Tag Archives: wheelchair girl

sarah casteel wheelchair tennis champion

Sarah Casteel Wheelchair Tennis Champion

Sarah Casteel two time national wheelchair tennis champion suffered a paralyzing spinal cord injury when a drunk driver slammed into the car she was driving on Independence Day in 2002. Tragically her 15 year old brother in the car at the time, did not survive the accident.

sarah casteel wheelchair tennis champion
Sarah Casteel Wheelchair Tennis Champion

Casteel, 18 years of age, was taken to the University of Missouri Hospital where she not only had to cope with the loss of her younger brother but the loss of her mobility. Now a paraplegic, she would not walk again.

Sarah remained in the hospital for three months before returning to her home in Greenville, South Carolina to continue with physical therapy.

Life with Paraplegia

Prior to the accident Sarah Casteel was an all-state volleyball player who excelled in tennis, competing on the boys’ tennis team in high school because there was no girls’ team and later played for Stephens College in Columbia, Mo. In her freshman year of college she wanted to study fashion design and art, but that all changed in an instant.

After the accident Casteel returned to Stephens College where she quickly discovered it was not wheelchair accessible. Many of her classmates were less than compassionate unfamiliar and uneasy with her new found paraplegia.

It was not good. It was weird; my life had changed so much. I found out I didn’t have friends anymore. A lot of people I thought were my friends disappeared. I guess they couldn’t deal with it. It was very hard. I decided this was not the place for me anymore. – Sarah Casteel

Casteel began looking for another school, one that could accommodate her wheelchair and improve her quality of life. She found such a place at the UTA (University of Texas in Arlington). She applied and received a wheelchair tennis scholarship to attend the UTA.

The occupational therapist I worked with in Missouri actually introduced me to wheelchair tennis, so I started looking for a school with a wheelchair tennis program, and the University of Texas actually was offering a scholarship for wheelchair tennis. I made friends there and I was No. 1 on a team of four. I competed against other colleges and in national tournaments. – Sarah Casteel

National Wheelchair Tennis Champion

Sarah Casteel

Sarah Casteel

The two time USTA (United States Tennis Association) national champion 2004-2005 Sarah Casteel has also competed in the World Cup held in the Netherlands. Graduating from Stephens College in 2005 with an Inter-disciplinary Studies degree with a focus on biology, she decided to pursue a career helping others.

A connection made with an occupational therapist in Missouri inspired her to become an Occupational Therapist. This led her to the Medical University of South Caroline (MUSC) where she graduated in 2009 with a Master’s in Occupational Therapy.

Training for a spot on the USA Paralympic wheelchair tennis team to compete in the Beijing Paralympics 2008 was interrupted when the steel plates and screws that fused her spinal vertebrae together began to irritate. After further spinal surgery and several week’s recovery, the unstoppable Casteel was back in training with her coach, Crafton Dicus, and competing nationally. Becoming a member of the U.S. Tennis Association High Performance Wheelchair Tennis Team.

Wheelchair Tennis Paralympic Games

Now with the guidance of pioneering wheelchair tennis coach Chuck McCuen, striving to hold a place in the World Cup Team 30 year old Sarah Casteel, a world-ranked wheelchair tennis champion feels she has a shot at representing her country in the Paralympics Games in London 2012. With the formidable tenacity Sarah Casteel has approached life with and a mean top-spin backhand that could snap your head off, whether Sarah makes the Paralympic team or not she will continue to inspire as all.

3D wheelchair models Michael and Kay splash into some swimming pool fun

Wheelchair Models Pool Fun

This week 3D wheelchair models Michael and Kay get wet in pool fun. Water is a difficult medium to animate. Plugins can achieve a realistic effect but out of the box Daz3D is hopeless at animating water. Adjusting opacity works fine for still images. However, creating an animated splash effect as Michael plunges into the pool in Daz3D is a big fail.

Three solutions; purchase a plugin, create splashes in another 3D modeling tool to import and animate, or place the camera at water level and move the water surface. For the simple purpose of bringing you original wheelchair related content we did the latter for this short video clip.

Wheelchair Models Pool Fun Video

Realistic Wheelchair Models

Good lighting is essential to realistic effects. Get the movements right before adding lights as they slow render speeds dramatically. We import the pool scene and fill it with water. Animate disability models sexy paraplegic Michael in his briefs and Kay in a pink bikini jumping into the swimming pool. Then add eleven slightly yellow distant lights to replicate sunlight; a ring of five pointing down at -33 degrees, five up at 44 degrees, and one down at -59 degrees. We set raytracing on the last light with an intensity of 73 and a shadow softness of 2 for a realistic sun shadow.

