14-minute film made by San Francisco State University students features the bright and lively participants of the discussion panel sponsored by UC Berkeley’s Disabled Students Union called “Are Cripples Screwed?” Enjoy engaging with Bay area community members and comedian Josh Blue (winner of Last Comic Standing) as they share their personal experiences with wheelchair sex, dating and intimacy. Please consider making a contribution to the production of this video at Sex Smart Films.

For significantly disabled wheelchair users such as high level spinal cord injury tetraplegics (quadriplegics) on ventilators living in structured environments, nursing homes, group homes and institutions, wheelchair sex and opportunities for sexual and gender expression may be limited. Institutional barriers to wheelchair sex and sexual relationships include cramped conditions, a lack of privacy, unwelcome intrusion by support staff, prohibited relationships with staff, prohibited sexual contact between residents and prohibited sexual relations between residents and visitors. 

Disabled people’s sexual and emotional needs are rarely included in any discussion or representation in popular culture such as movies, music, and magazines. When disabled people are represented in more sexually positive ways by media, often social cultural and institutional supports follow suit, advocating for disabled people’s greater sexual access and sexual well-being. For wheelchair users with spinal cord injury this positive sexual representation not only promotes wheelchair sex. It strengthens sexual self-identification and heightens sexual self-esteem. It creates an avenue for non-disabled people to see the disabled in a more sexually attractive light. 

Disability in the Commercial Sex Industry

Paraplegics and quadriplegics are employed as sex workers in several fields. Increasing numbers of women with paralysis from spinal cord injury and other physical disabilities are being employed in the phone sex industry. Some customers specifically request sexual surrogates (qualified sex therapy educators who engage in sex). Others request wheelchair bound prostitutes. Some earn a living as wheelchair sex porn stars. Disability sex educators, with an actual disability, are highly sought after. Wheelchair bound glamour models are increasingly seen in the fashion industry. There is even a niche for medical equipment test pilots. 

A 13 billion dollar industry in the United States, commercial outlets and websites selling “disability fetish” calendars, pictures and videos of disabled women and men having sex, wheelchair sex, naked “gimp” amputees, girls in casts and various other mediums of wheelchair bound people having sex are increasingly common in western culture. Most are produced solely for pornographic use which is fine for adult porn entertainment but is all to often exploitative of the disability sector. Porn movies featuring non-disabled wheelchair pretenders do little to promote real wheelchair sex or sex with a disability. The wheelchair becomes nothing more than a prop. 

The relationship between disability and the commercial sex industry has developed healthier approaches through increased education and recognition of sexuality of people with disabilities as an important issue. With or without disability however gender imbalance will always exist, where women are seen as goods and men as the consumer or buyer of such goods. 

Disability in the International Sex Industry

The global sex industry is worth an estimated 850 billion US dollars per year spawning many illegal underground sub-cultures. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, targeting vulnerable sections of populations including disabled people. Globally, 27 million people are held in slavery for the two main purposes of labor and sex. Often considered unable to work, those with a disability are nearly always exploited for sex. 

Disabled women often enter into traditional prostitution as the lowest and cheapest commodity due to their extremely marginalized status. This places them at great risk of sexual abuse, rape and sexually transmitted disease HIV/AIDS. Each country has their own inherent problems concerning sexual issues, such as traditional customs and culture, access and support, education and advocacy, economy and research. The problems facing the international sex industry are many and positive outcomes few. 

Paraplegic Ellen Stohl featured in a Playboy Pictorial in 1989

Paraplegic Ellen Stohl – Playboy Pictorial 1989

Five Quick Wheelchair Sex Facts

  • A Braille copy of Playboy featuring the beautiful paraplegic Ellen Stohl was provided by the National Library Service for the Blind and Handicapped in the USA until Congress banned its production.
  • The average age of entry into pornography and prostitution in the USA is 13. Of these more than 10% have a disability.
  • In Australia, the Accsex Network provides disabled people with a “sex-attendant” and can arrange access to other wheelchair sex services.
  • The Pink Palace, a brothel in Melbourne, gained global media attention by making their premises wheelchair accessible and installing a sit-down shower.
  • In Zimbabwe some still believe that HIV/AIDS can be cured by having sex with a disabled person. 

Barriers to Sexual Expression After Spinal Cord Injury

Social attitudes and physical barriers associated with decreased mobility as well as a dependency on others for care after a spinal cord injury often hinders sexual expression. A social attitude that deems people with physical disabilities as dependent and helpless only fosters assumptions. It serves to prevent able-bodied people from accepting a person with spinal cord injury as a sexual partner. 

