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wheelchair-lovers-hands

Quadriplegic Love Lasts

Quadriplegic love lasts and I was about to find out just how long. It was May10th 1999 and I had only been working as a taxi driver for a few days when at my local rank several drivers wandered over to introduce themselves. Shortly afterwards the passenger door of my car opened and a man got in. “Hi, I’m Steve, hope you are settling in ok.” I looked into the sexiest blue eye’s I had ever seen and fell in love at first sight. Steve was flirty and easy to talk to. After chatting for a while he gave me his phone number and told me to call him anytime, if I needed anything, or even if I didn’t. He said we should grab a coffee back at the garage where everyone went once the night’s work was finished.

There was just one problem. I was married and so was he. Neither of us happily, as it turned out. Additionally some weeks later I discovered I was pregnant. My husband was a violent man who thought nothing of repeatedly raping me. On top of that Steve was already seeing a girl. None of this stopped us growing closer and spending time together whenever we could. Long after everyone else had drifted home from the garage Steve and I would still be there talking. While at work he would look out for me by removing drunk passenger’s from my car if he didn’t think I would be able to deal with them, and was just generally my all round protector.

wheelchair taxi

I knew that our feelings for each other were growing stronger. One night we happened to pull into the garage at the same time to fuel up during a shift. We went in to pay for our fuel and walked out onto the forecourt together. As I went to walk towards my car, he grabbed my hand, pulled me into his arms, and kissed me. I could feel the heat from his body as I surrendered completely to the embrace. In that instant, I knew the feeling’s I had for him were reciprocated.

Steve had to travel 150 miles to work and stayed with family, or friends in the area. A few times he even stayed with my husband and I. As I mostly keep my marital problems to myself it wasn’t until years later Steve would come to tell me he always had a bad feeling about my husband. He knew something was not right between us and could see there was no love.

Steve’s own marriage was in bad shape. During work one night he picked up Kathy, an old girlfriend from his teenage years. He had pretty much separated from his wife so began dating her. As soon as the relationship began he realized it was not going to work. He wanted out but was worried about hurting her as Kathy was in a job that had a time limit on it and she was clinging to him as a savior.

The Game Plan

I took a phone call late one night towards the end of August. “Sarah, are you busy babe? I need to talk to you. It’s kind of urgent.” I replied, “No Steve, I’m at a rank and it is dead quiet. Where shall I meet you?” “Garage, fifteen minutes.” was the reply. I was there in ten, parked my car and got into his. He drove us out of town to a quiet area and began to talk.

Steve explained how he wasn’t sorry about the fling with Kathy, as he had ended his marriage, and that he missed his two son’s. He felt things with Kathy were going nowhere but she kept talking about their future. He wanted out and didn’t know how. I told him there was no easy way and pointed out how during the fling he had neglected work and his friends. He needed to get a grip on things and the relationship would naturally fizzle out. I think deep down we both knew the real reason it wasn’t working out with Kathy.

We talked for several hours that night. Steve knew the thing with Kathy had to end, he knew what he wanted, and I knew what I wanted too. I would have to end my, very unhappy marriage, and try to escape it to be free. Steve was the first person to feel the baby I was carrying move in my belly, everyone assumed it was his, and that we were already seeing each other. Someone had told his estranged wife we already were, but we didn’t know who.

Steve started working more, and things began to get back to normal. He was desperately trying to extract himself from Kathy’s grasp but she kept telling him she would fall apart if he left. He struggled with the guilt, and his ever increasing feelings for me. On the 21st of September, it was Steve’s older brother Mark’s birthday. Kathy, Mark and his girlfriend Louise, plus another driver and his girlfriend all went out to a local pub/club. I drove them to the venue.

No More Secrets

As they got out of my car Steve said I should get there 20 minutes earlier than they had asked me too, and text him when I got outside. So I did, and two minutes after I sent the text, Steve came outside alone and got into the front seat. He pulled me into his arms, kissed me passionately, and said to me, “Right, I’m going to tell her it’s over, tonight, I can’t take it anymore. Sarah, it’s you I want, and if I have been reading this right, I know you feel the same.” I looked at him, “Steve, you know I do, I just didn’t know if I should say anything.”

We did everything but make love right there in the car. Only because there wasn’t time, I wish there had been, no one had ever made me respond the way he did that night without actually having sex. I had never wanted someone so much in my life. He wasn’t put off by me being pregnant. He told me I was incredibly sexy, and he wanted me, so badly, but he had to end it with Kathy first. We arranged to meet for breakfast/lunch the following day. I figured I would tell him everything about my marriage then, and how scared I was of my husband.

I dropped everyone off home, Steve and Kathy last. I got out of the car to say goodnight and he hugged me like he never wanted to let me go. I saw the realization on Kathy’s face, she knew what was coming, and she knew why. She was slim, kind of pretty, younger than me, and a professional stripper. She knew she was going to lose Steve to a married, pregnant, taxi driver. It had been raining heavily on and off most of the night, so after getting me to promise I would drive home safely, and me telling him not to do anything stupid, he promised to call me the next day.

I drove home to my very drunk and unpredictable husband. He was still awake when I arrived. He looked up at me from his chair, “Dropped your lover and his bird off have we?” I looked at him, “George, it’s over, I don’t love you. I want a divorce. Steve isn’t my lover but I can’t do this anymore. I can’t lie about how I feel and I don’t want to. I want a divorce because I want to be with Steve and he wants to be with me. I’m sorry, but there it is.” He freaked out, “I knew it, you’re fucking him aren’t you, that baby is his, isn’t it, that bastard slept in my house, drank beer with me, and all along you and him were fucking each other behind my back! Well, he can have you, I don’t want you, after he’s had you, dirty little slut!.” And with that he stamped off to bed, after about half an hour I followed him, and slept, not very well.

The Accident

At 7.45am my mobile phone was ringing. I woke to a voice on the other end asking who I was, and explaining, “This is Paul, Mark’s twin brother, where is he, it’s urgent.” Fear gripped me. I knew something bad had happened to Steve. “What’s happened, its Steve isn’t it. Tell me what’s happened!” His reply will never leave me as long as I live. “Yes, he’s been in a car crash, it’s not looking good. I need you to find Mark and get him to hospital quickly, may not be much time, I’ll keep ringing around, just get there quick, and safely, ok?”

tetraplegic crash

I was dressed in a shot, my heart pounding, crying and praying to who I don’t know. George woke up, I told him what had happened, told him I was going to the hospital and I would be as long as it took. He watched me in silence as I finished dressing and ran out of the bedroom.