Adjusting Lighting for Wheelchair Renders

[nggtags gallery=pool-fun]

The Pool Fun Part

We understand most don’t care how we create content, you just want to see the end results, and that’s ok. We have no purpose without an audience. If our audience does create and share stories, photos, video, comments, etc we will grow faster and serve you better. We built this website so you can express yourself. These anatomically correct models can be made do much more than we have shown here. We are also interested in using real-life models, disabled or not.

Graham Streets
MSC Admin

3D Wheelchair Models

3D Wheelchair Models Ioke & Michael

More 3D wheelchair modeling creations. This female wheelchair model is Aiko from Daz 3D. I call her Ioke after the lovely Thai Airways flight attendant who assisted me on a recent trip to Thailand. I have been designing several working 3D wheelchair models to use on our website. And ladies, you’ll be happy to know I’ve included Michael, a handsome 3D male model.

Many good looking men and women with spinal cord injury in wheelchairs and several devotees are willing to model for me. Problem is they suddenly become shy when I talk of publishing their images on the internet. By using cyber 3D wheelchair models nobody’s feelings get bent. If you want to become a real-life model for us please use the “Quick Contact” form below.

3D Wheelchair Model Ioke

[nggtags gallery=3D-model-Ioke]

(1) Our 3D wheelchair model Ioke sitting in a powerchair. (2) We zoom in to give her some personality. (3) Open her body suit collar for a little sex appeal. There are many parameters we can adjust; breast and nipple size, tummy, glutes, hips, wrist. Overal figure; voluptuous, muscular etc. Her face; Eyebrow frown, raise, wink, yell, purse lips, teeth open, tounge out, and eye color are just some options. (4) We give her a smile and (5) close her extraordinarily large eyes a little.

Now let’s disable her! It’s common for wheelchair users with spinal cord injury to have muscle wasting in their legs as they no longer function. It’s called flaccid legs. (6) Our selected leg components are given a small box with red blue and green arrows. These indicate the 3D models X Y and Z axis. (7) To make the leg muscels appear thinner and slightly narrower we reduce the X and Z scale axis. Wheelchair users will also be familiar with turned feet. (8) I turned the right foot in a little when adjusting hip and knee bed angles to sit Ioke in the wheelchair. (9) One hand on the wheelchair control joystick and (10) the other bracing our 3D model Ioke in her power wheelchair.

[singlepic id=6610 w=600 h=456 float=left]

How are we looking? I know it’s not perfect. I want to put yellow coil springs under the wheelchair seat, retractable arm rests, seatbelts and calf straps, but as a prototype it’s getting there.

[singlepic id=6829 w=600 h=456 float=left]

[nggtags gallery=3D-model-Ioke-chasm]

A chasm scene with lights positioned for anime effect. Once I optimise the 3D wheelchair model and import it as seperate parts I’ll be able to animate and render a movie. For now I better put up a preview of our male 3D model Michael, so our female members don’t lynch me.

3D Wheelchair Model Michael

[nggtags gallery=3D-model-Michael]

Our 3D wheelchair model Michael is doing a wheelstand in a manual hospital style wheelchair. I edited the wheelchair in Rhino 3D then pulled it into Daz 3D to position Michael in it.

[singlepic id=6618 w=600 h=456 float=left] 

Victoria screams with fright as 3D wheelchair model Michael pops a wheelie in a blue hospital style wheelchair. It’s like Barbie dolls for grown-ups! Read on to see our dasterdly plans for world domination. A no plastic zone. Alloy is the future.

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

 

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.

[nggallery id=32]

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

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

[nggallery id=33]

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

NDIS SIA 6 Supporters

NDIS Six Reasons to Support a National Disability Insurance Scheme

Media Release: Powerful National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) video demonstrates the daily disasters faced in the disability sector.

Graham Streets is one of six people to star in a YouTube campaign calling for the Federal Government to implement a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The short video, titled Why the Spinal Injuries Association supports an NDIS, was released last week on YouTube.

In the YouTube campaign, Graham shares how his spinal cord injury has taken a life-long effect on his health. He now weighs just 45 kilograms.

