After reading Sulaiman’s post earlier this summer, Katie decided to submit this piece to our #MakeDisabledLoveNotPorn series, where disabled folks take up space on our blog and talk about what it’s like to be a disabled sexual being. If you’re a disabled person interested in sharing your #realworldsex on MLNP, or sharing your story on our blog, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Katie, I’m a serial shagger, lover of threesomes, foursomes, and moresomes, I find the slightly weird wonderful, and love a kink. I also have a chronic illness that often results in my not being able to use my legs properly, so if I go weak at the knees don’t assume it’s just because you’re hot. In my experience, I’ve found the world of kink the most open and accepting of those of us with different needs… why? Honesty.
As someone who doesn’t have the energy or sociability to bother going out, the only real way to augment the pick-up experience is via dating apps, and along with those meant for lifelong love, there are also those meant for night-long lovin’. Now these places aren’t nearly as scary as you might think, and I’m easily scared. In fact they are mostly the domain of the curious, kind, and incredibly honest, something that takes a little getting used to…
“How are you?”
“Good. How are you? What are you into?”
“Sub/dom stuff, light BDSM, maybe pegging, water play. You?”
You see, these apps aren’t the domain of the small-talker. Nobody here faffs. And though I usually do try to delve for a little context first (of the – where do you live, where are you from, what do you do variety) it quickly gets into he subject matter normally reserved for date five pillow talk. This more transactional ‘relationship’ app is something that gays have gotten right for years, but the straights have long lagged behind, and if we’re to ignore their terrible UX, functionality and super-buggy build, they’ve got everything that a waiting kinkster could want. (And very likely a chunk that you don’t).
Take penis pics. I’ve received about 65 unsolicited dick pics, and with each one I send a swift reply of ’Thanks! Another submission to my art project. I’m exhibiting these all soon, hope you don’t mind if I use your name and face photo too?’ But along with the smooth, we take the occasional rough. And you would be surprised how very very few rough there actually are on these sites. I mean seriously, on ‘dodgy’ dating apps I can punch far above my weight successfully.
But then comes the rub. We chat, we discuss kinks or fantasies, we fantasize about meeting, we meet, and then at some point during that evening my disability comes to light. Which is where things get very make-or-break.
Sometimes I’m a sixteen-year old boy who can think of nothing else but shagging. With that comes supreme confidence, a sort of hunger in my brain that’s definitely not for food and can’t be sated, and an elevated body temperature. It’s weird, but I also love it. That’s when my hormones are going weird, something that’s connected to my multiple health issues and chronic illness. I have a couple handfuls of health conditions, and a serious (non-contagious) disease, and with that I have limited strength in my legs, lots of pain in my back, pelvis, hips and legs, and my left arm doesn’t always work.
Although I could be sitting down on a first meeting / date, there is some point during the evening that I must stand, go to the loo, generally ‘reveal’ my wobbly disability. Something that I only occasionally mention ahead of time. And phew, phew, I have only once been turned down because of it, and that was because he was a doctor who by coincidence treated my exact same condition and so ‘saw me more as a patient than a shag’… which was so disappointing as he was a charismatic king and incredibly sexy. C’est la vie.
There have been times however that my legs have felt good, and so it’s not until the point at which i’m being ‘taken’ (ironic use of Jane Austen style euphemism there) from behind in a kitchen or a corridor that my legs start to weaken and I need to either stop and explain things, or instead to drop to my knees full submissive-style. Because very fortunately in that case, I am a sub.
The sub/dom thing is kinda weird when you are in any way more ‘vulnerable’ than most. Though some disabled or chronically ill people might not identify as that, I do. In reality I am a little more delicate than some, but that kinda co-ordinates with my sub-demeanor and can actually help in role-playing. Though I’ve never done any sick or disabled role play per se, I suspect the psychology of dominating a ‘weakling’ might’ve occasionally been positive trigger, and so be it. Though I certainly don’t want to be someone’s disability fetish, I also roll with the punches in every other way in my life, so might as well use my disability to my sub benefit too.
Now it’s not all plain sailing on the love (making) boat… but I’ve found that the open-minded and honest culture of the ‘dodgy’ dating app world pisses all over that of the ‘normal’ dating app clientele by a country mile. Maybe that’s because of the open minds and ‘anything goes’ attitude, maybe its because of the generally ‘liberal’ attitudes of the people involved (though not always liberal in their politics – but arguing with one guy angrily about Brexit as a role-play kink is another story…) or maybe it’s very simply just that ‘different’ in all ways is heavily embraced in the world of kink. Long may the glorious celebration of weirdness continue… (Well, not too long of course, my legs are getting a bit wobbly and weak, can we go to bed now please?)