Boys in Chairs: Body image, boyfriends, Sexuality and Self-image—what it’s like to be inside our intersectionality

  • confidentcrip

    Posts: 111

    Apr 22, 2014 3:59 PM GMT

    http://huff.to/1qQei2x

    Let me know what you think of my latest piece, and please spread the word.
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    Apr 22, 2014 4:44 PM GMT
    Very insightful and interesting piece. I dated a man who had no use of his legs many years ago. I suspect some of these issues were a problem for him. I didn't care, and I was happy to help him when he needed it (but I never assumed he needed it, I was just available). But he pushed me away after a while and I think I have an idea why after reading your piece.
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    Apr 22, 2014 5:15 PM GMT
    "Touch: One of the most critical parts about being a human being, regardless of ability or orientation, is human touch. As a cripple that takes on a whole different meaning -- we are so often "touched" in the clinical sense of the word: doctors, nurses and caregivers. It is a rarity that a lover or someone who finds us attractive touches us. When they do, it can mean the world to us, and almost all the Queer Crips I spoke with underscored the importance of intimate touch in their lives, and how that almost trumped everything else. They said that it would be their dream come true simply to be touched, or to lay intimately with one they cared for. See? Cripples ain't so different after all. "

    Above all, thanks for this reminder.

    In one of your profile videos you say that getting naked together with a wheelchair guy just requires more creativity.
    Great videos, btw. You sound very sweet and loving.

    Even after you find the guy of your dreams I hope you'll keep writing about what you're learning from your experience of life. You're a fine writer. I'll be eager to read your love stories ahead.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Apr 22, 2014 5:35 PM GMT
    I agree, it is an insightful and interesting piece. Most of us are our own worst enemies--and this shows up in all kinds of ways. It can be physical disability, age, body image, emotional damage, fear of intimacy, fear of rejection, over compensating, over thinking... you name it.

    I've never dated a crip but I was an attendant for a time back in my mid-20s. I knew one out gay quad, and I learned a lot from working with him.

    I'm of the opinion that most of us are "damaged." The thing is, some people don't even know it. They "look" fine but when you get to know them, you begin to discover where the damage is.

    I'm not saying this only about other people, though. I *know* I'm damaged and have been dealing with it my whole adult life. Most of it for me is psychological / emotional and, now, age related.

    However, I also have an 'invisible' disability--hearing damage--which shows up in almost every real life conversation I have. I'm not deaf but my hearing is sufficiently compromised that I often don't understand what someone is saying unless I can see their lips moving, partially reading their lips. But, because this is an "invisible" disability, even people who have known me for years can't seem to remember that, if they want me to hear and understand what they are saying, they must speak slowly, clearly, and preferably to my face. Mumbling with your back turned to me just isn't going to cut it! LOL. Want to go to a noisy restaurant or bar and have a conversation over a drink? Not going to happen--at least not without yelling and me often looking dumbly at your face.

    I realize this doesn't even begin to compare with the kind of disability you're talking about. But I think it *might* be helpful if everyone considered the fact that almost anyone you meet, whether it is apparent or not, whether they even know it or not, *is* "damaged" in some way. None of us are perfect and the question is, can we find something lovable about the other guy--despite the damage? For me, personally, it helps if they have a clue about where there own damage lies. But even with some self-awareness, it can be very difficult to 'let go' of *trying* to be seen as more 'perfect' than we actually are; to let someone see our vulnerability and trust that, when seen, when accepted and even embraced, it means something.

    Oh, and I can also relate to the "am I just his fetish" question. I recently met a man IRL, a younger very attractive man, who is "in to" much older guys. (He's in his mid 40s, so we're talking a 20 year spread, here.) Although our first meeting was business related, he followed up expressing personal interest and we went out for coffee to get to know one another better. I was flattered but, like you said, a part of me was sort of like, "Is he seeing 'me' or some fantasy?" The short of it is, that hasn't gone anywhere and that is due to me, where I am in myself and my life, not him. I *know* I'm not "relationship material" at this time in my life and I'm ok with that.

  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Apr 22, 2014 7:46 PM GMT
    Well put, MikeW. I, too, enjoyed reading it. It's kind of funny how we're all a bundle of nerves, insecurities on so many levels. For some reason I've always thought being with a crip would be sexy. Fetish? I don't know. When I started dating my (now) partner who is Asian, I wondered for a while if my new-found (actually enhanced would be more accurate) appreciation for Asians was a fetish. A trip to China for the Olympics cured me of that thought. I guess it really doesn't matter if ultimately we end up liking someone for themselves. Find that elusive one-on-one love. But I can see how a crip would feel a special burden of fear of rejection, though he probably shouldn't.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Apr 22, 2014 7:59 PM GMT
    Mike, I hope you realize that most conversations in bars these days are accomplished by yelling on one side and wondering what is said on the other.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Apr 22, 2014 8:04 PM GMT
    LJay saidMike, I hope you realize that most conversations in bars these days are accomplished by yelling on one side and wondering what is said on the other.
    LOL… yeah, not surprised. Last time I was in a noisy bar was with a group of RJers, and that didn't last long for me. icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 22, 2014 8:42 PM GMT


    Great article, thanks Confident. icon_smile.gif
  • confidentcrip

    Posts: 111

    Apr 22, 2014 8:50 PM GMT
    glad you liked it!
  • FitGwynedd

    Posts: 1468

    Apr 22, 2014 8:58 PM GMT
    I really liked this article, good work
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 22, 2014 8:59 PM GMT
    I really liked it. I would like an article on gays with autism or dwarfism. That would be interesting.
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    Apr 22, 2014 10:02 PM GMT
    MikeW saidHowever, I also have an 'invisible' disability--hearing damage--which shows up in almost every real life conversation I have.

