As a sexy paraplegic woman, I enjoy the creative play of chat rooms. What gets in the way? Ableist assumptions that chat-mates make about the body at the other end: It can stand. It can get on all fours. It has a luscious bubble butt that pops in yoga pants. It has thighs and legs that can move of their own volition without assistance.
Some bodies in chatrooms fit these assumptions – mine doesn’t. Here are a few tips for nondisabled chatters so that if we encounter each other, I don’t have to work to accommodate your vision of me.
• I may not initially tell you that I’m paralyzed, because that’s not all that I am. Remember, I don’t know everything about you either. I won’t expect you to tell me right off the bat that you have a hairy back or something else gross, so don’t feel like I hoodwinked you. If you already have a stock idea of who you want to encounter, get out of the chat room and go watch some porn.
• When I tell you I’m paralyzed, pleeeease do not let your first response be, “Oh, I’m so sorry.” Fuck your sorries. A few alternatives to try: “Oooh, interesting.” Or, “Tell me more.” “Describe your body to me.” “I’m interested … did that change things for you?” “What makes you feel good?”
• Don’t handle me with kid gloves. Disability doesn’t mean fragile. I will banter and play and order you around like the best of ‘em.
• Why are you surprised that I’m good with my words and creating imagery? My brain is exceedingly active, more so than most. I’m an avid observer of the world and other humans. It’s my way of figuring out how to navigate them most effectively. This easily extends to sex.
• My disability requires that I have excellent self-awareness – of my identity and my body. I am deeply cognizant of how it works and what makes it feel good. I can tell you if you want to know.
• No, I can’t take a standing nude in front of the mirror. #RememberImParalyzed
• I can take nudes. And videos. Depending on the shot, it might take slightly longer. Just hold your horses.
• I’m very flexible, limber, and lithe (thank you, adaptive yoga!). My legs may have less muscle, but they are easy to reposition. You may not even know from my pics and videos that I’m paralyzed.
• It’s not all brain … my body is still wildly activated by physical intimacy.
• My body will surprise you. It’s got different curves and contours. Unique ways of sensing, feeling, and moving. You might not know how to talk about it at first, which could make you uncomfortable and uncertain. Don’t be hesitant, just be honest. If you are adventurous and open to learning, I will educate you. I hope you will do the same for me with your body.
• I have a delicious body.
• I don’t necessarily want to talk to you again. I’ve got plenty of other options and high expectations. Unless you’re really impressive.
Thanks for reading. Let’s get to it!