Perceived as very “needy” a relationship with a person of high level spinal cord injury such as quadriplegia or tetraplegia is imagined to be extremely demanding and never equal. This attitude can also become internalized by the person with spinal cord injury. They start to believe their dependency makes them undesirable wheelchair sex and life partners. 

wheelchair sex barriers after spinal cord injury

Wheelchair sex barriers after SCI

Wheelchair sex barriers after spinal cord injury and the true sexual desires, prowess and functions of people with disabilities, are greatly compromised by mythical stigma and stereotypes. People with intellectual disabilities for example are often believed to be oversexed and dangerous or asexual and eternally childlike. Other wheelchair users, especially those with a spinal cord injury are considered unable to parent, conceive, or adequately raise children. These false stereotypes further exclude people with disabilities from sexual activities. This has been highlighted by an increasingly vocal constituency of people with disabilities expressing frustration at the social barriers preventing full participation in life particularly in the taboo area of sexuality. 

Emphasis has been placed on social re-integration of wheelchair users like those with spinal cord injury in recent times. Schemes and programs have been developed to open opportunities for wheelchair sex, independent living, education, employment, health, sport, transport and physical wheelchair access. Many people meet sex partners and life partners at college, their workplace and social events, but for wheelchair users they must first be able to participate and express their sexuality. Only then can they be seen as sexually able and possibly sexually attractive. 

Identified Sexual Outcomes After Spinal Cord Injury

Today, there is a greater awareness that sexuality is equally important to men and women with disabilities and that sexuality is an integral part of the development and experience of all people. Much of what we know about the social barriers that people with disabilities face in relation to their sexuality comes from the reports of people with disabilities themselves. Disability activists have also played a strong role, campaigning for the sexual rights of people with disabilities, including the right to have sexual relationships, the right to be parents, and the right to access sexual services. 

Wheelchair Love

Wheelchair Love

People with a disability including wheelchair users with spinal cord injury don’t always portray the youth, virility, athleticism and physical beauty that is so sought after in western culture. Often resented by the able-bodied, seen as ugly and repulsive, the disabled body is hidden or presented as something to be avoided, corrected, and pitied.

Historically, there has been a fear that people with disabilities will produce offspring with disabilities, and a belief that this is something that should be avoided. Despite the history of exclusion, physical limitations, isolation and abuse, it is important to note that for other people with disabilities, their sexual rights are being achieved and they are leading satisfying sexual lives.

Both paraplegics and quadriplegics living with spinal cord injury are enjoying relationships of all kinds, having children, marrying other disabled people and people who do not have a disability. People with disabilities are enjoying active wheelchair sex lives, dating, loving, touching, kissing, hugging, sucking, fingering, and fucking. Some are accessing the sex industry, visiting sex workers, working as sex workers, consuming pornography, and in some instances, making pornography.

People paralyzed by spinal cord injury are learning and teaching about sex, as sex educators, counselors, and researchers. They are finding and sharing useful ways to enjoy wheelchair sex, express their sexuality, increase sexual pleasure and bolster sexual self esteem. Prioritizing the sexual rights of people with disabilities, as well as dissolving stereotypes, taboos and silences will ensure that these success stories become the norm for most people with disabilities in years to come.

Graham Streets
MSC Founder

Resources

  • Barry, K. 1995. The Prostitution of Sexuality. New York University Press.
  • Bradford, S. 2003. Prostitution Reform Bill Good for Disabled People.
  • Fegan, L. A. Rauch. W. McCarthy. 1993. Sexuality and People with Intellectual Disability. Sydney, Australia: MacLennan & Petty Pty Limited.
  • Gary L. Albrecht. 2006. Encyclopedia of Disability. University of Illinois, Chicago.
  • Hughes, D. 1999. Pimps and Predators on the Internet: Globalizing Sexual Exploitation of Women and Children. Oslo, Norway: The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women.
  • McCabe, M. P. and G. Taleporos. 2003. Sexual Esteem, Sexual Satisfaction and Sexual Behavior among People with Physical Disability. Archives of Sexual Behavior.
  • Miles, M. 1999. Blindness in South and East Asia: Using History to Inform Development. Disability in Different Cultures: Reflections on Local Concepts. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
  • Mona, L. R. and P. S. Gardos. 2000. Disabled Sexual Partners. Psychological Perspectives on Human Sexuality.
  • Murphy, R. 1995. Encounters: The Body Silent in America Disability and Culture. University of California Press.
  • Noonan, R. 2000. Sex Surrogates: A Clarification of Their Functions.
  • Raymond, J. G. 2003. 10 Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution.
  • Richard, A. O. 1999. International Trafficking in Women to the United States: A Contemporary Manifestation of Slavery and Organized Crime. Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Intelligence, CIA.
  • Shakespeare, T. 2000. Disabled Sexuality: Toward Rights and Recognition. Sexuality and Disability.
  • Shakespeare, T., K. Gillespie-Sells, and D. Davis. 1996. The Sexual Politics of Disability: Untold Desires. London: Cassell.
  • Shuttleworth, R. 2000. The Search for Sexual Intimacy for Men with Cerebral Palsy. Sexuality and Disability.
  • Shuttleworth, R. P. and L. Mona. 2002. Disability and Sexuality: Toward a Focus on Sexual Access. Disability Studies Quarterly.
  • Silverburg, C., M. Kaufman, and F. Odette. 2003. The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability. San Francisco: Cleis.
  • Sipski, M. and C. Alexander. 1997. Sexual Function in People with Disability and Chronic Illness: A Health Professional’s Guide. Frederick, MD: Aspen.
  • Taleporos, George. 2001. Our Bodies and Sexualities beyond 2000: Disability with Attitude: Critical Issues 20 Years After International Year of Disabled Persons. University of Western Sydney, Australia.
  • Wade, H. 2002. Discrimination, Sexuality and People with Significant Disabilities: Issues of Access and the Right to Sexual Expression in the United States. Disability Studies Quarterly.
  • Sobsey, D. 1994. Violence and Abuse in the Lives of People with Disabilities: The End of Silent Acceptance. Baltimore: Brookes.