When I arrived at Mark’s house he was waiting for me. “It’s all my fault, I told him he had to move his car. It was across my driveway. He was driving that stupid bloody TVR of Kathy’s. I think they had a row, about you. He’s in love with you isn’t he Sarah?” I just looked at him with tear’s pouring down my face and nodded. “I’ll drive, Sarah you are in no fit state love.” I just totally disintegrated. Louise put her arms around me as I sobbed uncontrollably, and we got into the back of my car. She held me tightly as I wept on the way to the hospital.

On arrival at the intensive care unit of our local hospital we were informed Kathy had died instantly in the crash. The car had hit a massive puddle and slammed into a large oak tree at about fifty mph. She was not wearing a seat belt. We were not allowed in to see Steve. They were too busy trying to stabilize him, so we waited… and waited.

Paul and Mark talked in low voices in the corner. I heard my name mentioned, and Paul say that I should go home, as I was six months pregnant, and they were worried that it was all too much for me. I walked over to them, “I’m not leaving, I’m staying. I want to see him. He needs to know I’m here.” Glancing at Paul, “Does he know, Mark?” Paul looked at me, “Yes, I know, we all knew before he even admitted it to himself. For the last four months all Steve has talked about is you Sarah. Of course I knew, he’s my baby brother after all.”

After what seemed like years, and about a million cups of strong sweet tea, a nurse came to us and asked who was first. Paul and Mark both indicated me, and she asked me to follow her. I went into a bay with four beds. Steve lay in the furthest from the door on the right. His neck brace still on, lines and tubes everywhere, and surrounded by machines. She told me he was heavily sedated but would hear me and know I was there.

She found me a chair but I stood there, next to his bed, more tears came. “Oh Steve, I told you not to do anything stupid and you didn’t listen did you? Oh baby please, hold on, I can’t be without you, not now, I need you.” His eyes flickered open for a second, “Sorry Babe, I’m not dead yet, I’m trying… I love you.” I had to lean in close to hear him, my tears falling on his face. “Don’t cry Babe.” he whispered. I stayed with him, for about half an hour, and then realized that I should let his family in to see him, so I kissed him, on the forehead and promised to come back the next day.

Quadriplegic Ventilator

I walked out into the family waiting room and collapsed into Mark’s arms sobbing uncontrollably and shaking from head to foot. He guided me to a chair, and Louise found a nurse, who took my blood pressure, and asked if I had eaten anything. It was two in the afternoon by then. I shook my head at her, unable to speak. She said someone should take me for food, or home. Louise looked at me and asked which. I said food, so she took me for something to eat, and Mark went in to see Steve.

Turning Points

By the time we came back, everyone but Louise had been in. Steve’s parents had arrived and Steve’s wife was with them. She didn’t want to see him, and caught the train home the next day. Mark and Louise drove me home. Mark promising he would drop my car back later in case I needed the distraction of work. He told me not to worry, Steve was a stubborn git, and he would pull through. At this stage it was unclear what his injuries actually were.

I walked slowly into my flat where I was greeted by my now belligerent husband who without preamble asked if Steve was dead. I shook my head, told him I needed to sleep, and could he keep quiet, and look after Sean, our 2yr old son. He huffed, and agreed. I went into the bedroom, undressed and got into bed. Lying there, on my own, I cried myself to sleep.

I was woken around 10pm by a text message alert, with shaking hands I picked up the phone, and opened the message. It was from Shawn, another driver who worked for the same people I worked for. The text asked where I was, and Mark, and Steve, and how the phone was going mental with work. I sighed and rang him to explain what had happened. I tried so hard not to cry as I explained.

Shawn asked if that was why my car was parked outside Mark’s house, and offered to come and get me, so I could pick it up. I accepted, might seem a little weird, but I didn’t want to be at home with my husband. I had a quick shower and got dressed. George watched as I got ready to leave. “So, what are you going to do if the bastard dies then, stay and dump his kid on me?” I shook my head, “Not now George, drop it, please, I’m going to work.”

That night was busy. Steve’s phone was still diverted to mine, so all his customers were calling for a taxi, and asking where he was. I broke down and wept many times that night. The majority of his customers had seen us together, and knew how he felt about me. They were all very understanding. Mark was at work too, we met up for a coffee at the garage once work was over.

“You ok Egg Belly? Want a coffee?”  “No thanks Mark, Steve get’s me chocolate, I’m off coffee” (Egg Belly was Mark’s nickname for me as my pregnancy began to show). He looked at me, “You’re going to cry again, aren’t you? Come here silly girl, he’ll be ok, and you two will be together.” We sat in the garage, Mark hugging me gently while we chatted about why he felt so guilty about the crash. I have to admit for a short while I also blamed him. And myself because I knew if I had come clean that night in the car park, about how violent John was, Steve would have come home with me. Mark never found out about the violence until much later either.

Hospital Visits

The next couple of months were odd. I went to the hospital every day. On each occasion the nurses giving me a laundry list of the dangers Steve was in. Steve had broken C4-C5, damaged his liver and punctured a lung which was filling with fluid, and blood. He would be paralysed from the shoulders down for life. At the time of the crash Steve was 32 and I was 31.

One day I went to see him, and his mum and dad were there, and strangely so was his wife. She walked up to me asked if the baby I was carrying was Steve’s. I just stared at her, and shook my head no. I later overheard a heated discussion between her and Mark, she told him that she didn’t want him back, and if he lived, I was welcome to him. I didn’t see her again after that.

After a couple of weeks they had to do a tracheotomy, and told Steve he was not allowed to talk. You never tell Steve he’s not allowed to do anything, he talked! I explained that they would do better if they told him that it wasn’t a good idea. His memory at this period was shaky but he was certain that he loved me, and wanted to be with me. After two months he was moved to a hospital further away, a Spinal Unit in Sailsbury. I was by this time almost ready to give birth, and my marriage was dead, the love of my life was paralyzed and my whole life was in ruins.

Tetraplegic Love Lasting

I continued to work, until the day before Kieran was born on the 30th of December 1999. I had an emergency C section with the previous baby, seven weeks early. Unknown to me at the time, this weakens the uterus, so while in normal labour, the uterus ruptured, and I pushed him out by myself. The bleeding wouldn’t stop, the placenta did not deliver, my blood pressure was falling, and somewhere inside me, I knew I was dying.