People with permanent, physical disabilities in Australia are really struggling. There are not enough appropriate supports and services in place to allow people to get back into the community and contribute to society. At the moment I can only afford to have my carer help me out of bed in the morning and back into bed at night, so it’s pretty tough going for me during the day. I don’t get to have any lunch. — Graham Streets

Spinal Injuries Association CEO Mark Henley said as well as Graham’s story, the video also highlighted the challenges faced by four other members of the organisation and a member’s mother, who has been caring for her son for the past 35 years. These people also stated how an NDIS would improve their quality of life.

While many of our members and clients lead productive, fulfilling lives, too many are in crisis and it’s time for much-needed change. With the Productivity Commission handing down its final report into an NDIS on 31 July, we need as many people as possible to view our video and sign the online petition for an NDIS at www.spinal.com.au/ndis. People power can really make a difference – it could transform the lives of people with disabilities and those that often support them – their family and loved ones. — Mark Henley

Mark said recent figures from National Disability Services showed that if just 2% of people with a disability had appropriate support and could come off the pension and return to work, there would be a $2.5 billion injection into the economy.

An NDIS wouldn’t just signal major social reform, it also makes good, economic sense. — Mark Henely

Graham, who sustained quadriplegia in a motorcycle accident in 16 years ago, said the key recommendations in the Productivity Commission’s draft report, which was released on 28 February, further highlighted the dire need for an NDIS.

Currently, 1.4 million Australians have a serious disability, and unfortunately, a disability can be sustained in an instant. By 2030, there will be around 2.9 million people with a serious disability in this country. On top of those numbers, consider the family and friends who are often providing personal care to people with disabilities and it highlights the enormity of the issue. — Graham Streets

If implemented, a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) would begin in stages from January 2014. It would provide appropriate financial support for people with physical disabilities sustained either at birth (for example, cerebral palsy) or at any stage during their life (for example, a spinal cord injury).

This support would allow people to fund their personal care needs, therapy, aids and equipment, home modifications, and employment training, — expenses that they now have to pay for on top of their everyday — living expenses that all Australians face.

Spinal Injuries AssociationNDIS Website

The Spinal Injuries Association supports and empowers 2,000 Queenslanders who have spinal cord injuries. For more information on the organisation, please visit www.spinal.com.au or www.everyaustraliancounts.com.au for more NDIS information.

Resources

Phoenix Radio Live Online SCI Interview

Phoenix Radio SCI Interview

Phoenix Radio Episode:

Date: 28.01.2011 Time: 2.07pm (double segment).

Interview

Graham Streets talking on life with a spinal cord injury.

Presenters

Simon Baker and Suzanne.

Click the image below to stream interview audio.

Transcript

  • Simon: We have our next guest on the phone there. Graham Streets is an enterprising man who has experienced some setbacks in life. Graham had to struggle to get anything he has after a motorbike accident in 1994 saw him become a quadriplegic. He had his own electrical contracting business and things were busy but pretty good. Graham had to struggle to get everything he has since he was a sole driver of a vehicle in Queensland and there is no insurance for the driver in a single vehicle accident. Graham is on the phone to tell us about his struggle and what he is doing to get things changed. Welcome to the program Graham.
     
  • Graham: Thankyou.
     
  • Simon: Graham, let’s start by telling us about your experience of the legal side of your case as far as your application for compensation and what your lawyer advised you?
     
  • Graham: Currently in Queensland there is no automatic financial cover for people injured in a single vehicle accident as you mentioned. On the Gateway Arterial Highway where I had my motorcycle accident the corner was poorly constructed. Several people had lost their life on this corner. When looking into compensation I was told I had a good chance of winning several million dollars, that it would cost around a million dollars to launch such a law suit against the Department of Main Roads. My lawyers weren’t willing to risk fronting that kind of money and I didn’t have it.
     
  • Simon: Suzanne, you’ve got the next question…
     
  • Suzanne: What did this mean for you and your business?
     
  • Graham: After 11 months of recovery and rehabilitation in the Princess Alexandra Hospital, I was unable to continue working, my electrical business pretty much folded. I sold off some stock and gave most tools and equipment to friends in the trade.
     
  • Suzanne: This placed a lot of burden on your family?
     
