I think we can all agree that flirting is one of those things that can come easy to us, or it can be like pulling teeth. If I am being honest with you all, I would say that I am one of the most flirtatious people out there (this truly is a juxtaposition of sorts, because when I actually get the opportunity to stand next to the objects of my affections, of which there are plenty, words seem to be lost on me, and all I can actually do is stutter, stammer and fail to remain calm. You can picture butterflies, alarm bells and any other metaphor for excitement here).
I love the idea that I can use my words to make someone blush, smile and do a double take when they realize that, yes, this disabled guy sitting in front of them fancies them and is flirting.
My flirtatious nature is directly related to my disability (or so I believe), and I would like to unpack and explore why that is. The first thing that comes to mind when I consider the correlation, is the fact that I use my sexuality as a way to prove my worth. Let me be clear, I understand that I am the sexiest PwD out there, but I continuously feel as though I have to show this to others. There are so many deceptions when it comes to our understanding of (in my case) the "Palsy and the Peen" that I always want to show my viability in this respect. My thought process is: "if I can show you that I'm sexy, everything else will follow". This usually presents itself by way of a cheesy one liner. While not particular tasteful, it does the job of disarming my potential playmate. Disability and sexuality are still so taboo, that I think there is something subconsciously sexy when a PwD puts that out there, and partners can pick up on that.
The language that the routine of disability employs is one of necessity. PwD are often talking to Occupational Therapists, Attendant Care Workers, Transit Operators who leave you on hold for 45 minutes while you wait to book an accessible ride 7 days in advance of the actual event. You end up talking in quazi-professional, curt sentences that have been carefully constructed to convey precisely what you need or want. They lack flare, flavour or freedom. So, when those strictures are loosened, and you have the opportunity to say what you want to really, really say, it feels great and the floodgates will open to a stream of sensuality the likes of which many have never seen!
I also think that I am fantastically flirty as a result of shame around my disability. I am not too scared or proud to admit that I carry a lot of fear around what my disability means for me. I am constantly cooking up new ways to find the tidbits that make disability delectable on a personal level. That is one of the reasons that I started Deliciously Disabled, but it also acts as a form of "self-care". There is a magical power in knowing that even though there are a myriad of barriers that often keep the boys at bay, I can still find the sexiness while being seated.
If you're wondering just how I do it, while I can't give away all the ingredients that make up this cool cripple concoction, I will share with you some suggestions that you make your seat the hottest place around:
Use what you've got: If you use a mobility device like a wheelchair or a cane, you have all that you need to make disability flirty and flavourful. Let's review:
- "Man, it's a super good thing I have my chair with me. You're so cute, I got weak in the knees and fainted."
- "Wanna play with my joystick? / Wanna feel my cane?"
I am also somebody with spasms. This means at the slightest sound I don't expect, I will jump in the air like a gun was just shot above my head (seriously, a pin drops, and I am spazzing). This can be really useful if you and a partner, are getting to know one another and you want to be playful. Ensuring that the touch is wanted and consensual, you could always have a spasm that just happens to graze their knee.
When it comes to disability, one of the buzzwords that the medical community loves to use is function. When I was little, they would always say things like, "Andrew will never have full function..." OR "Let's get you functional with that stretch." Utilizing your disability in social situations wherein there may or may not be romantic potential, means that you are on your way to become a fully functional flirt, because you understand that as much as there are added obstacles when you are trying to "get them to go gimp" (trying that one out. Thoughts?), you also see the wealth of opportunity as well, and there's nothing sexier than that!
To find out more about my work as a Disability Awareness Consultant and the #DeliciiouslyDisabled campaign, head on over to www.andrewmorrisongurza.com, and let's find a way to make disability delicious for you!