Websites

 

Laura Hershey Activist

Media Driven Disability Stereotypes

This November, Laura Hershey (1962-2010), MFA, disability activist, writer, poet, passed away from a sudden illness aged 48. Based in Colorado she is the author of Survival Strategies for Going Abroad: A Guide for People with Disabilities, a 2005 book offering stories and advice on international travel, published by Mobility International US. Laura Hershey is widely recognized for her organized protests against media driven disability stereotypes including the opinionated Jerry Lewis during his yearly Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) fundraising telethons. As a youngster, Hershey herself had been chosen as an MDA telethon “poster child.”

For many years, Laura Hershey argued Lewis’ yearly parading of his “pitiful, helpless cripples” in need of donations was demeaning and his portrayal of their existence as lives not worth living was offensive. When confronted, Lewis responded “…if you don’t want to be pitied for being a cripple in a wheelchair, don’t come out of the house.”

On another occasion, Lewis was asked what he himself would do if diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy, the performer responded, “…I’d just have to learn to try to be good at being half a person.”  Based on the revenue brought in from Lewis’ MDA telethons, the agencies’ administrators are reluctant to correct Lewis’ frequent discriminatory statements. MDA officials fail to acknowledge people making donations totaling millions of dollars form negative and stereotypical opinions of people with disabilities from Jerry Lewis and those who enable him.

Laura Hershey Activist

Second from left Laura Hershey the activist protesting for better in home care

Imprinting Stereotypes On Children

Constantly bombarded with dysfunctional comments, questions and mis-representations through mainstream forms of media children as young as three (3) years of age, are able to acquire stereotypical beliefs and adopt negative prejudicial attitudes from their environment. Not understanding the true consequences at the time as these children grow, form friendships and groups, they exhibit negative behavior toward indifference, “outsiders” they have been socialized against.

Children given exposure to cultures outside their own, accepting of gender differentials and families dissimilar to their own dynamic, greatly reduces the inception of stereotypical behavior. Children raised in open tolerant family homes with stability and loving support, where acceptance and punishment is not harsh nor violent, prove more able to achieve in all aspects of life. The question is why would a parent not want this for their child.

Omission Perpetuating Disability Barriers

It is not a parental or media right to incite intolerance of people with a disability. One third of the population has or cares for someone with a disability. These are the people who strive to make life easier for all. If a tetraplegic with spinal cord injury for example can access a bus in their wheelchair you can rest assured a fully able bodied person can easily access.

All to often media reinforce and perpetuate negative bias simply by omission. Western culture emphasizes highly sexualized aesthetic beauty. The  predominant image of an ideal lover in popular culture excludes men and women with disabilities. Seldom acknowledged is the beauty and vitality that comes with a disability and even more rare the portrayal as attractive parental and sexual beings.

Persons with disabilities appear to be considered by media as invisible despite the reality that a significant proportion of the universal population has a physical or intellectual disability. Recent surveys from the World Health Organization have determined individuals with some form of disability account for the world’s largest minority: 650 million or 10% of the population. That is exclusive of the, “emotionally crippled” in true Jerry Lewis style.

Conclusions

Media will continue to present skewed, stigmatized representations of people with disabilities, perpetrating stereotypes. Misinformed is no excuse for ignorance. That is not to say all media coverage discriminates against disability. Prejudice against disabilities and sociological notions relegating the disabled body as something to be hidden are slowly changing.

Laura Hershey and her daughter

Laura Hershey and her daughter

With her untimely death, Laura Hershey leaves her partner to raise their young daughter alone. Hopefully by the time Ms. Hershey’s daughter is an adult there will be greater acceptance and healthier attitudes toward people with disabilities garnering media attention.

