No, you cannot see a picture of my feetMay 17 06:58
If the internet were a person, it’d probably be a raunchy comedian who had forgotten to take his meds a few too many times.
So when the internet came into my life in 1994, one of the first things I noticed after mentioning I was a wheelchair-user, was that there were people out there specifically searching for me. Not exactly “me” per say, but something like me (or so they were hoping). They were the raunch the news had warned me about, and they were jonesing for one thing, and one thing only - to have sex with a woman in a wheelchair.
And if not that, a picture of my feet. Yes, paralyzed feet. You have got to be kidding me
Ew. Gross. Unbelieveably bizarre. They’re attracted to my life’s greatest sadness. They’re happy I can’t walk because it brings them pleasure? Yes, was the response. A lot of people with disabilities are usually shocked when they first hear about these internet lurking wheelchair fetishists (also known as “devotees.” what they‘re devoted to I have yet to see…as I only see rude desire, not devotion). There are people with disabilities who embrace these weirdos, and then you have people out there like me, people who rile in disgust at the very mention of them.
When I was affronted by these fetishists back in the day, and you will be too if you’re online and in a chair mark my words (they like anyone in a wheelchair. Pretenders even), I gave them a reaction they were not looking for. I was the opposite of flattered by their attention. I never let my self-esteem ever get so low that I was delighted they existed. Not once did I think “They were all I could get,“ like they’d like you to think, or did I secretly think after discovering them “Oh joy someone will actually like me now!” Hell to the no.
Not only are they attracted to my limp legs, they’re prejudiced too*headdesk* They say there’s a fetish for everything in this world, from girls in braces to big girls to girls with one leg and boys who look like girls. As for the wheelchair lovers, they may not be able to help what they’re attracted to, but they really need to desist from their predatory nature.
These people are out there, my friends. Consider this my PSA for the day. And if one more guy tries to hack into my Facebook for a picture of my feet in heels, and tries to sell it on a photo CD, I may have to call my Uncle Tony.
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1. Deb | May 19 06:38
Amen and halleliua! WTF is right! My best friend is an amazing man, who happens to be a quad. I am a woman. Not just a few, but ALL my friends and co-workers have now classified me as a devotee. They denigrate him and our deep friendship with this vulgar reference. And, as if to add insult to the injury, now they attempt to hook me up with every relative, friend or neighbor who just happens to rely on wheels...as if to feed my devotee addiction. As if I am a junkie, with my veins aching for a romp in an adjustable hospital bed! Sometimes those predators are the ones we least expect.
2. Tiffiny | May 24 05:30
Deb, thats awful you're being characterized as one.
3. Max Titanium | May 29 05:10
Different strokes for different folks. Yes, there are dishonest and manipulative people everywhere-- just because someone's fetish happens to be related to disability doesn't make it intrinsically worse or more perverse than any other. As a w/c user 30+ years, I've actually dated women who are up-front about being devotees, and while it seemed unusual at first, I got to know them as real people with a range of qualities and interests. Not creepy at all. "Your kink ain't my kink," you know, but it's still legit.
Disability buzz, travel, fashion and dating — fun things to amp up everyday wheeling life.
Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.