I panicked as they took me to theater to manually deliver the placenta, the anesthetist was a friend of mine, and I was lying there on the trolley saying Ken, hurry up, I’m dying, please hurry, I don’t want to die, he tried to reassure me but I knew. Several hours later I woke up in intensive care. A male nurse standing by my bed looked at me, and said he knew me, but wasn’t sure where from. I grinned weakly and said Steve’s full name. He said, “Right of course, you’re his girlfriend. I remember now, blimey, he had the girlfriend who died in the crash, you, and a nasty wife.”

I was in the ITU for a week, and in hospital another week. They had to perform a hysterectomy, and were not exactly delicate about how they told me, “You have four children, you don’t need to have any more, we had to do the hysterectomy, or you would have died.” I was off work for exactly eight weeks. When Kieran was three or four months old I went to the hospital to see Steve.

Mark told me they would be ok, and that I needed to get on with my life. I was absolutely inconsolable for months. I couldn’t get over it. Suffering severe post natal depression, the loss of my ability to have more children, and the biggest loss of all Steve, I went and did the most stupid thing ever in the history of stupid. I had an 18 month affair with Mark, Steve’s older brother.

Kieran was 10 months old, it was my 33rd birthday in the October, and Mark organised a small party, at his house. His four kids were there, my four, Mark’s girlfriend, and my husband. Mark and I still dealing with our guilt over the crash, me with the death of my marriage, and my hopes for my relationship with Steve, my husband with his headlong dive into alcoholism and drug abuse, and of course wife beating.

Mark’s girlfriend and I went to the local on foot, leaving the others at the house. Mark and my husband had a fight. He asked Mark if he was fucking me, ever the smart arse Mark said no, but I’d like to. When we returned it escalated. My husband threatened me with a carving knife. Mark bounced his head off a wooden garden table, telling him, if he touched me again, he’d kill him, adding if his little brother was there he would not have offered the courtesy of a warning. The police were called and George was arrested. I was told I could stay there if I wanted to, they would make room, and with hindsight I should have, but I got a taxi home.

Closing Old Wounds

I arrived to find my husband attempting to burn the house down after having trashed everything. I called the police, they came, told me I was winding him up, it was the marital home, and he could wreck it if he wanted. On the 19th of November he kicked me across the living room in front of our 2yr old son and ruptured my bowel. I didn’t get to go to hospital for about four hours. I cleaned up the dinner he had thrown at me, and sat on the sofa, while the pain increased. Eventually he called an ambulance, warning me if I told them what really happened he would take our boy, and my precious bastard baby of Steve’s, and I would never see them again.

quadriplegic abuse
As we walked down the stairs at home, husband on one side a paramedic on my other, I began to feel sick. The paramedics shoes or my husband’s? No contest, as I felt the vomit rise in my throat I turned my head and puked all over his shoes. That made me feel so much better. I was in hospital for two days, before they figured out what was wrong, I was prepped for surgery, I had bowel resection.

Jim, a driver I worked with, and was good mates with came to see me. He sat next to the bed, looked me in the eye, and said, “Sarah, I know what’s been going on. I know you are frightened, and I know that’s why you haven’t left him, but this can’t go on. He will kill you in the end, talk to the police, please I’m begging you!” I looked at him, tears rolling down my cheeks. “You call them here, I’ll talk to them.” It took two hours to take my statement, they wanted me to go home, and said they would arrest him a day or two later… I looked at the police officer and said, “Who do you want to take out of there in handcuffs, and who in a body bag? Because I won’t be leaving in a body bag.”

Mark came to see me in hospital. I told him it was his fault. That if the family had not vetoed Steve being with me, none of this would have happened, he looked at me, and just nodded. The night before I was going home George came to talk me into forgiving him, promising to get help. I said the same thing I said the night of Steve’s accident… That it was over, and I wanted a divorce, and he was to leave when I got home, immediately. He was not to threaten to take the boy’s and he should be packed to go as soon as I arrive. He accepted this and left, taking my baby with him. I was terrified he would harm our kids.

The next morning it was like a military operation, my drugs were dispensed, and ready for 9am. Jim went to the house and met the police, they arrested George. Jim collected the kids, house keys, and came to the hospital to collect me. I went home in my pajamas!

My recovery took longer this time and as I couldn’t drive, I became the radio and phone operator at work, kept amused by all the drivers. Mark and Jim, to name a few, became my support network. Mark and I talked about how I felt about what had gone on with Steve and came to an agreement that it may have been the wrong choice to send him home to his wife. I never understood why they did it. None of them liked her, she was an awful wife, cheating, neglecting the kids, and the house. She was mentally abusive to Steve from the moment he got home. So while Steve was being abused by her, and I was being beaten to within an inch of my life, I completely failed to see who benefited. Mark did, he got what rightfully belonged to Steve, for a short while anyway.

Wake Up Call

One night at work a taxi driver I didn’t always get along with and I were sitting outside the garage smoking, and having a coffee. He turned to me and said, “Sarah, what are you doing?” “Well John I’m sitting here…” “No, you daft moo, with Mark. He’s not Steve, he won’t ever be like him, he won’t ever be him. No matter how much you want him to be. He just isn’t so you need to stop it, now! You get me? It’s only hurting you, not helping, it never will.” I looked at John, tears rolling down my cheeks, “I miss him John, it’s not fair, he should be with me, not being Annie’s pet husband, it’s wrong, it’ll end badly, I just know it.” And unaccustomed as he was to random weepy women, and show’s of affection, he hugged me tight, and said, with a great deal of foresight, as it turned out, “Don’t worry honey, it’ll all come right in the end, you two are meant to be, just keep the faith, don’t ever let go, and you’ll be together someday, I just know it.”

Wheelchair Couple Coffee

I don’t think I need go into the details of the following relationships, of which there were three, suffice to say, I ended it with Mark only a few days after John and I had our little talk. Soon after this my husband who was arrested for GBH with intent, skipped bail, and threatened to kill me. The council refused to move me until he tried, and I had been vaguely seeing the guy who fixed the company vehicles he offered for me to stay with him, we spent three years together, he was an alcoholic too. I had several affairs during that relationship, and as became my habit, when someone got too close I longed for Steve again, and sabotaged the relationship.