“I wrote “Monster Body” in celebration of my own disability. I aimed to acknowledge my body’s struggles, including compromised respiratory function, and its primary interface with the world, the base of my spirituality.” – Laura Hershey

Monster Body – by Laura Hershey

I mock the human form

My back, shell-sharp curve, my thin wrist bone
Limbs that do not twitch beyond the digits
Illustrate terror, the randomness of damage

Right lung so different from left
Thrust forward, fuller-breathed
Its more delicate mate shrunken
Adjusting to a smaller, collapsing cage

Brief breaths, bent bones
Muscles weak as water, still as sleeping stars
Monster mine, monster body
One I would not trade

Not Shelley’s “hideous phantasm”
Just parts made from imperfect materials: sinew, scar
Cells, fluid, fat, and heart

Still I roar when burned by exile
Mobs swinging angry torches through stone streets.
Stubborn flesh threat of frail menace
Vulnerability shocking as violence
Dangerous, I carry
Secrets in my castle, fainted women in my healing search

Empathy repatriates me.
I take this shape, my body
Monster body mine
By my body I journey,
I learn, I love.
It is my lens, my light.

Kind Regards
Deb

Resources

Andrea Dworkin Feminist featured in Life Magazine

Andrea Dworkin Through the Pain Barrier

This is the last piece written by Andrea Dworkin (1946 – 2005), feminist, author, disability activist, composed just a month before she died in 2005. Few knew she suffered from an agonizing bone disease for several years. She describes with grim humor her worst moments and why she felt she was starting to heal.

The doctor who knows me best says that osteoarthritis begins long before it cripples – in my case, possibly from homelessness, or sexual abuse, or beatings on my legs, or my weight. John, my partner, blames Scapegoat, a study of Jewish identity and women’s liberation that took me nine years to write; it is, he says, the book that stole my health. I blame the drug-rape that I experienced in 1999 in Paris.

Andrea Dworkin Feminist featured in Life Magazine

Andrea Dworkin featured in Life Magazine

I returned from Paris and finished Scapegoat over a period of months while caring for my dying father. Shortly after he died I was in hospital, delirious from a high fever, with infection and blood clots in my legs. I was there for a month. John had been told that I was dying. I forgot that in hospitals when one is dying, nurses abrogate the rules. John was allowed in after visiting hours; nurses would pull the curtain around my bed and let him lie with me. This was my happiness. Doctors tell me that there is no medical truth to my notion that the rape caused this sickness or what happened after it. I believe I am right: it was the rape. They don’t know because they have never looked.

“Every three minutes a woman is being raped. Every eighteen seconds a woman is being beaten. There is nothing abstract about it. It is happening right now as I am speaking.” – Andrea Dworkin

A few months after I got out of the hospital, my knees began to change. They lost their flexibility. Slowly they stiffened. As they stiffened they became sore. They started to hurt terribly as if injured but not visibly injured. I got a cell-phone – before they were ubiquitous – so that if I couldn’t walk any more I could call a car. I had given up on New York City subways: my knees could no longer bend enough to use them.

I went to an orthopedic surgeon. I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my knees. I was treated with the anti-inflammatory Celebrex and, when that didn’t work, its stronger cousin, Vioxx. Which was recently taken off the market by its makers because of a risk of heart attacks or strokes; I was on it for three years. I had cortisone shots in my knees, followed by prednisone. The cortisone shots, which are painful, worked only once. Then I could walk without pain; in joy I sat on my front steps and talked with my neighbor – inconsequential chat. When I tried to stand up, my knees were rigid and excruciating. I managed to stand and swivel around; I took the remaining two steps up to my front door and used the door to drag me inside. I had had an hour-and-a-half of freedom.

My mobility lessened as the pain increased. Eventually I found myself housebound. I could walk only a few steps at a time, intimidated by the pain and the refusal of my knees to bend. John and I lived in a three-floor house. I could barely make my way up or down the steps. I’d crawl up the steps on hands and feet. I’d try to go down on my butt, step by step. The kitchen was on the first floor; the toilet on the second; my desk, books and shower on the third. My physical world became tiny and pain-racked. I stayed in my bed when I could. John brought me up food. I’d go out only to the doctors.

The orthopedist started giving me narcotics, most of which contained acetaminophen, a common, nonprescription analgesic. My pharmacist persuaded the doctor that the liver damage caused by too much acetaminophen was more dangerous to me than stronger drugs. Through her advocacy I got a drug normally given only to cancer patients. It was a little yellow lollipop and when in pain one was supposed to lick. I licked a lot. I was told that I had to have my knees replaced. The prostheses are made out of titanium and plastic. I had both knees replaced at once, a normal practice now but unusual even a few years ago. My surgeon would later tell me that if I had had one done, I would never have returned for the second. He got that right.

