On being disabled, sexuality, and becoming poly.
You are 44 years old. You have cerebral palsy from an accident at birth. You walk with an awkward gait, have slurred speech, and drool from time to time. Your body sometimes moves joltingly, and you cannot carry a full glass of water across the room without spilling it.
You do not believe you are sexy. You have never been told you are sexy and were never encouraged to wear make-up or alluring clothes. You have never gotten catcalls from men on a construction site. You have never picked up a guy in a bar. You have been on 2 dates in your life. You have no role models for sexuality in the media or real life. You put rape out of your mind because you are not “real woman” and therefore, not in danger.
The entire time you were a teenager you wore clothes that covered you from head to toe. You only hung out with gay boys. You had one boyfriend, sure, at 16, but it was brief. You barely kissed, and he turned out to be gay anyway. You lost your virginity at 18 to someone you loved deeply, but he was mentally ill and also, largely gay. You inserted yourself in the middle of gay boy culture because that is where you were safe and where you belonged. Here, you did not have to face the fact that no one wanted you because there was a reason no one wanted you. They were all gay. In your early twenties, you had your first really close heterosexual female friend. You happened to pick a friend who was a real fireball with men. She could get any guy she wanted, despite the fact that she often choose very badly. You cannot get any guy you want. You cannot get ANY guy period.
Well, one thing leads to another and you do find yourself in a long-term relationship, but you tell yourself, he’s different. Since, he’s much older and not that sexual a person, it’s easy to convince yourself. After that, you marry a different man. This man thinks you are the bee’s knees. But again, you convince yourself he’s different. Even after you’ve had tons of sex with him and given natural childbirth, he’s the exception. You tell him that he’s only attracted to you because he loves you. You tell him this on a regular basis. Still, there are no sexy women with disabilities in porn or movies. People are still shocked that you gave childbirth or that you are married at all. Your students still ask you if you can have sex. Your students still ask you if your husband and child are disabled. You never look at men, why bother? Men are boring anyhow.
Then, something changes. You meet someone. This person thinks you are hot. And your ever-patient husband decides you two can have an open marriage. This “someone” torments you. The level of confusion and passion makes you want to kill yourself or kill him or kill random people and it ends. Badly. But, it’s not so bad after all. You will always love him, and this person made you believe you were sexy. He forced you to believe it and now you believe it. With the permission of your husband: you go online, you flirt with guys, you have illicit sex, you go on dates, you make out with boys in bars, you brag, you tell all your friends. When guys dismiss you, you think, “Too bad for them, I give great head!” When you walk down the street now, you look men in the eye. You smile at them. You stare at their cocks when they are at eye level on the train. You notice their hands and arms. A man tells you, I want to see you again, I was hard the entire conversation. The conversation was about architecture. You are thrilled. You find all kinds of men are attracted to you. You know how to lure them, to talk to them, to flirt with them. You can now distinguish who is attracted to you and who isn’t. You go nuts. You want to fuck every man. You want all the men attracted to you, even if only to make a philosophical point.
However, things get sticky. Well, you fall in love with someone you should have never fallen in love with and there’s that. Despite attracting more men than you know what to do with, you get stuck on one. The one who is a liar and bad for you. After the dust settles, you actually rarely have sex because, its true, most men aren’t that interesting. And you have to break it off with your beloved yoga teacher when he comes onto you because you want him to be your platonic, beloved yoga teacher. And at the end of the day romance, passion, and intimacy are what you’re really after, not fucking.
However, you still haven’t lost your fascination with this power. This power you find so amusing and mysterious. It was there all along. You find that people don’t understand your plight. You thought everyone would be thrilled for your discovery. But you also find out that women get envious. They call you a slut and a whore. You thought that every able-bodied, relatively good-looking, heterosexual woman was aware of this power. You find that is not true, as far as you know. You begin to understand why women hate being sexualized. Sometimes you, even you. don’t want to be sexualized. You understand now that being a sexy woman, knowing you are a sexy woman, needs an amount of reserve and responsibility. You also know your new power is a common power, a fake power, a meaningless power, yet you feel powerful all the same. And you want your story, the uncommon story, to be heard.