Frying Pan To Fire

I moved on, and had a short lived, sex based relationship with a soldier, 12 years my junior it was very short lived, but mostly enjoyable. I then got involved with someone 20 years younger. We were together for almost six years. During our relationship Facebook was invented and became a world wide access point for people to bugger up their lives, friendships and relationships. I found Steve and sent a friend request which he accepted. That was in December 2009, we didn’t speak much to start with, not directly. Annette didn’t like it so we commented on each others photo’, and generally kept track of each other. Steve has told me since that he was overjoyed when I sent the request. He had been looking for me but only remembered my married name, which I no longer used, and had bypassed me several times while searching Mark’s friend list, thinking it wasn’t me.

In August 2010, Annette got caught out in one of her numerous affairs, and while on the family holiday, announced the marriage was over, had been for many years in her eyes, she spent the insurance money, that Steve had got, and when that ran out, she started visiting sex sites, and meeting random men for sex. The bottom fell out of Steve’s world, he knew they had been in trouble for years, but she had systematically destroyed his self confidence. By the end of November we were in regular contact. In December we had some of the worst snow in year’s. My car was broke down in -20 degree temperatures and was out of action for three weeks. For those weeks, because our house is so remote, Luke my partner at that time went to stay at his mother’s. So he could catch the train to university. And I was alone with my two sons and my laptop.

Sweet Contentment

Steve and I talked for hours on end, with me filling in all the gaps in his memory of the crash, and of the following weeks. Telling him all the stuff that happened to me in those ten years apart and out of touch. He told me how awful that everything was after he came home, how every time they argued she threw the accident in his face blaming him for fucking up her life. When she had alone decided he would go back to her after discovering how much money he would get, plus all the benefits that came along too. Steve recalled, “She took me back to get my money, and pulled me away from you for financial gain, the spinal unit told her I had five years, six max, and once I passed six, that was it.”

By Christmas my car was fixed but my life was in turmoil once again. Steve thought I was happy with Luke, but I wasn’t. I felt like his mother, he was lazy, mean to the kids and our sex life was none existent. After about two weeks of arguing with myself, while Luke was fixed to the Xbox, I started an early evening chat with Steve. I had told him about my fling with Mark very early on during our chat’s and then said I had something else to confess, “You slept with Steve (Steve’s oldest brother) too.” He joked. “God, Steve, no! Credit me with some taste.” I replied, “What then?” he asked. I took a deep breath, and began to type, this is what I said: Steve, it’s you, it’s always been you, I am in love with you, I always have been from the moment we met, and that hasn’t changed. In all these year’s I never stopped thinking about you, wanting to be with you, see you, I am so unhappy with Luke, I just want you…

There was a long pause, it seemed to last forever. Then, “Really? when we started talking so much, I thought for a minute, maybe, hoped, but dismissed it, decided you were just being a mate, but you really still feel that way, you know I’m a cripple, don’t you Sarah? I didn’t get better Baby Girl, you know all this right?” “Yes Steve, I know, why would it make a difference?”

There’s things you need to know he told me, we talked a lot on MSN, when we got kicked off Facebook chat for using it too much. He told me all about his injury, his needs, and the hardest thing he ever told anyone ever, about his erectile dysfunction, and that he and his wife had never had sexual intercourse since his injury. But there are ways we can he said, she just couldn’t be bothered. He wrote it all on MSN with his Dragon dictate software, and the pause, while I read it, seemed like a eternity, the next thing he wrote was “Oh no, what have I done, it’s too much. I want to make love to you and I might not be able too… say something Sarah.”

I answered him, immediately, “No, Steve, I was just reading it, carefully, so I took it all in, so, tell me, what can we do, for us to be able to make love?” His response was one I will never, ever forget…” Oh God Sarah, you really do love me, and want me, don’t you, do you know, how I write text messages, let me tell you, I write them with my tongue, I can drive you to total ecstasy with my tongue, you’ll think you are dying with pleasure, I promise you, I’ll make you come, for hours, and when you think you’ve had enough, you’ll be begging me for more, I can satisfy you more than any man has ever before I promise, but we may not be able to have actual sex, do you think you can spend your life that way?” “Yes, Steve, oh my God yes, I am turned on just thinking about it.” “Good, and there are tablets that can help with erectile dysfunction, I tried Viagra but it made me dysreflexic, and Annette didn’t want to have proper sex with me anymore she had plenty of that elsewhere”

That conversation took place in the first week or so of January 2011, Annette had met a new guy online and stayed with him most weekends, which became four or five days, leaving Steve with her two kids from her first marriage, and her and Steve’s two son’s, who when they said they were splitting both opted to stay with Steve. We spent loads of time on the phone, having both taken out a contract with the same mobile network, we talked endlessly about before the crash, and after, and laughed, a lot. we sent dirty texts, he drove me to orgasm by talking to me, we had phone sex, my vibrator got a lot of use in those weeks, he loved to hear me coming while I gasped his name, and screamed it too.

Annette and her new man found a flat together, they were moving in on the last day of February, I arranged to go and see him, that weekend, the 3rd of March, I lied to Luke about where I was going, Steve had said he would hold me to nothing, until he looked into my eyes when I first saw him, and knew I meant it when I said, to his face that I love him, and his spinal injury changed nothing.

Quadriplecic Love

I arrived at his house around midnight on the Thursday, Callum, his 13yr old son let me in, and I followed him upstairs, I was so nervous, it had been so long, what if I was not how he remembered me, what if he decided it was a terrible mistake. I walked into the bedroom. Steve was in bed as the carers come to put him to bed at 9.30pm, I walked to his side of the bed, all the nerves melted away, we looked at each other for a few seconds, and he said, “Hi Babe, been a while, you look just the same as I remember.” I leaned over and kissed him, we forgot for a second that Callum was there, and he kissed me back passionately, and then said, whoa, children! Callum stayed for twenty minutes, went and made a cup of tea, and then, bless him, made a tactful departure.

Fatal Rapture

In minutes, I was down to my red (Steve’s favourite colour) knickers and bra, and in bed, in his arms. “Get that bra off, this instant, I want your nipples, where I can get them.” I did as he asked, “Come here, then, but remember you are the boss, you say how far we go, or not.” And that night, my nipples got more attention than they had ever had before, and I was gasping for breath by the end, Steve is super sensitive around his neck, shoulders, ears, and head, and I worked this out very quickly. We fell asleep, with Steve’s arms wrapped around me, and his body curled towards me, my knickers lost somewhere on his bedroom floor.

