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Johns With Disabilities

There's a lot that's creepy and makes me uncomfortable about this, but as I've mentioned here several times before, I think it's imperative to consider these men's stories when we think about sex work, about what it means to be a john, etc.

I have a physical disability known as Cerebral Palsy and am in an electric wheelchair. I have always struggled in my own existence, largely because I rely on a lot of people to assist me with the most basic tasks, such as dressing, showering, getting in and out of bed, and other basic things that many people take for granted. Although I am verbal, and highly intelligent, having acquired two university degrees at the age of 24, people do tend to judge a book by its cover when it comes to things such as dating and sex.

My entire life I have been trapped inside a body that I hate. It never does what I want it to. It always conspires against me. Although I am confident in my intellectual ability, I do not have a very strong self-image. This is largely because every girl I have asked out on a date has rejected me. Some were even cruel enough to say, "Why would I ever go out with a cripple like you?" Even now, I still have not yet had a girlfriend.

....The whole experience was everything I hoped it would be. She started by giving me a massage, which eased my muscles that are normally tight and non-compliant. As she completed the massage, my body felt like it could do anything I wanted, something I had never felt before. She went down on me, and we had sex. She made me feel safe and confident in myself. For that portion of time, having sex with her (even if I had to pay for it) made up for a lifetime of rejection.

It was the most enjoyable experience I have ever had in my life. I would put it down to two things. For once I had gained control over my body, and it felt like I was in control of my life. The worst thing about having a physical disability is the lack of control I have in life. Everything is very clinical, get up at this time, eat at this time, have a shower at this time, and go to bed at this time. I have no control over these things. This time, I got to do things on my own terms. Second, it was the first time I felt like I was being treated like a sexual being with desires and needs that were important. All my life I have been viewed as an asexual being whose desires should be avoided or neglected. The trip to the brothel taught me not to be afraid of my sexuality and not to push it into the background.
I'm not as uncomfortable with my body as this guy is with his, but this here: "my body felt like it could do anything I wanted, something I had never felt before"

is EXACTLY how topping feels to me. It's like my body suddenly doesn't have any impairment. And as much as I like my body and as much as I am not engrossed in bitterness about the impairment, the feeling that it isn't there -- or perhaps more accurately that it's suddenly become not simply unimportant but completely irrelevant -- is incredibly freeing. Knowing that I can physically overpower someone (who consents) is really an amazing feeling for me. I'm used to my body being almost-good-enough-but-not-quite, and people thinking it's perfectly OK to remark on this, to rush to my aid when I don't need it, to ask me nosey questions that get old fast, etc. For all that to suddenly mean nothing, for em to be able to use my body in ways that not only mean "I'm not weak" but also mean "I have physical dominance over a relatively able-bodied person"... well, that's a powerfully restorative feeling.

Is that where sexualizing control came from for me? Maybe. I don't know. I tend to think it's more complicated than that. But that certainly informs everything else.

So because I understand very well part of what this young man is saying, I think it doesn't make sense to write him off as someone who merely thinks of himself as entitled to women's bodies.

(EDIT: another post on that site of johns' letters from a guy with a "physical condition." I find it kind of creepy, but some of it I can relate to. It is very strange when you're the one disappearing for medical shit. And it sucks when they make fun of you for it. I'll never forget the boy who pushed me once in middle school simply because it was apparently hilarious to make me fall over... and how weird it was to tell on him, fearing worse targeting later.)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 22nd, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)
I really appreciate you posting this. Your personal reflections on dominance and how that interacts with your relationship to your body makes a lot of sense to me, and it's a neat glimpse into dominance (being a submissive, I'm fascinated by it).

Also, thanks muchly for the link. I'm considering potential prostitution work in various settings, and that site is an amazing place to contribute to envisioning that.
Apr. 22nd, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
I thought of you when I read this.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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