“Institutionalized in sports, the military, acculturated sexuality, the history and mythology of heroism, violence is taught to boys until they becomes its advocates.“ – Andrea Dworkin

I still don’t know what he did to me but I came to the conclusion that the operation was barbaric, involving as it did the sawing out of the arthritis, which meant sawing through bones. It was like being kneecapped, twice, or having one’s knees and bones hammered and broken into bits. After the operation I was in a nightmare of narcotics and untouchable pain. There were morphine shots. I asked for them and got them often. Even morphine shots in the upper arm hurt.

I had a hallucination but it is still real as rain to me. I was in Virginia Woolf’s house and I was happy. But “they” wanted me to go down the stairs. I can’t, I begged, I can’t. My hospital bed was at the top of the stairs and I was afraid that they were going to push me down. I saw the steep decline of the steps. I couldn’t get over my visceral fear of falling or being pushed or being turned over from the bed down the flight of steps. I kept experiencing my bed as being on the edge of a precipice.

One day, I remember, a nurses’ aide braided my hair and I felt cooler, cleaner. I was on the bedpan, but raising myself up to use it – knees – was so fiercely painful that I would rather lie in my piss.

Then the day came when I had to walk. There was a vinyl chair next to my hospital bed. The physical therapist’s name was Carl. He was like a tree trunk, big and solid. You can do it, he said. I’ll help you; we’ll just go over to the chair. It was impossible, outside the realm of the imaginable. Carl let me hold on to him in a desperate, tight embrace as he carried me over to the chair. My legs dangled, my knees twisted, I sweated, I screamed. See, you could do that, he said, without a shred of irony. I had to sit there for two hours, which meant knees bent but not weight-bearing. Nurses came by and gave verbal approval: good dog, good dog. Eventually Carl carried me back to bed.

Andrea Dworkin

Andrea Dworkin

Pain is a four-letter word. There is no way to recreate it through memory. It is not like the flashback arising from traumatic events such as rape or battery. The flashback is as if it is happening now, in the present, even if it is from decades ago. Pain can be recent yet inaccessible to immediate experience. Torturers know that people can’t die from pain. The consequences of pain – for instance a heart attack – yes, but not from pain itself, however intense. The horror is that no one dies from pain. This means that suffering can be immeasurable, enduring, without respite. So it would be for me for the next two years.

I was taken to an institute for physical rehabilitation. A nurses’ aide took me to shower in a wheelchair. I used a walker from the cot on which I slept to the wheelchair, maybe two miserable steps. I had two responsibilities – take my pain medications (Vicodin or Percocet) and show up at the right room at the right time for the scheduled rehabilitative class. I was not allowed to go to class if I did not take the painkillers. In fact, the pain was unrelenting. I lived for the next pill.

Physical therapy is based on tiny movements, increments of change that almost defy detection; it is built on the repetition of the minuscule. Yet to the hurt person these motions or movements or minute steps are hard. The first time is daunting and the 10th is like climbing Mount Everest. I sit in a big room, my wheelchair in a big circle of wheelchairs. Big is good because it means that my turn does not come often. I stand up by holding on to a walker and take a step. Then I step back and sit down. The cycle is hideous. The steps with the walker increase to two, then three. After several weeks I am assigned a means of locomotion: crutches.

Rehabilitation also includes so-called occupational therapy: throw a ball around in a circle; put round pegs in round holes; stand up, arms on a table, and read a page of a magazine; water a plant; play checkers or cards; and the pièce de résistance, cook and serve a simple meal. I am guided in the intricacies of shopping while crippled; I learn how to use a “grabber” to latch on to things I have dropped or cannot reach; I am taught again how to put on shoes and socks and tie shoelaces. I also have to meet the institution’s psychologist once. I keep getting called back. When I ask why, I am told that I am “interesting.” Well, yes, I think, I used to be.

The narcotics help me deal with the psychologist but the physical pain simply marches on. It does not lessen or change or stop. I learn three rules in my occupational therapy classes: never hold on to anything that moves; if it rains or snows, stay inside, even if that means cancelling doctors’ appointments (to those medicalised this is nearly profane); and kick the cat – if a cat curls up in front of your feet, kick it away. I learned to use my crutch to kick the cat. I will go to hell for this.

On discharge, social services are provided. My male partner is not expected to be a care-giver. I am sent an itinerant nurse, a young, poorly paid and badly trained social aide to help me with baths and to do light housework, and a freelance physical therapist who will do the drill: stand up, take steps, bend your knees, and – the killer – stand on your toes. And on discharge a wreck like me is sent to a “pain management centre.” Despite my small successes at physical rehabilitation I am in agony. I spend almost all my time in bed, a bed of nails, all through the knees.

The pain management centre is run by Curly, Larry and Moe. First there is a 10-page questionnaire. Rate from 1 to 10 your pain (I modestly assert an 8; my social conscience, atavistic as it is, tells me that there are others in more pain). Rate from 1 to 10: is your mother dead; how many people in your family have died of cancer; how is your sex life; how many times a week do you have sex?