The next morning the nurses arrived, at 8.30 to do bowel care, just walking in like they owned the place, I had in the night kicked the duvet off me, so the sight that greeted them was me naked, wrapped in Steve’s arms, they didn’t know where to put themselves, but made no sign of leaving the room so I could cover myself up. Steve woke up, and said, can you get out, please, Sarah needs to get some clothes on, she can’t stand around on the landing naked while you do what needs doing, can she? they went out onto the landing, and I found my dressing gown, and dragged it on, I went and found the kitchen, made coffee, and waited while his bowel care was done, I could hear them, questioning him, about me, him telling them, that we had known each other for years, and get used to my being around. Is this the new girlfriend then Steve? Yes, his very firm reply.

It was an amazing weekend, the second night he did as he promised with his tongue, by far  the most stable position for this is me facing his feet, where he can get to every part he wants with ease, but I like to face him, because he likes to watch my face as I come, and look into my eyes as he works me into a frenzy, but that way, plays hell with my legs, which start to give way. “Turn around Sarah, I want that cute little arse in my face.” so I do, and in minutes I am experiencing the most intense orgasm I have ever had in my entire life.

My body takes over completely, rocking back harder and harder against the firm pressure of his tongue, while I scream his name, over and over, gasping that I am coming, like he was in any doubt! And just when I think it’s stopping it washes over me again, he pushes his tongue inside me, moaning softly as he does so, pulling me harder towards his mouth, murmuring “Come on Baby, there’s more I know there’s more” And he is right, I push back again, “Oh god, Oh Steve, Oh please, I can’t, can we stop…No, don’t stop, don’t ever stop Oh Steve, I’m coming.” A muffled groan is the only reply, and a giggle, as I change my mind about a break, and then change it again.

While this is happening, I glance at his penis, which with some attention from my mouth had hardened, and then changed its mind, but is in my hand anyway, and it’s hard, properly, “Steve, you are hard! stop a sec, I keep a firm hold, and switch back to facing him, then gently guide it inside me, his face registers surprise, I can feel that, he says, not all over but the warmth, the pressure, oh Sarah, you are a clever girl, I move gently, so we don’t lose it, feeling him hard inside me is just wonderful.

Looking into his eyes, as I move up, and then gently back down, then keep still, and use my fingers to make myself come, at this point, as I do, his eyes widen, in surprise, I can feel you tightening on it, and then he says he has this odd, fluttery feeling in his stomach, which he says is so pleasurable, and I can feel him hardening more inside me, this feeling intensifies, then slowly stops, I think that that was the first time I had an orgasm since my injury, he says, and that was just well WOW.

Wheelchair Love Lasts

So, although there is some erectile dysfunction, with the right stimulation, it’s not all the time, we use a drug called Cialis, if we want it to last longer, and be harder, but most of the time, I can get it to become hard, with a combination of him watching me give him oral sex, and the use of a mini vibrator called a bullet, or just him giving me mind blowing orgasm’s

Quadriplegic Love Lasts

The weekend flies by, and it’s Monday, before I know it, we have time to go to lunch with Victor, a friend of Steve, since they were 17, he is a lovely guy, but his and Steve’s friendship has suffered over the years, due to Victor’s intense dislike of Annette, and her treatment of Steve, and herself serving reasons for taking him back. He told me all about it as time went on, just before the accident.

Victor clearly remembers Steve visiting with Kathy, and telling him, don’t get too used to her, it won’t last, don’t let Justine (Victor’s wife) get too friendly, there’s someone else, I have fallen in love with, but Fuck, it’s so complicated, she’s married, but he is a dick, and I think she is scared of him, and she’s pregnant, and no it’s not mine, but Victor I want her and I know she feels the same.

I just have to get out of this, I can’t deal with her, she’s suffocating clingy, and keeps on about us getting custody of the boy’s, she doesn’t know anything about kids, and I just don’t love her, not that way, what the hell am I going to do? Victor told him to tell the married woman how he feels.

Then we are standing in his back garden, having a cigarette one day, and Victor suddenly realizes he saw me, the totally devastated pregnant woman at the hospital was me, and it all slots into place, and he say’s, “And you still love him after everything that’s happened, incredible.” So friends believe me when I say quadriplegic love lasts.  After all the pain, distance, and time, plus our many obstacles and mistakes, our love for each other has endured to this day.

3D Wheelchair Art Modeling

3D Wheelchair Model Animation

Creating 3D wheelchair model animation is easy with so many user friendly programs available these days. You no longer need a degree in kinetics to easily create realistic animations. I explained how to set up some simple 3D wheelchair models previously using free 3D software Daz3D. Now here are a few 3D wheelchair model animations I put together. One of the options in the Daz3D 4.6 free version is export as an AVI movie. I then simply rip to GIF format to be cross browser friendly and post here.

The 3D wheelchair model animation below is a short endless loop of 50 frames. Our female model Susan in sports gear is walking beside our male model Michael in a Flex wheelchair on a warm sunny day.

3D Wheelchair Model Animation Walking

3D Wheelchair Model Animation

This second 3D wheelchair model animation is sexy Susan in a bikini on roller blades pushing a shirtless Michael in his Flex wheelchair. This one is an 80 frame loop. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make it look most realistic, like Susan’s hair blowing, and Michael’s head bob on each push. Did I over do her boobs lol? The scene in the background is a single image making the rendering process (saving as video) faster.

3D Wheelchair Animation Roller Blades

Wheelchair Model Animation of sexy bikini girl jiggle on roller blades pushing guy in flex wheelchair

Once you get the basic movement right there are many easy to apply options; skin color, hair type, clothing, body type, muscle size, plus lighting effects, endless camera angles, and so on that all conform or magnetize to your base 3D wheelchair model animation. I created the above short animation simply by making a few changes to the first countryside one.

3D Wheelchair Animation

Bookmark this page and have a go at making your own 3D wheelchair animation. I’m here to help and happy to post any of your creative works on a page of your own.

Dean Pusell Love the Universe in You

Dean Pusell Love the Universe in You

In the summer of 1988 the smell of salt hung in the air by the beach in Australia. I decided to escape the heat and go surfing with friends. We all ran into the water diving in at waist deep. As I floated to the surface face down unable to move. I knew the blood in the water was mine. Thankfully my friends noticed and rolled me over. Unable to feel from my bottom lip down I sucked in a big breath of our precious sky. Funny, I lost a lot of blood but not a tear in the ocean that day.

