My dirty thirties have started. Crazy, right? By gay, male standards I should be welcoming my sexual death knell any day now, as I no longer have that youthful virility that almost every gay ad everywhere reminds me that I should. My new age has gotten me thinking about the direction of my life (here's where you start thinking: Great. Are we going to watch Andrew go through an emotional awakening in this blog?). Not so much the typical, big picture moments that every movie tells me I should care about, but my past experiences and where they have brought me -- especially as a queer cripple.
I think that one of the most critical moments for me was my first time being sexually active. Every man or woman or all in between, gay/straight/queer/trans, disabled or abled, can see this as a critical moment. I remember mine to be the precise moment wherein my sexuality would be inextricably linked to my disability evermore (people should use evermore in everyday parlance, right? Also, parlance too. Makes you sound like you're in a Edgar Allan Poe story).
I was young, horny and much too excited to try this sex thing out. (Sidebar: Ever since I was seven-years-old, I knew I was queer. I told my 16-year-old swim instructor, who from my fuzzy memory must have been a greek god with his ability to walk and all, that I loved him!) I had just moved into my dorm, and there was an overwhelming sense of freedom. When I was living at home, I would pop on the gay websites hoping that no one would catch me... chatting, but knowing that nothing could ever occur because I lived at home. Now I could do so freely -- yay!
So, I popped on this website and very quickly started looking for something/anything to quench my thirst (if you thought of five inappropriate jokes after reading thirst, you're awesome). It didn't take long until I met my first. He was 28 at the time, I think (proof that I've always had a thing for the mature mens. Gentlemen, my number is...) and he looked like something out Men's Health. (Note: I am sure that my hormone-addled brain has rearranged this sequence to make him seem incredible.) He came over. (I remember actually putting in a blank CD and making a sex mix for myself, so that I could remember the moment. I remember there being a lot of Whitney Houston and Alanis on it. Classy, right?)
I was like a kid in a candy store. His shirt came off and it was like a scene from an Abercrombie and Fitch ad -- again, hormone addled brain. I was a ravenous dog, kissing and licking everywhere like I had seen in the countless porns that littered my hard drive (not much has changed, except I have two hard drives). He stopped me and asked, "Have you done this before?" I, trying to fit myself into that hyper-masculine care free mold responded, "Of course!" Such a lie.
Further proof I lied, he touched my crippled, deformed leg and it was all over. Luckily, there was a refractory period. It happened again, and when I finished, all proud and excited that my different body had, at least I thought, passed the sexy test. I naively said: "So, let's get coffee or go see a movie," thinking that seeing as we had be intimate, we were now a couple, right?
I'll never forget that moment, as it crystallized my status in my community. He looked at me sheepishly, smiled wryly and said: "No, no. You see your chair?" I said "Yes," knowing what was coming next, holding my breath and just hoping that it wasn't. "I came by because I felt bad for you. You were just a pity fuck." As quickly as those words entered my ears, I became the boy in the chair. Immediately an outsider in a group that was supposed to embrace outsiders. The different one. (Sidebar: I have never eaten more candy, chips and raucously sang bad karaoke while watching The OC than after this event.)
Never in my life have I felt more disabled than in that instant. I harken (ooh, harken) back to this moment, because I realize how much what he said has informed my sex life and my sexual self-acceptance. Because of his dismissal of my disability as merely a pity fuck, I began (and still do at times) believe that I am nothing more than that. Every time that I engage in sex with any partner, I am secretly hoping that they'll fuck the disability out of me in that moment, and see the wonderfully caring, painfully romantic cripple inside.
This all came to a head yesterday when I was telling a confidant about a potential hook up that I had arranged. After filling him in, he said: "Why're you doing this?" I said, "Because someone is actually offering to be with me..." In that moment, I realized that I was allowing myself to be nothing more than that novelty lay/pity fuck. In truth, I was disabling myself in the romantical department (I use the word romantical, although made up, ironically). I promptly cancelled my hook up, and realized that I can still be the boy in the chair, but in order to get with me, you have to care about him. Moreover, I have to come to terms with the fact that my disability is what makes me sexiest (I think), and that my disability allows me to pick and choose my lovers in a different way, and I can't forget that.