  • Graham: Yes, for most people with a disability support and assistance comes mainly from family and friends. A spinal cord injury like any disability is not only a difficult time for the person who receives the injury. Often family and friends also struggle and the emotional and financial burdens can be massive. I had few options but to move back in with my aging parents with my Mother as my primary carer. Instead of me looking after them in their retirement years they were having to look after me again at their own cost.
     
  • Suzanne: Is there any funding available for you to apply through the State Government for personal carers?
     
  • Graham: There was and there currently is, however these waiting lists are long and many languish on them for years and years, only a small percentage secure that kind of permanent funding.
     
  • Suzanne: Graham, tell us about your mobility please?
     
  • Graham: I’m a C4 quadriplegic. I rely on a power-chair and require assistance with getting into and out of bed, showering, meal preparation, basically a fairly high level of personal care needs.
     
  • Suzanne: Tell us about your time in Rehabilitation and did you meet people with similar issues to your own?
     
  • Graham: Yes, as they say there’s always someone worse off and that can help acceptance of a disability through rehabilitation and while counselors and such are great, talking with others who actually are going through the same problems, and facing the same day-to-day issues as you is a great comfort as well.
     
  • Simon: You’re with Suzanne and Simon this afternoon and you’re listening to Ipswich Connections on Phoenix Radio online. We are going to have a quick music break and when we come back in a few minutes we’ll continue talking with Graham and we’re going to talk about life with a spinal injury and we might cover a couple of other things.

Music Break

  • Simon: Welcome back to Ipswich Connections. A radio program committed to giving people with disabilities a voice. You’re listening to Phoenix Radio online. This program is supported by University of Southern Queensland and Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland. We are talking with Graham Streets who became a quadriplegic back in 1994 from a motor vehicle accident. Graham, so what’s the one thing that is missing for you to have a relatively normal life?
     
  • Graham: Simon, I’d have to say the ability to drive is something I miss terribly. Getting around to see friends, getting re-connected in the local community, without having to rely on maxi taxis and that sort of thing. It can get quite expensive, public transport and getting around that way.
     
  • Simon: Yes and the fact, because you have to rely on public transport, it’s not always there when you want it. They get delayed through obviously no fault of their own, it’s just the nature of the work that they do too.
     
  • Graham: Yes exactly, it also makes it hard in that respect to hold down a full time job.
     
  • Simon: Yes, Yes that’s right. Okay, Suzanne…
     
  • Suzanne: What did Australian’s disability support system do for you?
     
  • Graham: Suzanne, I was able to receive a disability support pension and after eight years on a constant battle and struggle to get where I am today, the Queensland Department of Housing supplied me with housing, and I have permanently funded carers who assist me into and out of bed morning and night. I’m one of the lucky ones really.
     
  • Suzanne: Did you trial any respite centres?
     
  • Graham: There’s a fantastic four bed respite centre in Petrie called Backstop House, they take four wheelchair bound people at one time. It’s a great temporary break for my parents.
  • Suzanne: What needs to be done to change the laws?
     
  • Graham: Currently there’s a big push to bring in a scheme called NDIS, a National Disability Insurance Scheme.
     
  • Simon: Yes and with that, it’s a no-fault scheme where it doesn’t matter how you acquired your disability, you’ll always have the support that’s needed.
     
  • Graham: Yes it’ll be a great safety net whether you’re born with, or acquire a disability be it spinal cord injury, or any kind of disability later in life.
     
  • Suzanne: Is this the same throughout the whole country?
     
  • Graham: Yes it would be a nation-wide scheme that will automatically cover all Australian residents.
     
  • Suzanne: I believe you have developed some new skills and are now employed?
     
  • Graham: Yes, I currently work from home part-time as an accountant and I also do a bit of web design and I’m a webmaster.
     
  • Simon: So give yourself a plug, tell the people how to get in contact with you.
     
  • Graham: Well, my domain name is streetsie.com
     
  • Simon: Graham, we certainly wish you all the best and if you’ve got something happening there please drop us a line, give us a call, say hello, don’t be a stranger, and we’ll certainly be talking to you again sometime in the future.
     
  • Graham: Thankyou for your time Simon and Suzanne.
     
  • Simon: That was Graham Streets talking on his life with a spinal injury and what needs to be done to see that others in severe cases when you acquire a severe disability you have some opportunities there with the NDIS scheme that’s coming in. Thankyou very much for listening in today. You’re listening to Ipswich Connections on Phoenix Radio, supported by USQ, and our program Ipswich Connections is with the Cerebral Palsy League.

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