They want me to undress so they can examine me. This is absurd. I refuse. There is a table they want me to lie on that they claim lessens pain. The bottom line is that New York State regulates narcotics to such an extent that regular doctors are reluctant to write prescriptions for painkillers; and so Curly, Larry and Moe at pain management put you through whatever rigmarole and then write prescriptions, none of which, according to state law, can be refilled. One is in a cycle of coming back for new prescriptions and new indignities every 30 days.

Curly eventually puts me on Percocet, fentanyl patches and methadone. I am on these drugs for nearly two years. I become slightly indifferent to the awful pain. My speech slurs and my memory is impaired. It is during this time that I write my memoir Heartbreak. I want to remember some good things in my life. I work for one hour a day. The narcotics do not make me Coleridge; but I hold my own.

One day I wake up and the pain is gone from my right knee – as if God had intervened. The pain in the left one is the same. I begin to go outside on my crutches. I can walk half a block to my local Starbucks. One day I sit there, still on my meds, and I see the ballet going on outside. The sidewalk is heavy with pedestrian traffic. They are so unselfconscious, these normal walkers. They have different gaits; they move effortlessly; each dances without knowing it. I used to be one of them. I want to be again.

The anti-drama of small gesticulations continues, this time in physical therapy several blocks from where I live. My left knee is still rotten. After another year of physical therapy they give me a cane. I put away all the crutches and other signs of what I call “disability chic.” I can sort of walk. The cane means victory. The pain in my left knee keeps me on my meds. Over the course of another year, that pain lessens. It’s a whisper, a shadow – it goes. I give up the pills, though I go through a nasty withdrawal from methadone.

Alas, there is no happy ending. John and I move to Washington so that he can take a job as managing editor of a large-circulation magazine. We live in an apartment without steps. I am on the cane. I go into physical therapy because, unable to stand up straight, I hunch over the cane. A few days later I am at the kitchen table reading a magazine. I stand up to get something and my right knee cannot bear any weight, none. I can’t use it because I can’t step on it. I have no pain; I have had no warning. I get to my crutches, which are in a closet. I need both of them in order to move. My right knee remains useless.

The physical therapist determines that the quadriceps above the knee has stopped working, because imperceptible pain occasions the quad muscle to give out. Then my knee buckles and I fall. It is dangerous to fall. I see the physical therapist twice a week. The orthopedic surgeon (“a genius with knees,” says my internist) puts me in a restrictive brace that allows my knee to bend only so far. That way, if my knee fails, I am unlikely to fall. After nearly a year of physical therapy my quad muscle is not much stronger and my knee still buckles. The surgeon sends me to a rehabilitation hospital where they make me a new brace, specifically fitted to my leg.

This brace works on the opposite principle to the first one: it immobilizes the knee so that no buckling is possible, thus, no fall is possible. It takes months for artisans to make the brace. It goes from beneath my calf to the top of my thigh. It is made of a black space-age material created to go to Mars or Saturn. Nothing makes it bend or stretch or break. It is completely unforgiving. I call it Darth Vader. It is the principle of evil incarnate.

The straps that attach front to back are Velcro. I am supposed to lock it when I walk and unlock it when I want to sit. The brace is worn under my pants leg so no one can see it. Each manipulation is distinct: in public locking it makes me look as if I am masturbating, and unlocking it makes me look as if I am fondling my thigh. The brace must be very tight and positioned perfectly to work. It takes me nearly two months to learn how to put it on and use it. I lose my balance in efforts to lock it. Once I flip backward, magically landing on a chair.

Self-respect demands that I clean up the faecal mess that my cat has made. It is the immobilized knee that makes bending down to the floor fraught with peril. I start falling and know that I must not hit the floor. I fight against gravity, my fingernails clawing at the walls and my hand grasping for the door frame. I know that if I fall I probably will not be able to get up. Somehow I raise myself. I was slow with the first brace. I had to remind myself to be patient. With Darth I make the turtle look like the hare.

The landscape is one of hazard. Anything can reach up and bite me: a break in the sidewalk; leaves; sand; mud; a sudden slope up or down; a stone; some pebbles. Anything threatening balance is dangerous: first the brace itself; then wind, people running or bicycling or being too close or too many; a fast car; a step; a curb; a puddle; heavy doors; slick surfaces. Crowds are impossible and so are stairs.

I want to be able to carry a cup along with a plate to the kitchen sink in one trip. I don’t want to have to make two trips. The cup slips and breaks. This happens several times. Is it a small thing? I can’t bear it or accept it. I reject the extent of my disability. I find myself in a silent rage that stretches over weeks. I am utterly exhausted by my incapacity. I am worn out from walking. I am sick of physical therapy. There are little humiliations.

