DOUBLE TROUBLE

RAYMOND J. AGUILERA & MAX VERGA
Join Forces to Answer a Vexing Question

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Dear Bent,

Do you know if there is any place or resource where I can meet or find or pay someone willing to have sex with a disabled guy? In my condition, it is very hard for me to find a date or even an escort, and I don't know who I can ask or turn to, so that is why I'm writing to you. I'm twenty-eight and I've been in a wheelchair due to a car accident since I was eighteen. I'd never done it before that, and honestly, I really don't want to die a virgin. So I hope you can advise me on where I can look.

-Jimmy
NYC

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Dear Jimmy,

Your comment that "In my condition, it is very hard for me to find a date or even an escort that will be willing to have sex..." [emphasis added] makes me suspect that you are struggling with issues of self-esteem. Ideally, you should tackle those issues first.

I am convinced that putting out a positive attitude is the key to getting laid. A therapist might be able to help. Also, a therapist can refer you to a sex surrogate, who can furnish some real-life, hands-on (so to speak) experience. Sex surrogates have sex with clients, but unlike the average sex worker, they have psychological training that may prove useful in helping you with your anxieties. For the best account I know of what that experience might be like, read an article by poet and journalist Mark O'Brien about his own experience with a sex surrogate.

In terms of finding a willing partner, the Internet is a huge resource. Post an ad on Yahoo, or Gay.com. Yahoo groups exist that cater to pretty much any conceivable sexual interest. Try connecting with other members of whatever group interests you, or post an ad yourself. I have found that being straightforward with potential partners about a disability works best. If someone is going to respond negatively because you have a disability, better to find out sooner rather than later.

If you are in a metropolitan area, Craigs List (www.craigslist.org) personals are a good way to connect (I hear boyfriends are scarce there, but fuck buddies plentiful). And one final word of caution: if you're going to try your luck at the Internet Quickie Game, be careful: use lot of lube and always play safe. Anybody who refuses to play safe is not worth your time and energy in any context.

-Raymond J. Aguilera

As part of his work toward a Masters in Human Sexuality, Raymond J. Aguilera is conducting research on the sexual relationships of people with disabilities. He has worked as a sex educator and disability awareness trainer. He likes long walks on the beach and candlelit dinners, as well as a bunch of things his mother would not approve of. Find out what they are by reading his other contributions to BENT or by writing to him directly: ray@rayaguilera.com.

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Dear Jimmy,

A few of the male escorts I've communicated with online have told me that a significant number of their clients are men with disabilities, which sounds promising. But I've also spoken to disabled men who have said that some sex workers have expressed discomfort at interacting with a disabled client. So, the choice to seek a paid companion might have mixed results.

It is also not a cheap proposition, something men with limited incomes need to be aware of. The professionals I spoke to were ones who had initiated an e-mail conversation with me, and not with any understanding that they would get "work" out of me. It seems that even paid escorts need a Daddy sometimes, but that's another story.

I hope you will first try to find a partner by starting or joining a chat room for disabled men or by joining other chat rooms that interest you, without making disability a prime issue when it comes to meeting someone. Two Websites you might try are HFriends and the Gay Universe Disabled Message Board. Of course, you have to take all Internet contacts with a real big grain of salt.

Are there accessible gay bars or similar haunts in your neighborhood? No, bars are not the best place for a man in a wheelchair to meet someone (they may not be the best place for anyone to meet someone), but you don't know what might happen if you don't give it a try. And don't dismiss the idea of seeking out men who are attracted to a man with a disability.

Right now I wonder if your lack of experience and probable anxiety about it are barriers nearly as big as your disability itself. Even though there are men who love nothing better than the chance to give another man his first sexual experience (free of charge, with no barriers), I recognize that your search won't be an easy one.

Despite the many chat rooms you can find under the "M4M Companions" heading (meaning the men that list there are paid professionals), I hope you'll first try for someone without a price tag attached. I think the rewards will be far greater if there's no payout involved.

-Max Verga

You don't know all about Max Verga already? Shame on you! Give yourself a proper education by reading Max's regular column, "Bear in Mind."

©2003 Raymond J. Aguilera and Max Verga

 

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BENT: A Journal of CripGay Voices/January 2003