Dean Pusell Love the Universe in You

Love the Universe in You

I was placed in a halo brace to stabilize my quadriplegia and for the next fourteen months in hospital I was nurtured and doctered to use a cold steel wheelchair for the rest of this mortal life. I was only sixteen. After re-learning how to dress and feed myself it came time to write. Though it was most difficult I not only learned to write again, I came to allow my feelings to flow through my hands, drawing and painting over the next few years.

From 1994-2005 my creative works featured in 65 exhibitions around the world involving surreal painting, charcol drawings, collage, photography and poetry. I even turned my hand to writing lyric’s for a blind man to air on public radio. It lead to more television comericals and interviews.

For the last 18 months I have squinted through my heart, purely absorbing this mystically breathing life of spirit, breeze, and vibes- from pulse to paper in “Love the Universe in You” my scribbles began happily.

In a minds gentle silence and a hearts soft voice this smiling light was healing in a peaceful surrender, what grew in this pink and purple dusk amongst the closing lavender lotuses was the birth of a waking dream… piercing stars now whispered a gentle bliss. – Dean Pusell

“Love the Universe in You” is my latest published book. It was written with a glowing smile, deeply feeling the dual meanings of the title. Grab a copy and find your bliss.

Peace and smiles to all,
Love Dean Pusell
DeanPusell.com

Loving Somebody Extraordinary

It was September 24th 2006 when my path crossed with my soul mate. At 35 I had all but lost faith in eligible men and monogamous relationships, never mind conventional marriage. There he was sitting in the only patch of sun at a Bar-B-Que and I couldn’t resist joining him to soak up the warmth. I had just given up alcohol for good, and offered him a taste of my ginger beer. His cousin, our neighbour of 34 years, was having a farewell BBQ and Francois almost didn’t come. Meeting Francois changed my life forever. 

Loving Somebody Extraordinary

Loving Somebody Extraordinary

Francois is a wiz on computers and online games. At the time he was busy with Lineage II. He explained how he was able to gather with other online gamers across the world to arrange sieges, defend castles and fend off fierce dragons. He called himself a “lowly warrior”. I have since discovered he is more likely a Knight. With many of his fellow swordsmen being North Americans, most of the online battles were scheduled for 4am. This was no trouble for Francois and he would be awake and ready to support his guild. 

His lifestyle was akin to that of a vampire, drawing the thick curtains during daylight so the glare wouldn’t reflect off the graphics, and awake all night to battle. He fought with pride, honour and dignity, and this seemed to mirror his inner core. Francois was clearly a gentleman who encompassed good old fashioned chivalry. He also has a deep understanding of human nature, and a permanent good humour. These are rare and precious qualities that were obviously enhanced through his disability. Francois has a level C5-6 spinal cord injury (SCI) and is completely paralysed from his chest down to his feet. He has partial movement of his upper arms running down into wrist extension, but sadly it stops short of hand and finger movement. 

At 5:20pm on a warm Monday afternoon in 1992, a car drove into Francois flinging him off his motorcycle and breaking his neck. What would you do if you could alter 10 minutes in your lifetime? He was 18 years old and had just started working. He spent six months at the Conradie Rehabilitation Centre for spinal cord injuries where he recovered and was taught how to adapt to his new life. The first three months were spent in a head brace which was fastened tightly to prevent any movement at all so that the bones in his neck could fuse. They didn’t realize that his scapula was broken, and the pressure of the brace against his shoulder was agonizing. The pain in his shoulder restricts pushing his wheelchair to this day. Suddenly lying on your back with no sensation and no movement in your entire body is a life sentence that one cannot compare to anything. It’s unthinkable. 

The ward was full of men forced to come to terms with their injuries. They developed an unspoken bond and deep understanding that would resurface years later when they bumped into each other again. Every three hours they were turned to prevent pressure sores, which meant a peaceful night’s sleep was impossible. Pressure sores are one of the worst afflictions of paralysis. They develop too easily from lack of blood circulation, mostly from a hip or bony extrusion pressing for too long on a surface. Being paralysed means not being able to feel anything below the level of the break, and often a pressure sore can go unnoticed until it’s very serious. Tragically, two thirds of people with a spinal cord injury suffer chronic, intractable pain in those areas where there is sensation. A “complete break” is when the nerve has been completely severed, whereas an “incomplete break” means there is still some connection and some level of recovery.

God’s miracle of creation is clearly evident in how the organs of the body know their respective tasks and carry on as per normal. Bladders and bowels still need to be emptied. This is one of the biggest hurdles that a paralysed person faces, how to manage their bowel routine and to retain some sort of dignity. Did you know that it’s impossible to cough without chest muscles? This change’s the dynamics of catching a simple cold for fear that it may become bronchitis. I certainly didn’t know. I knew virtually nothing about paralysis when I met Francois. But I was willing to learn one day at a time in order to spend time with him. I laughed more than I had in years, life had become adventurous and fun, I had found my very own Mr Bean and perfectly preserved Peter Pan rolled into one. 

Francois enjoys the view from his wheechair in Knynsa

Francois enjoys the view from his wheechair in Knynsa

Our first date was a drive to Ceres, stopping at Bainskloof pass for a picnic. It would be his first picnic in 15 years. Imagine not doing things for 15 years, not going to the movies, not believing you could have a loving partner or a normal life. It was a first of many more firsts to follow. But that picnic was our very first time and we hadn’t yet figured out the do’s and don’ts. That day I burnt his hand with a hot coffee cup (he still has a small scar); he developed the start of a pressure sore sitting on a hard car seat; and he got a bladder infection from an overfull legbag that he didn’t want to ask me to empty. It was love. And the physical attraction was undeniable. He had a twinkle in his gorgeous blue eyes that made my heart skip a beat. 

We both knew from the beginning that we had found the love we had once believed in. I had travelled around the world and found the centre of my universe on my doorstep. We used to play together as carefree children. Francois proposed to me on 7/7/2007 during a weekend away at Cape Agulhas. Our friends and family joined in an awesome engagement celebration at Wiesenhof, in the heart of nature. We had a BBQ at the lapa overlooking the dam, with each guest receiving a straw sunhat as a special memento.

