Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Human Spirit

There’s a certain look cripples like me often get from uncrippled people we pass on the streets. The people shooting us the look don’t think we notice but we do. And we know exactly what that look means. We’ve seen it a thousand times.

It’s a look that combines equal parts pity and fear with a pinch of panic. And what that look says is, “Damn, I bet that poor sap can’t even jerk off.”

Now it would be foolish for me to attempt to put forth the rosy facade that having limited or no use of one’s hands and arms doesn't present any significant challenges in the arena of self pleasuring. It does. And the free market has done little to address the problem. When cripples need assistance in carrying out our activities of daily living, we often turn to assistive technology. And I swear to God there is a piece of cripple technology designed to assist in executing every imaginable ADL from nose picking to screwing in light bulbs. But I don’t know of any cripple technology that is primarily designed to assist in the execution of self pleasuring, which is something I don’t understand at all. Why is there this universal assumption that cripples are the only humans for whom self pleasuring is not an activity of daily living, or at least an activity of two-or-three-times-a-weekly living?

And traditional sex toys aren’t much help either. They’re either too heavy or too bulky or the on/off switch is too tight or whatever. Mainstream sex toys aren’t designed with people who can’t use their arms in mind, which is another thing I don’t understand. Here we are nearly 25 years after the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act and there still isn’t anything on the market like a vibrating dildo that is operated by voice command. But why the hell not? Was the sex toy industry exempted or grandfathered out of the ADA? Surely we have the technology to create such a device. All we lack is the political will! Somebody ought to sue! Don’t get me started on this subject!

But even though the deck is decidedly stacked against many cripples when it comes to self pleasuring, cripples are nothing if not inventive. I cannot speak for the women, but I’m here to tell you that men can execute this ADL hands-free. It works sort of like meditation. You sit quietly and concentrate all your attention and energy on a single point of focus until you achieve a state of exhilarating release. Like meditation, this technique takes time and devotion to master. And it doesn’t always work. Sometimes you just fall asleep. But with perseverance, it can be done.

When I get that look on the street, I feel like taking the pedestrian aside and telling them I know what they’re afraid of but rest assured-- if they ever become crippled like me all hope is not lost. And then I’ll tell them what I just told you. It’s another example of the triumph of the human spirit. That ought to make them feel better.