    WOULD IT HELP IF I TYPED LIKE THIS?icon_lol.gif
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Apr 22, 2014 10:15 PM GMT
    ElectroShark said
    MikeW saidHowever, I also have an 'invisible' disability--hearing damage--which shows up in almost every real life conversation I have.

    WOULD IT HELP IF I TYPED LIKE THIS?icon_lol.gif
    LOL! icon_lol.gif

    The weird thing is, it isn't a volume issue. It is a comprehension issue. My hearing is fine except I have tinnitus, constant ringing in the ears. If you've ever been near a firecracker going off or some other loud noise and experienced ears ringing afterword, well that's the inside of my head 24/7/365 and has been since I was 16 years old.

    All the little consonant sounds that help differentiate rhyming vowels get lost. Rat, bat, cat, sat, fat, that, etc.; I get the 'at' but might not get the rest of it IF a) you mumbled, b) I can't see your lips move and/or c) we're in an environment with a lot of ambient noise.
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    Apr 22, 2014 10:21 PM GMT
    Nicely written article with real thought given to the challenges you face.

    In my 40 years as an out gay man, I have encountered a few relevant situations personally. Some were handled well, others not so much. I have dated guys who were blind, had MS, missing parts, etc. In every case where it was either evident at first contact if we were to meet in a public place or disclosed if we met on line, the dates went smoothly. I didn't seek them out, nor avoid them, because of their limitations but rather enjoyed them for who they were as individuals.

    The one time things didn't go well was one evening in Atlanta when I met a nice, intelligent, handsome guy - all the good stuff - back in the days when you took someone home on first meeting for some rollicking good sex. As we started to make out, he leaned down and took off an artificial leg. To put it mildly I was quite surprised, probably even expressed a loud "oh" although I don't remember doing so icon_surprised.gif At any rate, rather than proceeding, he leaned down and put it back on and left saying almost nothing and leaving me too shocked to stop him. In retrospect I'm guessing he didn't disclose before we got home fearing rejection, but what he didn't do was allow me the opportunity to affirm that I wanted to be with him for who he was and a missing limb - especially one not critical for the horizontal tango icon_wink.gif - was not really importanticon_exclaim.gif

    I guess that leaves me with the question for guys with disabilities - when and how to disclose a limitation, especially one not immediately visible, so that the potential date/mate is not caught off guard yet still allow the two you to get to know each other enough as individuals so that the limitation should not be either a fetish or barrier icon_question.gif

  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Apr 22, 2014 10:44 PM GMT
    psblond said...I guess that leaves me with the question for guys with disabilities - when and how to disclose a limitation, especially one not immediately visible, so that the potential date/mate is not caught off guard yet still allow the two you to get to know each other enough as individuals so that the limitation should not be either a fetish or barrier icon_question.gif
    Well put and interesting question to contemplate.
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    Apr 23, 2014 1:31 AM GMT
    "So, you spend a good five minutes "going zen" trying to hold your pee, until you relent and ask for help."

    Ok, I'm going to cut to the chase here: You mean to tell me that we gay men, who will fuck each other in the ass, would be turned off at the notion of having to help someone use the toilet?!
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Apr 23, 2014 1:54 AM GMT
    Congratulations on the article. You're an inspiration.icon_smile.gif
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    Apr 23, 2014 2:21 AM GMT
    There was a guy that was/is on here...very handsome. Miss his posts.
  • venue35

    Posts: 4644

    Apr 23, 2014 12:16 PM GMT
    That was a great read you are inspiring!
    Who posted "who are you and what have done with jmusc"???
    They have me blockedicon_twisted.gif
  • confidentcrip

    Posts: 111

    Apr 23, 2014 3:05 PM GMT
    venue35 saidThat was a great read you are inspiring!
    Who posted "who are you and what have done with jmusc"???
    They have me blockedicon_twisted.gif


    Glad you enjoyed! Please spread the word.
  • confidentcrip

    Posts: 111

    Apr 23, 2014 3:06 PM GMT
    HottJoe saidCongratulations on the article. You're an inspiration.icon_smile.gif


    So glad you liked. Plus, you're hot
  • confidentcrip

    Posts: 111

    Jul 25, 2014 4:04 PM GMT
    FitGwynedd saidI really liked this article, good work


    Thanks so much for reading my stuff.