Andrea Dworkin Activist Keynote Speaker

Andrea Dworkin Activist Keynote Speaker

I keynote a conference on the Holocaust. The organizer picks me up. She is driving a truck. I try to climb up into it. She physically pushes me under my ass without permission, all the while talking to me in baby talk, put your tooshie there, keep your cute little fanny there. I turn to her and say, I am disabled, not stupid. A friend throws a party for me in Washington. I ask how many steps there are to the apartment. He doesn’t know. I assume he will get back to me. John and I go to the party. There are three flights of steps. I can’t get to the party being given for me. We could have given it in another venue, the friend says the next day. It cuts.

I go to a bar and need to use the rest room. The men’s is filthy, the bartender says; the women’s is two flights up. I use the dirty one. I go to a new movie theatre that has elevators and disability bathrooms but the polished stone of the floor is so slick that my crutches cannot safely navigate it. I am walking with a friend who suddenly looks at my crutches and says, you don’t want to be this way the rest of your life, do you? Her repulsion is barely masked. I feel unutterably alone.

Each disabled person has a story, often including pain, impairment, disorientation and loss of control. Each disabled person lives always on the threshold of separation, exile and involuntary otherness. Only a determined policy of public access can help to mitigate the loneliness. One needs to be able to enter buildings; have a cup of coffee; go to a restaurant, the theatre, cinema or a concert; attend school; go to lectures or readings; use public transport, bathrooms, hotel showers; go to museums and sporting events and political rallies.

One needs equal opportunity in employment. One needs to be integrated into the world, not separated from it; yet one has special needs, ones that able-bodied people rarely consider. The low consciousness of the able-bodied increases alienation. For mobility problems, one needs a new geography: kerb ramps; ramps in addition to steps; handrails; grab bars; high toilets; light doors; wheelchairs; room for wheelchairs in public bathrooms and hotel rooms; elevators; safety in floor surfaces including carpeting; entry and egress from public transport as well as acceptable seating; and a host of other considerations.

Other disabilities require other remedies. In 1990 Congress passed the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, which articulated in great detail the requirements for making the world available to disabled people. This is a civil rights law that recognizes the exclusion of disabled people from the larger community as outright discrimination. The law had its impact because disabled people found aggressive trial lawyers to sue commercial and private venues for noncompliance. The plaintiffs went after big-money damages for violating the civil rights mandated by the ADA. Eventually it became clear that compliance would be cheaper than continuing litigation. Losing money does put the fear of God into Americans.

I have to say that the ADA increases the quality of my life, Darth notwithstanding. I get through airports in a wheelchair provided by the airline; John takes me to the zoo a few blocks from where we live [and] the zoo provides a wheelchair; local coffee houses to which I gravitate have disability-standard bathrooms; there are special seats for me in cinemas and theatres and in rock venues; there are kerb ramps at pedestrian crossings and ramps or elevators in addition to steps and escalators in most public accommodations.

In my neighborhood I see many other disabled people outside all the time. We are not rare or invisible, because we are not hidden as if in shame. And bless those nasty trial lawyers, whom George W Bush and the Republicans hate so much. Without them the ADA would be a useless pile of paper. For myself – despite physical therapy, the breaking cups, and my immobilized knee – in the middle of the night, worn down, I listen to Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach or Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose; and I am, I think, healing. Surely music must be more powerful than bad luck.

Andrea Dworkin

Resources

The Broken Column a painting by Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo Spinal Injury Artist

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) one of the most influential Mexican spinal injury artists of the middle twentieth century. Frida Kahlo painted images of the disabled female body. Striking self portrait’s of her own spinal cord injury and trauma. As a teenager in 1925 a tram car accident left Frida Kahlo with multiple injuries. She would endure a long and painful recovery.

Broken spinal column vertebrae, collarbone, ribs and pelvis, eleven fractures in right leg, a crushed and dislocated right foot, and dislocated shoulder. An iron handrail from the tram also pierced her abdomen and uterus. In Frida Kahlo’s paintings these injuries and her now seriously impaired reproductive ability transcend from the canvas.

Born in Coyoacán, Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón. Frida Kahlo’s artwork interweaves traditional Mexican votive painting and technical images of the body. Modern medical science (x-rays, surgical implements, hospital experience) fused with Christian icons of redemption through physical pain and suffering. In this way, Frida Kahlo painted an entirely new depiction of the female experience and form.

The Broken Column a painting by Frida Kahlo
The Broken Column by Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo Artwork

Frida Kahlo’s ground breaking artwork is among the first, and perhaps the most daring, to render a portrait of transparent, explicit, bodily trauma. Prior to her artwork pain was shown through gestures of agony. Scenes of crucifixion or martyrdom, as in the work of Kathe Kollwitz, Picasso’s Guernica. Or explicit gore in battle scenes and beheadings the likes of Salome, Jose Posada’s dancing skeletons, or any number of other mythological illustrations.

