Today marks a first for the blog- on the 20th of every month, I’m going to write up a post. It’s not going to be a review, just going to be on something about sex, sexuality… I’m not going to write about completely unrelated topics!
Now that being said, onto the content!
This month’s post is incredibly relevant to my life right now. None of you know this, but I am invisibly disabled, and i have been for 90% of my life. I’ve been autonomous for most of my life as well, and know how to take care of myself. This becomes relevant later. Now, at the beginning of the month, I had to be hospitalized, for an incident that very nearly became fatal. I was released after a few days, but I had to return to my home for a week to get some new technology and medicine that will help me not have the possibility of getting in such a dangerous experience again. This is also why my post on the Original We-Vibe Touch has to be edited, and was very mediocre at first, it was my first day out of the hospital.
However, it is much more apparent that I am not fully able-bodied now, at least once my clothes start coming off. Before I had a small, sticker like medical site on my hips, and it was easily covered, even with just a thong of very skimpy bottoms. Now I have a much larger site that protrudes more dramatically from my stomach, and can be seen under most of my shirts. While it might just be me noticing it, I can’t help letting it affect my confidence levels, if nothing else. It also is covered with an adhesive pad as it must be kept on my body for an extended period of time, and these pads leave the impression of the sites for weeks after, even when they’re off; a red, irritated reminder that even when it’s not on that spot currently, it was once covered with some ambiguously serious, live-or-death machinery that keeps me from being “normal”.
I know I don’t face the same stigmas that visibly disabled people face, and I’m not saying that I do. I have an invisible disability that rarely affects my normal- day-to day life, as far as others are aware, though I constantly am aware and must monitor it very frequently. However since I was released from the hospital, I’ve noticed people have been treating me differently, sexual partners or otherwise. Before during sex I would often forget about monitoring my condition, even if I needed to, for the sake of appearing to the other person that I was just like any of their other partners. It is now almost impossible to do that, as there are glaring visual reminders. Even though I assure people that I am fine, it is now impossible for me to brush off monitoring myself during sexual encounters, and people treat me differently for it. As if I’m made of glass, as if I’m some foreign “other” that they are vaguely grossed out by.
Even worse are people that I have known for years, acting as if I don’t know what I’m doing any more, monitoring me more than I’ve ever experienced, even when i was a child. I don’t need to be babysat, especially during my sexual experiences. It is incredibly demeaning to be lectured during what seemed to be leading up to a great sexual experience, on something that I have had my entire life, as if they were an expert and I knew nothing.
It’s incredibly interesting and telling of our society as a whole when a 2inch by 1inch sticker essentially can change people’s perceptions of another human being so drastically. I’m still the same person, nothing about me has changed from my experiences. Most of my close friends and partners haven’t changed drastically, but even they seem to hold me in a different light, and are more careful around me, or so it seems.
I know that I do not have a disability most would consider life-altering, I do not use a wheelchair and have full mobility. But this change in people’s perceptions of me because of a very small, almost insignificant at first incident really made me think, and I wanted to write on it.