I Know What They’re Thinking
I do it too. When I encounter someone with a disability, I often look at them and try to assess if they are able to have sex. Maybe I think about sex too much. Is that even a thing? I see various levels of people’s disabilities. I guess we all make assumptions. As a single woman on the dating market, I know this is part of the way men assess my fitness to date them. Often, they ask point blank what my ability is in this department.
When I first started dating, I included the fact that I have a disability in my online dating profile. It didn’t seem to limit my options that much. I’ll never know who skipped over me because of that fact. I met dozens of men. I would show up to a first date limping and carrying a cane. It’s a great conversation starter. I think it was on my fourth date with Joe when we were dancing that he asked “Are you able to have sex?” I reassured him that I was. I look especially clumsy when I try to dance.
Jorge told me a few months after we first met that he was surprised to see me show up on our first date with a cane, and that he wondered if I would be able to have sex. I guess he missed the part of my online profile that clearly stated I carry a cane. He said he noticed it said I was disabled, but missed the cane detail.
Pete told me that he didn’t doubt my ability to have sex, and fantasized about me being “helpless” in bed. Maybe a bit creepy, but whatever.
I no longer include the fact that I have a disability in my online dating profile, but instead vaguely allude to the fact that I have some limitations by saying things like “I would love to take long walks on the beach, but I’m unable to do so.” I let the story of my disability unfold as contact grows with someone. Fortunately, this works as a natural selection process to eliminate men who won’t be able or want to deal with my issues.
I was talking on the phone last night with a new online connection. When he asked me what I do, I told him I have been disabled since 1999. He took a beat, then asked me what happened.
“I had a stroke when I was pregnant.”
“How does that affect you?”
“I limp, carry a cane, and have limited use of my left arm, but I live a full life.”
“Are you able to have sex?”
“Yes, I am.”
Now that we have that out of the way, it will be interesting to see if it goes anywhere.
Thank you for reading:)