“I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.” – Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo’s artwork is particularly of interest to disability studies. Not only for the auto-biographical renditions of her spinal and other injuries, illnesses, and surgeries, but also because of the nature of the body she invents. Often the interior of the body is visible and continuous with the exterior. In a kind of psychic Mobius strip they become one.

Frida Kahlo Greatest Artworks

In her greatest artworks The Broken Column, The Two Fridas, Roots, The Tree of Hope, and Without Hopes, there is no clear division between inner reality and outer appearance. Thus the un-shareable nature of individual pain becomes explicit and felt. To look at one of Frida Kahlo’s greatest artworks is to punch yourself in the face. Her paintings scream a raging agony. A visible pain taken and shared in empathy.

Frida Kahlo the Movie

My jaw dropped when I saw the movie Frida. Played by Salma Hayek, the only woman who could make a mono-brow sexy. In the opening scene of the movie Frida suffers a chilling spinal cord injury, in a tram car accident. The movie clip below follows with her drug induced hazy dreams of dancing x-ray skeletons. Dreams that are very familiar to me.

Nightmarish visions dancing skeletons plagued my spinal cord injury recovery. All my life I’ve also seen dark shadowy figures like those in the movie Ghost. None bother me though. I get the feeling they are not out to hurt me. This video clip from the movie Frida is a little graphic. Any realistic life-like portrayal of a spinal cord injury accident will make you wince. And so I warn you this video clip from the movie Frida featuring Salma Hayek is very realistic.

Frida Kahlo Spinal Cord Injury Video Clip

Frida Kahlo Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

By the 1930s, x-ray technology had been in public use for some time. X-rays ended the concept of the opaque body. Public hospitals had also been established as places of collective community experience. Frida Kahlo demolishes the idea of a disabled body in pain being a shameful and hidden thing after her arduous spinal cord injury treatment.

Frida Kahlo bravely offers her body up in many taboo contexts. Her spinal cord injury and images of pain are never separate from her life at large. Never represented as a different sphere of experience in kind or degree. Her illnesses are fully in context with the rest of her life.

The examinations of marriage, sexuality, cultural patrimony, and family are the same visual icons as those in mainstream disability. Her paintings in the context of traditional images display the female body as a mysterious, irrational, and secretive vessel. It’s when Frida Kahlo’s spinal cord injury comes in fusion with her life on canvas she parts from, and directly opposes, mainstream disability paintings.

The baring of her body inside and out is more than a simple nude self-portrait. Her body is small and doll-like. It appears as a toy in the grip of immense forces. Not as a mythical goddess-like being. Embedding the matter-of-fact details of her medical experiences within a highly emotional language. Frida Kahlo demystifies disability and presents it both inside and out of mainstream. To open oneself to a Frida Kahlo painting is to feel the vulnerability of one’s own body. To immediately experience its transcendence through art.

Frida Kahlo Paintings Gallery

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Frida Kahalo Fire in the Machine

Another aspect of Frida’s disability paintings is the mutability of her body (a factor of chronic but unpredictable illness). Symbolized in her portrayals of her body in partial trans-mutation with animals, partners, or the natural world in general. One can align her pairing with monkeys, Diego, and the Little Deer, with the way disabled people must render control or custody over their bodies. This is also evident in paintings of her doubled self as a reflection.

A kind of permeability arises, a thinning of boundaries that enables her to see herself as an amalgam of parts. History, love, and culture build her self-portraits. She depicts herself or others in isolation only when in a state of deep emotional pain and despair. Disability is often imagined as a state of weakness and withdrawal. Frida Kahlo gives us a world in which pain becomes a fire in the machine. A state of wild ferocity. A disrobing to reveal a body in full communion.

“I hope the exit is joyful and I hope never to return.” – Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo Final Days

Frida Kahlo died on July 13, 1954. The official cause of death was given as PE (Pulmonary Embolism, a blood clot in the lungs). Some suspect Frida Kahlo died from an overdose that may or may not have been accidental. An autopsy was never performed. Frida Kahlo had been very ill throughout the previous year. Her right leg had been amputated at the knee owing to gangrene. Frida Kahlo also had a bout of bronchopneumonia near that time. In her final days Frida Kahlo was said to be ill and frail. Barely a shell of the once vivacious artist. With such a strong embodiment in her paintings Frida Kahlo will always be loved by her fans.

Resources

  • Agence France Presse, Yahoo News (2007). Largest-ever exhibit of Frida Kahlo work to open in Mexico.
  • Cruz, Barbara (1996). Frida Kahlo: Portrait of a Mexican Painter. Berkeley Heights: Enslow.
  • Gonzalez, M. (2005). Kahlo –  A Life. Socialist Review, June 2005.
  • errera, Hayden. (1983). Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo.

Websites