Updated: Aug 11, 2018
I know you’ve all been waiting for this post. It was bound to come. Therefore, here it is. I want to apologize in advance for it not being a regurgitation of my love life. However, I will start by saying I am a sexual being, and it’s crippling to think that society may think otherwise, that is if they even consider it at all. Let me break it down. I love my huge, overbearing, loud, Latin family. However, when Christmas came around every year all of the offspring were asked if they had a special someone… except me. I know they love me very much, and I don’t mean anything by this, however, it’s a little fucked up don’t you think? Maybe, they just didn’t want to push my buttons because they knew how difficult dating was going to be for me, or maybe they just never considered me as someone who would want a relationship in the first place. Regardless, I believe that my family is the norm rather than the exception. Which is why women with physical disabilities have to consciously remind themselves that they are sexy and that they are allowed to be sexual beings. Society isn’t going to make that easy, so please, 16-year-old physically disabled girl who I keep referring to, feel free to be vocal about it.
Why is it important to recognize us as sexual beings (besides the fact that it’s just stupid to assume otherwise)? Companionship is key to a healthy life. Let’s face it, if a person doesn’t receive some sort of physical human contact, they’re bound to go apeshit at some point. Being wanted and being understood are elements that need to be fulfilled within the human psyche. I strongly believe that humans are driven by two things: death, and sex. There is a Freudian theory that believes that people are either driven by their sex drive or the death drive. Basically, the sex drive is everything that has to do with creation, while the death drive refers to self-destruction. If you have any more questions on this, I’m sure your browser might be of assistance at this point. What I’m trying to say by this is that by not giving us the opportunity to participate in sex we're are prone to be self-depreciative, and self-destructive.
What would we be self-depreciative about you ask? Well, the media effects how society as a whole views relationships and bodies. Social media and the film industry predominantly depict men for disabled characters. Meanwhile, disabled women are not portrayed in these mediums at all. The fact that able-bodied-women are portrayed as hyper-sexualized beings in this medium is creating an ideal which is difficult for disabled women to achieve. Dr. Danielle Sheypuk explains that in western culture ectomorph and mesomorph figures are seen as openly desirable, while endomorph figures are construed as not being so. Often, disabled women’s bodies do not fit into any of these body classifications. Thus illustrating that disabled women are not even considered in physical form. In other words, we are not considered sexy no matter how much makeup, or expensive clothing we invest in. Society does not assist us in registering our natural beauty. This is why every individual disabled woman should remind themselves that they are as fine as a glass of wine (I totally made fun of myself for saying that).
Based upon the lack of exposure towards women with physical disabilities in the media and advertisements, able-bodied-men most often do not see us as an option for dating at all. Once again, that’s fucked up based on the premise that in reality, men are curious about disabled women, and that’s not something they should be afraid of. However, since this interaction has never, if so rarely, been presented to them, they’re unsure whether to act upon it or not. People, monkey see, monkey do… it’s real. In other words, if the public isn’t presented with the scenario of a couple in which one of the participants is disabled, the narrow-minded man puppet would never consider that the couple could ever be happy, when in truth, that a disabled spouse could offer way more than Brittany, Tiffany, or Holly ever could… no offense to them, but their parents gave them basic names.
Honestly, the only advice I can give to the 16-year-old girl (I should probably give her a name) is to be proud of who you are, sounds fluffy but bear with me. Confidence is sexier than a nice pair of tits. I mean, I happen to have a nice ass, but hey, I’m just lucky. Don’t be mad when guys ask dumb ass questions, because dumb-assery is a disease, but it has a cure; a shot of your common sense. I can’t guarantee this, even though I’m pretty fucking sure, there’s going to be an odd duckling out there that sees the magnificent swan that you really are. In the meanwhile, when you turn 21, just have fun on Tinder… be safe, but have fun, answer stupid questions, laugh about how basic and boring people can be, and don’t be afraid to feel better about yourself.