Computer keyboard typing splint

Computer keyboard typing splint

Soon after we met, Francois embarked on an arduous journey of studying IT through UNISA. It’s a four year course that he has immersed himself into, determined to make a success. He has been richly rewarded with distinctions for almost all of his subjects. It’s a tremendous achievement, especially given the technical difficulties involved for him to study and write his exams. He is fortunately able to operate a computer easily with the aid of a typing stick. In fact, with another set of helping hands he has built all his own computers. However, a textbook poses much more of a challenge. To handle a book and turn pages without the use of hands and fingers is no easy feat.

Here Francois’ mother deserves a special mention, as she tirelessly assists him with his studies as his caregiver. The first examination that Francois wrote was nail-biting. Other students are able to write exams but Francois needs a computer to type on. They had designated a computer at the back of the normal exam venue upstairs. On that particular day the lifts were out of order. Mayhem and panic followed. They contemplated carrying Francois upstairs, but this was too daunting and dangerous.

The library was downstairs and they ended up using one of the quiet audio-visual rooms, make-shifting a desk for him. Telephone books were cleverly placed underneath to raise the level of the desk to the height of his wheelchair. Another desk was placed alongside for Francois to be able to lean on. Without him having stomach muscles he is unable to balance, so without support he would topple over. I’m not sure if he would fare well on a boat, it’s an adventure we’re still to try. Lastly, he brings his own keyboard and mouse for ease of use. This was to become Francois’ examination venue thereafter. A few years on, Johan Jacobs, the Deputy Director at UNISA, specially designed motorised adjustable desks suitable for people with any sized wheelchair, and purchased state-of-the art computers for people with any type of disability.

Each exam has had its own set of challenges. Once, Francois had to re-write his exams. It was a very bleak day indeed. As Francois was finishing up and preparing to print, MS Word froze and all his answers were corrupted. That day Francois and his invigilator sat for seven hours straight as he diligently rewrote the entire paper. Tricky too is when questions require him to draw a technical diagram, which he cannot do. This can be beyond frustrating. Frustration is the number one stumbling block. Able bodied people are able to go for a walk, go for a drive, do something else to release our pent-up frustration. How does a paralysed person handle the many frustrations that he encounters? Francois remains sane with an insane sense of humour.

It’s a daily reminder for me to be ever-grateful that I am physically able to get out of bed, take a shower, hop into the car and drive to work. The simple everyday things that we take for granted are actually the greatest gifts in life. Francois is unable to cross a road on his own because of the pavements. It takes a minimum of two hours to get us both ready in the mornings. All routine tasks take thrice as much time and effort.

Going out can become emotionally draining when things go wrong: if the legbag leaks and floods the shoe with urine; not being able to find parking in a designated wheelchair bay; no room for the wheelchair next to the car, a small oversight in some parking areas; the catheter not draining properly (this is life-threatening if not fixed in time); extreme hot or cold weather (quadriplegics don’t have normal temperature regulating bodily functions); transferring into or out of the car in rain where everything plus the wheelchair cushion gets wet. Yet after the rain there is always a rainbow. We had a magical wedding on 4/4/2009, it was a dream come true. The love and support from our family and friends was phenomenal. This was topped by the best adventure we’d ever had, a honeymoon in Kruger National Park.

Travelling-wheelie-Wall-E

Travelling companion Wall-E

Wall-E was our travelling companion, a young fluffy lion with wild hair and an eagerness to see untouched nature. Kruger is well equipped for wheelchairs, and each of the five parks we stayed in had designated bungalows that were wheelchair friendly. Though being wheelchair friendly doesn’t necessarily mean being quadriplegic-friendly. On two of the balconies I almost lost Francois as he went flying down a ramp that was too steep, once backwards! He also burnt his hand quite severely while tending to the fire one windy evening. We had duct-taped a long two-prong fork to his hand so that he could turn the meat. He is unable to feel heat on his hand and the fire must have been hotter than we realized.

 We both tend to put on our McGyver caps when trying to find clever ways of doing everyday things. Great successes are duct-taping a table-tennis bat to his hand, putting non-slip handgrips onto everything, which has amongst other things brought out the chef in him. Along our travels we were privileged to find QAWC (QuadPara Association of Western Cape) through which we have met so many other people in a similar situation as us. Some were recovering at Conradie at the same time as Francois, cementing strong friendships. They don’t let adversity hold them back. It is fascinating to observe how everyone finds ingenious ways of doing things. It is just a lot harder to physically do everyday things, and a person’s potential is dependent on their environment and support base. Which is why it’s uplifting when total strangers offer their help. On a particularly interesting day at the World of Birds, a steep pathway had become damp and slippery. We were stuck. Out of the blue a strong set of arms enveloped my shoulders and helped me push the wheelchair. It’s these moments that live forever.

Christopher Reeve named his first book “Still Me”. He was still the same person inside, regardless of his physical condition and appearance. He was still the same person, yet even better in many ways. As was Francois, he most likely developed a bucket load of patience, a deeper level of understanding, and an enhanced emotional intelligence* after his accident. Chris used his fortune and misfortune to encourage researchers to find cures and a better quality of life for paralysis victims. Chris’ work and legacy is paying off. Recently a paralysed victim of a car accident, Rob Summers, has been able to move again through ground-breaking electrical nerve stimulation. Although still early days, it pays homage to the title of Christopher Reeve’s second book, “Nothing is Impossible”

Jessica

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

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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

Disabled wheelchair model animation Michael pushing manual Flex design wheelchair

Wheelchair Animation In Daz3D

Ok rock stars, here is our Flex design wheelchair animation in Daz3D. With a few quick steps you can have fun creating your own wheelchair animation in Daz3D at home for free. Download a free version of Daz 3D from their website. Previously I showed how to import 3D models and figures, set colors, textures, clothing, pose the figures and so on. Now let’s have some 3D anim movie fun.

Wheelchair Wheel Rotation

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To setup your wheelchair wheel rotation open Daz3D and click the Pose & Animate tab. 1) Import your wheels to the zero point. 2) Set X Rotate to 720. 3) Set Y Translate to 31. 4) On the timeline set 91 frames, a range of 0 to 90, and drop the frames per second (FPS) to 20. 5) On frame 90 set Z Translate to -389.36. Render to see if your wheelchair wheel rotation is correct and matches the distance. 

It might be worth explaining how I calculated wheel rotation and distance. 2 PI R equals the circumference of a circle. Imagine wrapping a string around the tyre then laying it out flat, we want to know that measurement to sync the wheel rotation to distance. PI is 3.14 and R (radius) is 31. So 3.14 x 31 x 2 = 194.68 for one full wheel rotation. Times 2 again for two wheel rotations and we get 389.36.

Posing Disabled Wheelchair Model

Now the wheelchair animation is looking good we start posing disabled wheelchair model Michael. Sit him in our flex wheelchair at frame zero and on frame 90 set Z Translate to -389.36. Then add key-frames and adjust his chest, arms, hands etc to give the illusion he’s pushing the wheelchair. Take a few renders going back and tweaking to achieve a realistic motion. Here’s our paraplegic hunk Michael in motion.

Sweet, all we do now is set a scene add a few lights and drop in a background. Indoor lighting can be a bit tricky in Daz3D so I won’t bore you with all that here. Just know in Daz3D you need raytracing on at least one light to get a realistic shadow effect. Here we have the sunlight (distant light) coming through the window and four down lights (spotlights) all set with raytracing on.

And with that I’m off to watch The Lorax.

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

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(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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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

 

Perfect Imperfection Rasso Bruckert photograph of disabled man in wheelchair

Perfect Imperfect

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

Perfect Imperfection Rasso Bruckert photograph of disabled man in wheelchair

Perfect Imperfection Rasso Bruckert

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resources

Intimate Encounters Dominic and Lee

Intimate ENCOUNTERS

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

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

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

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

Intimate Encounters Dominic and Lee

United we sit

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

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

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

In the words of its creators:

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

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

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

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

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

As Kiersten Fishburn of Accessible Arts points out:

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

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

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

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

Resources

Quid Pro Quo stars Vera Farmiga and Nick Stahl

Quid Pro Quo

Quid Pro Quo Poster

Quid Pro Quo Poster

Latin meaning “this for that” an equal exchange, Quid Pro Quo is the first feature film by Carlos Brooks released by Magnolia Pictures in 2008. Actor Nick Stahl who played John Connor in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, as well as roles in Spin City, The Thin Red Line, Bully, Safe Passage, and Sleepwalking, plays the central character Isaac Knott, a semi-paraplegic wheelchair reporter in Quid Pro Quo.

As a New York public radio reporter Isaac Knott begins to recount a story about himself live on-air. Telling when he was eight, his mother and father died in an automobile accident that left him in a wheelchair. Almost forcing us to feel the dark curiosity that turns heads when passing an accident scene Isaac lays his trauma out welcoming.

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Continuing his story, Isaac reports that he recently received an anonymous tip from someone identified only as “Ancient Chinese Girl.” She tells him a perfectly able-bodied man walked into an emergency ward downtown, and attempted to bribe a doctor into amputating his leg. 

In the course of his investigation, he meets Fiona played by Vera Farmiga, the aforementioned Ancient Chinese Girl. Though she is neither ancient nor Chinese, she is nevertheless supremely attractive, highly intelligent and therefore very secretive keeping to herself. Fiona guides Isaac to a netherworld of people afflicted with a seemingly perverse desire to be disabled.

Seduced by her beauty and intelligence Isaac is quick to suspect that Fiona herself may be a “wannabe.” When he confronts her she protests, “I don’t want to be paralyzed, I already am paralyzed.“ Isaac realizes he must decipher the puzzle of her fantasy motivations before they manifest into an all-too-real, if not fatal, reality.

Along the way, he navigates a semi-surreal world of talismanic items like an antique Milwaukee Brace, a pair of shoes called “spectators,” and a paralyzing chemical called “Ginger Jake.” Events become increasingly extraordinary as Isaac discovers that Fiona does indeed have a terrible agenda, one that resonates in long buried memories of his own past.

Production Notes

Many of the best detective stories evolve in such a way that the story ends up that the detective has actually been investigating himself. Quid Pro Quo’s modern day detective is a public radio investigative reporter Isaac Knott (Nick Stahl) who just happens to be confined to a wheel chair. In the course of doing a story about disability wanna-be’s, Isaac traverses a surreal world of fetishism and transgressive eroticism that recalls the unique perspectives of Luis Bunuel and Alfred Hitchcock.

In many ways, Isaac’s “story” is really a journey into his psyche and personal fears. And the totemic clues he discovers during his investigation: a wheelchair, a Milwaukee brace, a pair of shoes are always more than their literal reality. In the context of the film, these items are objects of fetishistic worship. And as such, they become transcendental. A wheelchair is a wheelchair, until it is viewed as a device that possesses the power to delineate someone as “special,” in other words, “handicapped.”  It then becomes not so much a conventional transport as a machine that creates pity and empathy.

Granted, all this presupposes a perverse perspective into the way we look at things. But in the course of Isaac’s investigation, he finds Fiona (Vera Farmiga) — or she finds him — and she offers him a window into a dark place that exists somewhere between reality and dreams. Her life’s aspiration is to be crippled, or at least perceived as such. She’s beautiful and successful, yet she longs to be physically destroyed to regain some spiritual transcendence in her life. Her complexity, along with her erotic compulsions, prove irresistible to Isaac. 

This quixotic entanglement between reality and its reinterpretation through desire is the heart and soul of Quid Pro Quo. Isaac is drawn to Fiona’s dark side because somewhere in the strata of her perversion lies an underlying truth about himself.  He is confined to a wheelchair because of an accident. What can he possibly learn about himself from Fiona’s desire to be like him? In Quid Pro Quo the answer of course is everything.

Carlos Brooks Director

Commenting on the tone of his first feature film, director Carlos Brooks noted:

uid Pro Quo Director Carlos BrooksI told the actors in rehearsal to think of the story as unfolding entirely within that moment that transpires between deep sleep and wakefulness. So from the earliest rehearsals and creative discussions, all the way through scoring and final sound design, we approached the film within that framework, that the film itself should be experienced as a kind of dream.  Even to the extent that we avoided the usual overtly “dreamy” film making and editing tricks, in favor of a straightforward style that would, like an actual dream, invite you to perceive it as real.” — Carlos Brooks

This article images and content has been produced here with permission of Magnolia Productions to streetsie.com and may not be reproduced elsewhere without express written permission from the respective works and copyright holders.

Graham Streets
MSC Founder

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